Android Apps iPhone Phones

What’s this song? Find out quickly using Google or Siri

what's this song
Name that tune: Google or Siri will

When Shazam first came out, it was near witchcraft. Open the app, hold your phone near a speaker, and it would identify the song within seconds. Wow. Now, there’s no need to have Shazam’s app installed on your phone to pull off the ‘What’s this song?’ trick. It’s easier do it with Google or Siri. Here’s how.

Identify a song with Google on Android

The quick and dirty way to do this – if you’ve got the feature turned on – is to yell “OK, Google” in the direction of your phone and, when the phone responds, ask “What’s this song?”.

However, many people have that always-listening facility switched off as it drains battery and causes endless confusion if you have other Google Home devices within earshot.

In that case, click on the little mic icon from the Google widget on your phone’s homescreen, as shown below:

Google widget on Android

Once you’ve clicked that, the phone will be waiting for a voice command, but if you hit the ‘What’s this song?’ button at the bottom of the screen it will listen for music instead.

What's this song

Give Google a few seconds to work its magic and you should soon have your answer (provided you’ve not asked it to listen to your Uncle Phil singing My Way at a family wedding).

Identify a song with Siri on the iPhone/iPad

Not to be left behind, Siri can also pull off this trick. Indeed, Siri uses Shazam’s technology to identify the music.

To identify a song using Siri, either say “Hey, Siri” or hold down the home button to activate the voice assistant. Then ask it: “What’s this song?”

You should see an answer like this:

You’ll notice that Siri’s answer is much less comprehensive than Google’s. It identifies the track and artist, but there are no lyrics, no details of the album and there are no options to open the track in the different music services you may have installed. Annoying if you want to save it to a playlist.

If you click on that box, Apple will of course take you straight to Apple Music and give you the option to buy the track, like it’s 2003 all over again.

Irritatingly, the Google Assistant app for iOS doesn’t seem able to identify songs. If you crave greater detail, the Shazam app is your best bet.

Now read this: How do I add music to Spotify?

About the author

Barry Collins

Barry has scribbled about tech for almost 20 years for The Sunday Times, PC Pro, WebUser, Which? and many others. He was once Deputy Editor of Mail Online and remains in therapy to this day. Email Barry at

Add Comment

Click here to post a comment

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.