Siri is Apple’s digital personal assistant and one of the neatest features of iOS that debuted with the iPhone 4S. It then expanded to the 3rd and 4th generation iPad, the iPhone 5, the 5th generation iPod Touch and the iPad mini. The main function of Siri is to provide you with information and to perform some simple tasks on your iPhone or other iOS device in a fast, reliable way.
Now, while there are several voice recognition software alternatives out there, what sets Siri apart from the rest is its uncanny ability to understand natural language, which means that you can just talk to it like if you where talking to a real person.
Here are some examples of the things you can ask Siri:
Now that you know the basics of what Siri is and what it can do, let’s take a look at how to get the most out of it.
Step 1: Go to Settings > General > Siri. Once there, turn Siri ON.
Tip: While on this screen, you can also configure some basic aspects of Siri, like its main language, how to activate it, in which instances you would like it to provide voice feedback and such.
Step 2: To use Siri, simply press and hold the Home button for a couple of seconds until you hear a tone. The screen will then slide up and show Siri’s icon (a microphone).
Once it pops up, speak your query or command clearly and wait until you hear a tone again. In a few moments you will have your answer/results.
Getting the Most Out of Siri
Most people use Siri mainly to ask for information, but while it certainly is good at that, it can actually do much more. Here are some examples of just how useful Siri can be.
Establish Contact Relationships Using Siri
You can tell Siri who is your father, your mother and so on. That way, next time you send them a message you will not need to say: “Send a message to John Smith”, but instead just “Send a message to my father”.
To establish these relationships, just activate Siri and say: “John Smith is my father/mother/brother” (where instead of John Smith you should use any of your relative’s name of course).
The average iPhone and iOS device user carries literally hundreds of apps on their device, making it sometimes difficult to find the one they want to open. Thankfully, you can just call up Siri pressing and holding the Home button and for example, ask: “Open Facebook” and it will open it instantly.
Working with Apps
Not only can Siri open apps, it can also interact with them. A few examples of what you can ask Siri to do are:
Siri can also provide you with accurate directions thanks to iOS 6 now sporting integrated turn-by-turn functionality. You just tell Siri where you want to go and it will guide you there.
Even better, while you are on your way, you can even ask Siri how much longer it will take you to reach your destination.
Important note: Directions might not work everywhere. Mapping data has severely decreased with Apple’s own Maps in iOS 6 and some users are looking for better alternatives to Apple Maps. Apple is working on adding more and more data every day, but still directions might not be accurate for you.
Finding All About Movies
When it comes to movies, Siri allows you to find the ones showing in theatres around you as well as showing you their show times. It can also provide ratings, reviews and the trailers for them. Just press and hold the Home button and ask for your favorite movie and what you would like to know about it. If you ask for robot-related movies, you might also even some funny summaries from Siri.
Setting Timers, Alarms and Reminders
One of the best uses for Siri is telling it to create an alarm or a timer, which you can modify, turn off or delete using Siri as well. You can also create reminders using Siri, which will be added to your iPhone’s native Reminders app.
Cool tip: Since Apple’s native Reminders app can use geo-location to remind you of certain tasks depending on where you are, you can also tell Siri to create a reminder location-based reminder.
Sports Information Always Up To Date
Siri is also a great way to learn about sports, especially about the latest scores and information about players and more. Simply tap and hold the Home button to activate Siri and ask what you would like to know about your favorite team or player. For example, you could ask: “How did the Yankees do last night?” or “When is the Yankees next match?”
Final Thoughts on Siri
If you have an iPhone or any other iOS device that supports Siri and you give it a chance, have no doubt that it could become an essential tool whether you use it for productivity or for entertainment. Apple keeps improving Siri so every moment it becomes more accurate and useful. And even if you don’t use it that much, it is always fun to just play with it.
What do you think about Siri? Is it useful to you? You use it mostly for fun? Let us know in the comments.