19/04/2018 – 5:41pm
We show you how to get started with the Siri voice assistant on Apple's iPhone
Siri’s not the only voice assistant around these days, you can go to Google, Amazon, Samsung, Microsoft and many others for an alternative. But Siri has been around the longest, and in the years since its arrival Apple has continued to work on it, making it more useful than it has ever been.
There’s a lot you can do with Siri, and indeed the best way to learn how it might be useful for you is to just ask it lots of questions and see what it can do. However, as with many things in life, when presented with infinite opportunities many people feel a bit overloaded and don’t know which way to jump. Or in the case of Siri, what questions to ask.
11 Things You Can Get Siri To Do For You RIGHT NOW
If you’re a first-time iPhone owner and are just getting to grips with your new phone, here are a few tricks and tips to help you get started with Siri.
Check News Headlines
Something many people might want to use in their day-to-day, as plenty of us like checking up on current events while sipping our morning coffee.
If you say “Hey Siri, give me the news,” your iPhone will begin playing a news report podcast from one of a few default sources. However, you don’t have to stick with the source Siri gives you, simply ask it to switch to another source like the BBC, CNN, Fox, or whatever you like.
Note that you have to do this as a “Hey Siri” command without pressing the Home key. If you press the Home key first and ask Siri for the news, it will open the News App instead.
You can use Siri to quickly bring up Twitter feeds you’re interested in, if you know the Twitter handle, simply say “Hey Siri, what is @(Twitter Handle) saying?” and you’ll get a feed of the 10 most recent Tweets from that user.
You can also do this without the Twitter handle, if you ask after a famous celebrity, for example, Siri will find their Tweets just from their name.
Take A Selfie
Yup, you can make the process of taking a selfie much easier by going hands-off and asking Siri to do it for you on command.
Simply say “Hey Siri, take a selfie and it’ll open the camera app in the front-facing camera mode.
Name That Song
Shazam is still a thing, but dedicated music-identifying apps of its ilk are somewhat redundant now that many AI assistants – including Siri – can figure out what song is playing for you. Simply ask “Hey Siri, what song is this?” to be told the track name and artist.
Pretty straightforward really – you can ask Siri for directions to a location and it’ll help you out with GPS and mapping data to figure out the best route.
Simply say, “Hey Siri, get me directions to (any address),” and it’ll deliver the goods via the Apple Maps application.
Similar to directions and other location-based data. Ask Siri “Hey Siri, what’s the weather like today?” and you’ll get a detailed overview from relevant weather services on what to expect when you step outside.
You can even ask for the weather in a location you’re not at, but are planning to go to, for example “Hey Siri, what’s the weather like on Dartmoor?” will clue you in.
Check Air Traffic Overhead
Just a bit of fun for those casual plane-spotters. My Dad has a whole app on his tablet dedicated to this, but understandably not everyone may wish to go down this route! If you see a plane overhead and are curious about what kind of plane it is, where it’s going, and where it came from, you can ask Siri to fill in the blanks.
Simply say, “Hey Siri, what flights are overhead?” and it’ll consult Wolfram Alpha for the data before delivering you a suite of information.
If you’re in a foreign country, it can be useful to have a quick and handy way of translating signposts, menus, and all kinds of things you just can’t understand unless you know the local lingo. Likewise, you might be having trouble talking to someone and making clear what you’re asking or saying.
Enter Siri, which can translate English, French, Italian, German, Spanish and Mandarin Chinese.
For example, ask Siri “Hey Siri, translate which way to the supermarket in Italian,” and you’ll get your results.
Siri speaks and spells the translated phrase for you and allows you to play it back to someone listening in if you’re not confident about your pronunciation.
Call A Cab
Another fairly straightforward function; you can ask Siri to book a cab with Uber or Lyft – it depends what taxi apps you have installed. Simply say “Hey Siri, get me a ride to (destination)”, and it’ll set it up for you.
There are many reasons why you might need something to be randomised, like flipping a coin, rolling a dice, or pulling a card, but it may not always be convenient to actually physically throw a coin in the air, or you might not have cards or dice to hand.
Fortunately, Siri can give you digitally randomised results for such things. You can ask it to roll a die with any number of sides, for example “Hey Siri, roll a d6,” or “Hey Siri, roll a 20-sided die,” and it’ll give you the result. Perfect for your Dungeons & Dragons sessions.
You can also say “Hey Siri, pick a card,” to get a randomised card from a standard deck, or “Hey Siri, flip a coin,” for a result between heads or tails. I like to use this last one if there are two things on a food menu I can’t decide between.
Spell A Word
Always useful to double-check when you need to be sure of your spelling. Simply say “Hey Siri, spell (your word),” and it’ll oblige with a full spelling and word definition.
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