If you have an iPhone, you’ve probably used Siri. Maybe a lot, maybe a little. But, in my experience, most people don’t use as much as they could.
So, in this post, I’m going to list a number of things you can ask Siri that you may not have thought of, or simply forgotten about:
- Launch an app: Most of us have quite a few apps on our phone. And sometimes, you just can’t find the one you’re looking for. In that case, just ask Siri to launch that app for you, and it will open right up.
- Turn on a timer: Let’s say that you’re cooking something that needs to be in the oven for 20 minutes, and you need a alarm to ring at that time. Simply ask Siri to turn on a timer for 20 minutes, and you’re done. It’s much quicker than doing it manually on the timer.
- Find your car, or bike: If you park somewhere unfamiliar and think you might struggle to remember exactly where your car is, use Siri. Just say “Remember where I parked my car”, and Siri will create a marker on a map that you can pull back up whenever you need it. And doesn’t have to be your car for that matter. Or you could swap the word car for bike instead, and the same thing applies.
- Do Math: If you need a quick calculation of any kind, just ask Siri instead of looking for the calculator and typing it in manually.
- Show my passwords: If you allow your Apple products to save your login passwords in Safari or your Keychain, you can ask Siri “Show my passwords”, and it’ll take you straight to your passwords list. Then, just type in your device password or use Touch ID to see all your passwords.
- Identify a song: Want to know what track is playing in the background? Simply hold up the phone and say “Name that tune”. It’s a lot quicker than using Shazam or SoundHound, and works just as well now.
- Search emails: Need to quickly find an email you received from someone, or from a company? Just ask “find emails from (name)” and Siri will pull up all relevant emails in a flash.
- Convert measurements: If you need to know how many ounces are in a kilogram, or how many feet in a meter … any of that sort of thing. Siri makes it quick and easy.
- Convert currencies: Need to find out how many Euros you get for a dollar? Pesos for a Yen? You know what to do.
- What time is it in Berlin?: Need to make a phone call to a foreign country, but not sure what time it is there? The quickest way to find to out is by asking Siri.
- Ask Siri where you can use Apple Pay: You can ask Siri which nearby stores, restaurants, or other type of business accepts payments using Apple Pay. This is particularly useful if you’re already in the car and realize that you’ve forgotten your purse or wallet back home, but still want to purchase something using your phone.
- Translation: If you’re traveling and need to translate an English word or phrase into a foreign language, just ask Siri. Simply ask Siri “How do you say (word or phrase) in (language)” and the translation should pop right up.
- Send Text Messages: Instead of opening up the Messages app, creating a new message and typing everything in, you can just do it all through Siri. Just say “Send text to (name) saying (message content)”, review it and send. This is super useful if you’re driving and wearing headphones. You can do all of this without ever using your hands.
- Order Pizza: In the mood for Pizza, sushi, pasta, or almost any other kind of food? Just say “Order Chinese” and Siri will find all the nearby restaurants with Chinese food on their menu. You’ll then have a nice big list to choose from along with distance from you and a Yelp rating.
- Find movie times: Want to check out a movie at a theater near you? Just say ” Find movie times near me” and you’ll get a listing of movies playing at theaters near you.
- Find stuff near you: For navigation help, or finding things nearby, simply ask “Show me the nearest (gas stations, coffee shop, restaurants, malls, etc.)”. You can of course get far more specific. Pet stores, tennis courts, oil change, birthday cake, record stores, and so on… Siri does a pretty good job at finding relevant options of you. Try it, and you might be surprised.
- Show me my photos from Paris: If you want to quickly pull up the images you took on a trip to a foreign city or country, just ask Siri. Just say “Show me my images from Paris” and Siri will open up all the images that you’ve taken in that city. Obviously, this only works with images taken with your iPhone or iPad, or if you’ve tagged images taken with older cameras without GPS location data.
- Call someone: If you’re driving, on an elliptical machine, navigating a spaceship, or if your hands are otherwise tied up … you can ask Siri to place a phone call for you. If you have multiple numbers listed for that person or business, Siri will ask you which number you want to call before dialing.
- What day of the week is New Year’s Eve this year?: Siri is the quickest way to find out what day of the week holidays, mother’s day, or even your contacts birthday falls on. Along the same lines, you can ask when an upcoming meeting is taking place, at what time your doctor appointment is, and much more.
- Book me a ride: If you’ve had a few and you need to get a ride, ask Siri to “Book me a ride” and Siri will open up whatever Uber or Lyft and show you your options.
So, there you go. Those are just a few of the options that you can use Siri for. There’s a lot more you can do, and the best thing is just to ask questions whenever you feel like it.
Also, I’ve written this article mainly for people using Siri on their iPhone or iPad. But as most of you using a Mac might know, Siri is now also available on the Mac as well for anyone using macOS Sierra or newer. And in my experience working with clients every day, very few people are using Siri on their Mac. Which is a bit of a shame, because I actually find that Siri often works better on the Mac. For whatever reason, Siri understands my questions much better on my Macs than on my iPhone or iPad. As a general rule, in my experience, Siri has been far more accurate on the Mac than on iOS. So, I’m just putting it out there that this is something worth considering.
Also, Siri is not the only option available on your phone. Google Assistant does most of these things, and often times, it does it better. I find that Google products are usually far superior when it comes to voice recognition, and the responses are also noticeably faster. But, the issue with Google is that they tend to collect a lot of information about you as you use their products. While Apple tends to do a lot better in regards to privacy. So, there’s a trade-off, and only you can decide which option is best for you.
Do you have any favorite things to ask Siri that you would like to share? Please let me know in the comment section below.