Voice command is the next big way we are going to communicate with our phones. Amazon is investing in Alexa; Microsoft is pushing hard with Cortana and Apple has it’s own digital assistant, Siri.Siri was first introduced with iPhone 4s way back in 2011, and it has since evolved as a powerful digital assistant. Still, many of us use Siri commands just to set alarms and create reminders.
Siri is an extremely powerful tool, and there is so much more you can do with Siri — most of it without even unlocking your iPhone!
Here are ten ways that can help you make the most out of Siri.
You can use Siri to call people using their relationships with you. For example, just ask Siri to call your dad and it will ask you the first and last name of your father. Give those details to Siri and it searches through your contacts to find a match. It will also remember it for the future. So the next time you ask Siri to call your dad, it will directly call that person. You can do the same with other relatives like mother, brothers, uncles, aunts, even boss or assistant!
Siri is capable of handling complex calculations. You can ask her for something as simple as adding two numbers or something as complex as fractional multiplication or square roots of large numbers. Just spell out the mathematical problem to Siri and she’ll take care of the rest.
You can use Siri to listen to all the notifications on your iPhone. Suppose you’re driving, and your iPhone is hooked to the car’s Bluetooth, then Siri can read to you the notifications on your iPhone. You can further respond to these messages using Siri. You can simple commands like “reply to Matthews, okay I will be there”, or “call Sarah back.”
4. Name that tune
Ever come across a great song while watching a film or in the club and didn’t know the album it’s from? When you want to know the name of such a track, just ask your iPhone, “Siri, which song is this?” or “Name that Tune, Siri” and Siri will bring you up the name of the song. Make sure that your iPhone can pick up the tune well. Won’t work so well if you’re in a noisy place.
5. Wolfram Alpha
My favourite and one of the most powerful Siri so far is this. Siri’s integration with Wolfram Alpha is quite an impressive feat of digital assistance technology. All you have to do is Say ‘Wolfram’ along with a bunch of commands that invoke these features.
For those who don’t know, Wolphar Alpha is like Google, but much more data-driven and highly customised to the academician’s sensibilities.
– “Wolfram, Password”: Generates an eight character highly secure password for you to use if you’re signing up in some place online.
– “Wolfram, Random Integer”: Generates a random integer between 1 and 1000
– “Wolfram, How many calories are there in chocolate”: It will tell you the amount of calories present in any food, the food being chocolate here.
6. Search Photos by Time or Location
The photos taken with your iPhone are digitally marked with time and location. You can use Siri’s deep integration with iOS to a great effect here. Ask Siri something like “Show photos from last December” or “Show my Manali pictures” and it pulls the relevant pictures from your Photos folder.
Now no more scrolling through thousands of photos in camera roll just to find that one photo you took while you went on a road trip four years ago!
7. Who Owns this iPhone?
This is one of those Siri commands that’s more for others’ use than for yours. You can ask Siri about the owner of the iPhone in case you find a lost iPhone or someone else finds yours. If you’re using iOS 9, it tells you about the name and contact details of the concerned person. In iOS 10, you get the name of the individual and a picture as well.
Of course, you can customise the information from your settings menu. After all, you don’t want to person who found your iPhone to some random, ugly, Aadhaar Card photo of yours!
If you don’t like the way Siri pronounces your name or anything else, you can tell Siri the right way to pronounce it. Whenever Siri calls your name, tell her, “That’s now how you pronounce *name*” and Siri will ask you for the right pronunciation. You can teach her how to say your name correctly, then. Particularly useful for us Indians!
Siri is also capable of changing your default name to whatever you like the most. Just tell Siri “Call me Batman from now on”, confirm it, and you’re Batman now!
Siri is also capable of metric and currency conversions for you. Tell the value and the conversion unit from A to B and it will do the rest. Siri also converts the various currencies by pulling up the real time conversion rates from the internet, so that you don’t have to worry about today’s conversion rates.
10. Flip a Coin
If a tough decision ever puts you in a spot and you’re totally unable to decide, you iPhone can be the coin-flip you’re looking for. Siri, on the iPhone, gives you a random side when you ask Siri to “Flip a Coin”. It randomly generates Heads or Tails and displays it on the screen.
Unable to decide if you should take XBox One or the PS4? Well, ask Siri to flip a coin. If you’re stuck between more than two choices, as her to “Roll a dice!”