Siri is an often-ignored feature of the new iOS devices. So many of my friends have a love-hate relationship with her because they don't understand her. They haven't put in the time to get to know her like I have. But with a little time and research, you can learn all sorts of the functionality she provides. Below I will list some of my favorite uses for her that can save good chunks of time.
Find Your Age
If you have any personal data saved or linked with your iPhone, Siri knows how old you are. And sometimes, I just can't remember for the life of me how old I am. This can be used to find out how old anyone is if you know their birth date. This also works for nearly any notable famous person.
- "How old am I?"
- "How many years ago was November 5th, 1988?"
- "When was I born?"
- "How old is Quentin Tarantino?"
Calculate Complex Math Equations
Well, maybe not too complex, but Siri accesses Wolfram Alpha to calculate all sorts of math problems you throw at it. This is especially useful for calculating tips, taxes, measurement conversions, distance conversions, and a slew of other more obscure problems.
- "What's 250 inches in feet?"
- "How many seconds are in a decade?"
- "What's fifteen percent of $25.79?"
- "What's 1,982 miles in kilometers?"
Set Alarms and Timers
A lot of core functionality can be accessed using Siri, most notably, setting alarms and timers. Every night before bed, I say aloud, "Hey Siri, wake me up at 7:30am." Because the iPhone is already plugged in to power, saying "Hey Siri" will make her start listening, so you don't even have to touch your phone to do this.
- "Wake me up at 7:30 tomorrow morning."
- "Wake me up in a half hour."
- "Set an alarm for four minutes." (Great for steeping tea!)
There are a million-and-one reminder and to-do apps out there, but sometimes it's nice just to speak directly to your phone when you don't want to forget something. Reminders can easily set to alert you at a certain time or location.
- "Remind me to get eggs and turkey bacon."
- "Remind me in the morning to grab my camera bag."
- "Remind me when I leave home to drop off my rent check."
Siri is just there to help, but sometimes she lets it go to her head a bit. Here are some fun questions and requests that illicit entertaining responses.
- "What is your favorite color?"
- "Sing me a song."
- "When is the world going to end?"
- "What does the fox say?"
- "Tell me a story."
- "What is the meaning of life?"
- "Tell me a joke."
- "I love you."
"Read My Messages"
This little-known feature will have Siri read your unread text messages aloud. This may sound like a fairly useless feature, but riddle me this: You're sitting at home on the couch with your iPhone plugged in across the room. You get a text message, but don't feel like getting up again to check it. Instead, you can just say, "Hey Siri, read my messages" and she'll tell you what you were just texted. Unfortunately she can't describe any photos that were texted to you...for now.
"Flip a Coin"
Need to make a hard decision? Have Siri decide for you! Just ask her to flip a coin and she'll give you a random heads or tails.
A lot of times when using a friend's iPhone for a moment, you'll have to find an app buried deep in a random folder on one of the many pages of apps. OR, just tell Siri, "Open Spotify please!" The please isn't required, but recommended.
The process of unlocking your phone, finding the Maps app, tapping on said app, typing in your location, then changing the mode to walking/driving can take a few more moments than you might want to give. Using Siri however, can save a ton of time setting up navigation. Assuming she understands the destination.
- "Give me walking directions to work."
- "Give me driving directions to Trader Joe's."
Get Movie Synopses
Believe it or not, Siri has unique one or two sentence synopses for tons of movies. They are less than descriptive, but often very funny. Try asking about Inception.
- "What was The Matric about?"
- "What was Inception about?"