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Top ten things you didn’t know Siri could do

Siri on iPhone and iPad can do far more than just answer questions about the weather...

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Siri is your iPhone’s very own digital personal assistant. It enables you to control your iPhone using the power of voice. You can ask it just about anything and it will search the web and social media for the answers. All you need to do is say “Google X” or “Bing X”, where X is the search term you are after, or “Find me images of X” to get to the information you need at a fast rate of knots.

But Siri can also perform quite a few specific tasks too. Although you cannot book a table at a restaurant in the UK yet (you can in the US), you can use Siri to make phone calls, get detailed directions and manage your life. It works with apps such as Calendar, Email and Messages and it also has many built-in functions of its own. Here we look at how to get the most out of them.

Tip 1

Request a password

Siri uses the knowledge engine Wolfram Alpha to generate random, secure passwords. Simply say “Wolfram Alpha password” and Siri will display some choices, letting you choose a suitable one.

Tip 2

Get Wikipedia facts

If you need facts fast and you want to quickly search through Wikipedia, try saying “Find X on Wikipedia”. Invariably, Siri will respond with, “OK, I found this” and display a detailed synopsis.

Tip 3

Enable system toggles

You can use Siri to manage various settings on your phone. Say “Turn on Bluetooth” and it will act on your instruction. Siri displays the option on the screen so you can manually move any toggles too.

Tip 4

Get directions

Siri plugs into the Maps, app so you can use it to ask how to get to places from your current location. If there is more than one potential destination, it will ask you to tap the one you want.

Tip 5

Set up meetings

You can set up a meeting using Siri by providing it with as much info as you want. For example, you can say “Set up a meeting with X at 8am tomorrow”; Siri will create a Calendar entry and display it.

Tip 6

Post to social media

You can post to social media by saying “post X to Facebook” or “Tweet X”. Siri shows you your post or tweet before it appears in Facebook or Twitter, so you can make any final tweaks.

Tip 7

Set an alarm

Although Siri cannot set an alarm for more than a day in advance, you can get it to alert you by offering some verbal instructions. Just say “Set an alarm for X” and it will instantly sort it out for you.

Tip 8

Read your emails

If you are otherwise occupied, you can say “read my email”. Siri will tap into your Mail app and tell you who has sent emails and when, offering to read entire emails and letting you reply.

Tip 9

Search film facts

Are you watching a film but
really want to find out who the lead actor is? Ask Siri “who was the star of X” and so on. You can also say “Show me a trailer for X” to view promotional material.

Tip 10

Calculate sums

Maths not your strong point? Let Siri tax its brain. Ask it an equation and it will work it out for you without you having to open up your Calculator app and tap in the numbers yourself.

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