Apple was among the first technology companies to put a voice-based virtual assistant in our hands and now the intelligent agent who lives inside the iPhone, Siri is at our beck and call, fulfilling all of our menial tasks and answering our questions, no matter how silly.
Since its inception, Apple has made Siri more reliable hence adding more value and power to the iOS experience. However, many iOS users remain unaware to some of Siri’s best features; there is almost an endless list of Siri features that can turn this intelligent digital personal assistant into a powerful force to answer your questions in a snap, make your life simpler, play your favourite music or even translate for you. Nonetheless, below are 13 cool things Siri can do — some of which may surprise you.
Acts as a Personal Translator
Starting with iOS 11, Siri now guarantees users are no longer tongue-tied when travelling to a new country. It translates words and phrases into French, Italian, German, Spanish and Mandarin thus, speaking and spelling out the translated phrase whilst also allowing users the option of playing it back.
Request for a Ride
Need a ride quickly? Don’t worry, Siri has got you. If you’re running iOS 10 or later, Siri can help you call for a ride depending on which ride-hailing apps installed on the iOS device. Simply say, “Hey Siri, get me a ride” to or wherever you’re going, confirm the request and Siri will get a car for you without the need to open the app in question.
Request for your Car’s Location
Sounds interesting right? Ever since iOS 10, iOS devices can remember where you parked your car by recording exactly when and where your phone disconnected from your car’s Bluetooth system. All you need to do is just ask Siri “Where did I leave my car?” and you’ll get an answer in map form.
Find Airplanes above You
Ever wondered what plane is way up there in the sky? Just ask Siri “what flights are overhead” and the intelligent agent will easily check the status of a flight visible from your location. It will also provide the current altitude, angle, type of plane and even a sky map.
Get the Latest Headlines
Siri picked up a new trick with the iOS 11.2.2 update, where you can receive a daily digest of headlines from a limited selection of news sources. Simply say “Hey Siri, give me the news” and Siri will, by default, start playing a news report from NPR through the built-in podcasts app. You can also switch news sources, if NPR doesn’t suit you; simply say, “Hey Siri, switch to Fox News, CNN or Washington Post to change sources.
Clarify Your Question
Before now Siri tries its best to understand what you’re saying, but with iOS 11, Siri now understands your question in the form of a “Tap to Edit” feature that allows you correct any misheard words. Siri now even makes an attempt at guessing what you might have been saying. Cool right?
Help Take a Selfie
Next time you want to take a selfie, cut to the chase and just tell Siri “take a selfie” and your iOS will jump to the front-facing lens mode in the camera app. It beats having to go through the Control Center or trying to activate the camera app.
Search for Specific Photos
Digging through the Photos app for a specific picture or from a certain event can be tedious but Siri can help ease that pain. Just say “show me my beach photos from earlier this year” and Siri will open up Photos with the relevant pictures displayed.
Open and Adjust Settings
Ploughing through the Settings app to find one particular feature can sometimes be frustrating but Siri can help simplify things. All you need to do is tell the intelligent agent to “open Accessibility settings” to take you to that specific section you want or tell it to turn certain features on or off by saying “turn on Bluetooth” or “turn off Wi-Fi.”
Search the App Store
There are so many apps on the App Store and their numbers keep growing everyday but with Siri, you can at least save a little time by not having to type what you’re looking for. Just say “find me the best calculator app” or “download the Snapchat app” and Siri will launch the App Store to give you what you want.
Spell a Word
Can’t quite remember whether or not “assignment” has one “s” or two? No problem. Just ask Siri “how do you spell assignment?” and your digital personal assistant will not only provide a definition but also spell the word out loud for you.
Hold Your Calls
For days when you have a really important meeting, you can tell Siri not to bother you by saying “Hold my calls” and it will turn on the “Do Not Disturb” feature to ensure that a ringing phone won’t interrupt you in the middle of a crucial meeting.
Read Your Tweets
Although Siri doesn’t have its own social-media accounts, it can help you navigate through some of the more popular networks such as Twitter or Facebook. Just ask the intelligent agent “show me tweets from askifa and it’ll give you the rundown of the latest posts, though it won’t read them aloud.
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