Since Siri’s launch in 2011, people have argued that the virtual assistant has not grown in terms of its capabilities much, but all that is set to change with iOS 10. The witty (often to the point of annoyance) assistant has finally been opened to third party developers, so they can integrate their apps with Siri commands, allowing the virtual assistant to start proving more useful, and less gimmicky. If you have upgraded your existing iPhone to iOS 10, or if you have purchased the new iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus, you should definitely start using Siri more. Also available in macOS Sierra, Siri on the Mac will definitely help you improve your workflow on your laptop as well. So, in this article we are sharing with you 26 cool Siri tricks that you should definitely try out in iOS 10 on your iPhone and in macOS Sierra on your Mac.
1. Use Siri to Send WhatsApp Messages
Yes, Siri was always able to use the default Messages app to send messages (iMessage, or SMS) to your contacts, but now (finally!) you can use it to even send WhatsApp messages. To use this feature, make sure you have updated WhatsApp to the latest version available. Then, go to Settings -> Siri -> App Support and turn on the toggle beside “WhatsApp“. Then, follow the steps below to send messages using WhatsApp:
1. Launch Siri, and say “Send a message to <contact_name> with WhatsApp“. Obviously, replace “contact_name” with the name of the person that you want to send the message to. In my case, I’m sending a message to Rupesh. Siri will then prompt you to tell her what the message is, simply speak the message out.
2. Then, Siri will proceed to confirm if you want to send the message, simply say “Yes”, and your message will be sent.
So, now you can use Siri to send WhatsApp messages to your contacts with ease.
2. Use Siri to Call an Uber
Uber is another third party app that quickly enabled Siri support in its iOS app, making it easier than ever to call an Uber to your location. You will have to update Uber to its latest available version, and then enable Uber in Siri’s App Support section by going to Settings -> Siri -> App Support and turning on the toggle beside “Uber“. To call an Uber using Siri, simply follow the steps below:
1. Launch Siri, and say “Call an Uber“. Siri will ask you the type of Uber that you want to call, simply speak the one you’d like, or tap the name in the list.
2. Siri will then proceed to tell you the amount of time it would take an Uber to reach you, along with the fare for the journey. If you respond to Siri with a “Yes”, it will proceed to request a ride from the Uber app, and if you decide on not taking the Uber, you can simply respond with “No”.
Note: There are a lot more apps that support Siri in iOS 10, such as Lyft, Square Cash, Between, LinkedIn, Map My Run, Discover Mobile, Zenly, Canva, The Roll, Swingmail, and more.
3. Take Me Drunk I’m Home
This is a fun command that Siri replies to in a clever manner, but also provides a useful response at the same time. So, the next time you’re getting back home from a bar crawl with your friends, simply launch Siri and say “Take me drunk, I’m home”, and proceed to taking a cab home, instead of driving yourself.
4. Hey Siri, What’s it Like to Be You
If you’re just bored, and looking to have some fun, you can always chat with Siri. The virtual assistant comes packed with some really witty responses. One such command that you can try out, is asking Siri what it’s like to be her. Simply launch Siri and say “Hey Siri, what’s it like to be you?”.
5. Search for Tweets
If you have connected your Twitter account on your iPhone, you can ask Siri to search for tweets from specific users. For example, you can say “Search for tweets from Beebom“, and Siri will bring up a list of the latest tweets from the @BeebomCo handle, right inside the Siri window. You can even tap on individual results to open the full tweet inside the Siri window, along with an option to view the tweet in Twitter.
Note: The option to “View the tweet in Twitter” only works with the official Twitter app, and if you use a third party app like Tweetbot, Siri will open the tweet on the Twitter website in Safari.
6. Use Siri to Recognise Songs
So, you hear a really good song, and you want to know what it’s called? Chances are, you’re gonna use Shazam to find that out. However, there’s no need to use an extra app for this feature. Siri automatically hooks into Shazam (even without the app) and can recognise songs using Shazam’s database. To do this, all you have to do, is launch Siri, and say “What song is this?“. Siri will start listening to the music, and pretty soon, it will give you a result from Shazam, and if you use Apple Music, you can even stream it directly by tapping on the play icon.
I’m fairly sure that you know that Siri can send messages using iMessage (and now WhatsApp, as well), however, if you miss using punctuation in Siri, you’re in luck, because Siri can add punctuation, as well. When you’re dictating a message or note to Siri, simply speak out the names of the punctuation marks that you want, and Siri will automatically replace their names with the punctuation marks.
So, if you want to add a comma, just say “comma”, “period” for a “.” and so on. Suppose you want to send a message saying “Hey! What’s up?”, you can say “Hey exclamation What’s up question mark“, and Siri will automatically change it to “Hey! What’s up?”. Cool, right?
8. Create and Edit Calendar Events
What’s a virtual assistant about if it can’t schedule and manage your events for you? Well, Siri can do all that. To create a calendar event, just say “Schedule an event at <time>“, so if you wanted to schedule an event at 6 PM, you can say “Schedule an event at 6 PM today”, and Siri will create it for you.
You can even ask Siri to edit already existing events, by simply asking her to do it. Say we wanted to change the 6 PM event we created earlier, to 7 PM; we can simply say “Change my 6 PM event to 7 PM“, and Siri will gladly oblige.
9. Remind Me About This Later
You must have heard of the link saving app called Pocket. Well, here’s a neat way to use Siri to do the same thing, and even better, you can use it for pretty much anything. Say you’re reading a Note, and you want to continue reading it later, just launch Siri and say “Remind me about this later”, and Siri will add it to your Reminders. If you want to be reminded at a specific time, you can say something like “Remind me about this at 6 PM today“, and Siri will set a reminder that will alert you at 6 PM. You can simply tap on the reminder to open up the note that you wanted to read.
Note: Using Siri to save links is not exactly better than using Pocket, because, while Pocket downloads the links so you can view them offline, Siri will only save the link, and you will need to be connected to the internet to open the webpage at a later stage.
10. Search for Services Nearby
If you want to look up places around you, you can use Siri for that as well. Say you’re driving, and you realise that you’re low on gas, you can simply launch Siri and say “I’m running low on petrol”, or “I’m running low on gas“, and Siri will find and list the nearest filling stations so you can refill the fuel in your car. This works for other services as well, including pharmacies (“I need an Aspirin”), or services like plumbers/electricians (“I need a good electrician”), etc. Feel free to experiment with different services, and you might be surprised at the great suggestions that Siri comes up with.
11. Control System Settings
While the Control Center makes it very easy to control settings like the screen brightness, toggle Bluetooth or WiFi, but what if you are driving? Siri can help here, as well. Simply launch Siri and say “Toggle Bluetooth“, “Turn Bluetooth Off”, “Turn WiFi off” and so on. If you just want to check if WiFi or Bluetooth is on, you can ask Siri “Is WiFi on?“, “Is Bluetooth on?”, and Siri will tell you whether or not it is.
You can even control the brightness of the display with Siri, by saying “Increase/reduce the brightness“. If you want to go to the extreme values without having to constantly repeat the command, simply say “Increase the brightness to the highest value”, or “Reduce the brightness to the lowest value”.
12. Call Contacts on Speakerphone
Siri can easily call up contacts for you, but if you’re driving, or if you simply need to use the speaker phone to talk to someone, you have to tap on the Speaker button to enable it. If you want Siri to do this by itself, simply say “Call <contact> on Speaker“, and Siri will make your call on speakerphone. Easy, right? You can even say something like “Call <contact> and put it on speaker.” to achieve the same result.
13. Schedule Events in Different Timezones
If you follow a lot of TV shows like I do, chances are you’re always figuring out the time difference between the country where the show airs, and your country, so you can catch it on television. You can make this easier by asking Siri to schedule the event. For example, say an event starts in the US at 10 AM PDT, and I’m in India; I can simply ask Siri to “Schedule an event at 10 AM PDT“, and Siri will automatically add it according to Indian Standard Time. That is one trick that will definitely prove helpful to people that need to follow things in different timezones.
14. Assign Relationships to Contacts
Assigning relationships to contacts can make it easier to call or text them using Siri. If you want to assign a relationship to a contact, you can simply tell Siri what the relationship is. For example, if I want Siri to recognise that Kriti Gangwar is my sister, I can simply launch Siri and say “Kriti Gangwar is my sister”, and it will assign the relationship to the contact, so the next time I need to call her, I can say “Call my sister”, and Siri will know which contact to use.
15. Close Siri
Once you’re done using Siri, having it open on the screen can be quite weird, and if you’re in a situation where pressing the home button is not feasible, you can simply say “Bye” to Siri, and it will close down automatically.
Siri on Mac
With the launch of macOS Sierra, Siri has made its way into MacBooks and iMacs all around the world. But what can it do for you on your workstation? Let’s see some of the useful things that Siri can do on the desktop.
16. Find Files
You can use Siri to find files on your Mac. This can be used as a command to find all of your files, and you can even add constraints to it, to find files from a specific time frame. For example, if I launch Siri and say “Find my files”, it will list all of the files that I have on my Mac. However, if I just want to see the files from last week, I can say “Find my files from last week“, and Siri will only show the ones that I have created or modified in the last week.
17. Create Notes
You can even use Siri to create notes on your Mac. Simply launch Siri, say “Create a note titled Daily Update“, and Siri will create a note with the title that you want. Once you have done that, you can add stuff to it by saying “Add writing article”, and since Siri can understand context, it will add “Writing Article” to the note it created.
18. Launch Apps
You can also use Siri to launch apps on your Mac, just like on your iPhone. Simply launch Siri and say “Launch <app name>“, and Siri will launch the app for you. This might prove useful in certain situations where you don’t want to use Spotlight to find the app, or if Spotlight isn’t able to index it (it happens, some times).
19. Find Information About Your Mac
Siri on the Mac is basically all about reducing the number of clicks you need to make in order to achieve a result; which is why you can ask Siri to tell you details about your Mac. So the next time you want to find out how much free space you have left on your Mac, you can simply launch Siri, and say “How much free space is available on my Mac“, and Siri will tell you the amount of space that you have.
Note: You can even ask Siri “How much free space is available on my iCloud account”.
20. Find Photos
You can ask Siri to find Photos from specific time spans, simply by saying “Find photos from last week“, and it will open the Photos app, and only show the photos that were added last week. If you use geo-tagging, you can even ask Siri to filter photos by locations.
21. FaceTime with Contacts
If some of your contacts also use a Mac or an iPhone, you can use FaceTime to start an audio or a video call with them, over the internet. However, if you don’t want to launch the FaceTime app, search for the contact and then proceed to calling them, you can ask Siri to do it for you. Simply launch Siri, and say “FaceTime <contact_name>“, and Siri will start a FaceTime call with the contact.
22. Search Images Off the Web
Another cool thing that Siri can do on the Mac is search for images off the web. So the next time you’re working on a report and need to add an image of a panda to it (because, why wouldn’t you add an image of a panda?), simply launch Siri and ask it to “Search the web for images of Pandas“. Siri will bring up a grid of results that you can use in your report.
23. Find Schedules for Your Favorite Sports Team
If you find it difficult to remember the schedule for your favorite team, you can outsource that task to Siri. Simply launch the virtual assistant, and say “When is <team_name’s> next match“, and Siri will give you the date and time for the next match that your favorite team will be playing.
24. Change System Settings on Mac
You can use Siri on Mac to control and change the system settings on your Mac. For instance, if you want to toggle Bluetooth or WiFi, or if you just want to lower or increase the brightness of the screen, you can ask Siri to do it for you. You can even ask Siri whether a particular toggle is on or not by saying things like “Is Bluetooth on”, “Is WiFi on“, etc.
25. Copy Siri Answers as Photos
Now that you know how you can use Siri to get answers to a variety of queries, it’s time for a neat little trick. You can drag and drop Siri results into apps like Notes to add it into a note as an image. If you searched for images off the web, you can even drag and drop an image from the result into the app you’re working in. Cool, right? This will definitely make it easier to create all those presentations and reports.
26. Add Siri Results to Notification Center
For certain queries, the result cards that Siri returns have a plus icon on the top right. Clicking this plus icon will add the result as a widget to the Notification Center. The best part about this, is that the widget will automatically update, so if you ask Siri about your favorite team’s next match and add the result to the notification center, the widget will automatically update to reflect the score once the match has started. Cool, isn’t it?
Use Siri to Improve Your Experience on iPhone and Mac
Siri has been quite underpowered for a long time. Fortunately, iOS 10 is out to fix all that. Siri has already been integrated into a lot of great third party applications, and we can expect more integrations to come very soon. Plus, with the availability of Siri on both the iPhone and the Mac, it might well become the easiest way to use your Apple devices. The only thing I find missing from the Mac version of Siri is the ability to interact with Siri using text. It’s not always feasible to speak to your laptop, and in such cases, it would be infinitely better if there was a way to interact with Siri by typing into it.
What are your thoughts on Siri? Do you think Siri might become the standard for communicating with your Apple devices? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below.