Siri, the iOS personal assistant with voice control for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch enables the user to perform numerous complex tasks using a pre-defined set of voice commands.
Some of the mundane tasks handled by Siri include sending messages, e-mails, tweets and lookup information on the internet, besides revealing movie showtimes, live sports live scores and match schedules, as well as making dinner reservations.
People with physical disability such as blindness can take advantage of Siri to substitute hand-eye co-ordinated inputs with voice commands, while operating a device. Though Siri comes with its own limitations, it constantly updates its knowledge base with location and context information based on user queries via designated voice commands.
IBTimes UK explores the various ways of understanding the basic usage features of Siri as well as delving deep into the world of voice commands to enable Siri to learn and respond intelligently to all your queries.
Siri has been in existence ever since its debut with iPhone 4S and the famed release of iOS 5 in October 2011. It has hence become an integral part of every handheld iOS device in the market.
To understand the basic functionality of Siri and its use, check out the video tutorial below (courtesy of iDownloadBlog):
Siri Supported Languages
- Chinese (Cantonese – Hong Kong)
- Chinese (Mandarin – China)
- Chinese (Mandarin – Taiwan)
- English (Australia)
- English (Canada)
- English (United Kingdom)
- English (United States)
- French (Canada)
- French (France)
- French (Switzerland)
- German (Germany)
- German (Switzerland)
- Italian (Italy)
- Italian (Switzerland)
- Spanish (Mexico)
- Spanish (Spain)
- Spanish (United States)
How to Invoke Siri
All the iOS devices launched after iPhone 4s come with Siri pre-installed. Here is how to do it:
- Just press and hold the device's Home button for a couple of seconds to invoke Siri.
- A message saying "What can I help you with?" should pop-up on screen.
- Now speak out an appropriate voice command through the microphone and Siri should respond instantly.
- Tip: Just tap the small question mark button in the bottom left-hand corner of Siri to display the available list of commands.
NOTE: Siri needs to be connected to the internet in-order to process voice data via Apple's servers. So, ensure that your iOS device has internet access enabled while using Siri.
If there is no valid internet connection, you might encounter the following error message: "Siri not available. Connect to the internet."
Siri's voice recognition software is powered by Nuance and it may not be 100% accurate at times. So, you may have to edit your query manually by scrolling up and tapping on the query.
Once you are done with the editing, press the Done key to resubmit it.
NOTE: Siri can also be activated from the phone's lock screen. For security purpose Apple has disabled this feature by default on its iOS devices. However, you can go to Settings > General > Passcode and toggle the Siri button to enable the feature "allow access when locked" on the Passcode page.
Most Popular Voice Commands
Due to the nature of Siri to constantly update its knowledge base based on location and context info, it is impossible to list out all the commands in one place. So, here is a list of popular voice commands that give you a headstart while working with Siri.
- Call Jeff
- Call my wife
- Call Jeff's Cell
- Call Jeff on his work phone
- Call 555 555 5555
- Call home
- Call 911
- Call the fire department
- Get my call history
- Do I have any missed calls?
- Redial the last number
- Do I have any new voicemail?
- Play me the voicemail from Sebastien
- FaceTime Cody
- FaceTime my wife
- Make a FaceTime call to Sebastien Page
- Make a FaceTime audio call
- Launch Photos
- Play Flappy Bird
- Open Facebook
- Tell Sebastien I'll be late
- Tell my dad I'm on my way
- Send a message to Cody Lee
- Send a message to Sebastien saying how about now
- Tell Chris the post was great
- Send a message to Sebastien on his mobile saying I'll be early
- Send a message to 555 555 5555
- Text Cody and Sebastien where are you
- Do I have new messages?
- Read my new messages
- Read it again
Responding to messages
- Reply that's a great idea
- Tell him I'll be there in 15 minutes
- Call him
Searching for messages
- Read my latest message from Lori
- Set up a meeting at 10
- Set up a meeting with Jeff at 9
- Meet with Lori at noon
- Set up a meeting about hiring tomorrow at 11am
- New appointment with Sebastien Page Friday at 5
- Schedule a planning meeting at 8:30 today at Starbucks
Changing calendar events
- More my 2pm meeting to 4:15
- Reschedule my appointment with Sebastien to next Friday at 11am
- Add Cody to my meeting with Lori
- Cancel the app review meeting
Asking about events
- What does the rest of my day look like?
- What's on my calendar for Thursday?
- When is my next appointment?
- When am I meeting with Joe?
- Where is my next meeting?
- Did the Cardinals win?
- How did Chicago do last night?
- What was the score the last time the Angels played the Dodgers?
- Show me the basketball scores from last night
- Who will win the Bulls game?
- When do the Bears play next?
- When is San Francisco's first game of the season?
- What basketball games are on today?
- What channel is the Lakers game on?
- When is England's next match?
- Who's the best team in hockey?
- How did the Yankees do last season?
- Did Seattle make the playoffs?
- What are the standings in the Atlantic region?
- Get me college basketball rankings
- What are the standings in the Premier League?
- Who has the best assist to turnover ratio?
- Who has the most home runs on the Reds?
- Which player scored the most goals in English soccer?
- What quarterback has the most passing yards?
- Show me the roster for the Jets
- Who is pitching for New York this season?
- Is anyone injured on the Brewers?
- Which team has the fewest penalty minutes
- Which team has the most stolen bases in the NL West?
- Give me directions home
- Get me directions to the Grand Canyon
- Directions to my dad's work
- Get me directions from Los Angeles to San Diego
- Give me walking directions to Sebastien's
- What's my next turn?
- Are we there yet?
- What's my ETA
- Find a gas station
- Show me the Brooklyn Bridge
- Show me a map of 1 Infinite Loop Cupertino California
- Find coffee near me
- I want to eat Mexican food
- Find the best nail salon
- Where is the closest Apple Store?
- Tweet 'just read a great post on iDownloadBlog'
- Tweet 'another beautiful day in San Diego'
- Tweet with my location 'having a great vacation with Cody Lee'
- Tweet 'loved the Kaskade concert tonight' hashtag EDM
- Search Twitter for Chicago Bulls
- Show me my tweets
- What's the latest in San Diego
- Find tweets with the hashtag #letstalkios
- What's trending on Twitter
- What's going on?
- What are people saying about Foo Fighters?
- Post to Facebook headed to the new Pixar movie
- Write on my wall went to a great concert tonight
- Write on my wall just landed in San Diego
Searching for restaurants
- Find a good pizza joint in Chicago
- Good Mexican restaurants around here
- Table for four in Palo Alto tonight
- Make a reservation at a romantic Italian restaurant tonight at 7pm
- Show me the reviews for Ferdi in Paris
Searching for movie information
- Find Disney movies
- What comedies are playing?
- Who starred in Remember the Titans?
- Who directed Finding Nemo?
- What is Toy Story 3 rated?
Finding movie showtimes
- I want to see the new Disney movie
- What's playing at the movies tomorrow
- What's playing at Main Street Movies
Getting movie tickets (U.S. only)
- Three tickets to see Walter Mitty
- Buy four tickets to see Walter Mitty tonight in San Jose
- Two tickets to Walter Mitty at City Theatre at 9pm
- Two tickets to that new Pixar movie
Finding movie theaters
- Find some movie theaters near my office
Reading movie reviews
- Show me the reviews for Walter Mitty
Major movie awards
- Which movie won Best picture in 1966?
- Play Walk by Foo Fighters
- Play Little Broken Hearts shuffled
- Play Norah Jones
- Play some blues
- Play my party mix
- Shuffle my road trip playlist
- Play iTunes Radio
- Play my reggae station
- Play my Norah Jones station
- Play more songs like this one
- Don't play this song again
- I like this song
- Add artichokes to my grocery list
- Add skydiving to my bucket list
- Remind me to call mom
- Remember to take an umbrella
- Remind me to take my medicine at 6am tomorrow
- Remind me to finish the report by 6
- Read my work to-do list
- Remind me to call mom when I get home
- Remind me when I leave to call Brian
- Remind me to pick up flowers when I leave here
- Email Sebastien about the trip
- Email Cody about the change in plans
- New email to Cody Lee
- Mail Dad about the rent check
- Email Dr. Patrick and say I got the forms, thanks
- Mail Sebastien and Cody about the party and say I had a great time
- Check email
- Read my emails
- Any new email from Lori today?
- Show new mail about the lease
- Show the email from Sebastien yesterday
Responding to email
- Reply dear Sebastien sorry about the late payment
- Call him at work
- What's the weather for today?
- What's the weather for tomorrow?
- What's the forecast for this evening?
- How's the weather in Tampa right now?
- What's the high for Anchorage on Thursday?
- What's the temperature outside?
- How windy is it out there?
- When is sunrise in Paris?
- Should I bring an umbrella today?
- What's Apple's stock price?
- What is Apple's PE ratio?
- What did Yahoo close at today?
- How is the Nikkei doing?
- How are the markets doing?
- Where's the NASDAQ today?
- Wake me up tomorrow at 7am
- Set an alarm for 6:30am
- Wake me up in 8 hours
- Change my 6:30 alarm to 6:45
- Turn off my 6:30 alarm
- Delete my 7:30 alarm
- Turn off all my alarms
- What time is it in Berlin?
- What is today's date?
- What's the date this Saturday?
- Set the timer for ten minutes
- Show the timer
- Pause the timer
- Resume timer
- Reset the timer
- Stop timer
Asking About Contacts
- What's Sebastien's address?
- What is Cody Lee's phone number?
- When is my wife's birthday?
- Show Cody's home email address
- What's my brother's work address
- Show Sebastien Page
- Find people named Cody
- My co-worker is Cody Lee
- Sebastien Page is my boss
- Call my brother at work
- Learn how to pronounce my name
- Learn how to pronounce my mom's name
- Learn how to pronounce Christian Zibreg
- Note that I spent $12 on lunch
- Note to self: check out that new Kaskade album
- Find my meeting notes
- Add 'tour the catacombs' to my Paris vacation note
- Show my notes from June 25<sup>th
- Read my note about story ideas
- Turn on airplane mode
- Is Bluetooth on?
- Make the screen brighter
- Turn on Bluetooth
- Go to Twitter settings
- Show me my privacy settings
- Enable Wi-Fi
- Open Mail settings
- Turn on Do Not Disturb
- Search the web for polar bears
- Search for vegetarian pasta recipes
- Search the web for best cable plans
- Google the war of 1812
- Bing Nora Jones
- Find pictures of killer whales
- Show me videos of the Northern Lights
- What's the news for Chicago?
To learn more about Siri functionality, tweaking the settings and using Siri supported apps for extended functionality, check out the source link below.