Siri is often sweet, always helpful and has a sense of humor that can leave you in splits. That is why everybody loves Siri. In future, people will probably look back and realize that it was the first step towards obliterating the boundaries between men and machine. It is not that such applications never existed before. But it was the first time it was made available in the mass market through a device so widely used.
Also, Siri always keeps improving. With every new Apple device and iOS update, we get a smarter and more efficient Siri. But still, a lot of people do not realize that Siri can do much more than what they usually expect.
So, here are five fantastic tricks to make Apple’s voice assistant even more useful and personalized for you.
Siri Gets Smarter in iOS 8
Siri can now be launched even without touching the phone. However, so far that only worked when the phone was being charged.
All you have to do is to go to Settings > General > Siri and the allow “Hey Siri”.
Once it is enabled, you can just say Hey Siri to launch Siri and start doing whatever you want to.
With the new updates in the iOS 8, you can use Siri even while you are on battery or in other words not plugged in. Guys over at iDownloadBlog reported recently that this is now possible with a rather simple procedure.
Before you start, make sure that Hey Siri feature is enabled and your screen auto-lock is set to longer than a minute. Start Siri without actually giving any command and it will soon time out on your screen while suggesting various questions you could ask it.
From then on you have Siri available at your beck and call even when the phone is not charging. You can call on it by using Hey Siri and the voice assistant would respond as it would if the phone was plugged in.
Siri: The Navigator
New Siri is even more helpful for people on the go. For instance, if you’re lost in your own city, you can just tell it to “Take me Home”. Of course, you must have had your exact address registered in your device before. In that case, Siri will search the Apple maps for you and tell you directions for every step, till you reach home.
Similarly, there are several small but useful options for people who are travelling further from their homes. For instance, if you are travelling abroad to a different time zone, Siri can tell you the current date and time in any major city where you might be landing.
You can make it easier to manage your contacts using Siri. In general, everybody stores the contacts with their names. But you can assign relationships to some of them and make Siri remember and retrieve the same. For instance, you can tell Siri that a person is your father and then just say “call my father” to connect to him. While this is a small enhancement, it makes the experience much more personal.
Similarly, you can train Siri to understand you better for your own convenience. As different people have different accents and pronunciations, sometimes it may confuse Siri. But the speech bubble underlines the confusing words in blue. You can then tap those words and say then once more or offer other options. While this may take a bit of work initially, with time Siri gets fully acquainted with the way you speak, just like a real person does.
Siri: The Social Media Manager
Another interesting feature of the new Siri is her ability to easily handle social media for you. You can set your Facebook and Twitter accounts with Siri and after that you just have to tell Siri to post anything to those sites. You just have to utter the words and Siri does the rest. It is as easy as it gets for the social animals.
Also, you can search for various topics on Twitter by simply asking Siri to look for them by uttering “Search Twitter for X”. It can also be useful for social media professionals. As they often have to make several posts a day through a busy schedule, such time-saving services can really help them a lot.
Siri: The Entertainer
iOS 8 Siri comes with several options for offering enhanced entertainment to you. If Hey Siri is active (i.e. if the device is connected to power), you can just ask her to play your favourite music. Siri can shuffle the music belonging to a particular singer or a band and can also skip or forward them as per your commands.
Music discovery service Shazam has also been integrated with Siri now. So, you can use it to find and purchase new music. Similarly, Siri can browse through App store, iTunes and iBooks store in a more efficient manner.
You just have to clearly tell what to look for and then ask to download what you need. For example, you can ask to “Search for Michael Crichton in iBooks” and you will have all his books in front of you. Then you can pick the ones you need and ask to download the same.
Over the last few years, Siri has come a long way. With these new developments in iOS, we can already see a system that can almost perfectly replicate the human touch. In the near future, we can expect even more exciting features. For instance, there are already rumours that Apple is experimenting with similar applications for the camera too.
So, the day is not far when you will be able to just tell Siri to manage exposure, focus and shutter speed and click the perfect picture for you. What are some unique ways in which you have used Siri? Or, did it stump you with its brilliant wit and humor for a question you asked? Share your Siri tricks with us in the comments below.