Digital assistants can be useful for performing a variety of tasks hands free, especially while in the car or while you have your hands full. While still far from perfect, there are numerous ways that using voice commands can help you make full use of your phone or tablet.
Making use of standard commands that can otherwise be performed with regular touch input may seem like an inconvenience for some, but there are some hidden tricks buried within Siri for you to discover that are not accessible from any other apps.
1. Remember “this!”
Siri can now remind you of “this”, where “this” is almost anything you’re looking at when you invoke Siri. It can include email or text messages, web pages, even podcasts you want to listen to. Just say: “Remind me of this” and Siri will add it to Reminders with a link back to not only the app, but the specific content.
2. Roll the dice
Siri can help you get your game on, whether it’s for random number generation, Dungeons and Dragons, and just plain fun. Simply tell Siri to “flip a coin”, “roll a die” or even ask “Siri 8 ball”. The die can have any number of sides you like, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 20… even outlandish numbers like 37.
3. Find my photos
Sir now has access to the Photos app, so it can search for picture and videos based on time, place, album, and even person (if you’ve set up Faces in Photos for OS X). If your albums have event-based names, you can ask Siri to “Show me photos of Eddy from Karaoke in San Francisco last fall.”
4. Zero cookies!
Siri has amazing sense of humor, and can show it off in the most unexpected ways. For example, ask Siri: “What’s zero divided by zero?” Sure, 0/0 sounds like dull math, and what Siri shows isn’t in any way exciting… but wait until you hear the reply! Then ask Siri “Why did the chicken cross the road…?”
5. The name’s Bond…!
Siri will default to using your name and the name of your contacts. If you want to change that, tell Siri: “Call me ‘honey muffin’ ” or “Gwendolyn is my mom”. If Siri has trouble pronouncing a name or nickname, tell it: “That’s not how you pronounce ‘A Lie’!” and it will ask you for the correct pronunciation.
6. Are we there yet?
Not only can Siri take you where you need to go, it can tell you how long it will take you to get there. You can tell it: “Take me home” to get quick directions. “Walking directions to Starbucks” if you prefer sneaker to tire. Even “ETA” to find out how much longer you have to go.
Thanks to Wolfram Alpha, Siri is great with numbers. For simple math, ask Siri: “What’s 10 times 10?” or “What’s the square root of 50?”. For tips, ask: “What’s the tip on $100”. For conversions: “How many kilometers in a mile”. For chance, tell it: “Flip a coin” or “roll the dice”.
8. Fact checks
Siri can quickly settle arguments, bar bets, and flat-out fights. Ask Siri: “Who starred in the Matrix?”, “Who won the last SuperBowl?”, “What did Apple close at?”, or “How many calories are in a Big Mac?”. And if you’re wrong and end up paying for dinner or a movie, Siri can find you tickets and book a table at a restaurant as well.
9. Do over!
If Siri gets something wrong, or if you realize you asked the wrong question, you can tel Siri to: “Change” things like dates and times. You can even tap the question you asked and manually type in different words to alter the query.
10. Chit chat!
Siri has a sense of humor. Kids can talk to Siri like a virtual friend. Kids of all ages just have some fun. You can give Siri all sorts of pop culture references: “What do you think of Google Now?”, “tell me a joke”, “read me a Haiku”, “can you beat box?”