We’re guessing that, like most people, you used your Siri twice (to ask it ‘what’s the meaning of life’ and ‘who’s your daddy’) and then never touched it again.
Well it turns out that it can do more than just parrot back pithy replies.
Siri can do a bunch of nifty things, like setting location-specific reminders, booking a table for dinner, or calling you an Uber.
You just need to know how to ask.
Here are some of the best commands you should know to get the most out of Siri.
Do the basic stuff
- Call or FaceTime someone by saying ‘Call Richard Hartley-Parkinson’ or ‘FaceTime Dad’.
- Call the emergency services by saying ‘Call 999’ or ‘Call an ambulance’.
- Check your voicemail by saying ‘Do I have any new voicemail?’ or ‘Play the voicemail from Louise’.
- Text someone by saying ‘Tell Mum I am on my way’, or ‘Tell (name) (message)’.
- Send someone an email by saying ‘Send email to (name) about (subject) and say (message)’.
- Hear your messages or emails read to you, by asking Siri ‘Read my new messages’ or ‘Check email’.
- Check the weather by asking, ‘What’s the weather like today?’ or ‘Do I need an umbrella?’
- Set a timer by saying ‘Set the timer for 15 minutes’.
- Check the markets by asking ‘What’s Apple’s stock price?’ or ‘Where’s the FTSE 100 today?’
- Calculate the service charge by asking ‘What is a 12.5% tip on £40?’
- In fact, do any calculations by asking ‘What is 548 divided by 12?’ or ‘What is 9360 cubed?’
- Convert currency and weights by asking ‘How many pounds are in a dollar?’, or ‘How many pounds are in a stone?’.
Fiddle with your phone and its settings
- Turn off your Wifi, Bluetooth, data, ‘night shift’ and ‘do not disturb’, and switch your phone to Aeroplane Mode
- Take a picture – or better yet, take a selfie
- Increase or decrease your phone screen’s brightness
- Set relationships with your contacts – for example, ‘My sister is Ramya Nagesh’ or ‘My husband is Nolan MacGregor’. Once you do that, you can just ask Siri to ‘call my Mum’.
- Open apps by just saying ‘Open [name of app]’.
Set reminders and organise your life
- Check what your meetings are by asking ‘What appointments do I have tomorrow?’
- You can also schedule or cancel a meeting by saying, ‘Schedule a meeting with [name] tomorrow at 3.30pm’, or ‘Cancel my meeting at 8am’.
- Set alarms by saying, ‘Set an alarm for 6am’ or ‘Set an alarm for eight hours from now’.
- Or just turn them all off, by saying ‘Turn off all alarms’.
- Find out what time it is in another part of the world, by asking ‘What time is it in Bangalore?’
- Set location-based reminders by saying ‘Remind me to call my husband when I leave work’ or ‘Remind me to walk the dog when I get home’.
- Find out when holidays are by asking ‘What day is Christmas 2017?’ or ‘When is Diwali?’
- Check how many days there are between dates, by saying ‘How many days between March 25th and April 15th?’ or ‘How many days until March 25th?’
Navigate your way around
- Ask it to ‘Take me home’, or get the best route by asking it to ‘Find [driving, walking, public transport] directions to [your destination]’.
- If you’re driving, ask Siri ‘What’s traffic like on the way home?’
- Ask where something is by saying, ‘Where is [business name]?’ or ‘Where is the nearest [business type]?’ – for example, you could ask ‘Where is Starbucks?’ or ‘Where is the nearest cafe?’
- Find out when you’ll arrive somewhere by asking ‘What’s my ETA?’
Search for stuff
- Ask Siri to define, get a synonym for or find the etymology of a word by asking: ‘Define [word]’, ‘What is a synonym for [word]?’, or ‘What’s the etymology of [word]?’
- Find your photos by saying, ‘Show me my selfies’, ‘Show me photos from Prague’, or ‘Show me photos from yesterday’.
- Search Twitter for things, like ‘What’s Ai Weiwei saying?’ or ‘What’s trending on Twitter?’
- Find notes or emails by asking it to ‘Find my note about [Keyword]’, or ‘Find emails about [keyword]’.
- Find apps to download on the App Store, by asking it to ‘Search the App Store for Words With Friends’.
Travel around and do stuff
- Check your flight status by saying, ‘Check flight status of [airline and flight number]’.
- Find a place’s opening hours by asking ‘How late is Kensington Roof Gardens open?’ or ‘Is Nandos open right now?’
- Find a restaurant and book a table by saying, ‘What’s a good vegan restaurant near me?’ and ‘Make a reservation at Manna Cuisine for 8pm’.
- Figure out where you are by asking Siri, ‘Where am I?’
Music and entertainment
- You can find out sports results by asking ‘Who won when Arsenal played Manchester Utd?’ or ‘Did Wales win the Six Nations?’
- Get details on fixtures by asking Siri, ‘What rugby matches are on today?’
- Find cinema timings by asking, ‘What’s showing at Hackney Picturehouse tonight?’ or ‘Is [film name] playing near me?’
- Find out more about films by asking, ‘What’s the synopsis of [film name]?’
- If you have Shazam installed, you can ask Siri what song is playing by asking ‘What song is this?’
- If you’re playing music, you can ask it to ‘play’, ‘pause’ or ‘stop’, ‘skip’ or ‘next’, ‘play previous song’, or ‘shuffle’.
- You can also ask it to ‘Play [artist]’ – or song name, or album.
- Choose the next song by asking, ‘After this, play Bohemian Rhapsody’.
- Get it to play you the chart hits from certain years, by saying ‘Play the top songs from 1985’.
- Play similar stuff to the song you’re already listening to by saying ‘Play more like this’.
- Ask Siri ‘What song is this?’, or even tell it to ‘Buy this song’ if you’re using Apple Music.
Other random stuff that’s pretty fun
- Get a laugh out of Siri by saying, ‘Tell me a joke’, ‘Knock knock’ or ‘Why did the chicken cross the road?’
- Ask Siri, ‘What’s your favourite colour?’
- Ask it to ‘Read me a haiku’
- Get it to finally pronounce your name by saying, ‘Learn how to say my name – AAH-shee-ta’ (If only this were an option in real life…)
- Make major life decisions by asking Siri to ‘Flip a coin’.