Siri is your personal assistant in your pocket. Personally, I had a love-hate relationship with it until I discovered what it could do for me. Siri is super capable, speaks over 20 languages and is always there for you with a simple “Hey Siri”.
Siri got released 4 years ago on October 4, 2011 and is available for iOS, watchOS, tvOS and since Sierra also for macOS. It got physical when the fourth generation Apple TV got introduced with a Siri Remote. It is the only personal assistant that speaks twenty languages, including Chinese, Danish, Japanese, Korean and Malay. Many of us use it daily for ordinary tasks, but I would love to show you my five favorite commands I didn’t know existed.
1. Currency conversion
You know the drill, you are in a country where you aren’t familiar with the local currency and you need to convert it into your own. Or you are shopping for new things online and want to know if you save or lose money ordering it abroad. Siri, with the help of Yahoo, can easily help you with that.
Hey Siri, what’s $200 in euros
The current conversion rate gets pulled from the Internet and Siri converts everything for you. It is definitely faster and easier than googling for the conversion rate, especially when you want to focus on your current task.
2. Date calculation
Are your kids begging you to think of their Christmas gifts already? Maybe you are on a deadline and want to know how many days you have left to calm your nerves? Siri can easily be of good value here. You can ask her to tell you the days until a certain event, the weekday of a date and ask other complex queries that would else take you quite some time to figure out.
Hey Siri, what day was 72 days ago?
Hey Siri, how many days until Christmas?
Of course you can look at the clock to find out the time, but sometimes you have to set a meeting in a different country on a different continent in a different time zone and we all know how this might end. To help you, Siri can do the same queries as with Dates. Ask what time it is at home or how late it is in Singapore. Simple and safe.
Hey Siri, what time is it in Singapore?
Many people love dictating messages on their phone. New in iOS 10 are Messenger extensions for Siri. Why not take it to the next level and compose the whole message and send it with your favorite messaging app? This lets you keep your hands on the wheel or in the dough and still text with your friends or coworkers using WhatsApp, Telegram or iMessage.
Hey Siri, text Julia von Kallenberg I’m in a meeting
To use WhatsApp with this feature I had to go to the Siri Settings and enable WhatsApp in “App Support”. After that using it is super convenient and I suspect other messengers, like Facebook Messenger or Threema to take advantage of that feature in the short term, too.
Hey Siri, send a text message using WhatsApp
Just dictate your text and send it off. It will repeat the message again to avoid any awkward moments or typos and you can focus on your work again.
Also introduced with iOS 10 is a new feature which lets Photos index your photos using a complicated machine learning algorithm. This will let you search for pictures that contain certain objects like boats, mountains or even sports cars. This can be handy if you are putting a presentation together or want to remember that day in the mountains.
Hey Siri, show me photos of sports cars
This will open photos with the selected query. You have to unlock your phone to do that but once you do, it does a very good job.
Now that we have seen which five useful things Siri can do for us, we can go on and explore the nearly endless possibilities of Apples personal assistant that speaks your language. If you want to explore more, the folks over at Hey-Siri.io got you covered. They are currently working on a new version of the website, which takes the brand new Siri extensions of iOS 10 into account. Their website currently supports English and German as well as iOS and macOS Sierra.
Siri can not only help you on your iOS devices but also in your car. If your car supports CarPlay, you can use your integrated Infotainment system to interact with iOS apps using Siri. Helping you to keep focused on traffic.