In 2011, Apple introduced their voice assistant, Siri, as a part of iOS 5. In the beginning, Siri was an annoyance for many people. She was spotty, inconsistent and did not have an impressive breadth of features. Today, Siri is more powerful than ever and if you still think she is a nuisance, it’s because you aren’t using her right. Here are 10 Siri features you probably don’t know about, but should.
1. Siri the Sports Fan
“How is the US doing in the World Cup?”
For sports enthusiasts everywhere, Siri’s ability to check sports scores and stats via Yahoo Sports is imperative. Not only will Siri show you live and past scores of your favorite teams, she can also show you team rosters, game schedules, player statistics, league standings, injury updates and a variety of historical sports statistics. For example, you could ask Siri “who has the most home runs in baseball right now?” and she will promptly inform you that it is Nelson Cruz of the Baltimore Orioles with 21 home runs.
Here are some other cool sports-related questions Siri can handle:
- “How did the Seahawks do last season?” (as if we don’t know)
- “Who is pitching for the Minnesota Twins tonight?”
- “What channel is the Sounders game on tonight?”
- “Show me all of the NBA scores from last night”
2. Check Local Movie Times & Movie Facts
“What movies are playing around me?”
Using Siri is by far the easiest way to check movie times in your area. Along with displaying the theater and movie times of upcoming screenings, Siri integrates review information from Rotten Tomatoes so that you can get a quick glimpse of what other people think of recent releases. When Siri presents you with the movie display shown above, you can click on a title to pull up more information on the film, including actors, director, a brief synopsis, runtime and a link to watch the movie’s trailer.
Here are some other cool movie-related questions Siri can handle:
- “What horror films are playing around me?”
- “Buy four tickets to see 22 Jump Street tonight” (This will only work if you have the Fandango app installed on your device)
- “Show me reviews for How to Train Your Dragon 2”
- “Who directed Fight Club?”
3. Siri the Dining Concierge
“Where is the closest Italian restaurant?”
Not only can Siri look up restaurants around you, she can make reservations through OpenTable and show you restaurant reviews through Yelp. When you ask Siri to show you a certain restaurant, you can click on the restaurant name that is displayed and see more information, including open and close times, restaurant contact information, the restaurant’s address and location on the map as well as any photos the restaurant has on their Yelp page.
Try asking Siri some of these food-y questions:
- "Where can I get a pizza around here?"
- "Book a table for 4 at Bayou on Bay at 6 pm"
- "Show me reviews for Super Duper Teriyaki & Burger"
4. Siri the Stock Broker
“How is Apple stock doing today?”
Sure, there are tons of great finance apps for iPhone and iPad to help you keep track of your portfolio, but when you want a quick glimpse at a stock's performance, consider Siri your personal financial analyst. Along with checking stock prices, Siri can also report on PE ratios and index performance. The stock widget displayed within Siri provides you with all the most pertinent stock info such as the 52 week high/low and market capitalization.
5. Siri the Math Wiz
“How many tablespoons are in a cup?”
Conversions are frustrating. It seems like every time I go to a grocery store with a recipe in hand, all the products are measured in different metrics than the recipe states. Queue Siri. From metric conversions to temperate conversions and many more, Siri has you covered. Siri gets this information from the popular knowledge engine, Wolfram Alpha.
Along with conversions, Siri can handle other math-based questions such as:
- "What is the square root of 100?"
- "What is the area of a circle with a diameter of 2 meters?"
- "How much is $100 in Japanese Yen?"
- "How many hours until Christmas?"
6. Calculating Tips
“What is 15% of $45.00?”
This highly relates to Siri's conversion capabilities listed above. Next time you're signing the check at your favorite local eatery, use Siri to help you calculate the appropriate tip. Remember to thank your server!
7. Open Apps
If you're like me, you have dozens of apps on your iOS device. Instead of searching through the troves of apps on your device or using Spotlight, try letting Siri open up your requested application. This will save you time and frustration! (PS: speaking of Facebook, Siri can also post to your Facebook or Twitter account for you!)
8. Siri the Navigator
“Give me directions to 516 High Street”
Next time you're heading out to a place you've never been before, let Siri be your guide. Siri integrates with the Maps app and can help navigate you to your desired location without the frustration of manually typing an address into Maps.
While en route, try asking navigator Siri these questions:
- "Are we there yet?" (Siri will promptly tell you your estimated time of arrival)
- "What is my next turn and how far away is it?"
- "I'm on empty, where is the nearest gas station?"
9. Siri the Secretary
“Read me my last email”
When you're on the go, reading and responding to emails and text messages is not only difficult, it is dangerous. If you have an urgent email or text, let Siri handle it for you. If you asked Siri the question above, she will dictate your most recent email and also give you the option to vocalize a response and send it, all within Siri. Texts within the Messages app work in a very similar fashion. Siri can read new texts, respond to them and even compose new texts.
Here are some more things Siri can do regarding emails and messages:
- "Read my new messages (or emails)"
- "Mail Nate and tell him I'm going to be late for work."
- "Do I have any new emails from Hunter today?"
10. Siri the Decider
“Siri, flip a coin”
Whose turn is to take out the trash? Let Siri decide. Who has to do the dishes tonight? Siri knows. With this coin flip feature, you can truly put your fate in Siri's hands. Cross your fingers!
For a more comprehensive look at the wonderful world of Siri, check out iDownloadBlog’s Ultimate Siri Guide.