21 Things You Didn't Know Siri Could Do
"What can I help you with?"
Actually, a lot it seems.
Though the days of Tony Stark-esque personal assistants or Her-like digital love triangles may still be in the distance, the little robot-lady in our pockets can actually do some damn useful things to assist our daily lives. Improve your life! Impress your friends! Find out what planes are flying above you! The sky's the limit when you have Siri by your side, and in your pants.
You can score white-hot reservations at restaurants on the spot (using your location) or narrow the search down by area and/or keywords like "Italian food," "at 7:30," and "extra gluten, please."
Using your phone's GPS, Siri can give you specific reminders based on where you are. Go to Settings
> Location Services
, to set locations like "home," or "work,"—then, set reminders like "Remind me to call my Mom when I get home." Unfortunately, you can't set a broad alert, like "Please remind me not to go within 300 feet of schools or parks" yet. But that's okay, the local community watch groups will remind you.
Give you sports scores and facts
Did you miss the big game? Do you need to know exactly how many sports Russell Westbrook scored last night, lest your bookie break your collarbone? A simple query directed at Siri, "Who won the Yankees game last night?" will tell you what you need to know. You could ask who won the Mets game—but it's almost certainly the other team.
It may seem simple enough to swipe your control panel onto your screen and set your alarm the old-fashioned way, but simply saying "Siri, set an alarm for 7:30am," takes a literal instant, freeing you up for more activities—like convincing yourself you are actually going to wake up at 7:30.
Do conversions you never memorized
Convert pounds to ounces, dollars to pounds, and basically all other confounding conversions you need with a simple question. It's way easier than asking the nearest English guy, but only half as polite.
Math is hard, but it doesn't have to be. Free yourself from the shackles of multiplication tables and complex percentages. It's as simple as saying "Hey you, figure this out for me."
Find movie times
If you are sick of calling Moviefone, looking in the newspaper, or using your thumbs, just ask Siri to check out movie showings (based on titles, location, or time). Unfortunately, Milk Duds are sold separately. As are dates. One ticket to Monkey Kingdom,
Settle bets by pulling up common knowledge answers
Siri has a wealth of "common knowledge" (thanks in part to Wolfram Alpha
) that she needs not Google for—and you can pull it up just by askin'. Settle bets, become informed, and kill the need for any sort of discussion and/or human interaction. Man, the future is great.
See what planes are flying overhead
In a semi-terrifying display of power, Siri (again, with a boost from her buddy Wolfram) can tell you exactly what planes are flying above you—right down to the airline, altitude, and flight angle.
Give you a nickname
Whether you've always hated your birth name (sup Cornelius?) or just want to be known as "King Slayer," you can be called whatever you want in Siri's world. New name, same you—unfortunately.
Take down notes
You can dictate a note to yourself, and use Siri like you own personal transcriber. This is great for times when you are driving and want to make a list of people you need to wreak vengeance upon.
Access apps and settings
You can open your apps by command ("Siri, ignite Tinder!") or, you can even augment system settings, like brightness and sound, just by your firm declaration.
If you just need to listen to U2's smash hit, Songs of Innocence
, ask Siri to play it for you. You'll be rocking out before you can even say "Bono sucks!"
Count your calories
There's finally someone out there that will fat-shame you, and back it up scientifically. You can ask Siri if what you are eating is bad for you, and keep a log of all your horrible dietary consumptions.
Flip a coin, or roll the dice
For those who simply cannot stop gambling compulsively, or are just trying to decide whether to marry her or not, Siri has a neat little option where she digitally tosses a coin, or rolls the dice, and lays the luck out for you.
Talk to Siri, without getting all handsy, by activating the "Hey Siri" option in General > Siri
. This is only an option while your phone is charging, but it's perfect for those moments when you are laying in bed and need to know exactly which planes are flying over your head, waking you out of your delicious slumber.
Set calendar reminders
Like the alarm clock function, Siri makes an already easy task a little more effortless.
Post to social media
Sometimes, you just need to tell people you think Daddy Day Camp
is horribly underrated, but can't use your thumbs due to intense paper cuts—it happens. Simply give Siri access to your social media accounts, and let her (and your voice, of course) tweet the Tweet for you.
If you have a life full of close friends and family (we're all so happy for you!) you can designate and name your relationships through Siri. This is particularly useful if your significant other is not imaginary—that way, you can say "Siri, call my girlfriend," and not be greeted with deafening, soul-crushing silence.
Text and email, sans fingers and eyes
This may be obvious to everyone out there who has seen their mom dictate an entire email an inch away from her iPhone speaker, but a surprising amount of iPhone owners don't know you can send texts and emails, using only Siri and your beautiful voice. Also, you can have Siri read
your texts/emails to you. How luxurious.
She'll even make you laugh
Siri isn't all about work—she has a fiery sense of humor to complement her sleek industrial design. Ask her "What is the meaning the life?" "What is your favorite movie?" or basically anything remotely sexual, and she will deliver a response that will have you in stitches for at least three seconds. Who says robot ladies have no personality?
Wil Fulton is a staff writer for Supercompressor. Siri makes him feel funny, like when he used to climb the rope in gym class. Follow him @WilFulton.