Siri: The ultimate guide
Everything you need to know about setting up Siri, and commands for phone, launching apps, text or iMessage, calendar, sports, maps, Twitter, Facebook, restaurants, movies, music, email, weather, stocks, find my friends, notes, the web, Wolfram|Alpha, and the Apple Store
Siri is the name of Apple's personal digital assistant. It's basically voice control that talks back to you, that understands relationships and context, and with a personality straight out of Pixar. Ask Siri questions, or ask Siri to do things for you, just like you would ask a real assistant, and Siri will help keep you connected, informed, in the right place, and on time. You can even use Siri's built in Dictation feature to enter text almost everywhere by simply using your voice.
Siri and Dictation are online services, which mean they need a network connection (Wi-Fi or 3G/4G) to work. Siri is also still in beta, so not all features are available in all places or all languages yet. However, with iOS 6, Apple has added even more functionality to Siri, including support for the iPhone 5, iPhone 4S, iPod touch 5, iPad 4, iPad 3, and iPad mini.
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How to set up, configure, secure, and start using Siri
While in most cases you can start using Siri right out of the box, in some cases you may have to enable it first. There are also some settings you can configure, including ways to make Siri more secure. Since Siri can, if you choose, bypass your PIN lock and get to your contacts and other data, you should check out all your options and make sure you pick whatever blend of convenience and security makes the most sense to you.
- How to use Siri
- How to edit a Siri question or command
- How to enable Siri in the Settings
- How to configure Siri
- How to secure Siri with a Passcode Lock
How to call, message, and email your contacts using Siri
Siri isn't just another voice control system, it remembers context and it can understand relationships. That means, for example, you can tell Siri to call your wife's iPhone, and Siri will know who that is and which phone number to dial. Not only that, Siri can send iMessages or SMS, and even email any of your friends, family, or co-workers. No matter how you like to communicate, Siri makes it incredibly easy to stay in touch.
- How to establish contact relationships with Siri
- How to manually add relationship data to Contacts
- How to get contact information with Siri
- How to call a contact with Siri
- How to send an SMS or iMessage with Siri
- How to send an email using Siri
How to set alarms and timers using Siri
Siri ties right into the iOS Clock app on your iPhone 5, iPhone 4S, iPad 4, iPad mini, and iPod touch 5, which means if you want to be woken up at 7am, have a timer set for 10 minutes so the cookies don't burn, or find out what the hour is in Australia before you call, Siri can keep you alerted and on time.
- How to set an alarm with Siri
- How to set a repeating alarm with Siri
- How to show current alarms with Siri
- How to change alarms with Siri
- How to turn off alarms with Siri
- How to delete alarms with Siri
- How to set a timer with Siri
- How to show, stop, or re-start a timer with Siri
- How to change a timer with Siri
- How to find out the time with Siri
How to set reminders and update task and to-do lists with Siri
Siri was designed to help you get things done, and part of that job description is creating and updating your to-dos and lists of to-dos in the Reminders app of your iPhone 5, iPhone 4S, iPod touch 5, iPad 4, iPad 3, and iPad mini. If you need to be prodded to pick up milk on the way home, order that present in time for the big party, or set up that lunch meeting before the end of the day, Siri's there to help.
- How to create a time-based reminder with Siri
- How to create a location-based reminder with Siri
- How to create a Reminder in a specific List with Siri
- How to maintain a shopping list with Siri
How to create, view, update, and cancel calendar events using Siri
Since is meant to be your personal assistant, it only makes sense to have it schedule and manage your meetings and events on your iPhone 5, iPhone 4S, iPod touch 5, iPad 4, iPad 3, or iPad mini. Asking Siri to create a Calendar event only takes a few seconds and is much faster than creating them manually and entering all the data yourself. Whether you need Siri to schedule a meeting, tell you what's on the agenda for the day, or move an existing meeting to another time to make room for a conference call or a power nap, Siri will help make sure your schedule is set.
- How to create a calendar event with Siri
- How to update a calendar event with Siri
- How to cancel a calendar event with Siri
- How to view and check your Calendar with Siri
How to check stocks and exchanges using Siri
Siri can't be your financial advisor or broker -- yet! -- but Siri can look up stock prices and exchange positions for you. Whether you want to find out what's happening with APPL or GOOG, or if the DOW or NASDAQ is up or down, Siri's got you covered. (Just not your positions. Sorry.)
How to view, create, and update notes using Siri
Being a virtual personal assistant, of course Siri can take a note! In fact, Siri can not only take a note, but update them as well. If you need something that's more permanent than a reminder, something more like an idea you don't want to forget, or a draft you want to get down while you're driving, Siri and the Notes app are the perfect combination.
How to check the weather and get forecasts using Siri
Siri not only makes for a great digital assistant but a great weather forecaster as well. With a little help from Siri, you can make sure you're never caught without your umbrella, raincoat, snow shovel, or suntan lotion again.
- How to check current weather conditions with Siri
- How to view a weekly weather forecast with Siri
- How to check the weather in a different location with Siri
- How to check sunrise and sunset times with Siri
- How to ask Siri other weather related questions
How to play and control music using Siri
Siri can help you access your music more easily than ever. With Siri you can play tracks, albums, and entires genres without ever having to open your Music app. If you're in the car, Siri also makes for a safe way to keep your tunes going while keeping your hands on the wheel.
- How to play a specific song with Siri
- How play a specific artist or album with Siri
- How to play a specific playlist with Siri
- How to play a specific genre with Siri
- How to shuffle music with Siri
- How to pause, play, and skip tracks with Siri
How to search Google, Yahoo!, Bing, and Wolfram|Alpha using Siri
If you need information, chances are Siri can help you find it. Apple currently enables Siri to search Google (or Yahoo! or Bing) for general information, and Wolfram|Alpha for computational knowledge. You can use Siri to find anything you would normally type into a web search box, only there's no typing needed. Just ask, and you'll get back everything from the latest celebrity gossip to the answers to that nagging math questions to a listing of the best free apps for your iPhone.
- How to search the web with Siri
- How to check alternate search engines with Siri
- How to query Wolfram|Alpha with Siri
How to find movie locations, showtimes, reviews, ratings, and trailers using Siri
With iOS 6, Siri has become quite the movie buff, able to tell you not only what films are playing at which theaters, but provide you with their ratings and reviews, and even play you their trailers.
- How to find movies playing in your area with Siri
- How to view movie info with Siri
- How to watch movie trailers with Siri
- How to check movie ratings with Siri
- How to get directions to a movie theater with Siri
- How to view info on multiple movie theaters with Siri
How to look up sports scores and schedules, team rosters, and player stats using Siri
Siri in iOS 6 has become a full blown sports fan. Whether you're on the road and desperate for the latest news, or at a bar and just as desperate to win a bet, Siri now has you covered. From current game scores to upcoming schedules, player stats to team rosters and standings, you can query and compare your soccer, football, baseball, basketball and hockey favorites from Italian Seria A, English Premier League, Dutch Eredivisie, Major League Soccer, French Ligue 1, Spanish La Liga, and German Bundesliga, Major League Baseball, NCAA Football, NFL, NCAA Basketball, NBA, WNBA, and the NHL
- How to look up current scores and game information using Siri
- How to look up game schedules using Siri
- How to look up player statistics using Siri
- How to look up league standings using Siri
How to find restaurants, read reviews, and make reservations using Siri
With iOS 6, Siri can now help you find restaurants and even book tables. You will need the OpenTable app from the App Store to complete your reservations, but Siri do a lot of the heavy lifting, including finding places and times, and showing you Yelp-powered reviews and pictures.
- How to search for different types of restaurants with Siri
- How to get reviews for restaurants with Siri
- How to get pricing, hours, and learn more about restaurants with Siri
- How to make restaurant reservations with Siri
How to launch apps using Siri
With iOS 6, Siri can now launch your apps for you as well. Instead of scouring your iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, or iPad mini Home screen, or digging through folders, for that app you know you have but just can's find, as long as you remember its name, you can open it with Siri and a word.
How to shop for Apple products using Siri
Thanks to the latest version of the Apple Store app, you can shop for anything Apple right from your iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, or iPad mini. Get product info, pricing, and more with the Apple Store app, the press of a button, and the sound of your voice.
How to get more help with Siri
If you still need help with setting up or using Siri, or with any Siri feature, head on over to our Siri Forum and ask away!
Ally Kazmucha contributed significant sections of this guide