Ultimate Siri Guide

How to use Siri: The ultimate guide

Siri is the name of Apple's virtual assistant with a personality straight out of Pixar. You ask Siri questions or ask Siri do to thing for you using your voice, just like you would ask a real assistant, and Siri will get to working helping you stay in touch, on time, and informed. There's even a related service called Dictation that lets you enter text almost everywhere with just your voice. Siri and Dictation are online services, so you need to be connected to the internet to use it.

Siri is still in beta, and is limited in the number of devices languages and locations it supports. Also, Siri is currently limited to the iPhone 4S, though Dictation also works on the new iPad and soon, the Mac with OS X Mountain Lion. Apple has announced, however, that Siri will be coming to the new iPad, along with several more languages, locations, and features with iOS 6.

We'll expand this guide to include all of that, and more, when it becomes available this fall. But here's what you can do right now:

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How to create, view, update, and cancel calendar events using Siri

Since Siri is meant to be your personal assistant, it only makes sense to have her schedule and manage your meetings and events. Asking Siri to create an event only takes a few seconds and is much faster than hand entering them. Whether you need her to schedule a meeting, tell you what's on the agenda for today, or move an existing meeting to another time or date, she'll help keep you on task.

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How to set reminders and update task and to-do lists using 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. 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.

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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.

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