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, handle basic sequential inference, and has 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.
July 25, 2018 - According to tests, Siri's getting smarter
Today, analysts at venture capital firm Loup Ventures published the results of its Annual Digital Assistant IQ Test, in which the firm pits notable voice assistants against one another in a question-answering competition. The 800 questions asked of the assistants covered five categories — Local, Commerce, Navigation, Information, and Command — and were graded on whether they understood what was being asked and if they delivered the correct response. According to Loup, while Siri still falls behind Google Assistant when it comes to accuracy, it has still made major strides.
Google Assistant continued its outperformance, answering 86% correctly and understanding all 800 questions. Siri was close behind, correctly answering 79% and only misunderstanding 11 questions. Alexa correctly answered 61% and misunderstood 13. Cortana was the laggard, correctly answering just 52% and misunderstanding 19.
The firm also detailed what kinds of queries each assistant answered most accurately, and what kinds they didn't. Siri performed especially well when it came to commands, particularly those involving music.
Google Assistant has the edge in every category except Command. Siri's lead over the Assistant in this category is odd, given they are both baked into the OS of the phone rather than living on a 3rd party app (as Cortana and Alexa do). We found Siri to be slightly more helpful and versatile (responding to more flexible language) in controlling your phone, smart home, music, etc. Our question set also includes a fair amount of music-related queries (the most common action for smart speakers). Apple, true to its roots, has ensured that Siri is capable with music on both mobile devices and smart speakers.
It was also noted in the report that Siri has improved by 13 percentage points over the past year in terms of questions answered correctly. Essentially, this means that Siri's voice recognition and natural language processing is getting better, allowing it to understand and help with a more diverse array of requests.
For more detailed information regarding the results of the test, check out Loup Ventures' full analysis here.
June 12, 2018 - Siri adds support for football (⚽️) scores, schedules, and team rosters
Apple is going all out for the upcoming World Cup and that means Siri is brushing up on its football knowledge.
Siri adds support for football in Brazil, Russia, Denmark, Finland, Malaysia, Turkey, Thailand, Saudi Arabia and Israel — this is in addition to 26 other countries that already support Siri sports. Siri users can ask for scores, schedules, standings and team rosters.
You can ask Siri all sorts of questions and get clear responses with sports-specific Siri cards. Here are the examples Apple provides:
- When does France play Australia?
- What teams are in group A?
- Who is on the England squad?
- Who won the Argentina-Iceland match?
Along with the updates coming to Siri, Apple is highlighting football-focused apps and games in the App Store, ways to tune in on the Apple TV app, football news in the News app, playlists in Apple Music featuring artists from competing countries, football podcasts in Apple Podcasts, football books in iBooks, and football-themed graphics in the Clips app.
You can learn more about the new content here:
January 17, 2018 - Hey, Siri will now play you news podcasts in the U.S., U.K., and Australia
If you live in the U.S., the U.K., or Australia, and are running iOS 11.2.2 or later, you can now ask Siri what's in the news. If you use "Hey Siri!" to voice-activate the service, Siri will assume you're not looking at the screen and play you a daily brief-style podcast covering the latest news. If you manually activate Siri, it will assume you are looking at the screen and offer you text-based selections instead.
Because humanity seems increasingly unable to process any viewpoint different than our own, Siri can be configured to give you news only from the source you want to hear:
- U.S.: NPR, Fox News, Washington Post, CNN.
- U.K.: BBC, Sky News, LBC.
- AUS: ABC, SBS, Seven.
Hopefully, additional regions will roll out soon.
How to set up, 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. You can also change Siri's language, control when Siri listens to you, and even adjust certain settings on your iPhone and iPad, all with the sound of your voice!
- How to use Siri
- How to edit a Siri question or command
- How to enable Siri in the Settings app
- How to set up "Hey Siri"
- How to change Siri's voice
- How to change Siri's language
- How to customize Siri voice feedback
- How to change your Siri contact info
- How to secure Siri with a Passcode Lock
- How to change settings on your iPhone or iPad with Siri
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 make a FaceTime call with Siri
- How to check your iPhone's call history using Siri
- How to check your iPhone's voicemail using Siri
- How to have Siri play back your voicemail messages
How to set and share reminders 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, iPad, or iPod touch. 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 use Siri to remember things from apps
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 or iPad. 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 set alarms and timers using Siri
Siri ties right into your iPhone or iPad's built-in Clock app 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 turn on and off alarms with Siri
- How to change or edit an alarm with Siri
- How to delete alarms with Siri
- How to set a timer with Siri
- How to edit an existing timer with Siri
- How to check the time anywhere in the world with Siri
How to get driving, walking, and transit directions with Siri
Siri is a great utility to help you find your way home, help you around the big city, and figure out which route you should take to avoid traffic. No matter where you're traveling to, Siri can worth together with the built-in Maps app to help you get where you need to go. If you need walking directions, Siri can even recognize third-party apps, such as Google Maps, that you have installed and launch them for you.
- How to find places with Maps and Siri for iPhone and iPad
- How to find your way home with Siri
- How to use Flyover with Siri and Maps
- How to get walking directions with Siri and Google Maps
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, you'd obviously expect that Siri can dictate notes. 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 dictate a note to Siri on iPhone and iPad
- How to update and add to a note on iPhone and iPad with Sirii
- How to find and view notes in the Notes app for iPhone and iPad with Siri
- How to share a note with someone with Siri
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 check weekly weather forecasts with Siri
- How to get sunrise and sunset information with Siri
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 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 get Wolfram|Alpha results with Siri
- How to use Siri to search Google instead of Bing
How to find movie locations, showtimes, reviews, ratings, and trailers using Siri
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. Want information about your favorite actor or a complete list of the movies they starred in? You need only ask!
- How to find movies and showtimes in your area with Siri
- How to watch movie trailers with Siri
- How to check movie ratings with Siri
- How to buy movie tickets with Siri on your iPhone and iPad
- How to get directions to the movie theater with Siri
- How to search for movie theaters in specific areas with Siri
- How to get information about a movie, director, or actor with Siri
How to look up sports scores and schedules, team rosters, and player stats using Siri
Siri is quite the sports fanatic. 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 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 sports scores and game information with Siri
- How to look up game schedules for your favorite sports teams with Siri
- How to look up sports league standings with Siri
- How to look up player stats with Siri
How to find restaurants and businesses, read reviews, and make reservations using Siri
Siri can help you find restaurants and even book tables. You will need the OpenTable app from the App Store to complete your reservations, but Siri does a lot of the heavy lifting, including finding places and times, and showing you Yelp-powered reviews and pictures are also included so you can view all the information you need before booking, all in one place.
- How to find a local business or restaurant with Siri
- How to get pricing, hours, and general restaurant information with Siri
- How to make restaurant reservations with Siri
- How to look up different kinds of restaurants with Siri
How to use apps with Siri
Thanks to SiriKit, developers can integrate Siri into many different types of apps, including ride booking, messaging, payments, VoIP, and more. When you ask, Siri can perform certain tasks so you don't have to go throught the rigamaroll of opening the app yourself.
How to get Siri to tell you a bedtime story
Anyone with small children will appreciate this little Siri trick! If you ask very nicely, Siri will even read to your kids — or even you, we won't tell anyone! It may take a little coaxing but after if you put in a little effort, Siri eventually gives in to your pleas and reads bedtime stories!
How to restrict Siri with parental controls for iPhone and iPad
With Parental Control restrictions you can turn off any features you don't want your kids accessing without your supervision. That includes disabling access to Safari, Camera, FaceTime, Siri, AirDrop, CarPlay, and more. With those restrictions in place, you won't have to worry about your kids seeing web pages, taking pictures, making video calls, performing voice commands, sending information, or controlling the car that you'd really rather they didn't.
- How to restrict Siri with parental controls for iPhone and iPad
- How to restrict Siri based on age-ratings with parental controls for iPhone or iPad
Let us know in the comments below!
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