iPhone Life Magazine - - How To -

Ap­ple's voice-ac­ti­vated dig­i­tal as­sis­tant has evolved since it de­buted with iOS 5. Siri is great at in­creas­ing your pro­duc­tiv­ity and pro­vid­ing quick an­swers to your ques­tions. Although Siri may take some get­ting used to at first, once you learn the ba­sics, you'll won­der how you ever got by with­out it.

Go to Set­tings > Gen­eral > Siri and tog­gle Siri on. The stan­dard way to ac­ti­vate Siri is to press and hold the Home but­ton un­til you hear two beeps in rapid suc­ces­sion. As you speak a com­mand, a hor­i­zon­tal line will be­gin to rip­ple to in­di­cate Siri is lis­ten­ing to you. From Set­tings, you can also se­lect your lan­guage of choice, ad­just voice gen­der, de­ter­mine when you want voice feed­back, and en­ter your per­sonal con­tact in­for­ma­tion. In Set­tings, you can se­lect Al­low “Hey Siri” to sum­mon your as­sis­tant hands-free (only when con­nected to a power source). Once en­abled, sim­ply say “Hey Siri” fol­lowed by your ques­tion or re­quest, and Siri will re­spond, even if your phone was pre­vi­ously in a sleep state.

The eas­i­est way to learn all of Siri's ca­pa­bil­i­ties is to read its built-in user guide by press­ing the “?” icon at the bot­tom of Siri's greet­ing screen. Here you'll find a com­pre­hen­sive list of com­mands Siri rec­og­nizes, from con­trol­ling Set­tings and iTunes Ra­dio to book­ing tick­ets, mak­ing din­ner reser­va­tions, and learn­ing movie times. You can even use Siri to con­trol your ba­sic set­tings, such as dim­ming the bright­ness of your screen, turn­ing on Air­plane Mode, or turn­ing down the ringer vol­ume.


This is one of our fa­vorite Siri fea­tures. If you have Lo­ca­tion Ser­vices on, you can set lo­ca­tion-based re­minders, such as “Re­mind me to grab milk at the gro­cery store.” You can also set re­cur­ring re­minders, like “Re­mind me to feed the cats ev­ery day at 8 a.m.”


When you want to call or visit a busi­ness you don't al­ready have in your Con­tacts, Siri will look for lo­ca­tions by that name that are close to you, and will of­fer to give you di­rec­tions or to call the es­tab­lish­ment.


Siri can send ap­point­ment in­vi­ta­tions to your Con­tacts. For ex­am­ple, if I tell Siri to “Sched­ule a mar­ket­ing meet­ing next Thurs­day at 11 a.m. with Donna Cleve­land,” Donna will re­ceive an in­vite.


Siri is fully in­te­grated with Ap­ple's stream­ing In­ter­net ra­dio ser­vice iTunes Ra­dio, so you can start up a fa­vorite sta­tion, skip and buy songs, or ask Siri to “play more like this,” all with voice com­mand.


Fill Siri in on your re­la­tion­ships to your con­tacts by say­ing, for ex­am­ple, “Crys­tal is my sis­ter.” Siri stores that in­for­ma­tion so you can be more con­ver­sa­tional in your com­mands, such as telling Siri, “Text my sis­ter that I'll be five min­utes late.” You should also teach Siri who you are. Cre­ate a con­tact card for your­self in Con­tacts, mak­ing sure to spec­ify your home and work ad­dresses so you can set lo­ca­tion-based re­minders. Then go to Set­tings > Gen­eral > Siri, tap My Info, and se­lect your name from your con­tact list.

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