Smart assistants can be tremendously helpful when you’re driving or if your hands are otherwise occupied. Just ask Siri for directions to the local’s favorite coffee shop when you’re in an unfamiliar town, and voila, you’ll be sipping a latte in no time.
If you have used the virtual assistant before, we are sure that you know how to ask for directions or set the alarm.
But, Siri can perform some commands that aren’t so well-known — and are actually very smart. Let’s go over 10 Siri commands that you will use time and time again.
1. Opening an app
Siri can open almost any app that is installed on your device. If you would like to quickly see what the headline article is on your favorite news app, all you have to do is say, “Hey Siri, open CNN.”
To quickly access social media, you can ask Siri to open the Facebook or Twitter app. There is a caveat, though: your device will need to be unlocked first, or Siri will prompt you to do so.
2. Find the nearest place
In addition to Siri providing you with general directions, you can also ask her where the nearest gas station or convenience store is. Simply ask Siri, “Where is the nearest _____,” and she will provide you with a list in your immediate area.
From there she will ask if you would like directions to the shop or if she should call them. Asking for directions will open Apple Maps with the steps already entered.
3. Ask Siri to take you home
If you find yourself in an unfamiliar area and would like Siri to guide you home, you can ask Siri to “Take me home.” Again, this will bring up Apple Maps with turn-by-turn directions to where you live, but you must set it up correctly first.
To set up your home address:
- Open the Contacts app
- Select your contact card
- In the top-right corner, tap on Edit
- Scroll down to Add Address
- Enter your address, making sure the tag is set to Home
- Tap Done in the top-right corner
4. Information about an area
If your device’s location is updating actively, you can ask Siri questions regarding your surroundings. By saying, “Where am I?” she will tell you, but you can also ask more complex questions.
You can ask, “What bridge is this?” or “Who is this statue of?” and Siri will helpfully give you more information on it. This works with almost all well-known landmarks, but she might struggle a bit depending on your location.
5. Play your voicemail
Siri can playback any voicemail you received, whether you missed a call or had your device set to Driving mode. By asking Siri to “play my voicemail,” she will tell you when the message was recorded and who it is from. Depending on your carrier, you might have to set up the voicemail action. Don’t worry, as Siri will prompt you to do this if it isn’t set up already. Another way of accessing voicemail is to ask Siri to call the voicemail number (depending on your carrier).
6. Identify a song
Siri works great with other third-party apps and can help you identify a song that you are playing through Apple Music or hearing on the radio. By asking, “What song is this?” she will use the Shazam app to provide you with an answer.
7. Assign labels to contacts for easy access
By giving Siri context to some of your contacts stored in your device, you can make it easier to reach them. Tell Siri that “Catherine is my sister,” and she will ask you if you would like her to remember that. Once you have done that for your mother, father or anybody else, you can contact them by saying “Siri, call my sister” or whichever label you assigned to them.
8. Search your phone for specific people
This one is a bit tricky and needs some work, but it can be super helpful. In your camera roll, there should be a folder called People & Places. Select a folder of a specific person and add a name from your contacts to it. Once that is done, you can ask Siri to show you photos of a particular person. This also works for locations if your location data was enabled when the picture was taken.
9. Sports scores and team rosters
Missing the big game? On game day, you can ask, “What’s the score between the Cardinals and the Rams?” and she will respond appropriately. You can also ask her for team rosters or starting line-ups.
10. Play your favorite podcast
You can listen to your favorite podcast without lifting a finger. Say, “Play the latest episode from The Kim Komando Show,” and Siri will do all the work for you.
If you want to add a bit more fun and functionality to Siri, check out our best Siri commands you need to know.