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Hidden Siri Tips to do even more with your iPhone and iPad

Hidden Siri Tips to do even more with your iPhone and iPad
© Piotr Swat | Dreamstime.com

If you are an iPhone or iPad person, you certainly appreciate the user-friendly interface and helpful tools available. However, there is one tool on your iOS device you may not be taking full advantage of. One that can turn you from a novice at tackling tasks, into taskmaster with little effort. One that will leave you wondering how you ever managed without.

Not only can this tool take on mundane tasks such as scheduling events and setting reminders, but can search for a photo in your gallery, find an address, play Pandora and more. What is this incredible tool? Apple’s virtual personal assistant, Siri.

As an intuitive assistant, Siri will learn by your previous actions. Which will improve her ability to predict and understand your questions and requests.

The best part of using Siri is its simplicity. No need to muddle through numerous steps when completing a goal, the sound of your voice alone will open up the capabilities of this personal assistant, and it starts with two words, “Hey, Siri.”

Here are some hidden Siri tips that will have you doing even more with your iPhone or iPad.

How to turn Siri on or off

By default, Siri is enabled. "Waking" the assistant is completed by a couple of methods. You can initiate Siri by saying, “Hey Siri,” or by pressing down the home button (side button on the new iPhone X series). If Siri isn't enabled on your gadget, use the following directions to enable.

Tap Settings and scroll to Siri and Search, click to edit. In this section, you can enable Siri to activate by the words “Hey Siri” or by pressing home or side button.

Note: If using an older iPhone model you will need to go to Settings >> General >> Siri to enable or modify Siri settings.

What can I ask Siri

Once Siri is enabled, you can ask her almost anything. When asking Siri questions or requests, you must start with “Hey Siri” then say what you need.

Here are a couple of examples, ask Siri about the weather, “Hey Siri, what’s the weather for today?” Try looking for a place to eat dinner by saying, “Hey Siri, find the nearest Italian restaurant.” The list of possibilities you can present to Siri is ever expanding, so experiment. Although Siri can perform an abundance of tasks for you, there are hidden ones that will surprise you.

Siri Shortcuts

In addition to asking Siri some basic questions and requests, using Siri shortcuts or suggestions in apps allows you to utilize an app without needing to open it. How to enable Siri to work with an app? One method is through the use of Apple’s Siri Shortcuts app which you can learn more about with the video below.

A second method of enabling Siri to work with apps is through modifying app settings within your device settings. This method is used for the following Siri tips.

Playing Pandora

Yes, you can ask Siri to play music without the need of having to subscribe to Apple Music. You can play Pandora through your HomePod or another Bluetooth connected speaker.

Open the Pandora app and tap the menu button in the upper left corner. Select settings and choose Siri Shortcuts.

Tap the + icon next to a playlist to create the shortcut.

Record your phrase with Siri to launch that playlist.

Finding pins on Pinterest

Are you a Pinterest fan? If so, Siri will help in your search for pins, saving you the time of having to type or scroll through pages of pins. By default, Siri & Suggestions is enabled. By stating “Find chicken recipes on Pinterest,” she will open Pinterest with your search results.

Searching through Amazon Prime Video

When it comes to browsing your Amazon Prime Video watchlist, library, and downloads, there's no need to swipe, click or tap your way through your iPhone or iPad. Have Siri do the work for you. Here is how to set Siri up for Amazon Prime Video.

Go to your device's Settings >> Scroll to Prime Video app and tap Siri & Search. In this section, you can enable Siri & Suggestions and allow Siri to be activated when your device screen is locked.

To enable Siri shortcuts, click Shortcuts and choose from the suggested shortcut list. Clicking each one will display a screen where you can record a personalized phrase that will activate the specific shortcut (action).

Grocery shopping made easy

Using Siri and the Grocery-Smart Grocery List app your trips to the store will be an easier task. Siri is enabled by default in this app; however, you may want to go into the app settings and check out the suggested shortcuts. You can have Siri carry out numerous actions including open the app, import a recipe from your clipboard and view lists and stores.

As with Prime Video, go to device Settings, tap on Grocery and click Shortcuts. Choose from any on the list and proceed with your phrases for each.

Although there is a world of cool apps including these that work with Siri, there are tasks the personal assistant can execute without downloading or installing an app. Here are a few actions Siri can perform, no app required.

Searching for a photo in your gallery

If your photo gallery is loaded with thousands of images or screenshots, and you need to find one Siri can search through them based on time, location or type of object in the photo. When asking Siri to explore your gallery for a photo by date say, “Show me pictures from October.” Need a specific day? “Show me pictures from October 1st.”

Are you looking for a photo taken from a location instead? Unless you have turned off the location services for your device, every photo taken with your iPhone or iPad is automatically stamped by location, thus, is available for search by location.

To search by location, ask Siri, “Show me photos from Detroit.” To search by an object in an image, “Show me images of books.” If you do not have any photos in your gallery with that object, Siri will display those she found on the web.

Finding an address

You cannot remember a contact’s address or that of a business, ask Siri to find it for you. “What is Bill Smith’s address?” and Siri will tell you. By saying, “What is Paul’s Automotive address?” Siri will provide you with the address and option for navigation to the business.

Calculating the tip

Have you ever found yourself trying to calculate the amount of tip to leave while dining out? With Siri, there’s no need to figure the numbers in your head or launch your iPhone’s calculator. Ask Siri, “How much is a 20% tip on $48.76 bill?”

Opening specific settings

Siri can open any settings option on your iOS device without requiring you to click or tap your way through screens. If you need to change any settings ask Siri “Open Pandora settings” or any other settings you want to update or modify.

Speaking of personal assistants

We all can use a good laugh, especially when it comes to dealing with technology and personal assistants like Siri. Good thing she can tell a joke. Need a few more giggles? Check out Kim’s humorous podcast about virtual personal assistants. Tap or click here to hear Kim’s podcast that will crack you up.

How to record calls on your iPhone

You don’t have to be a journalist to have a need for recording a phone call. You may want to keep a record of an interaction for a customer-service call or keep track of key information when you can't write it down. It's not as difficult as you might think. Let's go over a few options that easily let you record calls with your iPhone.

Tap or click here to learn simple ways to record phone calls.

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