Most people have smartphones nowadays and a good percentage of smartphone users have an iPhone. Anyone who has one of the newer generation of iPhones will already be familiar with Siri, but many people may not be aware of Siri at all.
So who is she?
Firstly Siri is an it rather than a she, even though it does use a female voice. Siri is basically an intelligent assistant that lives within your phone, or other Apple devices such as newer models of iPad or iPod Touch. It is an app which uses voice recognition technology in order to complete commands which the user give it relating to your device and its other apps.
But what can Siri do?
Siri essentially allows you to use your iPhone in the same way as normal but without using your hands. It also allows you to access things without having to go through multiple menus first. Everything is completely voice activated.
Here are a few of the practical functions of using Siri:
Looking up information
Ask Siri absolutely any question and it will look it up for you. It will then read the answer of your query to you. It sounds great, but also a little lazy, doesn’t it? Yes, but the practical implications of being able to ask for the latest weather or traffic news whilst driving, for example, mean that you can get information without having to stop, pull over and look it up yourself. It’s basically like having a talking search engine in your pocket.
Ask Siri to play any song that’s in your music database and you can be listening to it within seconds. If you don’t have the song on your device you can instruct Siri to play it via YouTube or Spotify. It saves you a lot of time scrolling through playlists and the like.
Using your calendar
You can set up appointments and be reminded about them using Siri too. You can also have it remind you about specific dates, tell you about anniversaries or birthdays that are occurring or set a wake up alarm. You’ll never miss a meeting or forget important dates ever again!
Maps on a phone are quite useful, but with the help of Siri you can use your iPhone as a satnav. It works in exactly the same way as a traditional satnav unit, simply programme in your desired destination or tell Siri where you wish to go and directional commands will be spoken to you at the relevant parts of your journey.
You can dictate a message to Siri and have it send that message as an SMS or an email. You can also tell Siri to phone someone making your iPhone completely hands free.
Get something to eat
Thanks to Siri linking up with other apps on your iPhone you can use it to easily book a table at your favourite restaurant or order yourself a takeaway with minimal effort.
You perhaps wouldn’t be using Siri to ask for relationship or medical advice – although there is enough source material on both of these subjects online for Siri to look up for you – but you can ask for entertainment advice. Asking “which film should I watch?” will lead Siri to tell you which movies are currently showing near you and which has received the best reviews, for example. The uses for this kind of help are almost limitless. Siri learns your likes and preferences the more you use it to tailor make future results for you.
These are just a few of the most common uses of Siri and there are many more things the app can be used for. While much of what Siri does saves time and is of great help, the majority is simply technology being used for fun and it offers no significant benefit to the user.
I say yet as there’s nothing to say that this kind of technology won’t be more prevalent in the future as voice recognition software’s full potential has yet to be realised.
But in the meantime it makes you look pretty cool!