There’s no doubt that the feature that impresses a lot of people with an iPad is Siri, Apple’s amazing voice-activated assistant. However, there’s a lot more to the Siri than initially meets the eye.
As if Siri wasn’t impressive enough at sending dictated messages, you can also use it to perform a host of other tasks. One of the most impressive is how you can use it to find out things. Much like the computers you see in science-fiction, such as Star Trek or 2001: A Space Odyssey, Siri uses natural language to communicate.
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It used to be the case that Siri could search for business information only in the US, but the latest update has brought a wealth of business, sports, movie and general trivia information to Siri users in the UK, and iPad Air owners can access all of this at a touch of the Home button.
Answers to basic questions such as ‘how many litres in a gallon?’ is provided through a link with Wolfram Alpha. But thanks to some of the other technologies built into the iPad, you can use it for other information as well. For instance, if you use the Find My Friends service, you can ask Siri where is one of your contacts and it will show you where they are. Want to know what the weather is like anywhere in the world? Siri can tell you.
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This tutorial will show you exactly how to get the most out of Siri and what sort of questions you can ask.
Step 1: Just ask - Siri is great for finding out little titbits of information you might need to know. Hold down the Home button to activate Siri, then just ask your question out loud.
Step 2: Answers - Siri uses Wolfram Alpha and Bing to find many of its answers; this can be useful for extra context and information. It will often provide the answer plus a lot of detailed information.
Step 3: Find places - You can get Siri to check and find places on the Maps app, either by looking for entire locations or postcodes, or even people using Find My Friends.
Step 4: Siri is in business - Siri now searches for businesses in the UK, so if you ask for the nearest Starbucks this is what you’re going to see. Click an option to open it in Maps.
Step 5: Next event - Want to know when your next calendar event is? Just ask Siri. Your next appointment will be displayed. To find out whether you have a meeting on a specific date, ask Siri.
Step 6: The weather - Want to know what the weather is like in a certain place? Just ask. If you have Local Weather turned on in the Weather app ask ‘will it rain tomorrow?’ and Siri will tell you.
Step 7: Search for sport - In addition to all the clever stuff Siri can do, it can also provide the latest sport information. Ask Siri what happened in the latest match to get the results.
Step 8: Siri suggestions - If you can’t think of anything to ask Siri there are some handy built-in suggestions to get you started. Launch Siri and tap the Help (‘?’) button for some examples.