17 Siri tips for Apple's iOS 7

While you wait for Apple's iOS 8 Siri improvements it makes sense to make sure we're getting the best from what the voice assistant already offers through these short tips.


Ear for Siri

Use the Play/Pause button on your earphones to activate Siri. You can then request travel directions, make calls, change your music and more. More earphone tips.

Making calls

If you miss a call you ask Siri to "Return my last missed call" and it will make that call. It will also call specific contacts.

Social Siri

Siri can search Twitter, post to Facebook and control Settings, such as Wi-Fi or Do Not Disturb.

Search Google

To use Google for search just tell Siri "Google search for [whatever you seek}", and it will do just that.

Launch Apps

Save a little time searching for specific apps by asking Siri to launch the app by name.

Read emails

Ask Siri to "read my emails" and it will read you the sender, time, date sent and email subject for each one. More iOS 7 tips.

Easy listening

To leave a long memo or complex reminder you should hold down the Home button when you activate Siri in order to make it listen for as long as you speak. Release the button when you're done.


If you have a contact file for a person you can teach Siri things about them, for example if your manager is Jane Doe you can ask it "Remember Jane Doe is my manager" and it will add this to the contact file. Then you can ask Siri to "call my manager".


Siri works with Maps to understand where you are in order to offer directions to specific places. The simplest way to teach it where you go is to open Maps and find the address of the place. A blue dot signifying the location appears, tap it and in the dialog box choose to Add to Existing Contact (or create a new contact for the place). Once an address is associated with a contact Siri will be able to direct you to that location from wherever you are.

Places for Siri

Once you've created relevant location specific information (see here) you can use Siri to create location-based reminders. For example, "Remind me to call Mum when I get home".

Switch voices

Most Siri users know that you can change Siri's voice by accessing Settings>General>Siri and choosing between the options available to you in Voice Gender.

Teaching Siri

If Siri keeps getting a name wrong you can ask it to "learn how to pronounce [person's name]" and then follow Siri's steps to show how it's done. More on this here.

Correcting Siri

When you ask Siri to do something you see a speech bubble appear on screen that shows what you said. Beneath this is the phrase "tap to edit". Tap this to make a correction; once Siri has understood this it also develops a better understanding of your general pronunciation, reducing future errors.

Change Siri

If you issue a command and Siri gets it wrong, just tap the mic icon and say "Change it".

Punctuating Siri

Siri can figure out punctuation. If you say "Hey comma how's it going question mark dot dot dot" Siri will write "Hey, how's it going?...".

Find Notes

If you need to find an email or note, just ask Siri to "Find my note/email about [key word]," and Siri will find it.

Ask Siri

To find a list of other commands just ask Siri: "What can I say?"

I hope these tips give you a better life with Siri.

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Copyright © 2014 IDG Communications, Inc.

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