10 cool tricks for Siri for iOS 8

A few ways to tease a little more out of Siri

susan bennett the voice of siri

Apple's Siri keeps getting smarter -- here's ten neat things you can do with Siri on your iPad or iPhone.

Setting Siri

Siri can be invaluable when you're trying to get to the settings for a specific App -- just tell Siri, "Open (name the app) settings and it will do just that. I use "Siri, open Music settings" when on the move to toggle my iTunes' 'Show All Music' setting to show only the music I have on the device, as I don't always have bandwidth to stream other tracks from my iTunes Match account.

Also read: Quick guide: How to improve Siri in iOS 7 (these tips still work in iOS 8).

Hear better

You can help Siri listen better by correcting its mistakes. When you issue a command look at the speech bubble that shows what you said. Siri underlines words it's unsure of in blue. Tap that word and a dialog box offers you alternatives or lets you speak the word once again. Siri becomes more sensitive to your own unique pronunciation over time.

Open Siri

Siri will launch any app you have installed on your iPhone -- even that little-used app you can't recognize the icon of on your Home Screen. If you have two apps with similar names, Siri will check.

Messages with Siri

This is particularly useful if you have 'Hey Siri' active and your device plugged in: you can get Siri to read your messages, just say "Hey Siri, read my latest email", or "read my latest message", or "play my voicemail" and Apple's assistant swings into action. You can ask Siri to "Find email about" any named topic.

Musical Siri

Got your iOS device connected to power and "Hey Siri" active? Try this: "Hey Siri, play [your favourite band]" and Siri will shuffle tracks from that band. You can also ask it to skip tracks, or play specific tracks. Siri also integrates Shazam music recognition in iOS 8 so you can ask it to identify (or even purchase) songs you hear during your day.


For fun, tell Siri: "I want you to do my homework." It's also amusing to ask Siri to read a text with emoji characters as Siri knows what each one means.


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".

More questions

Siri's smart enough to tell you what you can ask it to do -- just say, "What can I ask?" to see what you can request and ask for in 24 categories. Open each category to find a longer list of supported requests.

Your Twitter assistant

You can ask Siri to post Twitter of Facebook updates, just say "Post to Facebook" or "Tweet" and follow this with what you wish to post. You can also tell it to "Search Twitter for [specific thing]" and it will find posts about this topic for you.

What time is it in…?

Siri will tell you the current time in any major city.

Also read:

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Copyright © 2014 IDG Communications, Inc.

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