Hey, Siri: 142 useful voice commands for Siri

Refresh your memory of what Siri can do for you on your iPhone, iPad and HomePod with this list of useful commands.

Apple, Siri, iOS, iPhone, iPad, Mac
Jason Cross/IDG

Do you use Siri to its full potential? Perhaps it’s time to refresh your memory with this list of useful things you can ask it to do for you.

Control your devices

Siri will help you control all kinds of settings on your iPhone, iPad, or Mac. You can ask Siri to:

  • Turn Wi-Fi on/off
  • Turn Bluetooth on and off
  • Switch to Airplane Mode (you’ll need to disable it again manually)
  • Brighten and darken the display
  • Raise and lower the volume
  • Turn on Low Power Mode
  • Open Settings
  • Take a Pano shot
  • Open [name of app]
  • Open [name of site] website
  • Set a timer for [state time]
  • Set an alarm
  • Flip a coin, roll a dice
  • How much free space do I have? (A Mac-only question)

Timey wimey stuff

  • What time is it in [name a place]?
  • When is sunset tonight?
  • When is it sunrise in Tokyo?
  • What’s the weather in Tokyo?
  • What’s the weather in Tokyo this weekend?
  • Will I need an umbrella today?
  • What’s the weather going to be like today?
  • What will the weather be like this weekend?
  • How hot will it be next week?
  • What was the score in the Arsenal game?
  • When is the next Arsenal match?
  • What’s [Apple] stock trading at today?

Conversions and calculations

  • What is $50 in Euros?
  • What are 125 meters in feet?
  • What is 5 plus/times/divided by/minus 4?
  • What is the square root of 7?
  • What is 15 percent of [number]?
  • What are 5 US cups in liters?
  • What’s the tip for $143?

Translation services

Siri in iOS 11 gained the ability to translate for you. While it’s a little confined (you can only translate from U.S. English), it allows you to translate into French, German, Mandarin, Spanish, and Italian. Siri will both speak the translation and show it on screen with a play button you can use instead of speaking if you like.

  • How do you say [word or phrase] in French?
  • How do you say where is the train station in Spanish?
  • How do you say how much is this in Italian?

Find yourself, get there

Many of these commands assume you’ve taken time setting up some of your most frequently visited locations (home, work, mom’s house, etc.) in Contacts/Maps.

  • What’s the traffic like to work?
  • What’s a good Indian restaurant near me?
  • What’s the best Indian restaurant near me?
  • Show me the nearest gas station?
  • What are the traffic conditions near [name of place]?
  • What restaurants are near me?
  • Where is the nearest museum?
  • Where is the nearest Wi-Fi hotspot?
  • Where is the nearest [name of a place]?
  • What movies are playing near me?
  • Show me the bus route to [place]
  • Direct me to [name and address of place]
  • Take me to [name of place] on foot
  • Get me home
  • Check flight status of [name and number]
  • Find me an Uber
  • What airplanes are above me?

Messaging and calls

Siri is quite useful when you’re on the move. Apple Watch, AirPods, or iPhone, you can ask it to do lots of things:

  • Call [a contact, name, business]
  • Call [contact] on speaker
  • Send a message to [contact name]
  • Sent a text to [name], and let them know I’m running a little late
  • Send an email to [name]. Subject: [Whatever you like]. Body: [I just wanted to send you all my Bitcoin, what’s your wallet address (or whatever you want to say).]
  • Start a Facetime call with [name]
  • Post to Twitter (or another social media feed)
  • Read my new email
  • If an app is enabled to work with Siri (in Settings>Siri), you can also ask Siri to do things with those apps, so you might ask it to send [name] a message in [app name].

Lists and stuff

  • Make a list called [name of list]
  • Add [item] to shopping list (or another list)
  • Take a note in my [name of list]
  • Remind me to switch on the oven in an hour
  • Remind me to take out the trash when I get home
  • Remind me to call [name] when I get to [place]
  • Wake me up at [time]
  • When is my next meeting?
  • Set up a meeting at [time and date]
  • What’s on my calendar for [date]?
  • Do I have a meeting at [time] on [date]?
  • What day is November 5?
  • When is Mother’s Day?
  • When is [contact}’s birthday?
  • Siri will remind you of whatever you are looking for on your screen, for example website, note, email, text message. Just say, "Remind me of this." and Siri will set a Reminder that also includes a link back to the original item.
  • You can also set a time for the Reminder: “Remind me of this at 10am Tuesday.”

Photos and video

  • Want to take a photo? Ask Siri, “Take a photo.”
  • Or take a selfie, “Take a Selfie”
  • Record a video
  • Take a slo-mo video
  • Show me my panoramic photos
  • Show me photos of [name of a person identified by Faces]
  • Show me photos I took in Lisbon [or another place]
  • Open my [name of] album
  • Show me photos from [place]
  • Show me photos from [date]
  • Show me videos from [name of place]
  • Scan a QR Code

Music and entertainment

Now that Apple has introduced the HomePod, Siri has become an excellent musicologist. Here’s a few things you can ask to get you started, with a more extensive HomePod-focused list available here.

  • Listen to [Negativeland]
  • Listen to ["Full Metal Jerkoff"]
  • Listen to [chilled out music]
  • Play my workout music
  • Listen to [Lunachicks] on Apple Music
  • Next song, Skip song
  • Play/Pause the music
  • Play some music
  • Shuffle my [playlist name]
  • After this play [name of song]
  • Play the top songs of 2003
  • Play more like this
  • What song is this?
  • Play my Norah Jones station
  • Play something completely different
  • I like this song (good to use with Apple Music)
  • Add this song to Favorites
  • What's this song?
  • Who sings this?
  • Tell me about this artist
  • What music is playing? (To identify sounds in a place you are in)
  • Play (or download) the [name of podcast]
  • What’s the synopsis of Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri?

Search machines

Siri will search for information, so you can ask it the kind of questions you might go online to resolve, such as

  • Show me [chicken] recipes?
  • Show me pasta recipes?
  • How do I make a [White Russian]?
  • What's in a [White Russian]?
  • How many calories are in lard?
  • How much fat is in lard?
  • Who founded Apple?
  • Who directed the Lord of The Rings?
  • What is Game of Thrones?
  • Who is in the cast of Three Billboards?
  • Who is, what is, more information about [a celebrity]
  • How far away is Mars?
  • How tall is [name of famous landmark]?

Imagination is the only limit here, but so long as you can find it online, Siri will help you find it here.

You can also search items on your device, for example:

  • Find emails about Apple
  • Find my nearest friends
  • Define [word]
  • Search the App Store for [app name or category of apps]
  • You can also use the microphone in some apps to dictate new messages and notes.

Apple Pay

  • Where can I use Apple Pay?
  • Show me coffee shops that take Apple Pay?
  • Petrol stations that accept Apple Pay?

HomeKit controls

  • Turn off the kitchen light
  • Boil the kettle
  • What’s the temperature in the living room?
  • Is the front door locked?
  • And if you have scenes, you can ask Siri to set them up — you can even have it set up your night time HomeKit settings by saying “goodnight.”

One more thing

  • Want more ideas of what to ask Siri? Just ask it, “What can you do?” to open up an extensive and useful list.

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Copyright © 2018 IDG Communications, Inc.

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