10 Siri And Wolfram Alpha Tricks

BY Jason

Published 6 Nov 2011

If you’ve bought iPhone 4S, you probably know by now that Siri is integrated with Wolfram Alpha – the computational knowledge engine. You can force Siri to use Wolfram by prefixing your request with “Wolfram.”

But the problem is, it doesn’t tell you what all you can do with Siri. iPhone expert and developer, Erica Sadun along with Steve Sande has released an ebook called “Talking to Siri” on the Kindle store, which teaches you how to use Siri from ground up.

She has shared 10 of her favorite things one can do using Siri and Wolfram Alpha from her book:

  1. Roll a Random Number. Say “Wolfram, random integer.” Wolfram returns a random value between 0 and 1000. “Wolfram, random number” provides a 0 to 1 floating point value.
  2. Look up nature facts. Say, “Wolfram, what is the scientific name of a mountain lion?” It’s Puma concolor. Rabbits are Leporidae, and Peacocks, Galliformes.
  3. Check upcoming holidays. Say, “How many days until Thanksgiving?” This returns both the number of days as well as a helpful calendar so you can chart out the time until then.
  4. Create a secure password. Say “Wolfram, password.” Wolfram generates a difficult-to-crack 8-character password. Scroll down for alternates. If you need a longer password, you can append these together.
  5. Convert text to Morse code. Say, “What is Morse code for horsefeathers?” You’ll see the entire sequence laid out for your tapping pleasure.
  6. Check your diet. Say, “How many calories in a small apple?” Wolfram will tell you that there are 75.
  7. Ask out about time zones. Say, “Wolfram, what is the local time in Jakarta?”
  8. Query about your chances. Say, “Wolfram, what is the probability of a full house?” For a random five-card hand, it’s apparently 1 in 694.
  9. Have fun with pop culture. Say, “What is the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow?” or “Wolfram, who shot the sheriff?”
  10. Visualize colors. Okay, I’ve saved the best for last. If you work with colors, this can save you a lot of time. Say, “Wolfram pound sign E 9 7 4 5 1” (for Burnt Sienna / Tangerine) or “Wolfram pound sign 2 9 A B 8 7” (for Jungle Green). This will also convert the colors to RGB values and look up closely-matching brand colors from Benjamin Moore. Make sure to scroll down to catch all the helpful information.

Sadun also created a video after some readers commented that they couldn’t get some of the tricks to work:

Sadun has a tip to improve the recognition rate:

As for “Wolfram”, it’s Wolfrum, not Wolf Ram.

As always, let us know how it goes and if you liked the nifty Wolfram tricks then grab Sadun’s book Talking to Siri: Learning the Language of Apple’s Intelligent Assistant, it’s available on the Kindle Store for $4.99 (Amazon link).

[via TUAW]