New in iOS 9: All the new things you can ask Siri

BY Osas Obaizamomwan

Published 5 Oct 2015

Siri Commands

Siri has been a consistent cause of frustration or jubilation over last few years. When Siri works, she can be extremely helpful and downright impressive. But her limitations in understanding context and your speech patterns caused many to downplay Siri’s usefulness. Apple looked to improve both those aspects with the new Siri setup and Proactive. Let’s see just how much Siri has improved in iOS 9.

What’s New with Siri: New Commands for iOS 9

Contextual Questions

Probably one of the most important improvements is Siri’s ability to understand what you mean based off of recent actions or the current app you are in. For example, you can ask Siri to, “Remind me about this place,” when you have arrived at a new restaurant or are checking out a local hotspot in the Yelp app.

Remind - Siri

You can also ask Siri to remind you to do something when you get into your car or arrive at work. Siri knows that you are in your car if you have a Bluetooth connection and can tell when you arrive at work based on your saved locations. Furthermore, if you find an interesting article on Safari, you can tell Siri to “Remind be about this”. She will understand that “this” means the current article, and she’ll set up a reminder with the link to show you at a later time. These commands make Siri much more than a gimmick; upgrading her to a pretty productive virtual assistant.

And if you have an iPhone 6s or 6s Plus, having the ability to use the “Hey Siri” prompt without needing to plug in the device is pretty awesome. The completely hands-free experience makes Siri feel much more refined and futuristic, which is exactly what Apple hope for.

Better Sports Updates

Siri has always been able to help out with sports scores. But in iOS 9, she gives much more detail like who scored the point, the time games are playing, and even the time remaining in the quarter.

Siri - Scores

Find Specific Photos

The iPhone is the only camera for a lot of people, which means there might be a ton of photos stored on their device. You can always manually search your photos for specific images or albums, but that takes time and you need to know where to look. Unless you ask Siri.

In iOS 9, you can now ask Siri for specific locations, times, albums and more. I wanted to see all the photos I took last week, so I asked Siri, “Show me photos from last week.” Sure enough she opened the photos app directly to all the photos from last week. Mostly screen shots, but it works.

Last Week - Siri

How about getting the best selfies? Well you can ask Siri to, “Show me my selfies” and she will bring up the new Selfies folder containing all your best glamour shots. Show Me - Siri

These prompts work for pretty much anything photo related that you can think of. Did you take a bunch of pictures when you visited London? Well ask Siri and she will show you all the glorious photos of Big Ben and more.

Find Friends and Family

I think Find Friends is a pretty creepy feature. I simply can’t think of many useful scenarios where giving my exact location to anyone other than 911 would be ideal. Nevertheless, Find Friends is an iOS 9 mainstay, and can be used to locate and track you friends or family members. After you have added someone to the app, you can ask Siri to help locate them for you. Simply as, “Find Mom.” Siri will open Find Friends and the location of your search will be shown on the map.

Quick Conversions and Math Solutions

Instead of showing you an answer from Wolfram Alpha, Siri will speak the answer and show you herself. This is great because you don’t have to look at the screen to know the answer. If you’d like to know how many ounces are in a pint when making dinner, you can ask Siri with the “Hey Siri” command and never have to stop what you’re doing if you’ve an iPhone 6s or iPhone 6s Plus.

Coversions - Siri

In total, Siri is a much smarter, faster, and better version of her old self. She can answer much more specific questions, like “Will it rain in the next hour” or “What’s my schedule look like for tonight?” Transit directions have also been added to her support system. I have always found Siri to be useful, but iOS 9 makes Siri much more appealing for everyday use.

Let us know what you think of iOS 9 Siri in the comment section.

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