Siri: FAQs about the iPhone 4S personal assistant

Siri is a voice-enabled personal assistant feature that uses built-in Apple apps on an iPhone to find information you ask for

Meet Siri: the iPhone 4S' "personal assistant" feature

Meet Siri: the iPhone 4S' "personal assistant" feature

Apple baked in iOS 5 a surprise feature that allows you to have a conversation with your phone. It's called Siri: a voice-enabled personal assistant feature that uses the built-in Apple apps on an iPhone to find the information you ask it for. Here's what you need to know about Siri:

What devices are Siri available on?

Siri is a feature exclusive to the iPhone 4S. Apple did not say whether the feature would be available on the iPad 2, which uses the same dual-core A5 processor.

What languages does Siri work with?

Siri supports English (US, UK and Australian), along with German and French voice input. Apple said more languages would be added over time.

How do I invoke Siri?

You can call up Siri by pressing and holding the home button. You then press the microphone button at the bottom of the screen and start speaking.

Does Siri need an Internet connection?

Yes. The service uses Apple's servers to process your queries and return relevant results, so you will need a working Internet connection on your phone, either 3G or Wi-Fi.

What can Siri do for me?

You can ask Siri to set a reminder for you, send a text message, get weather reports, set calendar appointments, send e-mails, search through your contacts, set alarms and timers, or get directions. Reminders and tasks are location-aware through the new Reminders app in iOS 5, so you can ask Siri to remind you to pick up your dry cleaning when you leave work, for example.

Do I need to use specific phrases?

No. Siri understands what you say, as well as what you mean. It's context and location aware. So, for example, if you ask Siri for "Any good pizza around here?" Siri will detect your location and reply "I found several pizza restaurants near you" and arrange them by their Google rating. If you continue asking "How about burgers?" Siri will remember you just asked about restaurants and will show you the relevant listings.

Do I need to use full names with Siri?

No. Siri will know who your spouse, friends and parents are, as long as you designate their relationship to you in the address book. So, for example, you can ask "What's my mum's e-mail address?" and Siri will show you on screen her e-mail addresses you have stored in your contacts.

Can I have some more Siri sample queries?

Sure, here are some more Siri query suggestions from Apple: "Tell my wife I'm running late," "Remind me to call the vet," "Remind me to make a dentist appointment when I get to work," "Call a taxi," "Set an alarm for 6 a.m.," "Do I need an umbrella?" "Meet Kirsten for lunch at noon," " Where's an ATM?"

Can Siri read texts and e-mails to me?

Yes. When you receive a new text or e-mail, you can ask Siri to read you the message aloud.

Can I dictate texts or e-mails?

Yes. You can ask Siri, for example, to "Text Tom I'll be five minutes late." Siri will then display the text on screen for your confirmation before it is sent. The same method can be used for e-mails.

Can I dictate in third-party apps?

Yes, but not via Siri. Apple integrated a new microphone button in the iOS 5 keyboard that you press and start dictating your text, whether it's a Facebook status, e-mail or notes app.

Can Siri do Google searches?

Yes. You can ask Siri to search the Web via Google for any search terms. Because the queries are processed through Siri's servers, Apple will be able to see what searches are being done through its services, including your location.

Follow Daniel Ionescu and Today @ PCWorld on Twitter

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags mobileAppleiosPhonesiPhone 4S

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Daniel Ionescu

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?