Siri – the PA living inside your iPhone


Siri is an intelligent personal assistant for Apple’s iOS. Users can ask questions, seek recommendations or perform actions using vocal commands. If you’ve seen the movie Her, you may have an idea of what to expect, though we don’t think that anyone will develop feelings for her in her current incarnation.

The name Siri is Norwegian and means “beautiful woman who leads you to victory.” And assuming “victory” to you means locating a nice restaurant, finding out what the weather is like or calling somebody without touching your phone, she certainly will.

One of the things that confuses iOS users when they try to use Siri for the first time is that there’s no application icon. Instead, you simply hold down the iPhone’s physical Home button. Two quick beeps signals that Siri is awake and ready for a command.

Once Siri has opened, simply ask your question or say what task you would like done. She will automatically detect when you have stopped speaking and will get to work immediately. Clever, right?!

Since Siri was added to iOS, she has been the source of plenty of amusement. Apparently, she’s got a keen sense of humour. She draws on her knowledge of Monty Python to explain why fire trucks are red, can answer once and for all what the fox says, and has her own version of the three laws of robotics. And just try asking her what her favourite phone is.

Meanwhile, fans of the movie Her, which features an advanced version of Siri, may appreciate her responses to questions such as “Are you her?” or “Do you love me?”

Siri has a handful of clever little tricks up her sleeve. If you ask nicely, she may even read you or your kids a bedtime story!

In Short: Apple’s iOS implemented Siri, an intelligent personal assistant, in 2011 much to the bemusement and delight of many. Here’s how to use her well.

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Posts from the Harvey Norman blog team.

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