iPhone 4S: My Favorite Siri Commands

Here are some of my favorite things to make Siri do for me. It’s so gosh-darned convenient to use her, really, but I admit that I partly like doing it because it makes me feel as if I’m captaining the Enterprise. “Computer! How many calories are in a potato? And while you’re at it, give me directions to my dad’s house!” The future is here, people, and it is weird.


1. Calculate Tips

Remember the early days of the App Store, when we were inundated with tip-calculation apps? And then if you wanted to use one, you’d need to unlock your phone, open the app, and enter all the information yourself with the keyboard. Ah, first-world problems. In any case, Siri’s now made those apps obsolete. 

If you scroll down on that screen, you’ll see that Siri has given you handy breakdowns of both standard tip amounts and totals including tip.

If you tell her how many people you have in your party, she’ll even show you how to divide it up between you.

One caution: Siri doesn’t seem very good about parsing “a hundred dollars,” at least on my phone, so unless I say “one hundred dollars,” she gets lost. It’s probably something to do with my silly little regional dialect, ya’ll.


2. Call Businesses

I’m sure you all know that you can ask Siri to find a retailer by saying something akin to “find the closest Target” or “show me coffee shops in New York City.” If you touch on one of the results, your iPhone will open Maps and reveal the location of your requested place.

However, if you’re looking to call a business rather than checking out its address, you can just say “call (whatever store you want),” and then touch the correct one out of the list if there’s more than one matching name. 

As a bonus tip, I find that people often don’t remember that you can use Siri to dial numbers, as well. Just say “call 303-555-1212,” and you’re on your way. You should probably use a real phone number, though.


3. Basic Contact Searches

If you can’t recall someone’s first or last name, no problem. Just ask Siri to find contacts who match the part of the name you do know by saying “show me people named (whatever).”

That’s great and all, but I really wish that Siri could do searches by state (“show me people who live in Colorado”) or by area code. And then she could put them in a group for us! And send an e-mail right to that group! And buy us all ice cream on Jony Ive’s credit card!

Are you listening, Apple? You guys should totally hire me as your “ideas” gal. Right? Hello?