Siri: a guide to using your virtual personal assistant

Ever wished you had a personal assistant? If you own an iPhone or iPad, you already do.

Woman talking to siri on an iphone

Ever wished you had a personal assistant? If you own an iPhone or iPad, you already do. Find out just how much your personal assistant, Siri, can do for you.

First things first, how do you talk to Siri? If you hold down the Home button on your device (the button underneath the screen), Siri will be activated. Now talk into the phone and Siri will talk back to you and perform tasks for you. Here’s what she can do for you.


Find out how to get somewhere by simply asking Siri: “Give me directions to [insert location here]”. Try to talk as clearly as possible when saying the name of your location and be specific with city names. Siri should now find your destination and give you turn-by-turn directions to get you there.

Set alarms and reminders

If you ask Siri to “Wake me up at [insert time here]”, she will set an alarm to wake you up at that time – just remember to specify AM or PM. And if you ask her to “Remind me to get milk tomorrow morning”, she will set a reminder for that too. If you have an app open, you can ask Siri to “Remember this later” and you’ll get a reminder later about what you had open, such as a video, article or email.

Get some answers

If you ask a question, Siri will probably be able to find the answer, from simple weather questions, currency conversions or word definitions to complex questions such as “What is the meaning of life?”


You can tell Siri to “Message [insert contact name]”, and then tell her what you want to say in the message. If she misunderstands a word, just tap it and you’ll be able to choose from alternative suggestions. Siri will also read you a message aloud if you ask her to “Read my last message from [insert contact name]”.

Open apps

Siri will open an app if you tell her to “Open [insert name of app]”.

Leave it to chance

If you ask Siri to “Flip a coin”, “Roll a dice” or “Pick a card”, she will, which can be great for settling arguments.


If the personal assistant of your dreams is a male, Siri won’t judge. You can change Siri’s gender by opening Settings, tapping General, then tapping Siri. From this menu you can change Siri’s gender as well as accent, if perhaps a British vernacular takes your fancy.

Whatever you want

These are just some of the most commonly used commands for Siri. The only way to find out everything that she can do is to give her a shot. If you ask her nicely, she might even read you a haiku.



    To make a comment, please register or login
    15th Mar 2016
    Oh gosh, Siri sounds just wonderful!! I have only one rather large problem - I do not have either an iphone or an ipad!!!!!!! so I guess I will just have to plod on somehow!!!
    15th Mar 2016
    Yes Siri is fun and wonderfully helpful, but if, like me, you are watching your money, you either need to be on a good data plan or use free WI FI because you have to be online and it will cost you money.

    Tags: siri, iphone, ipad, apple

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