Siri: a guide to using your virtual personal assistant

Font Size:

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.

Join YourLifeChoices today
and get this free eBook!

By joining YourLifeChoices you consent that you have read and agree to our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy


Five iPhone tips you need to know

Find out how to take better photos, avoid excess data fees and more.

Common technology mistakes

These tips will help you get more out of your batteries, fridge and speakers.

Written by ryanbo


Total Comments: 2
  1. 0

    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!!!

  2. 0

    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.



continue reading


Jenny Eclair: 'Middle-aged women aren't invisible, they are just ignor

"I've had a lapse back into the menopause today," Jenny Eclair declares at the start of our interview. "I had...

Aged Care

Is your loved one in aged care during the pandemic? Here are seven ideas to make things easier if lockdown strikes again

Many families have faced the stress of having a loved one in aged care during this anxious time of COVID-19....

Health & Ageing

How The Midlife Method author keeps her health on track

In The Midlife Method, food and lifestyle writer Sam Rice explores why it is so much harder to lose weight...


How to … tell if you're oversleeping and what to do

An adult needs between seven-and-a-half to nine hours of sleep each night. If you're consistently sleeping for longer than this...


Hand in hand at London Zoo with a simian friend

YourLifeChoices' 91-year-old columnist Peter Leith recalls an encounter of the simian kind during a visit to London Zoo back in...


Retirement Made Simple

In this interview with podcast host John Deeks, the 80-year-old offers pearls of wisdom on all matters retirement: the sea...


The last blockbuster had an end of summer sleepover

Several months ago, the last Blockbuster store on Earth temporarily rebranded - as an extremely nostalgic Airbnb. A few lucky...


Best day trips from Melbourne

We've got more reasons than ever to embrace the adventures we can find in our own backyard and, luckily, Victoria...