Working with Siri Commands on Your iPhone
There are several ways to use Siri to make your life with your iPhone and iOS 13 a bit simpler and better. The following is a list of ways in which you can use Siri for everyday things; some you may have already thought of; and others might be new to you:
- If you own an iPhone 6s or newer, you can simply say “Hey, Siri” followed by a command to make Siri work for you. You don’t have to be connected to power. iPhones older than the 6s can still utilize this feature, but they must be connected to power for this to work (which takes a bit of the fun out of it, but it’s still a cool feature). To enable the ability to speak commands to Siri, go to Settings→Siri→Allow “Hey Siri” and toggle the switch to On (green).
- Be reminded about an event or a task. For example, if you’re viewing a web page, engage Siri and say “remind me about this” and it gets added to your Reminders app. You can also tell Siri when to remind you, if you’d like to set a specific time.
- Check out sports scores by asking Siri how your team did. You can ask “How did Notre Dame do yesterday?” or “Did the Cleveland Browns lose again yesterday?” Siri will give you the scores. You can even find rankings, what time and channel when a sporting event is appearing, and more. Just ask!
- Open an app with a simple command. For example, say “Open Netflix.” The Netflix app will open (if it’s installed, of course).
- Convert measurements on the go. Ask something like “How many liters are in a gallon?” or “How many millimeters is 5.5 meters?” The inimitable Siri tells you in an instant.
- Tell Siri which song or artist you’d like to listen to, and it’ll happen. Say “Play Purple Rain” or “I’d like to listen to Fleetwood Mac.” The song or artist will begin playing. You could also say “Stop playing music” to pause the song.
- Siri can help you determine how much of a tip to leave your server. Say “How much is an 18 percent tip for a $34.36 bill?” Siri will promptly tell you to give $6.18.
There is much, much more that Siri can do. Try asking real-world questions whenever you get the chance so you can see the neat tricks Siri can perform.
News and Weather Apps for Your iPhone
The News and Weather app in iOS 13 for the iPhone are good, but may not suit your needs, or you may prefer the way one app works over the other. For example, Weather can give you some basic information on the day’s weather and upcoming forecasts, but doesn’t provide much detail; also, there are no weather maps to speak of.
These apps are listed in random order; don’t assume any personal preferences on my part due to their placement in this article:
Flipboard is an all-in-one app for accessing information based on your personal interests. Cultivate the stories to your liking and soon Flipboard will populate with articles that tend to interest you. Learn more about Flipboard and download it from the iTunes Store.
SmartNews is a well-received news aggregator. At more than 13 million downloads as of this writing, SmartNews is a popular app for finding your news quickly and without clutter. Find out more and download it here.
Reuters is one of the most trusted sources for news on the planet, and now you can access their excellent content right on your iPhone. Breaking news appears under the Top News tab, while you can find the days’ goings-on by going to The Wire tab. Download the app here.
You’ve seen USA Today in newsstands, hotel rooms, and the coin-operated newspaper racks that used to be on every street in the neighborhood. Today, you can see the newspaper’s famous graphics and charts via the USA Today app for iPhone. All the sections you love are there, including, Life, Money, and Sports. Download the app here.
If you subscribe to The New York Times, you can also access your Times subscription through your iPhone by downloading the NYTimes app. The app will provide non-subscribers with up to ten articles for free, but anything beyond that requires a subscription. The NYTimes app gives you breaking news alerts, international editions, and much more. Download the NYTimes app here.
Google News & Weather
The Google News & Weather app provides news from more than 75,000 publications and comprehensive weather reports in the same app. There’s also little to no time spent waiting on your news to load, as the app is one of the fastest around thanks to its Accelerated Mobile Pages technology. Download the Google News & Weather app.
AccuWeather is an excellent app for digging deep into the latest weather news. You can see as little or as much as you like with this app; simply check the current conditions or watch maps of the local area and see extremely detailed forecasts. The MinuteCast feature will even tell you when you can expect precipitation over the next couple of hours in your current location, and you’ll be frequently surprised at its accuracy. Download the AccuWeather app.
Weather Underground boasts a network of more than 200,000 personal weather stations that serve make your local forecasts extremely accurate. Download Weather Underground’s app here.
Multimedia Apps for Your iPhone
When it comes to multimedia, your new iPhone has a great group of apps that already come with iOS 13, such as TV, Music, and Podcasts. However, there are other apps on the market that may help you handle your multimedia needs in ways that better suit your tastes and needs.
Netflix has come far since their humble beginnings as a DVD-rental-by-mail company to become one of the largest players in the entertainment business today. If you have a Netflix subscription, you can to play your entire collection of videos that you’ve saved in your list, find new content, and even use AirPlay to play your video on your television via AppleTV. Download the Netflix app.
Amazon has a vast library of video files, most of which can be streamed via their Amazon Video app. If you’re an Amazon Prime subscriber, you can watch all of your free Prime video library content right on your iPhone when you download the Amazon Video app.
SoundCloud claims to be the world’s largest music streaming service, boasting a catalogue of more than 135 million audio tracks. SoundCloud is a great service, but much of the catalogue is made up of up-and-coming (or completely unknown) artists. Don’t let that deter you. You can find some great music in the most unexpected places. SoundCloud also lets you see the music that your favorite artists like, which can lead you to discover wonderful tunes you might never would otherwise. Download the SoundCloud app.
YouTube used to be the best app around for watching silly cat videos and people falling down, but it’s now one of the most popular, and important, means of accessing video and musical entertainment on the Web. Documentaries, full-length movies, music videos, and silly cat videos are waiting to be discovered when you download the YouTube app for iOS.
Pandora is one of the most popular music-streaming services for iOS and has been around almost since the first iPhone. Pandora allows you to create and customize your own radio stations, so you can play music of the same genre or by the same artist. You may also purchase any music you like with direct links to the iTunes Store. Download the Pandora app.
Rarely is a third-party product recommended over Apple’s equivalent. Apple’s Podcasts app in iOS 13 is good for downloading and listening to podcasts, but the Overcast app outshines it in ease-of-use and with intuitive settings. Overcast even lets you apply settings, such as playback speed and Voice Boost, to individual podcasts, maintaining different settings combinations for each. Download Overcast.
Snapseed is a must-have tool for photographers of any level. It’s an editor that’s easy enough to be used by rookies, yet powerful enough that professional photographers won’t be caught without it. Download Snapseed and add some professional flair to your photos.
Google Play Music and Google Play Movies & TV
If you’ve moved from an Android device to iPhone, you may have much invested in Google’s music and video stores. Never fear! Your Google content can be viewed on your iPhone by downloading the Google Play Music and the Google Play Movies & TV apps!
Explore Other Great Apple Apps for Your iPhone
Believe it or not, Apple has still more app goodness in store for you that doesn’t come natively on your iPhone with iOS 13! Several apps developed by Apple can be found by searching for them in the App Store on your iPhone or by following the links provided below.
This isn’t a comprehensive list, but you can search for others in the App Store by looking for the term “by Apple.”
Apple is known for great technical support, and that support is within easy reach with the Apple Support app on your iPhone. No matter which Apple product you need support for, this app will get it for you. Download the Apple Support app.
Everyone has a little Beethoven, Dinah Washington, or Hank Williams in them, and your iPhone will help you unleash your inner musical beast through Apple’s GarageBand app. GarageBand will allow you to make your own music using more digital incarnations of your favorite instruments than you can shake a drum stick at.
Apple has teamed with institutions of higher education, schools, museums, and others the world over to bring you great learning experiences on your iPhone. iTunes U provides content from such heavyweights as Stanford, the Smithsonian, the Library of Congress, MIT, and many others.
Pages, Keynote, and Numbers
Apple has some great productivity tools for word processing (Pages), presentations (Keynote), and spreadsheets (Numbers). These apps are not only free and top-of-the-line, but they’re also compatible with their Microsoft equivalents: Word, PowerPoint, and Excel!
Your iPhone can shoot great video, but you can also download a high-powered video editor that’s free to boot: iMovie. Mac users will already be familiar with iMovie, as it’s been available on the Mac for years; however, this version is great for editing and sharing movies on the go with your iPhone.
Apple TV Remote
Are you one of the lucky folks who owns an Apple TV? If so, like so many of us, you’ve probably found yourself scrambling to find that elusive remote, or have been stuck when your battery dies. If that’s the case, look no further than your iPhone to control your Apple TV, using Apple’s own Apple TV Remote app, which works very much like your hand-held remote.
iTunes Movie Trailers
Movie buffs just can’t get enough of seeing which blockbusters, rom-coms, and dramas will be playing in the local cinemas in the coming days and weeks, and Apple’s Trailers website has been a favorite haunt for many. With the iTunes Movie Trailers app, the latest and greatest trailers can be viewed on your iPhone with a tap or two. Download the iTunes Movie Trailers app.