How to Search the Web with Siri - dummies

How to Search the Web with Siri

With your handy iPhone 4S and Siri, you can get the information you need from the web fast. The first thing you might want to try is a basic web search about anything currently on your mind — without specifying what search engine you want to use.

Apple has partnered with Wolfram|Alpha — one of the world’s leading sources for expert knowledge and computation — to power Siri’s on-demand information feature. To access Wolfram|Alpha information with Siri, you’ll need a data connection.

Here’s an example of how to perform a basic search:

  1. Press and hold the Home button.

    You’ll hear the (by now quite) familiar tone informing you that Siri is ready for your request.

  2. Tell Siri what you want to find, beginning with “Search the web for” or “Do a search for.”


    Either formulation will do. Siri obeys your command and opens up your iPhone’s Safari browser.

  3. Tap the website that best addresses your query, or scroll to the next page for more results.

    Siri uses the Google search engine by default but you can change this, if desired, by choosing Settings→Safari→Search Engine.

Siri will turn to the Internet if the answer can’t be found on Wolfram|Alpha. If you suspect that Siri won’t know the answer, you can instruct your personal assistant to do a search right away by beginning your request with “Search for” or “Do a web search for.”

You can also search for photos and news and get the media and info you seek on your phone.

The bottom line? Anything you’d search for on the Internet using your fingertips (on a smartphone or tablet) or a keyboard (on a laptop or desktop) you can do with your voice through Siri and in all likelihood, much faster, too.

Want to specify which search engine to use? Just ask Siri! For example, you can say, “Do a Bing search for online dating sites,” or “Do a Yahoo! Search for Mexican customs.” You get the idea.

Here are a few more random suggestions for web searching with Siri:

  • “Google the American Civil War.”

  • “Search the web for DVD Easter eggs.”

  • “Look for American Idol on Wikipedia.”

  • “Find me good vegetarian barbeque recipes.”

  • “Do a web search for essays about Shakespeare.”

  • “Yahoo! search for old-time radio shows.”

  • “Do a search for iPad app reviews.”

  • “Search the web for the best cellphone plans.”

  • “Do a web search for Marc Saltzman.”

  • “How do you say ‘hello’ in French?”

  • “Search for Xbox 360 reviews on”

  • “Do a web search for Jamaica.”