All That Siri Can Do on Your iPad - dummies

All That Siri Can Do on Your iPad

One of the coolest features in iPad is Siri, a personal-assistant feature that responds to spoken commands. Siri allows you to interact with many apps on your iPad by voice. You can pose questions or ask to do something like make a FaceTime call or add an appointment to your calendar, for example.

Siri can also search the Internet or use an informational database called Wolfram|Alpha to provide information on just about any topic. You don’t have to be in an app to make a request involving another app.

Siri also checks Wikipedia, Bing, and Twitter to get you the information you ask for. In addition, you can use Siri to tell the iPad to work with more features, such as opening and searching the App Store and controlling iTunes Radio playback.

Siri is the technology behind the iPad’s Dictation feature. When you have the onscreen keyboard open, note that it contains a microphone key you can tap to begin or end dictation. This feature works in any app that uses the onscreen keyboard.

Siri requires no preset structure for your questions; you can phrase things in several ways. You might ask “Where am I?” to see a map of your current location, or you could ask “What is my current location?” or “What address is this?” and get the same results.

If you ask a question about, say, the weather, Siri responds to you verbally; with text information; in a form, as with email; or by opening a graphic display for some items, such as maps. When a result appears, you can tap it to make a choice or open a related app.


Siri works with FaceTime, the App Store, Music, Messages, Reminders, Calendar, Maps, Mail, Clock, Contacts, Notes, and Safari, as well as with several third-party apps.

Note that no matter what kind of action you want to perform, first press and hold the Home button until Siri opens.


With iOS 8, you can activate Siri hands-free. With your iPad plugged into an outlet, car, or computer, just say “Hey Siri” and Siri opens up ready for a command. In addition, with streaming voice recognition, Siri displays in text what she’s hearing as you speak, so you can verify she’s understood you instantly. This streaming feature makes the whole process of interacting with Siri faster.

With iOS 8, Siri now supports 22 languages, so you can finally show off those language lessons you took in high school.