How to Make Siri Smarter on Your iPad mini

By Edward C. Baig, Bob LeVitus

Your iPad mini offers several ways that you can make Siri smarter. From Settings, you can tell Siri which language you want to converse in. Siri is available in English (United States, United Kingdom, Canadian, or Australian), as well as versions of Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, and Spanish.

You can also request voice feedback from Siri all the time, or just when you’re using a hands-free headset.

In the My Info field in Settings, you can tell Siri who you are. When you tap My Info, your contacts list appears. Tap your own name in Contacts.

With iOS 7 and iOS 8, you can even choose whether Siri has either a male or female voice.

You can call upon Siri from the lock screen too. (That’s the default setting, anyway.) Consider this feature a mixed blessing. Not having to type a passcode to get Siri to do her thing is convenient. On the other hand, if your mini ends up with the wrong person, he or she would be able to use Siri to send an email or message in your name, post to Facebook, or tweet, bypassing whatever passcode security you thought was in place.

If you find this potential scenario scary, tap Settings→Touch ID & Passcode on the iPad mini 3 (Settings→Passcode on earlier models). Then enter your passcode and switch the Siri option under Allow Access When Locked from on (green is showing) to off (gray). You’ll see the Allow Siri option under Touch ID & Passcode only if Siri is enabled in the first place.