One of the major new features in iOS 6 is the expanded set of capabilities built into Siri. Siri will help you find a restaurant, movie and the latest sports scores and so much more. The information for these categories is displayed in beautifully designed ‘cards’ that let you dig deeper finding a wealth of information, all from within Siri. Read on for our complete iOS 6 Siri Guide, part of our continuing series of guides to iOS 6.
Using the phrase, “Siri, find me a restaurant in [insert name of town]” will return a list of restaurants in that town. Siri is now integrated with Yelp. The resulting list of resturants comes up in a beautifully designed card that provides address, reviews, distance and relative cost. Within the cards, you can navigate to a restaurants card. From here you can click on the photos to see user contributed photos of food and perhaps even the restaurant. You can also upload your photos if you are a registered on Yelp. If you click on the reviews bar, it will bring up all the relative reviews for that particular establishment.
Hours for the restaurant are available and if you have the Open Table app installed on your iPhone, you can tap to make a reservation. Doing so will jet you out of Siri and into the Open Table app, with no return, which can be a bit jarring.
You have to make your way to the restaurant, so included at the bottom is the address and a preview icon providing the map of the location. Tapping on it will bring up Apple’s new Maps application, which will cover in detail.
You can use Siri to help find movies playing in your area. There are a number of ways to address Siri. You can simply ask any variation of , “What movies are playing?” or simply engage Siri and say ‘movies’. This will generate a ‘Now Playing’ card that lists movies along with cover art, showtimes, rating and their associated Rotten Tomatoes review. As with restuarants, you can navigate within the cards. Doing so will bring a larger version of the movies artwork, along with a more in-depth description of the film.
Just below the artwork is an option to Watch Trailer, launching a video trailer of the movie. When you are finished, you’ll still be within Siri’s cards. Tapping on the Rotten Tomatoes icon brings up reviews. If you decide to see The Expendables 2, just scroll down to see showtimes. Tapping will bring up a fresh card that shows The Expendables 2 and all of the theaters and showtimes. If you select a theater, it will provide you with a partial address, which is somewhat odd. Although there is no indicator, tapping on the address will bring up Apple’s Maps application, so you can easily find directions.
If you have a favorite theater, you ask Siri, “What movies are playing at the [Name of theater] in [Name of town]. For example, what movies are playing at the UA Multiplex Cinemas in Farmingdale will bring up the Now Playing list including showtimes.
Not only can Siri provide information about current movies, but it now provides information about actresses, actors and award winning movies. Now if you are struggling to remember who won Best Actor in 1989, ask Siri.
“Who won best actor in 1989?”
“What movie won best picture in 1979”
Siri isn’t done there. Let’s say your favorite actor is Tom Cruise.
“Show me movies with Tom Cruise”, will result in what Siri terms the ‘last twenty five movies starring Tom Cruise”. The results aren’t the last movies, as it also shows you upcoming movies, which is a great feature. As you can see Cruise has two upcoming movies, Jack Reacher on December 21st and Oblivion coming ion April 13,2013.
Sports fans will find great utility with the newest iteration of Siri. You can find sports scores, schedules, standings and statistics for your favorite football, baseball, hockey and basketball teams. Here’s a rundown of questions you can ask Siri, along with results you can expect. My baseball and football affiliations are with the Yankees and Cowboys, so I encourage you to change your requests to fit your favorite team. If that so happens to be America’s Team or the greatest baseball team ever, well then feel free to repeat these requests to Siri verbatim.
What was the score of the Yankees game?
What time is today’s Yankees game?
What time is tomorrow’s Yankees game?
You can get standings for a particular league and you can make these more granular by asking the specific division.
What are the MLB standings?
What are the standings for the NFC East?
Siri will also help you check stats of a particular player. “What are Derek Jeter’s stats?” or “What are Tony Romo’s stats?”
You can also see who is leading in a particular statistical category. Ask Siri, “who leads Major League Baseball in home runs.”
Open Apps With Siri
“Open [name of app]” will launch the app you requested.
Other changes with Siri in iOS 6
If you ask the time with Siri in iOS 6, it will provide you with an answer, coupled with a widget showing location, a clock and the current time. The clock is actually the same design found on the new Clock app on the iPad.
You can also find have Siri find location within the new Maps app. Just recite the location and Siri will bring up a Map snippet. Tapping on it brings you right into Maps.
Updating your status on Facebook and Twitter can also be done using Siri.
“Update my Twitter status” will bring a flashy new card, with Siri asking “What would you like to say?”
You can cancel, post or edit your tweet. Siri also allows for including hashtags using the phrase ‘hashtag ______” In the Contacts app, you can edit a contact to include their Twitter username. If you add them in your tweet, simply recite their full name. For example, this tweet was generating by saying, “Looking forward to podcast with Marianne Schultz”. Siri automatically recognizes the contact and inserts the proper @username in your tweet.
Quick Siri Tips
If you ever need a quick list of Siri tips, tap on the ‘I’ when engaging Siri. You’ll be presented with options and tips for using Siri.
- Beautiful looking results for movies, restaurants and sports
- Nicely integrated with Maps
- Yelp review integration proves to be helpful
- Siri’s ability to recognize commands is still lacking at times
- iPad compatibility available for iPad 3 only
There is some great utility added with Siri in iOS 6. But it goes beyond utility. The use of cards that are both interactive and beautifully designed makes you want to use Siri. The ability for Siri to recognize commands is at times lacking, which can cause frustration. Producing beautiful looking results is only half of the equation. This update is more about features that matter most to people. Whether it be checking a movie time, updating your Facebook status or finding a restaurant, Siri’s improvements are a welcome addition in iOS 6.