I tend to use Siri a lot more on my Apple Watch and iPhone 5S, but there are still some great uses for it on the iPad. Apple wasn’t exaggerating those numbers during WWDC either: Siri really has gotten a lot faster over the past year — especially during the last few months. So if you’ve dabbled with Siri before but found the service a little too slow, I suggest you give it another try.
Incidentally, you’ll notice that I reference Siri as a “he”. That’s because I’ve chosen the male British accent for Siri, which makes me feel like I have my own version of Tony Stark’s Jarvis AI.
Now, without further ado, here are a few of my favourite uses for Siri on the iPad:
I’m surfing on the iPad and find a great new charger that’s as small as the first-party iPhone charger, but is powerful enough to charge an iPad. I invoke Siri and say, “tell my sister I found the perfect charger for your trip.”
It’s seriously convenient being able to start conversations without having to leave my current app. When her response comes in a few minutes later, I bring Siri up again: “Reply: Yeah, it can charge your iPad at full speed.”
The only awkward thing about the exchange is having to actually specify punctuation marks out loud. I love dictation, but it’s still weird to say “question mark” to end an inquiry.
Creating and Changing Appointments
I’ve set my default calendar to be my Google Cal, so all of my events from Siri go straight there. My friend messages me about a pending birthday dinner, so I invoke Siri and say “schedule a birthday dinner at 7:30pm on Friday at Lamesa Filipino Kitchen”. If I miss an essential detail like the time, Siri will automatically prompt me for it.
When my friend messages me a few hours later to change the time, I tell Siri to “change my dinner on Monday to 6pm”. Siri knows exactly which appointment I wanted to move and lets me know that the event has been changed. Perfect!
I’m cooking dinner with my girlfriend and we’ve just put some water on the stove to boil. I’ve got the recipe loaded on the iPad and I’m about to chop some veggies, but it’s important not to let the water boil for too long. My hands are full, so I hold the Home button down with a kunckle and say, “Timer 15 minutes.”
The iPad is such an amazing kitchen computer.
We’re about to make the sauce for dinner, but the printed recipe uses mL and we’re thinking in tablespoons, so I ask “Hey Siri, what’s 55 mL in tablespoons” and receive a reply seconds later. I’m able to invoke Siri without pressing any buttons because I’ve plugged the iPad into a charger at this point, so Siri can take hands-free commands as long as I begin with “Hey Siri”.
I’d like to try the new update to Fleksy, but I need to activate the keyboard in settings first. iOS 9 has a search function built into Settings now, but Siri is faster: “Go to keyboard settings”.
That one command saves me four taps.
I wrote this post a little differently in an effort to show the way I think about Siri on the iPad. If you’ve got a set of favourite use cases, I’d love to see them in the comments. I’m always looking for more ways to take advantage of Siri’s growing library of commands!