“Hey Siri, What’s the weather forecast for today?” And the question is replied to by a lady (mostly) in a robot-like voice. As I like to say, Siri is just like my younger sibling, who works on my commands to get my things done—just Kidding! One thing that technology has helped us with is reducing the human efforts to get things done. Siri is the perfect example of technology evolution for mankind. As an Apple user, you would have given commands to Siri a lot of times, however, do you know what is Siri?
Launched nearly a decade ago, Siri is Apple’s voice assistant. The AI-enabled voice assistant is available across almost all Apple devices, including iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple Watch, Apple TV, etc. You can ask the smart assistant all sorts of questions, from simple queries to any information over the internet, sports sores, about your health, anything. Besides, you can also give commands to call or text someone in your contacts or play music or connect to Wi-Fi. The best part is that Siri can answer all your queries while remaining private and secure.
This guide covers the basics of Siri, including the features, customizations, privacy and more.
Features of Siri
In one sentence- Siri can do a lot. Being an AI-enabled voice assistant, Siri has the answer to all your questions. Although Siri was introduced with the iPhone 4s and was just a task manager then, she has aged quite well with time, expanding her abilities to the most extent.
Here are some of the things that the smart assistant can help you with:
- Read your texts, mails
- Call your friends
- Find books from a particular author
- Find a table in your favourite restaurant
- Crack jokes
- Tell you about the weather
- Set alarms
- Move meetings
- Play and shuffle music on Apple Music
- Can tell you about the films running today
- Can give sports and entertainment information
- Set reminders that are activated on a particular location
- Give directions, and what not!
You can just imagine what all can she can do. She is smart and clever, and Apple makers make sure to improve Siri’s intelligence as they keep on adding various features with time.
How does Siri Work?
While “Hey Siri” is the universal command to wake up Siri across all Apple devices, some devices also allow you to activate it through a power button or a tap.
On iPhones and iPad, you can activate Siri through voice command or by the small icon at the bottom of the device’s display.
- Mac– through the Siri app icon on the menu bar
- Apple watch– Voice command
- First-gen Airpods– A double-tap activates it
- Second-gen Airpods– Voice command
- Apple TV– Through the Siri button on the Remote
The voice assistant is activated when it hears your voice command. The command is then processed locally to check if it can be done on the device or not. In case the command can’t be performed locally, it is sent to the Apple server with a random identifier.
As all the voice data are encrypted end-to-end, so there is no risk of data being exposed to outsiders. Apple’s smart assistant uses machine learning to perform your commands and queries.
Can you Personalize Siri?
The smart assistant uses its intelligence to grow more personalized. This makes each Siri unique to its users. Additionally, you can customize it by choosing from the multiple voice options available. Furthermore, in iOS 14.5, Apple introduced two new voices and also removed gender identification.
You can also create custom shortcuts for your devices. You can create more customizations inside the Apple apps, or within the voice assistant itself, i.e., you can tell which contacts are your family members, how to spell certain names and pronounce certain words, or even set a nickname that you can use in the conversation.
How can you change Siri’s gender and accent?
You can change Siri’s voice to that of a man or woman, depending upon your preference. Here’s how you can do so:
- Go to Settings and tap on “Siri and Search”.
- Now, tap on Siri Voice and choose the accent and voice you wish to set.
- Open System preferences.
- Now, click on Siri.
- Next, use the Siri Voice drop-down menu, where you can select any voice or accent.
Privacy and Security options
Apple gives special priority to privacy and security while building its devices and technologies, and the same is true for Apple’s smart assistant too. The personal data are encrypted and stored on the device only. In case the command has to be sent to the Apple server, it is done through a random identifier, which is again secure, and you can change or delete the settings of this identifier at any time.
Earlier, some users raised concerns about how Apple uses the voice data, but the company shut all questions by allowing users to turn off some diagnostic tools, making the data usage more secure.
So, that was all about it. Go ahead and explore what can you do with Apple’s smart assistant. All you need is to say “Hey Siri”, followed by your command. The smart voice assistant then takes care of the rest.
Engineer by Degree, Writer by Profession. I have tried my hands on different genre of writing only to end up finding technology to be my forte.