Apple's iOS assistant has an undeniably iconic voice — you know Siri when you hear her. As memorable a voice as it may be, you don't need to stick with her default American accent. In iOS 11, you can choose from two other vocal deliveries, and in iOS 12, there are two more accents at your disposal for a total of four more.
Apple is putting their Workflow acquisition to use with the new Shortcuts feature, integrated right into Siri. It allows you to connect commonly-used actions to a phrase that you activate with Siri. In addition to some of the other speed improvements in iOS 12, Shortcuts helps streamline your mobile experience.
In its never-ending quest to innovate its flagships, Apple has finally decided to do away with the iconic Home button present since the first iPhone back in 2007. That means screenshots, force-restarting, switching apps, Apple Pay, and the home screen all work differently on the new iPhone X. One of the more important aspects, Siri, is also slightly different.
Siri can definitely be helpful when you need it, but you may not want the entire world hearing Siri's responses in certain situations. If you're in a library, meeting, class, or another scenario where your iPhone's voice assistant would do more harm than good, there's a way to keep Siri silent ... but it's tricky.
The primary method of activating Siri is done by pressing and holding either the Home or Side button, depending on the iPhone model, but there's a much better way to ask a question to Siri or command it to do something — and you don't need to touch your iPhone at all to do it.
Brace yourselves, because Siri has a trick up its sleeve that iPhone users have wanted for some time. Yep, that's right, I'm talking about the ability to use Siri without having to talk out loud for the whole world to hear. It's great for privacy, Siri-ing on the down-low when you're not supposed to, or ... you know ... if you have a speech disorder.
Not everyone digs Siri. Some of you probably can't live without the personal assistant on your iPhone, and some of you probably never even use it — and likely never will. If you fall into the latter category of iPhone users, you can simply disable the feature altogether, which will prevent accidentally triggering her or him anymore and will keep your iPhone nice and secure overall.
If you like having Siri available to answer a quick question every now and again but don't want everyone who picks up your iPhone to also have access to your personal assistant, there's an easy way to disable her from working on your iPhone's lock screen. This is also something you can do if you're always activating Siri accidentally in your pocket.
When driving, you can get directions hands-free by asking Siri. You can also make general map searches, show a location's details, call a query's phone number, and view traffic details. However, Siri defaults to Apple Maps for all those. If you prefer Google Maps, Waze, or another third-party navigation app, the map-based Siri commands won't work. But that doesn't mean you can't still use Siri.
Until very recently, Apple apps were among the only ones that would play nicely with Siri on iPhones. If you wanted to take advantage of the digital assistant to, say, compose an email, you would need to go with Apple Mail instead of the email client you actually use. As of iOS 12, this is no longer the case.
If you ask Siri to check the weather on your iPhone right now, you'll get information from the stock Weather app in iOS — even if you have and prefer other weather apps installed. But that doesn't have to be the case. Thanks to Siri Shortcuts in iOS 12 and later, you can set specific phrases that Siri will respond to for any compatible weather app you want.
With the Shortcuts app, you can build workflows to automate complex tasks, most of which can be activated with a simple, customized Siri command. You can download videos from Instagram and open links in Chrome instead of Safari with just your voice, for instance. But a more popular discovery is using Siri to control music streaming apps like Spotify, not just Apple Music.
One of the most exciting additions to iOS 12 for iPhones is called Shortcuts, a tool integrated with Siri to help you get things done faster. While there are a few recommended shortcuts available to you in Siri's settings in iOS 12, the Shortcuts app brings the functionality of Workflow to Siri so you can build your own custom actions or select from the gallery of available shortcuts.
Siri makes it easy to call almost any contact on your iPhone with just a quick verbal command. I say almost because counterintuitive name pronunciations such as Caoimhe, which is actually pronounced "Keeva," will confuse the hell out of Siri. Luckily, there's a way to get Siri to understand pronunciations for the tricky names in your contact list ... it just takes a little grunt work on your part.