Siri Has 15 New Skills for iPhone That Even Siri Haters Will Love

Siri Has 15 New iPhone Skills Even Siri Haters Will Love « iOS & iPhone :: Gadgets

Unlike most other Apple apps and services, it’s not always obvious when Siri gets new features. Even if you’re an avid Siri user, you won’t be able to catch them all, especially if half of them aren’t even mentioned anywhere by Apple. But that’s what we’re here for, and that’s all you need to know about Siri in the last group of features.

Siri was designed to make it as easy as possible for you to communicate with your iPhone and other devices that support it. This often means interacting with your iPhone hands-free with “Hey Siri,” but that’s not all Siri has to offer. The virtual assistant is getting smarter with each new iteration, giving you plenty of tools to navigate and get the most out of your iPhone.

The last group of features appeared in iOS 16.0 and later. Keep reading to learn about all the new features of Siri on your iPhone.

1. Restart your iPhone

In the past, you could always restart your iPhone by force restarting it with an awkward button sequence (which is not recommended unless you’re having problems), using AssistiveTouch, or using voice control. Siri will not work as shown in the screenshot on the left below.

In iOS 16.0 and later, Siri can restart your iPhone for you. Launch Siri with the side or home button, “Hey Siri” or type Siri and then ask to “restart iPhone” or “restart phone”. Your iPhone will need to be unlocked with Face ID, Touch ID, or your passcode before Siri will try to do anything. It will then ask you to confirm that you want to restart as shown in the right screenshot below; tap or say “Restart”.

2. Run ready-made shortcuts

In iOS 16.0 and later, Siri can launch pre-made shortcuts from installed apps without any additional configuration. This is possible thanks to the new App Intents API, which allows developers to create built-in, ready-to-use shortcuts for their applications. Instead of creating your own shortcuts for common tasks in the Shortcuts app, they are ready to use.

Not all apps come with shortcuts ready to use, but you can see a list of them in the App Shortcuts section of the Shortcuts app. To use them, invoke Siri, then say the name of the app shortcut. Some keyboard shortcuts may support synonyms, so you may not need to use the exact phrase to run the command. You can also launch them from Spotlight search or shortcuts.

3. Find out what you can do

Siri can be very useful, but users often don’t know all the ways to use it. In iOS 16.0 and later, if you launch Siri with the side button or the Home button, “Hey Siri” or type Siri, “What can I do here?” will help you find out what is possible. This feature is available for iPhone XFROM and newer models.

When you’re in an app that supports app shortcuts (see above), it will list available prebuilt shortcuts, but you can also ask something like “What can I do with [App Name].” If there are few or no supported Siri actions for a particular app, Siri will suggest other actions you can use Siri for, such as turning on the flashlight.

4. Convert text to emoji

You can use Siri on iOS 16 and later to insert emoji characters into messages and notes by saying the name of the emoji followed by the word “smiley”. For example, you can say “emoji with smiley”, “emoji with cat” and “emoji with heart” in succession, and Siri will convert each one to its associated emoji. Prior to the update, Siri would instead spell words.

This feature is available for iPhone XFROM and newer models. And it works for any Apple or third-party app that allows Siri to add or post text, like Mail, Messages, Notes, Reminders, and WhatsApp. You can also add emoji using the Dictation tool in apps.

5. End call

You may not always be able to press the button on your iPhone to end a call in the FaceTime or Phone apps, and now Siri can help you in those scenarios. Just say “Hey Siri, hang up” when you want to end the call and Siri will end the call. Others in the conversation will hear you say it, but it’s definitely worth it when you need to end a conversation hands-free.

This feature is available in iOS 16.0 and later for iPhone 11 and later. However, this also works on iPhone. XFROM, XFROM Max and XR when using AirPods or Beats headphones with Siri support. It’s not enabled by default, so you’ll need to go to Settings -> Siri & Search -> End Call and turn its toggle on. You can also do this from Settings -> Accessibility -> Siri -> End Call.

6. Adjust Siri Pause Time

Go to Settings -> Accessibility -> Siri on iOS 16.0 and later and you’ll find a section where you can adjust the Siri pause duration, which is the amount of time between when you finish speaking, and when Siri responds. If Siri constantly responds to you before you ask her your entire question or command, change the length from “Default” to “Longest” or “Longest” to make sure it captures your entire request.

7. Stronger protection of Siri data synced with iCloud.

In iOS 16.2 and later, Siri shortcuts that sync to your iCloud account may be end-to-end encrypted. You must enable the new Advanced Data Protection feature in your iCloud account settings for added security. This requires you to use two-factor authentication for your Apple ID and an iPhone passcode or password, and you must have at least one recovery contact or key.

Without advanced data protection, Siri Shortcuts, along with other data, defaults to standard protection, where “data is encrypted in transit and stored in an encrypted format at rest.”

8. Announce notifications on speaker

We’ve already been able to get Siri to announce urgent alerts, direct messages, or all app notifications via CarPlay, AirPods, and some Beats headphones. But in iOS 16.0 and later, there is an option to “Announce notifications on speaker” via “Settings” -> “Accessibility” -> “Siri”.

Turning the toggle on reveals a submenu for Announce Notifications, a shortcut to the same options available in Settings -> Siri & Search -> Announce Notifications.

As before, Siri won’t interrupt you and will listen after it reads the notifications to see if you want to reply without having to call “Hey Siri”. You’ll notice this most on the lock screen or when you’re not using your iPhone unless your iPhone is set to silent mode.

9. Announce notifications on hearing devices

If you’re using a Made for iPhone hearing aid, you can finally have Siri announce notifications when you wear it. The setting in iOS 16.0 and later should be accessible via Settings -> Siri & Search -> Notification Announcements. If you can’t see it, then your iPhone doesn’t have hearing aids or MFi implants.

10. Enable/disable auto answer for calls

Previously, you had to go to Settings -> Accessibility -> Touch -> Audio Call Routing -> Auto Answer Calls to enable or disable the setting that forces Siri to answer calls for you in FaceTime and phone. In iOS 16 and later, you can ask Siri to “turn on (or turn off) auto-reply”, which will save you a lot of time. However, you’ll have to go to your auto-answer settings to adjust the amount of time to wait before Siri picks up the phone.

11. Enable automatic message sending

It’s nothing new that you can use Siri to compose and send a message, but it always requires manual confirmation that you want to send it. However, iOS 16 and later allows you to bypass manual confirmation via Settings -> Siri & Search -> Send Messages Automatically, and you can control whether it works through CarPlay, headphones, or hearing aids. Once enabled, Siri will automatically send a message after four or five seconds unless you cancel it.

12. Shazammed Songs are finally in sync

You may have already asked Hey Siri to identify the song being played with Shazam, but the results will not sync with the Shazam app and the music recognition control in Control Center. In iOS 16 and later, everything finally syncs, so you’ll never have trouble finding a track you’ve shazamed. Just make sure Shazam and Music Recognition are enabled in iCloud settings.

13. More offline features

In iOS 16 and later, Siri can handle even more requests when your iPhone is offline. This includes interacting with smart home controls (HomeKit devices), notifications, voicemail, and intercom requests. Extended offline support works on iPhone XFROM and later.

14. More accurate app clip suggestions

App clips can appear in the Siri Suggestions widget (and in the spotlight) whenever your iPhone thinks you might need them, but iOS 16 and later adds precise location suggestions that make it more likely you’ll see the right application clip at the right time. For example, the Siri Suggestions widget can show you a restaurant’s App Clip to pay for a meal when you’re dining out. (App Clips are parts of an app that work right away without having to install the entire app.)

15. Favor Silent Answers

Siri voice feedback settings were pretty confusing in iOS 16.1 and earlier, but iOS 16.2 clears things up by adding a new “Prefer quiet responses” option. In earlier versions of iOS 16, you could only select Automatic and Prefer Voice Responses.

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Cover photo and screenshots by Giovanna Naumovski/Gadget Hacks

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