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Hands on with iOS 6: Siri

Lex Friedman | Sept. 20, 2012
Your favorite virtual assistant now knows a lot more than it ever did before. Beyond merely knowing answers to more kinds of questions, Siri in iOS 6 gains new functionality, simplifies some common tasks, and provides more useful results, too. And, for the first time, Siri in iOS 6 works on the iPad as well--provided the iPad in question is a third-generation model or newer.

Other stuff In iOS 6, Siri is more forgiving of how you speak than it used to be. In iOS 5, Siri often depended on cue words to know precisely what you wanted it to do. If you dictated, "iMessage Dan Moren are we still on for drinks tonight", Siri would understand that you wanted to compose a message to Dan. But it would still ask you what you wanted that message to say; you had to stick a cue word such as "say" after your friend's name to work around that limitation.

In iOS 6, you don't need that extra verbiage. Indeed, if you precisely recited the quote above, Siri will now handle it with aplomb (presuming your iOS device includes Dan Moren in its contacts).

In iOS 5, Siri learned to post to Twitter; in iOS 6, you can now use the voice assistant to post to Facebook. As mentioned above, you can say "Write on my wall I love Mark Zuckerberg", and it will make your feelings known to all your friends.

You can also launch apps with Siri now. Just say "Launch Facebook", "Play Tiny Wings", or "Open Tweetbot", and Siri will take care of it for you. If your iPhone is locked with a passcode, Siri will prompt you to enter it before launching the app. You can ask Siri to close apps, too--but the only response will be that Siri can't actually do that.

 

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