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

Unlike most other Apple apps and services, it’s not always clear when Siri gets new features. Even if you’re an avid Siri user, there’s no way you can catch them all, especially when half of them aren’t even mentioned by Apple anywhere. But that’s what we’re here for, and here’s everything you need to know about Siri in its latest feature set.

Siri is designed to let you communicate with your iPhone and other devices that support it as effortlessly as possible. This often means interacting with your iPhone hands-free using Hey Siri, but that’s not all Siri has to offer. The virtual assistant gets smarter with each new iteration, providing you with many more tools to navigate your iPhone and get the most out of it.

The latest set of features comes with iOS 16.0 and later. Keep reading to see all the new things Siri can do on your iPhone.

1. Restart your iPhone

Before this, you could always restart your iPhone by forcing it to restart with an awkward button sequence (which isn’t good unless you were having issues), with AssistiveTouch, or via Voice Control. Siri will not work, as shown in the left screenshot below.

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

2. Run ready-to-use shortcuts

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

Not all apps include ready-to-use shortcuts, but you can see a list of all of them in the Application Shortcuts section of the Shortcuts app. To use it, summon Siri, then speak the app shortcut’s address. Some abbreviations may support synonyms, so you may not have to use the exact phrase to run the command. You can also launch it from Spotlight Search or the shortcuts themselves.

3. Find out what you can do

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

When you’re in an app that supports App Shortcuts (see above), it will list available preset 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 things you can use Siri for, like turning on the flashlight.

4. Convert text to Emoji

You can use Siri on iOS 16 and later to insert emoji into messages and notes by saying the name of the emoji followed by the word “emoji.” For example, you can say “smiley face emoji,” “cat emoji,” and “heart emoji,” respectively, and Siri will convert each into its associated emoji. Before the update, Siri would explain words instead.

This feature is available for iPhones Xs and latest models. And it works with any Apple or third-party app that lets Siri add or post text, like Mail, Messages, Notes, Reminders, and WhatsApp. You can also add emojis using the dictation tool in the apps.

5. Close calls

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

This feature is available in iOS 16.0 and later for iPhone 11 and later models. However, it also works on iPhone XsAnd Xs Max W Xs When using AirPods or Beats headphones with Siri technology. It’s not enabled by default, so you’ll need to go to Settings -> Siri & Search -> Call Hang Up, and toggle the switch for it. You can also do this from Settings -> Accessibility -> Siri -> Call Hang Up.

6. Set Siri downtime

Head to Settings -> Accessibility -> Siri on iOS 16.0 and later, and you’ll find a section where you can adjust the length of Siri’s pause i.e. the amount of time between the moment you finish speaking and when Siri replies. If Siri is constantly replying to you before you’ve asked it your entire question or command, change the length from the default to longer or longer to make sure it picks up your full request.

7. Stronger security for Siri data synced with iCloud

In iOS 16.2 and later, Siri Shortcuts that sync with your iCloud account can be protected with end-to-end encryption. You should enable the new Advanced Data Protection feature in your iCloud account settings for additional security. It requires you to use two-factor authentication for your Apple ID and an iPhone passcode or password, and you need at least one contact or recovery key.

Without Advanced Data Protection enabled, Siri Shortcuts, along with other data, default to Standard Protection, where “data is encrypted in transit and stored in an encrypted format at rest.”

8. Announce notifications on the speaker

We can already have Siri announce time-sensitive alerts, direct messages, or all notifications from apps via CarPlay, AirPods, and some Beats headphones. But in iOS 16.0 and above, there is an option to “Announce Notifications on Speaker” via Settings -> Accessibility -> Siri.

Toggling the toggle brings up the Announce Notifications submenu, which is a shortcut to the same options available in Settings -> Siri & Search -> Announce Notifications.

As before, Siri will avoid interrupting you and will listen to you after it’s read your notifications to see if you want to respond without having to call out “Hey Siri.” You’ll notice it most on your lock screen or when you’re not using your iPhone, as long as your iPhone isn’t set to silent mode.

9. Announcing notifications on hearing aids

If you use a Made for iPhone hearing aid, you can finally have Siri announce notifications when you wear it. The setting on iOS 16.0 and later should be available via Settings -> Siri & Search -> Announce Notifications. If you don’t see it, you don’t have any MFi hearing aids or implants set up on your iPhone.

10. Enable/disable auto answer calls

Before that, you have to go to Settings -> Accessibility -> Touch -> Voice prompt for calling -> Auto-answer calls to enable or disable the setting that makes Siri answer calls in FaceTime and Phone. In iOS 16 and later, you can ask Siri to “turn on (or off) auto-answer,” which can save you a lot of time. However, you will have to go to the Auto Answer Calls preferences to set the waiting time before Siri answers.

11. Enable automatic sending of messages

It’s not new that you can use Siri to compose and send a message, but it always required you to manually confirm that you wanted to send it. However, iOS 16 and later lets you override manual confirmation via Settings -> Siri & Search -> Send Messages Automatically, and you can control whether it works via CarPlay, headphones, or hearing aids. Once enabled, Siri will automatically send the message after four or five seconds unless you cancel it.

12. Shazammed Songs Finally Sync

You can already ask Hey Siri to identify a song to play with Shazam, but the results won’t sync with the Shazam app and the Music Recognition control in Control Center. In iOS 16 and later, everything is finally synced, so you should have no problem finding the path you want from Shazammed. Just make sure that both Shazam and Music Recognition are enabled in iCloud settings.

13. More functions without an internet connection

In iOS 16 and later, Siri can process more requests when your iPhone is offline. This includes interactions with smart home controls (HomeKit devices), notifications, voicemail messages, and intercom requests. Extended support works offline on iPhone Xs And later.

14. More accurate app clip suggestions

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

15. Silent responses are preferred

Siri’s voice feedback settings were quite confusing in iOS 16.1 and earlier, but iOS 16.2 clears things up by adding a new Prefer Silent Responses option. In previous iOS 16 versions, there were only “Automatic” and “Prefer Spoken Responses” options.

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Cover image and screenshots by Jovana Naumovski / Gadget Hacks

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