There are many iPhone apps that do similar things to Siri Assistant, but none of them do everything Siri does. It’s an app that does so much, it’s usually underused. It performs exactly as billed, like a much-needed personal assistant.
Siri Assistant can perform a myriad of tasks. It can perform GPS tasks for you, it can look up information, and it can hold information. It allows you to do all this by either typing it in or speaking the request out loud. It corresponds with you via messages to ask for more information, will let you know what it can’t do (which isn’t a lot), and what it is doing currently.
Let’s start with the GPS tasks. Sure, many iPhone apps do GPS tasks, and this isn’t much different than any of them. Yet, Siri Assistant does all these other things along with performing GPS tasks, and does it either verbally or written. I can ask where the nearest bank is or where the nearest gas station is. It will find all the locations and tell me how far away they are. I can either call the places it lists, or I can place them on a map or show driving directions from where I’m located at the present time, or from one of my predetermined locations.
Siri Assistant can also be used to look up nearly any type of information. Even if it isn’t something it’s programmed to do, it will at least tell you where to find the information. I can have it locate restaurants, local businesses, movies, events, and flights. I can find out what movies are playing near me and when. If I want to know what’s playing at one of my favorite movie theaters today, I tap movies, and can put in a movie rating, theater, genre, as well as also giving it location and time information.
It finds my theater and gives me a listing of all the movies playing at the theater and their times. If I’m not sure about a certain movie, I can have Siri launch a trailer in YouTube. Additionally, I have the option to buy the tickets online through Siri. If I don’t know how to get to the theater I can map it. There isn’t anything with this experience that it can’t do.
Yet, my favorite way to use Siri Assistant is to hold information. Mostly I like to have it hold reminders for me. These are the little things I don’t want to clutter iCal with. So I either type or verbally ask Siri to remind me to switch my laundry in an hour, preheat the oven at a certain time, or get the oil changed on a certain day. It will give me the option to either remind me through the app or through email.
If I just want information such as what day Easter falls on this year, it tells me it’s on 4/24/11 and tells me how many days and weeks it’s away. If I want to know what the rules are for solitaire, it gives me several web locations where I might find that. If I click on the link, it opens it up in a browser window for me within the Siri app. Additionally, I can have it check the weather for me or even send a tweet to my Twitter account.
The best part of Siri Assistant is that it’s free as a download on iTunes. It’s such a good app and does so much, that it’s hard to believe it’s free. I have paid for apps that do far less than this one. In fact, while typing up this review I thought of a whole host of things I could be using Siri for, but don’t. Perhaps I need to set a reminder.
Siri Assistant (iTunes link)