Apple’s introduction of Siri Suggestions in iOS 9 has made it super easy to get to searches, apps or other items you have used recently. Originally called Spotlight on iOS, third-party apps can take advantage of Siri Suggestions as well. They are just one more way Apple hopes to integrate Siri into our daily lives. Unlike saying “Hey Siri” and then asking it to perform a specific task, Siri Suggestions handles the heavy lifting for you. Let’s take a look at how to use this underappreciated function of Apple devices.
How Do Siri Suggestions Work?
Overall, Siri Suggestions works in a way that requires almost no effort from the Apple device owner. To access the suggestions on an iOS device, swipe down on the center of any home screen. From there, a search bar will appear along with a box of apps under the heading “Siri Suggestions.”
These might be apps you’ve recently used or apps that are appearing based on your location. For example, if you pick up Starbucks around the same time each morning, the Starbucks app will appear in this box around that time. If you go to the same gym regularly, Siri Suggestions will show your favorite workout app as well.
Siri Suggestions also learns in other apps as well. In the case of the Apple email app, Siri Suggestions will help enter email addresses that you frequently use. Siri will then enter the email into the “To” or “CC” sections for you. The same goes for Apple Watch users who will see location suggestions on their Apple Screens.
Enabling/Disabling Siri and Search on iOS
In the event you do not have Siri Suggestions enabled by default in iOS 13 on your Apple device, activation is only a few steps away.
1. Launch Settings on your iPhone or iPad.
2. Tap Siri & Search.
3. The second set of options is titled “Siri Suggestions” and offers three different options: “Suggestions in Search,” “Suggestions in Look Up,” and “Suggestions on Lock Screen.”
4. If they are all set to being on, you are good to go. Just use your phone as you normally would, and Siri will learn more each day. You can also scroll a little more and activate/deactivate Siri Suggestions on a per-app basis.
5. In the event you want to disable one or all of these functions, slide them to “Off.” That’s all you need to do to disable the functionality.
Enabling/Disabling Siri Suggestions on Mac
1. From the Apple menu, choose System Preferences.
2. Choose Siri from the list of available options, look to the bottom right of the Siri screen and find “Siri Suggestions & Privacy.”
3. You can now select (or disable) which apps Siri can learn from to make suggestions. Only some of the apps listed here offer Siri Suggestions. It’s worth noting that not every app on the Mac offers Siri Suggestions as an option to enable or disable. Mail, FaceTime and Contacts can be enabled but default apps like Apple Maps offer no such option.
4. When you are finished making your selections, click on “Done” to save all changes.
Using Siri Suggestions in Apps
Most Apple device users know by now that Siri has the ability to help throughout your iOS or macOS experience. Let’s take a look at some of the best examples of where Siri Suggestions will surface while using your iPhone or iPad.
- Create email and events: As you start adding people to a calendar invite or an email, Siri will automatically suggest people or events that have been included in previous emails.
- Leaving for an event: If your calendar invite includes a location, Siri will incorporate Apple Maps and notify you when the best time to leave is based on current traffic and weather conditions.
- See your flight status: If you have a boarding pass in the Mail app, Siri will show your flight status in Maps. It will recommend the right time for you to leave for the airport as well as include directions.
- Typing: As you start entering text, Siri will start to suggest names of places, movies or anything that was previously viewed on your iPhone or iPad. If you want to tell a friend you are on your way to meet them, Siri will even suggest an estimated arrival time so you can coordinate.
- Read Apple News stories: Siri Suggestions will start learning what type of news stories or interests you read frequently and start to suggest similar stories and interests.
- Searching in Safari: Siri will begin to suggest websites and other information in the search field as you start typing in the URL bar.
- Confirm an appointment: When you are confirming an appointment and the date and time are listed in an email or website, Siri will suggest adding it to your calendar.
Siri Suggestions has become an integral part of Apple’s go-forward plan with Siri overall. As Siri lags behind Alexa and Google Assistant in the voice assistant phase, tools like Siri Suggestions will help its audience grow. As more Apple users become familiar with what Siri can do, they are likely to explore what other potentials it has. That’s good news for Apple all around. What’s your favorite Siri Suggestion?