The iPhone 5 launched with a brand new version of the Siri voice assistant that let you issue all sorts of new commands. But it’s still quite limited – unless you turn on these epic hacks. Read on to find out how to make yourself truly the master of Siri in our guide right here.
Now it’s worth noting that some of these hacks require you to send a text message, so they’ll only work on an iPhone 4S or iPhone 5, and not an iPad mini or the new iPod touch – but not all. Let’s begin.
Use Google Maps to show you directions
By default, Siri will show you the way in Apple Maps, but anyone who has installed iOS 6 will know that Apple Maps isn’t just bad, it’s terrible, and woefully inaccurate. You can trick Siri into showing you the way on the far superior Google Maps instead though: just say “via transit” after the location and it’ll pop up with a list of installed navigation apps you can use, Google Maps among them. Give it a tap and you’re away.
Ask for your bank balance
If your bank supports balance requests via text message, you can have your iPhone 5 send you yours. All you have to do is add the phone number as a contact in your address book (Maybe call it ‘Bank’ rather than ‘Greg’), then say to Siri “Tell bank” followed by whatever shortcode you send by SMS.
Park your car or find a spot
If you regularly drive into town, only to be stumped by a lack of parking spaces, you can even use Siri to help solve your congestion woes. Many councils operate a pay by SMS option to pay for a spot, so just add that number as a contact in your address book. Others also will text you the parking times and constraints for the road you’re in if you text them the parking code; again, once you’ve added the number as a contact it’s a short “Tell” command away.
Change the TV channel
If you want to have a go at something more ambitious, it’s even possible to get Siri to change the channel for you and more: with a few tweaks and a certain set top box, you can have Siri skip through channels for you, and even jump to ones by saying their name.
Open your garage door
Here’s a weekend project with a difference: you can even use Siri to open a garage door on command. The creator of this hack attached a super cheap Raspberry Pi to the door and used some free software, but that’s about it. .