Honestly, at this point, I thought I’d already seen pretty much everything Siri can do. But guess what? She continues to surprise me with her unplumbed depths, as evinced by these 10 things I didn’t know Siri could help with. I mean, we know that Siri can tell us which airplanes are flying overhead, and we know she can tell us what song is playing in the crowded bar you’re currently spending your weekend evening in; we know she can get a little sassy sometimes; heck, we even know that she can beatbox, despite the fact that beatboxing isn’t exactly a useful skill for an AI personal assistant to have (hey, everyone needs hobbies, right?). But it turns out that her well of abilities runs far deeper than most of us know, so maybe she deserves even more credit than we’ve already given her.
I still maintain that the most useful Siri trick is the “Siri, what can I ask?” one; however, it’s also true that the list of abilities she’ll pull up for you if you ask her that question is far from exhaustive. As such, it’s perhaps unsurprising that we keep finding more and more capabilities buried deep within her memory banks — and sometimes it makes me wonder what might happen if she were even to become sentient, à la Skynet.
Am I personifying a disembodied robot voice a little too much? Perhaps.
Here are 10 things I was unaware that Siri could help with until this week. Use them carefully. With great knowledge comes great responsibility, and the last thing we want is to unwittingly make Siri the general of a computer-based uprising.
1. She Can Set A Timer For You
Say “Set a timer for 20 minutes” and Siri will… well, set a timer for 20 minutes. You can also tell her to stop the timer by saying “Cancel timer” after you’ve set one.
2. She Can Tell You What Time It Is Anywhere In The World
This is what happened when I asked Siri what time it was in Australia (when it was about 10 a.m. EST where I was).
3. She Can Calculate Your Restaurant Bill’s Tip For You
I still do that thing where I just move the decimal point over to the left and multiply what’s there by two in order to figure out what 20 percent of a bill is; sometimes I’m prone to miscalculating, though, so it’s always useful to have someone around who’s able to check my work — even if I’m out all by myself. She’s capable of doing non-tip-related math, too, so if you’ve ever wanted to know what the square root of 23,045.67 is, Siri’s your gal.
4. She Can Tell You Whether That Plant You’re About To Touch Is Poisonous
I’d like to note that Siri initially heard “nightshade” as “my cheese” before autocorrecting herself. Apparently she knows me better than I know myself. Well done, Siri. Well done.
5. She Can Check Dates For You
Not only that, but she check dates from pretty much any year. Want to know when Memorial Day is this year? She’s got you covered. What to know what day of the week Christmas was in 1989? She can tell you that, too.
6. She Can Tell You What The Traffic Is Like
Very useful for people who live in places with notoriously bad traffic. (Hint: Never drive in D.C. EVER.)
And while we’re on the subject of cars…
7. She Can Tell You Whether Or Not The Price Of Gas Is Going To Make You Cry The Next Time You Fill Up Your Tank
Apparently today, it will not. Thanks, Siri!
8. She Can Open Apps For You
If, y’know, you’re too lazy to unlock your phone and scroll through your home screen yourself.
9. She Can Find The Internet For You
And by “find the Internet,” I mean “identify nearby Wi-Fi hotspots.” Just ask her where the nearest Wi-Fi hotspot is and she’ll pull it up on a map for you.
10. She Can Be Whoever You Want Her To Be
It turns out that the voice most Americans associate with Siri isn’t the only one she’s capable of using: If you go into Settings, then General, then Siri, then Siri Voice, you can choose between three different accents (American, Australian, and British) and two different genders (male and female). You can also change the language she speaks in, which — for some choices — results in a couple of other options; for example, choosing “Spanish (United States)” as Siri’s language of choice also lets you choose between a Mexican accent and a Spanish one.
Images: Getty Images; Lucia Peters/Bustle (7); Giphy (3)