With the introduction of iOS 6 on the iPad 3, we see Siri’s debut and the opportunity for a whole bunch of new users to give Siri a try. With iOS 6 Siri gains new functionality, simplifies some tasks and offers up what we hope are more useful results. So, whether you’re just getting started with the iPhone 5, or upgrading your iPad 3 to iOS 6, Siri is about to say hello.
Enabling Siri on your iPad is quick and easy, just hit Settings > General > Siri. From here you can choose a language, link yourself as a primary contact and choose whether you want Siri to talk to you when you’re handsfree only, or always. I like Siri, so I choose always and that’s because she sometimes knows exactly what to tell me. Unlike the iPhone, there’s no proximity sensor option here and that’s ok, most times you aren’t going to be raising the iPad to your face to speak.
For starts, try some basic questions, like “Hello” or ask Siri the weather for the weekend.
With the introduction of iOS 6, Siri is now integrated with Yelp and Open Table, boosting the selection of restaurants Siri can you help you locate. I asked Siri to find Sushi restaurants in Boca Raton, Florida, and she located a number of options. Unfortunately, my digital assistant didn’t find the location right across the street from my community, even when I attempted to narrow down the selections by asking Siri to find something nearby.
However, when Siri does find a restaurant you want, and if you have the Open Table app installed on your phone, Siri will help you make reservations. Siri will exit and enter the Open Table app, without the ability to return to Siri though, which is a little frustrating.
If you select the restaurant itself inside Siri, you can bring up the location information which can be forwarded to Apple’s new Maps app and will offer you directions right to the restaurants front door. You can also find the restaurants hours, reviews (thanks to the Yelp integration) and even a picture or two of the food.
All in all, Siri’s restaurant integration on the iPad is no different than that of the iPhone, and it’s nice, but it’s still lacking a few features that make a completely rounded solution. It’s still more of a novelty than a serious solution for choosing a restaurant, but that doesn’t make it any less fun.
With the introduction of Siri in iOS 6, the new sports integration thanks to SB Nation will undoubtedly be a hit with sports fans. Sports-related queries are handled very well and all kinds of natural-language questions are deftly handled by Siri. You can ask Siri basic questions like “What was the score of the Marlins game?” or “What time is tomorrow’s Marlins game” and Siri will return right away with the results. Perhaps you want standings for the league or just for the specific division, Siri can handle it.
If you have a favorite player you want to track, you can ask Siri about their stats or who leads in a particular statistical category.
For Sports aficionados, Siri still scratches the surface of what we want our personal assistant to do, but it’s a great start for a first iteration of Sports-specific inclusion and we know that this is one category we expect to see a lot of enhancements in the next generation Siri platform.
Sports isn’t the only thing Siri has picked up, with the addition of some real Hollywood knowledge, Siri is now powered by uber-popular movie review site Rotten Tomatoes. Siri can now provide information for showtimes, trailers, reviews, and even a bunch of trivia. I asked Siri “What movies are playing nearby” and she returned results. I even got more specific and asked “Where is the Dark Knight Returns playing nearby” and she found me movie times.
Watch trailers, bring up Rotten Tomatoes reviews, see showtimes and theaters, select a partial theater and see the address and them map it, all with Siri in iOS 6 and the iPad.
Now, if you want to have a little more fun, you can ask Siri random movie knowledge like “What movie won best picture in 1990 or who won best supporting actress in 1995?”
What if you want to look up your favorite actor or actress? Siri can help with that, just ask “Show me movies with Brad Pitt.” Not only will Siri show you the last movies, but also upcoming as well, if available.
More Siri Fun:
Another major upgrade with Siri is the opportunity to open apps with Siri, just say “Open Pocket” or try “Open Twitter” and Siri will automatically open the Twitter app.
Overall, Siri in iOS 6 is a respectable, if not beautiful upgrade that shines with movies, sports and restaurants. The integration with Maps and Yelp is a welcomed opportunity to closely tie together the iOS platform. Unfortunately, Siri is only available for the iPad 3, leaving iPad 2 owners out in the cold. iOS 6 adds some great utility to Siri and we’re thankful that Apple is progressing its personal assistant platform, even if its happening a bit slower than we would all prefer.
Siri is just the beginning of what voice integration and personal assistants in the mobile industry are all about and as we move toward a more futuristic sci-fi world, we hope that we get a look at just how far Siri can go. We know there is plenty of room for improvement as well as promise, and while the basics of updating your Facebook or Twitter status are nice, Sports score and movie lookups are welcomed improvements indeed.
The added iOS 6 enhancements greatly improve Siri overall and she’s now far more useful than she was in iOS 5 and she’s got plenty of personality to boot.