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Summary:

Movies and restaurants are a good start, but I wish Siri could tell me what concerts are happening in my area, or give me information about my device, have more specific voice control actions, and even help translate conversations into foreign languages.

new Apple Siri ad

With improvements added in iOS 6, Apple’s mobile voice assistant Siri can now tell you sports scores, reserve a seat at a restaurant, list the latest movies in theaters, and launch apps. While these new features are welcome, there’s still a lot of room for Siri’s capabilities to expand in ways that would make the service even more useful and popular. Here are the five things highest on my wish list.

Show me more than just restaurants and movies

Movies and restaurants are a good start for helping me find entertainment options, but I wish Siri could tell me what concerts are happening in my area as well. Apple could partner with a company like TicketMaster to add this the same way they partnered with Yelp for restaurants.

I also wish Siri could tell me more about content from Apple’s online stores, such as music and books.  It would be great if Siri could tell me if there are any new albums or books coming out by my favorite artists, for instance. Apple already knows this information based on what I download from iTunes. Why not put it to better use? Honestly, it’s a little strange that Siri isn’t already integrated better with Apple’s online stores, which already place Apple at a big advantage over its competitors.

Answer questions about my device

Siri can show me a picture of a weasel, but can’t tell me how much space is left on my phone, or how many songs I have in my music library, or even what version of iOS I’m running. It would be so much easier to just ask Siri these things than to dig down into the increasingly complicated Settings app.

Change my settings

Speaking of settings, Siri won’t let me change them via voice control. I wish I could tell her to turn off Wi-Fi, or turn the brightness to 50 percent, or lock my screen orientation. Some Android device users are fond of using widgets to toggle those kinds of settings, and allowing Siri to do the same would be an easy way to get some of the functionality of widgets without actually adding them to iOS.

Remember what she says

As a personal assistant, Siri’s memory isn’t too sharp. You can go back and look at your history while using Siri, but as soon as you dismiss the app she forgets it. The solution to this one is pretty simple: When you ask something new and Siri responds, you should be able to just scroll up to see a longer history, not just for the current session. Or, alternatively, you could just ask Siri, “What have we been talking about?” to go directly to your history.

Learn other languages

Siri can already do simple, single-word translations thanks to Wolfram|Alpha, but it would be great if you could carry out an entire conversation in a foreign language with just Siri as the translator. Apps like iTranslate Voice and SayHi Translate already use Siri-like interfaces for this, so we know it can work well for it. A universal translator has long been one of the Holy Grails of technology, and implementing it for free on the iPhone would be a big deal, especially for frequent travelers.

Did I miss anything? What do you wish Siri could do that isn’t on the list? Tell us in the comments.

  1. I wish Siri supported more languages, like Dutch. Only a few are supported now, so a lot of international people can’t really use it yet.

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    1. Millions of people have to deal with more than one language. We should be able to ask siri to switch language. On regular bAsis i have to send txt mess to people in other language other than english while I’m driving, it would be nice to be able to dictate to siri in other languages instead oc having to go thru rhe steps manually to change her language

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  2. Great list. Think the translate and settings would be great. I’ve got a few suggestions:
    1) learn what I mean when I say ‘neither’ when presented with two options. For example: I try and send a text message to a friend but for some reason Siri misinterprets and thinks I want to send an email. Currently I’m asked which email address I want to send it to and when I respond with ‘neither, I want to send a text’ it comes back and asks me again, ‘which email.’ Very annoying.
    2) it’d be great to see better international support for maps/local search. Know it’s on the way, but can’t come soon enough.
    3) create a morning update function – a review of the top headlines, appointments for the day, anyone’s birthdays/important status updates from Facebook favorites etc. I can then listen to it when I’m driving to work in my car.

    These are the ones I can think of at the moment – will be interested to see others wishes.

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    1. I have several contacts who have multiple mobile phones, and when Siri asks “which number should I call? 444-123-4567, 555-123-1234, 777-123-4321?” I have to speak the whole number. I’d like it if Siri could understand ordinal numbers…

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  3. Yes, I definitely want hepucoa’s list too.

    Here are some more items that are near the top of my WishList:

    1. Names. I want to be able to store pronunciations of names as fields in my address book so that I can teach Siri how to recognize and pronounce the names of my foreign friends.

    2. How about order a taxi or an Uber ride? “Siri, I need a taxi to take me to the airport at 4:00pm.” Or, “Siri, I need a taxi in 10 minutes to take me back to my hotel.” Some day, Siri should even make all of my travel arrangements.

    3. Take out food. “Siri, please have my favorite pizza delivered to home at 7pm.”

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    1. Spot on Mcbeese. Teaching Siri how to pronounce foreign names would save me a lot of embarassment. Still minces my wifes name everytime…

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    2. As for the pronunciation there is a phonetics field in contacts. You just have to do that add field option. It will even clasify with nicknames.

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  4. I wish it could show tv show schedules or movies.

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  5. I’d like to see more efficient handling of misinterpretations. An example of the current issue that bedevils Siri: I have a restaurant called ‘Golden Dragon’ in my address book. There are times I’ll say, “Call George” and Siri will reply (for whatever reason), “Would you like to call Golden Dragon?” In that case, I’m left with a ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ option–neither of which has utility–and that’s the end of the dialogue. Can Siri not return an alternative list of people who have similar names, either phonetically or alphabetically?

    As other posters alluded to, Siri needs to learn pronunciations and not just to sound good. On occasion, her misinterpretation renders her response useless. To wit: There’s a restaurant chain called ‘Q-cumbers.’ I tried to have Siri locate the nearest location but she couldn’t find it because she was attempting to find ‘Cucumbers.’ It’s a reasonable mistake for her to make but something should be done to address these types of errors.

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  6. I wish they could integrate a music identifier like Shazam!!!

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  7. Until Siri gets better I just wish that the Apple keyboard was better. I just don’t understand what Apple has against a numerical key pad or showing the keyboard in lower case when it is not shifted.

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  8. Michael W. Perry Saturday, October 20, 2012

    I’d love to see Siri have a kid’s mode, one that would answer questions like “show me a doggie.”

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    1. Hi Michael, voice Web Goddess chrome extension can show the doggie (even dancing one) among tons of many other voice actions folks are asking for here… check it out (tip to see the dog dancing just send a greeting card ;-)

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  9. Yes.

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  10. Redial is the missing Siri feature I need most.

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