Siri for Seniors: 45 Commands that Will Make Your Life Easier

Siri, Apple’s personal assistant, allows you to use your voice to set reminders, send messages, read email, search for information and much, much, more.

The following useful Siri Commands can be used on the iPhone 4s, iPhone 5, iPad (IOS 5 and higher), iPad mini, and the iPod Touch. Use this list as a starting point to help you develop your own personalized list of commands to which Siri can respond.

How to Use Siri

Press and hold the HOME button on the iPad until the “What can I help you with?” prompt appears. Then use a normal, clear speaking voice to state your command. Wait for Siri to respond to your request. Press the microphone icon that appears on the screen to speak or reply to Siri again.

Tell Siri to Set Alarms and Reminders, Add to Your Calendar and More

  • “Set the timer for 15 minutes”
  • “Stop the timer”
  • “Reset the timer”
  • “Pause the timer”
  • “What time is it?”
  • “What is today’s date?”
  • “Wake me in an hour”
  • “Set an alarm for 7am tomorrow morning”
  • “Turn off all alarms”
  • “Remind me to take my medication at 8pm”
  • “Remind me to send a birthday card to Suzie next Wednesday”
  • “Set up a dental appointment for next Tuesday at 10am”
  • “Add iPad training to my calendar for next Tuesday at 1pm”
  • “Remove the iPad training from my calendar”

Tell Siri to Read and Send Emails 

For names, substitute the name of a person in your email contacts.

  • “Read my emails” (Siri will read aloud the time the email was sent, sender’s name and subject)
  • “Send an email to Tammee
  • “Email Joe and say that I appreciate his help this weekend”
  • “Send a message to Pat on his mobile and tell him I’ll be there soon”
  • “Read my most recent email message”
  • “Read my new text messages”
  • “Reply to Pat’s text message”

Tell Siri to Create and Find Notes  

  • “Note: the car is parked in Row 5, Level 3 at the airport”
  • “Create a grocery list note”  (substitute the desired name of your list)
  • “Add bananas, milk, and bread to the grocery list note”
  • “Find the grocery list note”

Tell Siri to Play Music and the Radio, and Find Apps

For music and apps, substitute the name of a song, artist or app that’s located on your iPad.

  • “Play Amazing Grace
  • “Play the radio”
  • “Play some John Denver”
  • “Shuffle my favorites playlist”  (substitute the name of a playlist located on your iPad)
  • “Pause” or  “Skip” while song is playing
  • “Play Solitaire
  • “Open Magnifying Glass
  • “Launch App Store

Other Things You Can Ask Siri or Tell Her to Do

  • “What is the temperature outside?”
  • “How hot will it be in Phoenix this weekend?”
  • “What is the forecast for this evening?”
  • “Search for diabetic pasta recipes”
  • “Google what’s happening in Washington D.C.”
  • “Search for images of dogs”
  • “What movies are playing near me?”
  • “Who starred in the movie, Casablanca?”
  • “Show me football scores from Sunday”
  • “How many days until Christmas?”
  • “What Mexican restaurants are near me?”
  • “How many cups are in a pint?”


Do you have any favorite Siri commands that would be helpful to other seniors? Add them in the comments section below.


This was first posted on the blog BurkeEd Tech. Denise Burke is a retired instructional technologist currently providing iPad training opportunities to the seniors in the Denton, TX area. 


8 responses to “Siri for Seniors: 45 Commands that Will Make Your Life Easier

  1. Community meetings, a screen is needed , that will print the the speakers comments. Many seniors are hard of hearing,or only speak Spanish or Chinese . Meetings, such as comunity bd’s, politely hearings & City hall, budget hearings ,make it difficult for seniors to attend, because of hearing & language problems .This problem also occurs, at senior centers. We need Help ! Is there any new teck knowledge , that can solve this problem !.

  2. Wow, what a great list. I thought I was Siri-savvy, but there were some surprises on your list.

    I’ve got some for you, too. When you want to amuse yourself and your friends, ask Siri one of these questions:

    *”Tell me the story of how you were created, Siri.”
    *”Siri, do I look fat in this dress?”
    *”Do you find me sexy?”
    *”Do you love me?”

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