It’s dangerous and, in many states, illegal to text on your smartphone while driving. This can make it tough to send and receive information while you’re on the go. But Apple’s voice-recognition software for the iPhone 4S, dubbed Siri, enables you to use your mobile phone hands-free and without even looking at the screen.
Here are seven ways Siri can help you multitask while you’re behind the wheel.
- Call someone. Instead of scrolling through your contact list for a client’s phone number, instruct Siri to “Call Paul,” and he’ll be on the line within seconds.
- Listen to and dictate text and email messages. Don’t check your messages while driving, let Siri read them to you. Want to reply? Siri will take dictation — and then recite your words back to you, giving you a chance to re-record your note, if needed, before sending.
- Update your calendar. Just remembered that you need to see a dentist next week? No need to type a reminder. Tell Siri something like, “Call dentist today at 1 p.m.,” and your assistant will add it to your calendar.
- Look up an address. You’re en route to an appointment, but you’ve forgotten the exact address. No problem. Siri can find directions for you via the Google Maps app. Unfortunately, you’ll have to pull over and look at your phone to read the turn-by-turn directions; Siri can’t verbalize them just yet.
- Check the weather. Do the skies look stormy up ahead? Perhaps you should check into a motel now, rather than wait for the next opportunity 50 miles up the road. Ask Siri for the weather forecast during a specific time period, whether it’s the next hour or next day, and schedule your activities accordingly.
- Find a good restaurant. Hungry? Siri can sort restaurants based on distance and Yelp reviews to help you find the best dining options near you. Or, if you’re looking for a specific type of cuisine, tell Siri to “Find the best sushi restaurant near me.”
- Play music. Siri can access your iTunes collection on command, no scrolling through the entire library required. Ask Siri to “Play the Rolling Stones” to get your Sticky Fingers fix.