iOS 9 comes with a wealth of new features with Siri as a common core. While the proactive features were the star of the show, Siri as we know it gained some new functionality as well. In particular, you can have Siri answer to new commands related to photos, reminders, and even the content you’re currently viewing.
The public release of iOS 9 will be out in the Fall of 2015, but if you have access to the beta, these new features are available to you immediately.
“Remind me about this tomorrow at 11.”
Starting with iOS 9, Siri can now set reminders about specific content you’re looking at on your screen. For instance, if you get a new text message about plans to meet somewhere, you can tell Siri to remind you about “this.” Using “this” indicates to Siri that you’re talking about what you are currently looking at.
This Siri trick works in multiple apps including Safari, Mail, Notes, Maps, and Messages. Siri then sets a text reminder in the Reminders app along with an icon for the mentioned application. When tapped, it takes you back to the place from where you needed to return – be it a website, note, email, message, etc.
“Remind me to get gas when I get in my car.”
Siri has been able to set location-based reminders since its debut, for example, when you arrive at work or leave home. Now, Siri’s gotten a tad smarter by adding one more location: your car.
Since your iPhone now knows when you’re in your vehicle thanks to CarPlay, you can tell Siri to remind you about certain things when you get in your car.
Note: For this feature to work, you must own a vehicle with Apple’s CarPlay feature built-in. Otherwise, Siri is incapable of knowing about your car or when you’re in it.
When you set a reminder like this, Siri will confirm that it has set a reminder that will pop up once you’re in your car and connected.
As a bonus, you can use the car reminders in conjunction with the “this” format to set cool reminders that work together. For instance, if you’re looking at a restaurant in Maps and don’t want to forget about it later, tell Siri “Remind me about this when I get in my car,” for directions when you’re ready to go.
“Show me photos I took last week.”
With iOS 8, Apple introduced the ability to search within the Photos app by typing in album names, locations and dates, among other things that can help you filter through your library. In iOS 9, the next step is to bake this functionality into Siri.
As a basic example, you can now tell Siri to show you photos or videos that you took during a specific time period. Phrases you can tell Siri include “Show me photos from yesterday,” “Show me videos I took last week” or even “I want to see photos from May 30.”
Important: Don’t worry about security. Even in the first beta of iOS 9, Apple has your photos on lockdown. If you tell Siri to open photos from the lock screen, you’re first required to unlock your phone with your passcode.
“I want to see my photos from New York City last year.”
Even further than just specifying a date, Siri can grab photos from specific events. This can come from saying an album name like “Trisha’s Birthday Dinner” or a location like New York City.
Combine locations and dates for an even more specific search through your iCloud Photo Library. As someone with well over 2,000 photos in my library, you might imagine how difficult it is to find photos from specific events when I can’t remember when it was or if I even ever put them into an album.
Telling Siri to “show me photos from Hyannis, MA last year” immediately brought up dozens of photos from my trip to Cape Cod last July. I could also say “show me photos from Hyannis” to view all of my annual photos at once after six consecutive years traveling there.