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150+ things Siri still can’t do for you


With all her shortcomings, it’s come in vogue to inveigh against Siri. But how short has she really come? I was curious why the bodiless voice that seduced us at launch no longer satisfies expectations. So I put Siri to the test and assembled a list of skills one could reasonably expect by now.

Alas, here’s a list of more than 150 tasks Siri can’t do:


  • Close an app
  • Close all apps
  • Force quit an app
  • Say which app you use the most
  • Say which apps you haven’t used in a specific time period
  • Add an app to the dock
  • Show the app switcher
  • Open the last app used
  • Open a specific folder
  • Create a new folder
  • Delete a folder
  • Delete an app
  • Mute notifications from an app
  • Turn off notifications from an app


  • Tell you if any apps need to be updated
  • Update apps
  • Download an app
  • Say the highest-rated or highest-grossing game on the app store
  • Help you redeem an iTunes code
  • Rate an app
  • Show you previous app purchases


  • Like the last song you played
  • Create a playlist
  • Remove a song from a playlist
  • Show you top songs/podcasts
  • Buy a song you’re listening to outside of Apple Radio
  • Delete a song
  • Display all of your songs from a specific artist 
  • Play music on multiple speakers
  • Show lyrics for a song
  • List your purchased songs


  • Take a photo
  • Take a photo in ten seconds
  • Record a video
  • Change the resolution of the video camera
  • Open portrait mode
  • Turn flash on/off
  • Turn live photos on/off


  • Set a sleep timer
  • Set multiple timers at once
  • Set any timer on a Mac
  • Set an alarm to music
  • Turn on/off a bedtime alarm
  • Change the time


  • Broadcast messages to your HomePods
  • Make appointments for you
  • Send feedback to Apple
  • Show texts from a specific person during a specific time range
  • Show all Animojis received
  • Parrot information from messages (“What time did Marcus say he’d call?”)


  • Adjust the volume
  • Turn them on or off
  • Sending content to them
  • Adjust brightness
  • Report on available storage
  • Report on remaining battery
  • Download an app
  • Open an app
  • Change the wallpaper
  • Find your device


  • Show all emails from a specific person
  • Delete emails
  • Save photos


  • Say how many steps you’ve taken (except on an Apple Watch)
  • Say your heart rate (except on an Apple Watch)
  • Tell you your most active day last month
  • Help you change your organ donor status
  • Say how long you’ve spent on your device or all your Apple devices in a specific timeframe


  • Say how old a celebrity would be if she were still alive
  • Say what happened on a certain date
  • Say when previous personal events happened (“When was my last dentist visit? What day did I call mom?”)
  • Say how much a postage stamp cost in a certain year
  • Read a chapter of the Bible
  • Say the top song in a certain year
  • Say the weather in a particular place in the recent past
  • Say the last thing Apple announced
  • Say when an Apple product was released


  • Memorize locations outside of work and home (“Find me a good Mexican restaurant near my church.”)
  • Predict what time traffic will get bad on the way home
  • Get directions with a stop along the way
  • Switch between satellite and map view
  • Track flights
  • Remind you of the name of the restaurant you were at last week
  • Show flyover views of specific places
  • Tell you the direction you’ve been walking


  • Add a favorite story in the Apple News app
  • Like a story in the Apple News app
  • Tell you the news in a specific city
  • Tell you what the local news is


  • Create a newsletter/resume in Pages
  • Start a new project in iMovie/Garageband
  • Start recording a new voice memo
  • Create a new contact
  • Update a contact or add a photo
  • Send your contact information to someone
  • Turn on/off the flashlight
  • Show/hide the keyboard
  • Take a note on the Apple Watch or Apple TV
  • Share a note, photo, or Apple News story
  • Delete a note
  • Change what a reminder says
  • Tell you the bestselling book at the moment
  • Open a document
  • Turn on captions on videos on the iPhone
  • Control HomeKit devices from a Mac
  • Remember information for you
  • Tell you if a surface is level
  • Where your package from UPS/FedEx is
  • Say when the sun will rise/set on a future date


  • Say how many voicemails have not been listened to yet
  • Change your voicemail greeting
  • Report a phone call as spam/telemarketer
  • Initiate calls from HomePod or Apple TV


  • Show duplicates
  • Duplicate media
  • Make wallpaper
  • Enter crop mode
  • Make a photo black and white
  • Show selfies
  • Show pictures of a specific person
  • Delete media
  • Favorite media
  • Make a photo brighter
  • Take a screenshot
  • Play the last video recorded
  • Show the last photo taken
  • Enter video trim mode


  • Advise you on which Mac to buy
  • Let you make purchases with your voice


  • Bookmark a site
  • Show bookmarks
  • Show tabs
  • Clear history
  • Enter/close private browsing mode


  • Report how much storage you have left
  • Get more iCloud storage
  • Say if your system software is up-to-date
  • Download the latest system update
  • Turn True Tone on/off
  • Start screen recording
  • Change Face ID
  • Turn on vibrate mode/ turn off the ringer
  • Pair with a bluetooth device
  • Turn on/off orientation lock
  • Airplay to a certain screen
  • Show which apps/sites can send notifications
  • Help you change your passcode/password


  • Let you change its name
  • Differentiate between multiple users
  • Accept multiple requests in one query
  • Let you create customized responses
  • Let you choose different voices (not just accent and gender)
  • Change your default digital assistant service
  • Match your energy level
  • Match your volume
  • Tell you what its latest new feature is


  • Tell you your latest notification from a specific service
  • Tell you the latest Facebook post from a specific user
  • Open a specific user’s social media page
  • Say what is happening in the area today or this weekend


  • Say the model of the device
  • Say the serial number of the device
  • Show the dashboard
  • Empty the trash
  • Say the speed of the current internet connection
  • Say the speed of your home internet connection
  • Save a document
  • Delete a document
  • Close a window
  • Enter sleep mode
  • Restart
  • Shut down


  • Translate to languages other than French, German, Italian, Mandarin and Spanish
  • Translate from other languages into English
  • Translate a conversation in realtime
  • Translate a video in realtime

Where has Siri failed you? What do you expect from your digital assistant? Send your questions and feedback to hkeely@reviewjournal.com and follow me on Twitter: @HarrisonKeely.

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