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Siri’s new skills – iOS 14 brings a smarter, smaller assistant

Siri has learned some useful new skills for iOS 14. It’s a lot more discrete, yet a lot more attentive and capable than before. Here’s how to identify and utilize Siri‘s new bag tricks on your iPhone.

New compact design

Siri used to hog the whole screen whenever you called it up, taking you away from whatever you were looking at. Not anymore.

Now when you say ‘Hey Siri’ or hold the power button, a small symbol will appear at the bottom of the screen to tell you that Apple’s personal assistant is listening. Whatever app you’re using will still be visible in the background.

What’s more, many of Siri‘s answers will appear as little banner notifications rather than taking over the whole screen.

Send audio messages

Siri can send recorded audio messages through the Messages app in iOS 14.

Bring up Siri as usual, either through a vocal prompt or by holding down the power or Home button. Say ‘Send an audio message to [Contact’s name]’, at which point Siri will ask you for your message. Dictate your message.

When you’re finished, Siri will ask you to confirm that you want to send it. Your message will now be sent through Messages as an audio recording.

Web answers

Simply using Siri as normal will now yield a far richer range of information.

Siri draws from a much wider range of online sources in iOS 14 to give you answers. Rather than constantly directing you to the web, Siri will more often than not perform the online leg work for you.

Share ETA

Siri can share your estimated time of arrival through Apple Maps. While navigating, activate Siri and ask it to ‘Share my ETA with [Contact name]’. It will then message that person with your time of arrival.