Hey, Siri, which planes are overhead?

Did you realize that with an iPhone, you can know which planes are flying over your head at any given moment just by uttering those 6 words? Not life changing, but pretty interesting. And it makes you realize just how much information we have access to now in the palm of our hand. Why not give it a try now?

If it didn’t work for you, below are simple steps to activate the voice response (Siri) on your iPhone to do this and other handy tasks.

As a first step, tap on Settings on your home screen. Find and open the Setting called “Siri & Search” (see screenshot below, circled in yellow).

When you select that, it will bring up a screen that looks like the below. If the green dot isn’t showing on “Listen for ‘Hey Siri'”, tap it once, and it will turn on (see below, yellow circled).

In order for Siri to calibrate itself, it will first issue you a series of phrases it would like for you to say. See an example below left. If it did not hear you clearly, it will ask you to repeat the phrase. (This happened to me as I had chewing gum in my mouth. Once I removed it, the rest of the phrases were understood just fine. Lesson learned…). You will then see a tick mark when Siri has understood, and you will be asked to speak the next example command. At the successful conclusion of 4 or 5 of them, you will see a completion screen (see below, right). Tap “Done”.

Now you can ask which planes are overhead. Remember to start with “Hey, Siri…” otherwise the program will not realize you are issuing a command to Siri rather that perhaps talking to your friend, Siri. Or just talking to yourself again, as most of us have been known to do on occasion…

You can know that Siri is working on the request when you see a moving “orb” near the bottom of your screen (see screenshot below). In a matter of a second or two, you should get the response. It will look something like the screenshot here. This was taken on a Sunday, so not many commercial flights, but this will look quite different on a busy weekday.

Now that you have Siri set up, why not use the program for simple tasks like the commands you spoke as part of the set-up? There are so many ways to get help using Hey, Siri. Here are just a handful:

Check the weather.

Send text messages.

Schedule a wakeup call.

Hear a joke.

Get sports updates.

Check email.

Translate into a foreign language.

Hear a bedtime story.

We’ll explore some of these and other options in future posts. Be sure not to miss out by subscribing for free today. Simply drop your email address in below and hit “Subscribe”.

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