iPadOS includes Siri and search settings that can make life easier. Here’s how to tweak an iPad’s Siri and search features to access information as efficiently as possible.
During my first college semester, students were taught to locate information by navigating large, bulky card catalogs and microfiche collections. Other tasks, such as scheduling an appointment with a department head or obtaining directions or transportation to an off-campus location, were entirely manual, analog affairs.
SEE: Apple iPad (7th generation): A cheat sheet (TechRepublic)
I suspect most students seeking information today skip those outdated practices in favor of internet and Siri-assisted searches. But few users—students and professionals alike—likely bother customizing an iPad’s Siri & Search settings, which can significantly improve daily interactions with the tablet and make search efforts quicker and more productive.
Here are several tips to help ensure you make the most of iPad’s Siri and search capabilities. Configure these settings on an iPad by tapping Settings, then selecting Siri & Search. iPadOS 13 permits adjusting a number of Siri- and search-related features (Figure A).
The first three options are straightforward and specify key interactive options. I recommend enabling Listen For “Hey Siri,” Press Home For Siri, and Allow Siri When Locked. With these three settings enabled, accessing and using Siri is easier and more convenient, which will encourage you to leverage the automated interactive assistant and take advantage of its shortcuts and time-saving features more often.
Be sure to confirm that the Language, Siri Voice, and My Information are configured as you need.
You should also ensure that you understand how the Voice Feedback option works. Three options are available: Always On, Control With Mute Setting, and Hands-Free Only.
Always On instructs Siri to provide audible voice response, even when mute is enabled.
Control With Mute Setting silences Siri when mute is enabled.
Hands-Free Only instructs Siri to only provide audible responses when you are using “Hey Siri,” or you’re using a Bluetooth speaker, AirPods, or other headphones.
Depending upon whether you work in a cubicle v. a private office or regularly use headphones should help you determine how best to configure Siri voice responses.
Pay close attention to Siri Suggestions, too. There are three options: Suggestions In Search, Suggestions In Look Up, and Suggestions On Lock Screen.
Suggestions In Search permits Siri to offer recommendations and results when you conduct searches using the iPad.
Suggestions In Look Up permits Siri to display potentially related information from the internet and nearby sites, as well as contextually related information, which can help when seeking directions or confirming transit schedules.
The Suggestions On Lock Screen option permits or disables Siri from providing results and recommendations on the iPad’s lock screen view.Perhaps the most unheralded Siri option, though, is the ability to tweak Siri settings for each installed application. Leveraging this iPadOS capability, users can disable Siri interaction entirely with unrelated or unintended apps. Just select the corresponding app within Siri & Search, which presents a set of tailored options for each app, as shown in Figure B.
Perhaps the most unheralded Siri option, though, is the ability to tweak Siri settings for each installed application. Leveraging this iPadOS capability, users can disable Siri interaction entirely with unrelated or unintended apps. Just select the corresponding app within Siri & Search, which presents a set of tailored options for each app (Figure B).
How to tweak Siri settings for each installed application
Enable Learn From This App if you want Siri to analyze your interaction with that application in order to provide more personalized suggestions and recommendations. If you find Siri often providing irrelevant information for the app when conducting searches or when interacting with Siri, simply slide the button off to disable Siri from monitoring and making suggestions using the app.
You can also specify whether the app should be shown in searches and suggested shortcuts using the respective slider buttons. In addition, you can permit or prevent Siri from suggesting shortcuts on the lock screen for the app.
You can also specify whether the app should be shown in searches and suggested shortcuts using the respective slider buttons. Last, you can permit or prevent Siri from suggesting shortcuts on the lock screen for the app.
Siri makes search easier
Students and professionals today are fortunate. When conducting searches, locating information, and obtaining assistive and contextually relevant tips, such as bus route information when traveling to a new location for the first time, iPadOS includes a variety of Siri and search settings that can make life easier. All you need to do is take a few moments to familiarize yourself with the options, which can pay daily dividends for years to come.