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‘Ok Google’: 10 Simple Things You Can Do with Virtual Assistants AKA Siri, Cortana etc.

Digital assistants started out as tools for voice recognition, but over the years, they have become very sophisticated, and able to perform a wide range of tasks. Most mobile phones and PCs now ship with their own native virtual assistant. Some of the very popular ones are Siri by Apple, Google assistant, Microsoft’s Cortana, Alexa by Amazon and the latest addition from Samsung, Bixby.

Digital assistants have grown in functionality and can help you carry out simple tasks on your phone and your PC. This means you don’t have to keep typing all the time when you can just say ‘Ok Google’, followed by your instruction.

Here are some simple tasks you can outsource to your virtual assistant.

Make Calls

You can place a call to any of the contacts saved on your phonebook by saying, ‘Hey Cortana, call Cynthia’ and the assistant will call the contact for you. You probably don’t need to pick your phone to do this. So, if you’re walking on the road with earphones on and you need to make a call, just trigger the voice assistant then tell it who to call.

Send Messages, Emails, Etc.

Virtual assistants can help you send messages to your contacts on different messaging platforms. It used to be just SMS before, but some of them like the Google assistant can send messages to friends on WhatsApp, Telegram, make Facebook posts, compose and reply Emails, and so on. It’s really a great way to text people especially if you’re in a place where you can’t type.

Ok Google, send a message to Paul on Telegram, I’ll not be around for the meeting’

Set Reminders

Due to how busy our society has gotten today, the average person needs reminders to get through the day. With your smartphone, you can all out on your virtual assistant to set a reminder for you. you can set reminders for workout, birthdays, meetings, lunch whatever it is.

‘Ok Google, set a reminder’ then follow the voice prompts to give it the details of the reminder.

Another amazing feature allows you to tell your virtual assistant where you kept your personal belongings like your car keys and when you need them, you can ask it, and it’ll remind you where you left them.

Ok Google, remind me that my car keys are in the kitchen drawer’ and when you need the keys just ask it.

Get Daily Information Update

You can receive the latest news, check up on your favorite football team or a match you missed, get weather and traffic information and so on. You can also configure your newsfeed, so your assistant brings you news and information that is relevant to you.

Open Apps on Your Phone and Toggle Settings

In case your hands are tied and you can’t get to your phone, your virtual assistant knows its way around your phone. So, it can open apps for you, ‘Hello Siri, Open Gallery’, or toggle controls like Torchlight, WIFI, mobile data, Bluetooth, and others. You can also play your favorite music playlist or any track of your choice by giving it the command, ‘Hello Siri, play Perfect by Ed Sheeran’

Book Flights or Hail a Taxi

Digital assistants can help you get flights, cheap flights maybe, and also hail a taxi for you using any of the services like Uber or Taxify. It’ll show a list of flights leaving for your location, then you choose, or in the case of a taxi, it’ll show you taxis around you and the fares, then you can call any of them.

Take Notes

In case you need to take a quick note, just dictate the note to your virtual assistant and it’ll translate it text and save the file for you or send it to your email so you can review it later.

Get Location updates and Direction

This is one of the most common uses of digital assistants. If you’re traveling or visiting someone and you’re unsure where the place is, you can ask the assistant and it’ll help you with voice-guided navigation to your destination.

Also, if you’re in a new neighborhood and you are not sure where to go to get food or fuel or where the nearest ATM is, you can ask the digital assistant and it’ll give you a list of nearby places that have what you need.

Ok Google, where can I find a gym around my neighborhood?’

Translate Languages

Your favorite assistant can help you with language translations and can even speak out the translation for you. So, if you’re lost or something or you need to text your German friend in his language, then digital assistants are there for you.

Many Much More…

With digital assistants, the functionalities are limitless. You can perform Online searches, make calculations, convert measurements, get currency values and all. You can even play games with the assistant or have it tell you a joke or sing you a birthday song on your birthday.

All Android phones come with the Google Assistant pre-installed, Devices running Windows OS come with Cortana pre-installed, while Apple devices ship with Siri. However, some of the digital assistants like Google assistant and Cortana are available on other platforms. You can download them below:

Google assistant on iOS

Cortana for Android

Cortana for iOS

Feature Image Credit: ymgerman /

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Tobenna Ezike

Tobenna is a writer, programmer and musician who is passionate about God, tech, and music. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook by clicking the icons below.

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