Voice commands offer an alternative way of controlling your iPhone 4S. We explain how to pitch requests to get the response you want from Siri.

Step 1. With Siri configured on your iPhone 4S, simply press and hold the Home button to launch the application. Alternatively, head to Settings, General, Siri and turn on the ‘Raise to speak’ option. Siri will now activate when you pick up the handset and hold it to your ear.

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Step 2. Ask Siri to perform a task simply by saying aloud what you want it do – no doubt this will initially feel a little strange. For example, we said: “Tell Steve I’m running late”. The service automatically detects when you’ve finished speaking, or you can press the microphone icon to manually indicate as much.

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Step 3. Setting up meetings is possible as Siri’s intelligence system syncs with other apps. If you plan to meet a friend later, you can ask Siri to text that friend and state the time and place. The event will be placed in your calendar, too. If you later refer to this meeting, Siri knows what you’re talking about and sets a reminder.

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Step 4. If you hanker after a weather forecast, Siri is intelligent enough to deal with far more than outright requests. Questions such as “Will I need an umbrella?” and “Will it be chilly in Edinburgh on Saturday?” bring up climate information in your current location or a particular destination you’ve mentioned.

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Step 5. Text messaging is also enabled through speech. Mention a friend’s name and Siri will offer to text that individual on your behalf. Unfortunately, it isn’t clever enough to let you set a default email or text preference for individual contacts, and you’ll need to specify which service it should use each time.

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Step 6. Negotiating your way through your music collection is simple. No matter in which menu you’re currently viewing, simply say “Play gym playlist” (or whichever of your mixes you’d like to listen to) and you’ll be rocking out to ‘Eye of the Tiger’ in no time. The transition is seamless.

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