14 Cool Things Digital Assistants Can Do

If you saw our [guide to digital assistants](link), you know that a digital assistant is a program that can do stuff for you. What kind of stuff? Well, it sort of depends on the program and how you access it. Popular ones include Siri, Google Home, and Alexa. Chances are, you already have access to a virtual assistant on your phone or computer. You can also get a smart speaker that comes with a virtual assistant (like Amazon’s Echo) that can access other smart devices in your home. Since new functions and new smart devices are coming out all the time, there’s an incredible amount of things that they can do. Such as . . . 

Create a To-Do List

If you’re one of those people who thinks best when dictating things aloud, make your morning to-do list, by telling your digital assistant what you want to get done. You can then have them send reminders if you want, save it to a service like EverNote, or even email it to yourself (or someone else). 

Do Math

You can ask regular equations (such as, “Siri, what’s 680 divided by 12?”), but you can also ask more human questions like how much 20% of your pizza bill is or for the square footage of a twelve by thirteen room. 

Set Location-Based Reminders 

If your digital assistant is on your phone, have it send you reminders when you go certain places. For example, have it push notify your grocery list when it detects that you’ve entered the grocery store.

Make Reservations 

If you’re on a reservation site like Yelp or Open Table, use your digital assistant to make reservations. Set up a reminder while you’re at it. 

Order Things Online

Some digital assistants, like Alexa, can be authorised to order things online for you, albeit typically only from trusted sites. 


If you’re trying to be quiet, whisper to your digital assistant. Many take the hint and whisper their responses. 

Set Timers

You can set a simple timer, or you can pair your timer with a command, such as “Remind me to turn the oven on in one hour.”

Make Calls While Driving 

You don’t want to physically pick up a phone while driving. So, put it in a cradle and use voice commands to make and take calls. 

Check Stocks

Chances are, you don’t even need to know the ticker symbol.

Ask What Airplanes Are Flying Over You Right Now

Not that you’ll really need that information. But still, neat, right?

Adjust the Thermostat 

Provided you have a smart thermostat, and provided your digital assistant is on the same platform, start adjusting your thermostat via voice command. 

Listen to a Joke

Want a quick laugh? Ask your digital assistant to tell you a joke. 

Dictate Texts

Ask your virtual assistant to record a text message. Say what you want to say, have your virtual assistant read it back, and when it’s good, send. 

Entertain Children

Kids love talking and digital assistants have endless patience. Who would have thought they would go together so well?