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See What AirPlanes Are Flying Overhead with Siri & iPhone

Check tutorial of See What AirPlanes Are Flying Overhead with Siri & iPhone

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Have you ever seen a plane flying overhead and wondered how high up it was, where it went, or what flight number it identifies as? Now you don’t have to wonder anymore, because your iPhone (or iPad) can tell you exactly which flights are flying above you via the always-handy iOS assistant Siri.

Siri can get the plane’s flight number, altitude, angle, aircraft type (the actual plane model like a Boeing 767-300, Airbus or a Learjet 60, Cessna, etc.), Slant distance in kilometers and even a nice sky map where the sun or moon is in relation to the flights, placing them in the sky. All of this is thanks to Siri’s connection to WolframAlpha, but the data itself is provided by something called ADS-B, an FAA tracking technology intended to increase flight safety and efficiency. And now thanks to Siri and the iPhone you can access that data in the palm of your hand, how cool is that?

How to Show which planes are flying above you with iPhone and Siri

To get flight air data for your current location and for other country settings, simply ask Siri the following type of questions:

  • Show me planes flying overhead
  • Wolfram flies above us
  • Which planes fly above me?
  • Which planes are currently flying over San Francisco?
  • Which planes fly over the Grand Canyon?
  • Which planes fly over ?
  • Which aircraft are currently flying?

If you live in an area with a lot of air traffic, you’ll find the angle in degrees and the sky map data very useful, both of which can help determine which aircraft is which with the help of some additional visual cues. The sky map is visible by scrolling all the way down through the Siri response:

View flights above a location with Siri

Or you can get flight information from above for distant locations, in case you’re wondering who can view a particular landmark or location:

See planes fly above with Siri on the iPhone

Use this to quell your own curiosity, satisfy your inner flying nerd, discover which plane leaves those long vapor trails behind, debunk some chemtrail or UFO speculation, or maybe help answer which of the planes flying above you is the one with onboard wifi that your friend sends you a message from. This only seems to work with traditional planes and airplanes, and when tested with nearby helicopters, they didn’t seem to show up for any reason. Whether or not this works outside of the US remains unclear, but since the data comes from the FAA, it could very well be just for the US, or at least a regional thing depending on your country.

By the way, this works on all iPhone models as long as Siri is turned on and location services are turned on and the device has an internet connection. Sometimes you need to tweak the language a bit, but Siri will use your location to ping WoframAlpha for flight details near you and offer the details accordingly. It absolutely works, so if you have trouble showing the flights up, try to change your language a bit, for example by asking Siri to ‘show flights overhead’.

Mac users without Siri don’t have to feel completely left out, if you receive flight information by email you can use the Mail app to track flights with the accompanying Dashboard widget. Not quite the same, but still useful and interesting.

Whether you’re a fan of flying or just curious what planes are in the sky above you, now you’ll know in an instant. This is a nice little find from Wolfram Alpha and CultOfMac.

Looking for some more interesting or useful Siri tricks? Don’t miss our Siri Archives, we have plenty of things you can do with the smart assistant.

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See What AirPlanes Are Flying Overhead with Siri & iPhone: FAQ

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The time to complete the See What AirPlanes Are Flying Overhead with Siri & iPhone tutorial is 10+ minutes.

What are the supported Device?

Apple

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mac OS


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