Use iPhone & Siri as a Tip Calculator

Nov 19, 2012 - 21 Comments

The iPhone becomes a Tip Calculator thanks to Siri

Breaking out the Calculator app can be too time consuming, and while there’s no shortage of tip calculator apps for the iPhone, why download another app if you don’t need to? The next time you’re at a restaurant and want to quickly calculate an appropriate tip according to the bill, all you have to do is ask Siri.

How to Use Siri as a Tip Calculator on iPhone

Pose the question to Siri as a simple math problem like so:

  • What is (tip percentage) of (total bill)?
  • What is 20% of $34.52?

You can also give Siri the literal math and get the same response, providing an equation like “15% times 60”. Either way, Siri will report back with the proper math and you’ll find the tip under “Result”.

The iPhone is where this makes the most sense, but obviously it works on the iPod touch and iPad with Siri as well, but most of us aren’t dragging our iPads around to restaurants. File this under yet another useful trick Siri can do, and start using it more if you haven’t yet.


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Posted by: Paul Horowitz in iPad, iPhone, Tips & Tricks


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  1. Amy finn says:

    Only drug dealers carry cash ΒΏ?!.. Wow ! Seriously, πŸ˜’… Is everyone on the planet 12 years old ?? Yes, most of us prob. Use our credit/ debit cards now a days , buuuut cash, yes children it actually does still exist😁😳😳😳😳✌️

  2. Robbertvdd says:

    WTF? Calculate a tip? Don’t you Americans just give tips based on your own feeling? Like When you eat for $ 92,- you just pay with a bank note of $ 100,- and tell them to keep the change and when you eat for $81,- you get a bank note of $ 10,- and the waiter searches for the remaining $ 9,- you just tell him to keep it.

    I’ve never heard of calculating tips. I can’t imagine using a calculator or even worse speaking to my iPhone in public to ask how much I’ll have to pay the waiter and then search my wallet for the coins I need to give the person $ 9.75. That’s just completely ridiculous.

    By the way, does America only have coins of $ 0.50, $ 0.10 and $ 0.01? Why are there no coins of $ 0.20 and $ 0.05?

    • Jeff says:

      Yes Americans calculate tips. Personally I just take 10% and double it, then round up to the nearest dollar, unless the service is bad then I do 15% and round down. Your example of an $8 tip on a $92 meal would be insulting, at less than 9%. A tip for good service is around 20%-25%, higher if you feel generous.

      Waiters and servers live off of their tips, this is because the minimum wage in the USA is so shockingly low it’s not enough to live on alone. In some states it’s like $3/hour

      And yes there are 0.25 (quarters) and 0.05 (nickels) coins.

      • Robbertvdd says:

        I don’t see it as an insult. In my opinion a tip is just some extra money for the waiter when I’ve enjoyed my meal. I’m not the one who pays his salary, I only give him a tip. That’s why it’s called a tip and not salary. If the salary is so low, then that’s not my problem. That’s the problem (I didn’t even know how much or less they earn before reading your comment) of the leaders in your country have to fix. How is it possible the minimum wages are so low? That’s a problem the leaders of the USA have to fix.

        • AnnJ says:

          Actually, waiters can get paid LESS than minimum wage, because the wages are structured to expect that the tips will be a significant portion of the income.
          I think it is an annoying and stupid system, but given that it is set up that way, it is a huge disservice to a waiter to tip less than 15% (and most people will round up from there)

          • Futurism says:

            If you don’t like tipping, vote for a higher minimum wage. You can’t have it both ways, unless you want to flood restaurants with robots or clones taking your orders and serving food for you. Maybe someday Siri will not only calculate your tips, but also be your waiter? But if AI is doing that, what else will AI be doing? Imagine the unemployment rate in a world where work is mostly performed by machinery of either mechanical or biologic origin? Now tipping doesn’t sound so bad, does it? If you can afford an iPhone, you can afford to tip, period.

    • clasqm says:

      Bank notes? Coins? People still use cash where you live?

      You work out an appropriate tip, write it on the appropriate place on the bill (on the cheque in America) and hand it back with your credit card. the waiter adds it up and comes back with the Speedpoint so you can enter your PIN.

      Where I live there are dining establishments that won’t even take cash any more. Not a lot of them, but it’s a trend. Only drug dealers carry lots of cash around.

  3. err404 says:

    Or you could just ask Siri directly. For example “How much should I tip on $30”. This will give you a breakdown of standard tipping amounts.

  4. Robert says:

    I see how useful this is. However for small amounts below 15% it isn’t difficult to work out.

    Still, thanks for the tip..

  5. bakajiji says:

    The funniest thing I ever saw (in this regard) was in a post office here in Japan. The clerk used a calculator to add up my purchases, and then used an abacus to check the calculator!

  6. BDK says:

    OMG I feel sorry for anyone that can’t figure this out in their head. It’s basic math that 6th graders are probably not even being taught anymore.

  7. Grant says:

    Tipping sucks, America(ns). Also please switch to the metric system.

  8. Jeremy Moss says:

    A few years ago I bought a refrigerator at a local appliance store. The store clerk had to use a calculator to work out my 10% deposit. Twice.

  9. simplicitisimo says:

    Tax x2, rounded up. Always works for me.

    • AnnJ says:

      Well, depending on where you are you could be really-undertipping. The problem is that tax is not the same everywhere. If the tax is 4%, doubling it will be a really small tip!

  10. mjeske says:

    Anybody who can’t figure out 15% in their head had to much wine at dinner.

    Take 10% (move the decimal point).
    Divide that by 2 and add both.

  11. Cheap Ster says:

    Is 1% of the total bill really that hard to figure out?

    $100.00 = $1.00
    $49.00 = $.49 Cents

    Servers are overpaid.

  12. parakeet says:

    Siri can do almost any simple math, but be careful because she sometimes screws up the order of operations. I don’t think she aways remembers to Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally ;)

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