Siri is Apple’s voice assistant that was first released with iOS 5 in 2011. It allows you to speak into your iPhone and perform tasks using just your voice, and it has been developed to understand natural language so you can ask your phone to do things in a conversational way and it will understand. If you have an iPhone, Siri is your personal assistant, and you can use it to make your life easier and more productive.
Start Using Siri
Using Siri is a great way to get more out of your smartphone. Apple has made it incredibly simple to use, and all you have to do is hold the Home button until two beeps sound out, and then Siri is ready to go. If you are using iOS 8 or later, you can also just say “Hey Siri” to get it started. When you start speaking, you can see the audio wave moving and this means Siri is listening.
Siri is ready to go as soon as you turn on your phone. However, the more you use it, the better it gets. It learns to understand your accent and voice characteristics, so it is constantly improving. It also takes information from your contacts, calendar and more to get to know you better.
What You Can Do with Siri
Siri can carry out many tasks for you, from basic to more advanced. If you want to know if it can do something but you are not sure, simply ask it what it can do and it will tell you.
It works with nearly all of the built-in apps including FaceTime, Mail, Calendar, Reminders, Notes, Contacts, etc, and it is also smart enough to work out which apps to use for different tasks.
It also knows your location, so it can tell when you are at home or at work. This means you can tell it to remind you to do something when you leave work and it will use the GPS to work out when you leave.
Here is a list of some of the most useful things Siri can do:
- Book a meeting or reminder
- Make calls and send texts and emails
- Identify a song (using Shazam) by saying “Shazam this”
- Buy cinema tickets, find out what is on, watch trailers
- Post to Twitter and Facebook
- Get directions by asking where something is
- Find out the latest sports results
- Launch apps
- Find out the weather forecast
- Find contacts
This is just a start, and there are plenty of other things that Siri can help you with. In the future, it will also be able to help out with even more advanced tasks such as controlling your home.
Get More from Siri
These are just a few of the more basic things that you can do using Siri, and most of the time you will have no problems getting Siri to do exactly what you want. However, sometimes you may find that it is not doing something properly or keeps on making mistakes, and this can become frustrating. So how can you get even more from Siri?
One thing to do is to make sure you set up your contacts properly. When using natural voice commands, you will probably want to say things like “Phone my sister” or “Text my dad”. If so, make sure you tell Siri exactly what your most important relationships are. This is easy to do by simply telling Siri “[Name of contact] is my dad”, and it will then remember it. You can also add other labels like your doctor or your accountant so you can contact them in the same way.
If Siri constantly has trouble with the names of certain people, you can add phonetic spellings or even nicknames to make it easier. Simply find the person in Contacts and click on Edit, then click on ‘Add New Field’ where you can add phonetic first and second names.
Another way to make sure you are getting the most out of Siri is to provide it with lots of information when you are carrying out more complex commands. For example, rather than saying “Send an email”, say something like “Send an email to my brother about our holiday next week saying we need to book the hotel”, and Siri can handle the whole thing for you in one go. This makes more complex tasks a lot quicker to sort out.
You can also save time by using Siri to read things for you. For example, say something like “Read my email” and Siri will provide you with a summary of the emails in your inbox.
Finally, it is important to correct Siri when it makes mistakes. It may mishear your commands from time to time, so always check the speech box and make corrections when it gets it wrong. This way it can learn over time and improve the experience for you the more you use it.
Use Siri to Make Your Life Easier
Siri is undoubtedly making progress, and it gets smarter all the time. The first time you use it, you will be amazed by what it can do, and the more you use it, the more you will work out what it is capable of. Many people fail to get the most from Siri because they don’t understand what it is capable of or they become frustrated when it makes mistakes. So keep using it, try it out whenever you want to do something new, explore its features and then you can start using it to save time and become more productive.
About the Author
Harry James is a software professional. He likes to be able to share his views and advice with others online. He has written many useful and interesting articles which can be found across a range of different websites.