in iOS

How I use Siri

Siri was the highlight feature for the launch of the iPhone 4S. Some have even speculated that the “S” in it was referring to Apple’s personal assistant. After the launch of Siri, which was launched as a “beta” product, many were intrigued of the potential and ease of use that came from a digital assistant. However, after talking to many of my iPhone toting friends and connections, I realized many of them don’t use Siri very much. I, on the other hand, can’t live without it.

I didn’t get my hands on Siri until I got my iPhone 5 in October 2012. The first thing I did that night I brought my 5 home was ask Siri random questions. I spent all evening chuckling at some of her answers and amazed at some of her power. In real-life however, I didn’t use her very much, in fact, I flat out ignored her. One day, I noticed this oversight so I decided to make a strong effort to use her as much as I could. After a few weeks of doing this, Siri has become indispensable to me and I depend on her daily.

Here’s a basic view of how I use Siri throughout my day:

  • When I wake up in the morning, I always ask Siri what my calendar looks like. I don’t have to unlock my phone, swipe and open my calendar app. Siri will tell me what my day looks like while I’m brushing my teeth.
  • I usually keep a close eye on my Yankees, but when I miss a game, I ask Siri for last night’s score and the standings to see how my Yankees are doing. I do the same for the NBA, especially since the Knicks are finally a good team.
  • I love Yahoo’s weather app, and most days I check it to see what nature throws our way. However, when my hands are busy, I ask Siri and she will quickly tell me if I need an umbrella to brave the elements.
  • Whenever I am driving and need directions, I ask Siri (Yes, I use Apple’s Map app and it’s served me well). I really enjoy when I am returning home from a trip, I just activate Siri and say, “take me home” and she maps my route home immediately. I depend on this all the time!
  • I use Things as my task management app. Whenever an email, communication or idea pops up in my head, I assign it as a task with Siri through the Reminders app. I don’t use Reminders, but Things uses Reminders to send tasks to my Things inbox. Productivity FTW!
  • When I’m driving and someone sends me a text message, I always ask Siri to read it back to me. If I can reply with a brief message, I try not to reply often (because I’m driving), but I do reply with a simple, “I’ll get back to you, I’m driving” message.
  • My kids will sometimes ask me random questions and though I consider myself a fairly intelligent human being , they like to challenge my answers. One day, my daughter asked me what the largest desert was. I was pretty certain it was the Sahara, she said it was Antarctica (pfft, yeah, right, sand vs ice… hello?). When we asked Siri, she replied with Antarctic desert as the answer. Shame on Siri for embarrassing me in front of the children!
  • Anytime I need to do simple math or convert measures, I depend on Siri to give me the answer. I often ask, “what’s 20% of 89” and she responds with the answer.

Siri can do a lot more, but I think you get the idea. Though Siri is still in beta as of today, I’ve noticed some improvements and the more you use her, the more she understands you. She’s not always perfect (she’s not very good with dictation) but she’s very good.

If you don’t use Siri much (many people forget she’s even there), why don’t you give it a try. You may be surprised.

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