Is Siri Your Friend? Top 11 tricks to make your life less miserable!

Updated: Sep 3, 2017



Is Siri Your Friend? Top 10 tricks to make your life less miserable!

If you are an Apple User then meet your new best friend! Let’s get you acquainted all over again!

Siri - male or female voice, you can get fancy British or Australian Accent to spice up your relationship here. Well, there is way more to Siri, than meets the eye!


1. Siri has to become your habit, like a morning coffee!

Keep in mind - Siri works not just on iPhone but also on Mac

Besides playing funny word games with Siri and getting silly answers back, train yourself and Siri to work hand-in-hand together. It’ll take about one week to get used to each other habits and patterns. Are you driving? Tell Siri “text my boyfriend” or “text my Boss” instead of jeopardizing your own safety! Instead of stopping along the road, opening the App, finding the contact and assembling the message just tell Siri what needs to be texted and it will take you a fraction of time!. Just keep your eyes on the road!

Siri is good not just for texting. Keep on reading to find out more!


2. Allow “Hey Siri” command

Go to Settings > General > scroll a bit down and click on Siri. there are few options for you to activate. Firstly make sure the green button next to command “Access When Locked” is on. Secondly - allow “Hey Siri” No worries, Siri won’t think you are good. Actually, that’s how you communicate with Siri hands-free. There used to be a command “Raise Up To Speak” which had been replaced with “HEY SIRI”. So you are in the clear. Now you can tell Siri what to do


3. Get your contacts ready

Make sure to tell Siri about all your most important relationships. You can do this manually in Contacts by selecting your own contact information and filling in the slots for “wife,” “daughter,” and so on. A quicker method is to tell Siri directly: "Joe Bob is my brother.” Just make sure the name is already in your contacts. Say “Yes” when Siri asks you to confirm. This is a great and natural way to contact people: “Call my boss” or “text my assistant I’ll be 20 minutes late.” You can even add custom labels like “accountant” or “lawyer.”

4. Add phonetic spelling to difficult names

Siri stumbled over few of my friends' names until I added a phonetic spelling to their contact card. In Contacts, find the person with the troublesome name. Hit “Edit” and scroll down to the bottom. Hit the button that says "Add New Field” and select "Phonetic First Name" or "Phonetic Last Name," depending on which one Siri won't recognize. Now when you ask Siri to say or recognize a name, she'll get it right. You can even do this for place names, like favorite restaurants or places with hard-to-recognize names. Palace of “Ver-Sigh,” for example.

Another useful trick is to add nicknames to contacts. Using a nickname to call someone or send a text is a great, natural way to do things. Again, find the contact, hit “Edit” and “Add New Field” and select “Nickname.”


5. Calendar

Siri is good to manage your calendar, and that definitely can be a big productivity boost. Adding new events, for example, can be a lot easier with Siri than any other method, including typing on your computer. The main trick is to include as much information as possible in the command. A rookie mistake is to say, “Schedule a meeting for tomorrow,” to which Siri responds with a query about what time? Better to say "Schedule a meeting with John Smith tomorrow at 11 a.m." If John Smith is in your contacts, he will even receive an email invitation.

Siri is pretty smart. If you make a mistake, you can easily fix things by saying "change the time" or simply “cancel.” If there is ambiguity, Siri will ask questions to clarify the time or location. If there are conflicts with events already on your calendar and can respond intelligently if you say “Cancel the 3 p.m. appointment” or “Reschedule my meeting on Tuesday.”

Siri is good for searching your calendar or changing specific events. If you ask “What appointments do I have tomorrow?” as well as “Cancel my doctor’s appointment on Wednesday,” then you will get your answers

I’ll post an article about how to create and use multiple Google Calendars next week, and that link will be updated here


6. Texting with Siri

I use Siri a lot for sending texts, my preferred way to communicate these days. Just say, “Tell John Smith I’ll be 10 minutes late,” or “Text my boyfriend that I’ve arrived safely.” The keywords are “Tell” and “Text,” which alerts Siri to send an SMS message. In the car, you can ask Siri to read arriving texts out loud, and then respond: “Reply that I will be there shortly,” all without taking your eyes off the road. Aren't you loving it?


7. It’s getting better - Emails

Using Siri for email is a bit more involved than sending just texts, but again it’s useful for situations like driving. Siri understands “Check Email” and will respond with a list all of your latest messages. You can respond by saying “Reply to <Name> saying <Message>.” You can even email multiple recipients.

When using Siri to send an email, the important keywords to use are: “send”, “about” and “say.” This way you can rattle off the recipient, subject line and message body in one go: Send an email to <name> about <subject> and say <message body>. So, to send an email addressed to “John Smith” with the subject of “Big Bear” and the body message of “You up for a trip to the Big Bear and say You up for a trip to the mountains this weekend?"

Siri will confirm if the message is ready to go, and you simply respond “Yes” or tap the “Send” command on screen.

Siri can be quite a mouthful, but it is considerably faster than the laborious question and answer method of using Siri with a standard “Send email” command.


8. Location-Aware Reminders

To-do lists never work for me because I always forget to check them. Not so with a reminder that pops up at a particular location. It’s very easy to tell Siri: “Remind me to get cake when I leave.” And when I step out of the door, the reminder pops up. There’s no need to tell Siri my location thanks to GPS.   

There are lots of situations you can use location-aware reminders: “Remind me to feed the cats when I get home,” or “Remind me to say happy birthday to my boss when I get to work.”

I find it useful for errands: “Get chai tea at Coffee Bean” (my favorite local coffee shop) or “fill my gas tank at Shell in the morning” Then when I pass the Shell Gas station on the way to work, a reminder pops up. Of course, you have to put the addresses of the coffee shop and gas station into your contacts and turn on Location Services in Settings > Privacy Location Services.

To add addresses to your contact book, say “Find TJMaxx,” then hit the red pin in the map and select the “Create New Contact” button to add it to your contacts.


9. Setting up your timer and alarm

Are you in a hurry doing your chores and don't want to miss the beginning of your favorite TV show, or you are afraid to overcook dinner while you are straightening the house (whatever other chores you may undertake) - just say "Siri, set times to 5 pm," or "Siri, wake me up at 7:30 in the morning" Trust me, next thing you will hear will be Siri, saying something like "OK, your times is set for..." and be sure, Siri will wake you up on time.


10. Information Button

When Siri is invoked, there’s a small “?” icon (for “Information”) in the bottom left corner of the screen. It’s very easy to overlook, but tap it and you’ll discover a big and useful library of tips for using Siri. They are arranged by App or task: Phone, Messages, Calendar, Restaurants, Movies, Notes, and Settings. It’s well worth spending some quality time here, familiarizing yourself with features like finding the easiest way to get a trivia answer—simply by saying, “Google Abraham Lincoln” and you get your answers in a few seconds


11. Train together with Siri and fix mistakes

Perseverance is one of the keys to getting Siri to work over the long haul. Apple claims that Siri gets better the more you use her. She does this by listening for your dialect or accent and categorizing you against all the accents she understands. The more people use it, the more accents she understands and the better she is able to understand you, the individual. Or so Apple claims.


When Siri can’t understand something then the word will be typed with a red underline for you to seek other options. The more your correct Siri, the better you will be understood with few extra try. Don’t give up. Siri is the best thing that happened to you, if you are an iPhone user.

I’m an Apple person. iPhone and Mac are intertwined and integrated into a lot of different and useful ways. I’m going to do some research and most likely just curate an article on Android and Cortana features for those of my readers who are not the Team-iPhone, and I just told Siri to put this task on my To-Do-List.

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