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10 Siri Tricks You May Never Know If You Miss This

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10 Siri Tricks You May Never Know If You Miss This

Without a shadow of a doubt, Siri is the iPhone’s best feature. The digital assistant continues to reign supreme in most categories even with increasing competition from Google’s Google Now and Microsoft’s Cortana. It has so many tricks and commands that few people know about all of them off the top of their heads. If you have an iPhone and you’re looking to get a little more out of your Siri experience, here are a bunch of tricks to help you get started!

1. Add phonetic spellings and nicknames to your contacts

Siri tricks - phonetic spelling

    Sometimes Siri stumbles over a name. It happens because not all names are easy to pronounce. If Siri has trouble pronouncing a name, you can actually teach Siri how it’s done. If you go into a contact, hit edit, then scroll to the bottom and click add a new field. There you can find the option to add a phonetic spelling. An example would be if you had someone in your phone book and their name was Wozniak, you would put “Woz-knee-ack” in the field and Siri would learn how to say it. You can also add nicknames so you don’t have to use full names.

    2. Track which airplanes are flying over top of you

    Siri tricks - overhead flights

      Yes, that’s right when you hear an airplane flying over head, you can ask Siri which flight it is and Siri will tell you. This is thanks to Siri having access to the FCC database. This isn’t the most useful feature out there but it’s a fun little trick to try when an airplane is flying over head.

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      3. Fix Siri mistakes

      Siri tricks - Siri corrections

        An interesting Siri feature is the ability to make corrections when Siri doesn’t hear you right. This can work for commands, names, and other things. After giving Siri a command, you may notice that Siri underlines some words in blue. You can tap those and make corrections so that Siri knows what you actually meant. After a while, the corrections add up and gives you a much more functional and comfortable experience with Siri.

        4. Ask Siri how many calories you’re about to consume

        Siri tricks - calorie counting

          Have you ever wanted to calorie count on the fly? Siri can help with that. You can ask Siri how many calories are in your food. For instance you can ask how many calories in a serving of cheesecake or how many calories in a Big Mac. For you calorie counters and health conscious folks out there, this can be a great feature to keep healthy on the fly.

          5. Create your own Evernote integration

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          Siri tricks - Evernote

            If you’re an avid fan of Evernote, you can actually set it up so Siri sends things to your Evernote account. Here’s how you do it. Create a contact for Evernote and for the email you can use your Evernote email address. Then you can have Siri send an email to that address with the details you wish to include. Siri sends the email and it’s automatically added to your Evernote!

            6. See what people are saying on Twitter

            Siri tricks - check Twitter

              Have you ever wanted to see what’s going on with a specific Twitter account? Using the official app, it can take quite a few actions like opening the app, searching the account name, and finally viewing it. Alternatively, you can just ask Siri what an account is saying. Like you can ask, “What is Lifehack saying right now?” Siri will then show you all of our most recent tweets!

              7. Look up color swatches

              Siri tricks - show colors

                This one is a little technical but still a lot of fun. As it turns out Siri and Siri’s Wolfram integration can show you the color of hex values. So you can issue the following command, “Wolfram pound sign E, 1, 4, 5, 4, 1.” Siri will then convert it to RGB values and show you the appropriate color. This can be fun to do if you know the hex values of colors of if you want to see what a hex color looks like.

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                8. Speak symbols and punctuation

                Siri tricks - formatting punctuation symbols

                  Siri understands that you may need to format your text a little bit on your own. You can tell Siri to add brackets, periods, commas, asterisks, or even have Siri type out a text in all caps if you need to do that. This is particularly helpful if you’re trying to ask Siri to solve a math problem and it has things like brackets or parenthesis. Or you can have her send a text in all caps to your boyfriend or girlfriend if you’re in an argument. The possibilities are endless.

                  9. Use multiple search engines

                  Siri tricks - multiple search engines

                    In the rare events that Google just isn’t finding the stuff you’re searching for, you can always try the competition. Instead of using Google, you can ask Siri to search Bing or Yahoo if you prefer. You can also search specific sites like Wikipedia and Wolfram Alpha if you prefer. This can help you find better answers if Google just isn’t cutting it.

                    10. When in doubt, use the power of “i”.

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                    Siri tricks - information button

                      If all else fails you can invoke the information button. You may notice the little “i” button in the search bar. If you press it, there is a huge list of Siri commands and functions to help you find what you’re looking for. It can really help improve your Siri experience once you know the various commands you can do with Siri.

                      Admittedly, it’s getting harder and harder to find Siri tricks that people don’t already know about. However, iOS7.1 is on the horizon and we hear that it will be bring some new stuff to Siri and that is pretty exciting. It’s probably best to find all the best tricks now because you’ll have more to learn about soon!

                      Featured photo credit: Mashable via rack.1.mshcdn.com

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                      Joseph Hindy

                      A writer, editor, and YouTuber who likes to share about technology and lifestyle tips.

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                      Last Updated on November 25, 2021

                      How to Make Private Browsing on Safari Truly Private

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                      How to Make Private Browsing on Safari Truly Private

                      There comes a time when we may be searching online and don’t want the browser to remember our footsteps. The reasons don’t always have to be what we obviously think of as the main reason; for example, sometimes, you may not want Safari to remember your passwords or prompt you to enter your password when surfing the web.

                      Whatever the reason, we may think that we are totally in the clear with Private Browsing on Safari and the other browsers on a Mac. However, a quick Terminal command can bring up every website you’ve visited. How do you do this? Also, how do you clear your tracks for good? We will provide both answers and more today.

                        What Does Private Browsing Do?

                        When activated, Private Browsing on Safari prevents your browsing history from being kept in the history tab of the application. Along with this, it doesn’t autofill information that you have saved in the browser. In this mode, you essentially become incognito and any references of previous use is essentially hidden when you are in private mode.

                        For example: if you are on Facebook or filling out a form and some information or your login is already filled in in the spaces provided, this is called autofill. It’s activated by simply clicking Safari next to the Apple symbol in the menubar and selecting Private Browsing, then clicking “OK” to the prompt.

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                        The reasons behind private mode differ for each individual. While we won’t go into all of those reasons, one thing that is  important to remember is that private browsing doesn’t forget the websites you visit. As we will see later on, Macs keep a second copy of the websites you visit in either mode. If you are in frantic mode looking for a solution to this, look no further.

                        The Terminal Archive

                        While Safari does a good job of keeping your search history out of prying eyes in the history tab, there is a less-than-obvious way to view a full list of visited websites on Mac. This is done in Terminal; the command-line emulator that allows you to make changes to your Mac.

                        Terminal is located in the Utilities folder on your Mac. Once activated, simply add the command:

                        dscacheutil -cachedump -entries Host

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                        Once you hit “enter”, a list of the visited sites appear. Showing only the domains, the sites appear in a format of:

                        Key: h_name :(website domain)ipv4 :1

                        However, there’s no need to fear—there is a way you can clear this information from Terminal with a command that’s just as simple.

                        Clearing Your Tracks

                        Just as simply as you were able to enter the command to view the websites, you can clear the cache that Terminal showed you with the comamnd:

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                        dscacheutil -flushcache

                        As the command denotes, this literally “flushes” the domains from Terminal. This does not prevent the record from continuing to be recorded for future sites, however, so if that’s an issue for you, repeat this process regularly.

                        Other Browsers and Private Browsing

                        Other browsers have this form of privacy mode for their service. They promise many of the same things as Safari, but they do not have the same Terminal issue due to how this command only presents websites visited on Safari (the browser Macs come shipped with).

                        If you use Firefox, you’ll notice that its private mode is also known as Private Browsing. Chrome calls private mode Incognito, while Internet Explorer refers to it as InPrivate Browsing. Opera is the newest to the scene, denoting it as Private Tab. Safari is the oldest well-known browser with this feature.

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                        As you can see, despite Private Browsing not being 100% private, Terminal allows for your browser to be. In what ways has Terminal helped your life or allowed you to become more productive? Let us know in the comments below.

                        Featured photo credit: Benjamin Dada via unsplash.com

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