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10 Siri Tricks You May Never Know If You Miss This

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

                      More by this author

                      Joseph Hindy

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

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                      Last Updated on February 15, 2019

                      7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

                      7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

                      Now that 2011 is well underway and most people have fallen off the bandwagon when it comes to their New Year’s resolutions (myself included), it’s a good time to step back and take an honest look at our habits and the goals that we want to achieve.

                      Something that I have learned over the past few years is that if you track something, be it your eating habits, exercise, writing time, work time, etc. you become aware of the reality of the situation. This is why most diet gurus tell you to track what you eat for a week so you have an awareness of the of how you really eat before you start your diet and exercise regimen.

                      Tracking daily habits and progress towards goals is another way to see reality and create a way for you clearly review what you have accomplished over a set period of time. Tracking helps motivate you too; if I can make a change in my life and do it once a day for a period of time it makes me more apt to keep doing it.

                      So, if you have some goals and habits in mind that need tracked, all you need is a tracking tool. Today we’ll look at 7 different tools to help you keep track of your habits and goals.

                      Joe’s Goals

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                        Joe’s Goals is a web-based tool that allows users to track their habits and goals in an easy to use interface. Users can add as many goals/habits as they want and also check multiple times per day for those “extra productive days”. Something that is unique about Joe’s Goals is the way that you can keep track of negative habits such as eating out, smoking, etc. This can help you visualize the good things that you are doing as well as the negative things that you are doing in your life.

                        Joe’s Goals is free with a subscription version giving you no ads and the “latest version” for $12 a year.

                        Daytum

                          Daytum

                          is an in depth way of counting things that you do during the day and then presenting them to you in many different reports and groups. With Daytum you can add several different items to different custom categories such as work, school, home, etc. to keep track of your habits in each focus area of your life.

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                          Daytum is extremely in depth and there are a ton of settings for users to tweak. There is a free version that is pretty standard, but if you want more features and unlimited items and categories you’ll need Daytum Plus which is $4 a month.

                          Excel or Numbers

                            If you are the spreadsheet number cruncher type and the thought of using someone else’s idea of how you should track your habits turns you off, then creating your own Excel/Numbers/Google spreadsheet is the way to go. Not only do you have pretty much limitless ways to view, enter, and manipulate your goal and habit data, but you have complete control over your stuff and can make it private.

                            What’s nice about spreadsheets is you can create reports and can customize your views in any way you see fit. Also, by using Dropbox, you can keep your tracker sheets anywhere you have a connection.

                            Evernote

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                              I must admit, I am an Evernote junky, mostly because this tool is so ubiquitous. There are several ways you can implement habit/goal tracking with Evernote. You won’t be able to get nifty reports and graphs and such, but you will be able to access your goal tracking anywhere your are, be it iPhone, Android, Mac, PC, or web. With Evernote you pretty much have no excuse for not entering your daily habit and goal information as it is available anywhere.

                              Evernote is free with a premium version available.

                              Access or Bento

                                If you like the idea of creating your own tracker via Excel or Numbers, you may be compelled to get even more creative with database tools like Access for Windows or Bento for Mac. These tools allow you to set up relational databases and even give you the option of setting up custom interfaces to interact with your data. Access is pretty powerful for personal database applications, and using it with other MS products, you can come up with some pretty awesome, in depth analysis and tracking of your habits and goals.

                                Bento is extremely powerful and user friendly. Also with Bento you can get the iPhone and iPad app to keep your data anywhere you go.

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                                You can check out Access and the Office Suite here and Bento here.

                                Analog Bonus: Pen and Paper

                                All these digital tools are pretty nifty and have all sorts of bells and whistles, but there are some people out there that still swear by a notebook and pen. Just like using spreadsheets or personal databases, pen and paper gives you ultimate freedom and control when it comes to your set up. It also doesn’t lock you into anyone else’s idea of just how you should track your habits.

                                Conclusion

                                I can’t necessarily recommend which tool is the best for tracking your personal habits and goals, as all of them have their quirks. What I can do however (yes, it’s a bit of a cop-out) is tell you that the tool to use is whatever works best for you. I personally keep track of my daily habits and personal goals with a combo Evernote for input and then a Google spreadsheet for long-term tracking.

                                What this all comes down to is not how or what tool you use, but finding what you are comfortable with and then getting busy with creating lasting habits and accomplishing short- and long-term goals.

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