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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

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                      Joseph Hindy

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

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                      Published on November 19, 2020

                      15 Great Macbook Accessories To Improve Productivity

                      15 Great Macbook Accessories To Improve Productivity

                      When looking to improve your workflow, you need to have a proper computer. And one of the most appealing computers out there is macbooks. These sleek transportable computers allow you to work anywhere at any time and provide a lot of functionality to their users.

                      But sometimes, that’s not enough. In so many cases, you’re looking for more.

                      While you could go for some productivity apps, there are actually a lot of macbook accessories available that will make your life easier in many ways. These extra accessories will allow your macbook to charge faster, hold more data, or keep it safe and protected while you travel around.

                      Beyond that, there is a wide variety of accessories to pick from as many companies have jumped onto the bandwagon of supply to macbook users. Below we’ve listed off some of the greatest macbook accessories that’ll benefit your computer.

                      What Makes For Great Macbook Accessories?

                      Before getting into the list, we wanted to go over the criteria for what makes for great macbook accessories. The items that we’ve picked from this list will have the following criteria:

                      • Reasonably priced – Accessories themselves shouldn’t break the bank compared to the large initial investment of a macbook.
                      • Usability – All these accessories are practical in various situations, however, they also have extra features that make them useful in a few situations beyond their obvious functions.
                      • Compact – Workflow is also about space in most circumstances. As such, anything that’s too bulky doesn’t help much. These accessories are either large on purpose – for storage of other items – or are nice and compact so they won’t get in the way.

                      A USB Drive To Store Files Quickly Without Accessing The Cloud

                        While you can always access the Cloud at any time, sometimes accessibility can be cumbersome or it takes time. Instead of trying to access files that way, getting a USB flash drive can save you plenty of time. Especially if your work entails providing presentations.

                        The SanDisk Ultra Dual Drive is great as it offers USB-C and USB-A connectors allowing you to plug into virtually any device and transfer files and more between computers. Also, USB drives boast several hundred gigabytes these days making them solid storage devices.

                        Buy SanDisk Ultra Dual Drive here.

                        Compact Charger That Does More Than Charge

                          Your default charger that comes with your MacBook is a good option for a charger, but these days chargers can offer so much more. This can help you speed up your workflow as you can be charging other devices or using the charger for other uses beyond charging.

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                          In the case of the Anker PowerPort charger, it is more compact than the default charger. It also offers another USB-C connector allowing you to rapidly charge another gadget with it.

                          Buy Anker PowerPort charger here.

                          Port Adapter For Those With Multiple Devices

                            One of the hard restrictions with a macbook is that it only has two USB-C ports. This is manageable for people with fewer gadgets but if you’re the kind who has several, it can interrupt your workflow if you need a particular device and you can’t charge it or access it.

                            In this situation, a port adapter from Satechi can help. It offers multiple USB-C ports allowing you to use multiple devices. This can also help in organizing cords which we know can disrupt work. If the USB-C ports aren’t enough, it also comes with an SD card reader and ethernet cable port too.

                            Buy Satechi Multi-Port Adapter here.

                            A USB Cable That Isn’t As Intrusive Or Cumbersome To Use

                            The USB-C cable that comes with Macbooks is small and is used to hook to an external monitor. By adding more length to them, you can have better cable management. One option that we found to be ideal was the Nomad Kevlar cable which offers enough length to do what you want while giving you more space to work with.

                            Buy Nomad Kevlar USB-C Cable here.

                            Screen Cleaning Your Laptop To See What You’re Doing

                            Dust, particles and splotches are to be expected on laptop screens after a while. While you can work around these, sometimes they can obscure your vision at times. The same can apply to all devices these days.

                            The only problem with many solutions on the market is that they can damage screens. Fortunately, we found a screen cleaning solution that doesn’t harm screens. ScreenDr Professional screen cleaning kit comes with a spray that’s safe for screens and an antimicrobial microfiber cloth to ensure you make the most of the spray.

                            Buy ScreenDr Professional Screen Cleaning Kit here.

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                            Card Reader That Speeds Up Photo Transfer Time

                              If you’re looking for a standalone card reader for your work, getting a device designed for photo transferring and reading is essential. One of the best macbook accessories in this category we found was the Vanja card reader.

                              This one is able to read SD and MicroSD cards while also transferring the pictures to a computer with ease thanks to its USB-C and USB 2.0 port options. It’s also small making it easy to carry around and is cheap to buy making it a great choice to pick up if you deal with plenty of pictures.

                              Buy Vanja Card Reader here.

                              Protective Sleeves To Protect Your Laptop From Harm

                              For those who are travelling the last thing that you want is your laptop to get damaged for whatever reason. Even though you’re not likely to drop it as frequently as your phone, having a sleeve for a laptop to be in can save you time.

                              One sleeve that we found interesting was the Native Union sleeves. They are made of tear-resistant material with genuine leather accents. Its interior is soft as well preventing scratches from your laptop. It also offers a pocket area where you can store cables and other macbook accessories easily.

                              Buy Native Union’s laptop sleeve here.

                              Car Charger For Charging On The Go

                                For the person always driving around, a car charger is always a helpful tool to have when you’re on the go. The one from Anker is particularly helpful in a number of ways. Not only can this charge your macbook, but it also has an additional port for you to charge your phone if needed.

                                It’s not the fastest charger out there when compared to the Macbook Pro adapter but it’s the highest in the market with an output power of 30 watts. For comparison, the second-fastest charging connector offers an output of 18 watts. Aside from that the charger has an illuminated LED ring for you to see it and the connectors late at night. It also has a function that ensures devices don’t experience surges or overheating from the charger itself.

                                Buy Anker PowerDrive car charger here.

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                                USB-C to USB-A Adapter Grants Access To Older Models

                                If your older macbook still works but has files you want that you didn’t back up that you want this makes it easier to access them. It also allows you to access devices that have USB-A slots only. This can save you a lot of time if you are moving between older and newer devices.

                                Buy Thunderbolt Adapter here.

                                A Hardshell Case For Added Protection

                                A sleeve is good for travel, but when you’re using it, having an extra layer of protection can be nice. Beyond that this hardshell case can also serve as additional protection from scratches and bumps too.

                                Buy Incase Textured Hardshell case here.

                                Alternative Sleeve For Those With Tighter Budgets But Want Protection

                                  If you are looking for an appropriate laptop sleeve but aren’t looking to spend too much, AmazonBasics brands are a good alternative. Their sleeves are elegant and still offer good protection from scratches as well. It also has a few pockets for small essentials too.

                                  Buy AmazonBasics laptop sleeve here.

                                  A Hub That Accommodates Several Ports At Once

                                  We’ve already mentioned a port before being a huge time saver thanks to it having various ports for different devices. This one is a great alternative as while it doesn’t offer as many USB-C ports, it offers more variety. Paired up with the design being the same color as the MacBook Air, it offers two USB-C connectors, two USB 3.0 ports, an HDMI port and SD and microSD card readers.

                                  Buy Satechi Type C Pro Hub here.

                                  Earbuds To Deal With Fewer Headphone Cords

                                    Cords are a common problem when boosting productivity at the desk and one way to mitigate them is to go wireless. If you are thinking about that, one option to consider is the Soundcore earbuds. These are cheaper than the traditional AirPods from Apple which can save you money.

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                                    Furthermore, they deliver great sound and are connected via Bluetooth. The beauty of these earbuds is they can also cancel sound despite them being so compact. They also offer touch control allowing you to pause, play, skip music and answer calls.

                                    Buy Soundcore Wireless Earphones here.

                                    Desktop Stand To Save Desk Space

                                      Desk space is another crucial part of productivity as things can get in the way and obstruct your work. In cases where you don’t need your laptop at the moment, having a stand where you can set it aside can be helpful.

                                      In those situations, we recommend the Twelve South Book Arc. This neat Macbook accessor can save a tonne of space since it requires you to close your laptop in order to insert it into the stand. It also keeps it elevated from the surface which can protect it from spills

                                      Buy Twelve South BookArc desktop stand here.

                                      A Comfortable And Easy To Use Mouse For Faster Working Speed

                                      The last of the macbook accessories we’ll talk about is a proper mouse. Logitech offers fantastic mouses and their Logitech MX Master 3 is one of the greatest wireless mouses out there. It’s ergonomic design, customizable buttons and insanely precise movement is fantastic. It also comes with a scrolling wheel for precise scrolling.

                                      The battery power can last for months between charges and like all Logitech devices, it comes with a USB-C connector for charging.

                                      Buy Logitech MX Master 3 Wireless Mouse here.

                                      Bottom Line

                                      There are many macbook accessories out there to improve your workflow. Taking the time to do research and invest in some of the best ones though will save you plenty of time, money and energy in the long term. At the same time, all of these accessories can help you with specific needs for whatever you are doing.

                                      Featured photo credit: Viktor Ritsvall via unsplash.com

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