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15 Awesome Things You Didn’t Know Siri Can Do For You

15 Awesome Things You Didn’t Know Siri Can Do For You

In the world today, our portable devices are increasingly sophisticated. Among the more impressive current features is voice command technology. iPhone users are likely familiar with Siri, the Apple voice command platform, but many remain oblivious to some of Siri’s best features. Luckily, all it takes are a few key phrases to master the incredible things Siri can do for you.

Raise To Speak

Typically, a user activates Siri by pressing and holding the Home button on the iPhone. If you’re a fan of simplicity, you can toggle a feature called “Raise to Speak”. Visit Settings>General Settings>Siri, then slide the Raise to Speak button to the on position. Instead of bothering with the button, you can now put your iPhone to your ear and Siri is automatically activated. If your phone is locked, you need to hit the button once to wake up the screen so Raise to Speak will work. Additionally, this feature is deactivated when you’re in a call.

Post To Twitter Or Facebook

Another great thing Siri can do for you is post to social media accounts. Make your day easier by simply saying “Post to [Twitter or Facebook]. Siri then asks what you’d like to say. Dictate your post, then send when Siri confirms your message. Keeping in touch has never been easier, but so far, Siri only recognizes commands for Twitter and Facebook.

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    Search For Tweets

    In addition to tweeting for you, Siri can search Twitter too. Simply ask “Search Twitter for [subject or person]”. Siri immediately responds with a list of relevant tweets, from users across the site. Another trick Siri can do to make your day more efficient.

    Change It

    Sometimes Siri can misunderstand you, especially when dictating long messages. Should Siri read back your message and the wording is wrong, just say “Change it”. Siri will immediately go back to the previous prompt so you can reenter your message. This is a helpful thing Siri can do for you, eliminating the need to edit a message by turning Siri off, then asking to email or text the contact again.

    Siri Can Do Math

    Not only can Siri solve quick math questions, Siri is surprisingly effective with complex problems as well. Ask Siri to solve problems by saying “What is [math question]”. You can also use this feature to help calculate a tip in no time at all. Not only will Siri tell you how much to tip, but also the total cost of your bill with the tip added. Lastly, Siri can do quick decisions on the go. Simply ask Siri to roll a dice or flip a coin for an instant result.

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      Save Directly to Evernote

      If you’re an Evernote user, you can save new Evernote documents without even unlocking your phone. Simply add your unique Evernote mail-to address into your contacts (found in your Evernote account details). Next time you’re hands are busy and you need to remember something, ask Siri to send an email to Evernote (or whatever you named the contact). Dictate your email then send, and your details are instantly saved as a new document on your Evernote account.

      Location Based Reminders

      Sure Siri can set alarms and reminders, but did you know that Siri can set reminders based on where you are? One of the cooler things Siri can do for you, location based reminders mean you’re never too busy to stay on task. First, make sure Location Services are enabled for Reminders under Settings>Privacy>Location Services. Then, add the locations you need to your contacts. Tell Siri “[Contact] is my home”. Repeat for work, school or any other frequent location. Now Siri can do reminders for when you leave or arrive somewhere. For example, tell Siri “Remind me to call John when I leave work” to have the reminder go off when you’re done with your day.

      Convert Measurements

      Similar to Siri’s math abilities, Siri can be an effective unit converter. Ask Siri any unit amount and the unit you’d like to convert it to for a quick solution. Not only will Siri give you the result of your conversion, but a short list of additional conversions as well. Having Siri do your conversions is much faster than looking up units the conventional way, plus gives you related information you may need anyways.

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        Remember Relationships

        If you’re tired of dictating a contact’s full name every time you want to message or call them, Siri can remember who they are by relationships. Under Settings>General Settings>Siri, make sure you’re own contact information is entered. Then, activate Siri and say the name you’d like to connect a relationship to. For example “Pete Morris is my dad”, or “Jane Sommers is my boss”. Siri will ask you if you want the relationship saved – select yes. In the future, you can ask Siri to contact your wife, mother, friend or boss without using their name.

        Pronounce Names Correctly

        One of Siri’s other features is learning how to say a name. If Siri butchers a friends name, or chronically can’t find a contact when your pronunciation differs from the system’s, don’t panic. Decide which contact you would like to change the pronunciation of, then ask Siri for their phone number. When Siri replies with the contact’s number, simple say “That’s not how you pronounce [name]”. Siri will then give a few pronunciation options, and you can choose which one to use in the future.

        Search Emails

        Another great thing Siri can do for you is save time when looking for an email or note. For example, ask Siri to “Find email with my new schedule”, or “Find email with Friday’s Documents in the subject line”. You can also use this command to have Siri find emails from certain contacts, or search your notes.

        Check Dates

        Along with a math and conversion whiz, Siri is a master of dates and holidays. Ask Siri when a holiday happens for a quick answer that includes the day of the week. You can also ask how many days until a certain date, if you don’t like counting on your fingers.

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          Make Reservations

          Siri uses Yelp when you ask for details for a certain restaurant, but is also capable of connecting to OpenTable. This is a huge advantage, because OpenTable allows you to book reservations directly. Tell Siri to make a reservation at your preferred restaurant to easily access OpenTable. For example, say “Make a reservation for tonight at 8pm at Vic’s” to hear what’s available on the restaurants OpenTable page. Siri uses your location to help determine which restaurant you’re looking for, so mention the city if the restaurant you need a reservation with is not nearby.

          Easily Access Settings

          Tired of thumbing through your seemingly endless settings panel? Siri can do better. To save time, simply ask Siri to open specific settings. Siri can open the vast majority of your settings options with simple commands. For example, you can say “Open wallpapers and brightness”, or “Open mail settings”. Similarly, ask Siri to open an application, and your phone immediately switches to that screen.

          Find Airplanes Above You

          You can easily check the status of a flight by asking Siri and including the flight number. However, another fun thing Siri can do is give information on planes above you right now. An especially fun activity with kids, simply ask what flights are above you right now to see a complete list of visible planes. Siri gives the flight numbers as well, if you’d like to find out where these flights are headed.

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            Featured photo credit: Kārlis Dambrāns via flickr.com

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            Alicia Prince

            A writer, filmmaker, and artist who shares about lifestyle tips and inspirations on Lifehack.

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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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