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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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            Last Updated on December 18, 2020

            Can Technology have Biases Like Humans?

            Can Technology have Biases Like Humans?

            Technology has taken a vantage leap in providing solutions for man. Before now, technology used to appear complex and would require a great deal of expertise to handle solutions available. Today, we have technology applicable in the simplest human activities as smart products with intelligent algorithms powering them as they make error-free judgments and provide intelligent and analytic solutions.

            Does technology have all the answers?

            This article from Credit Suisse, tells us that technology does not have all the answers because it has been found to exhibit “similar biases,” as humans. No one can discredit the impact of technology, but it is not totally free of human input and this is the reason we experience these biases in many areas we have technology holding foot.

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            Creating technological solutions transparently

            This article suggests that the process of creating technological solutions be made transparent and subject to contribution from many people who would end up as users of the product – male, female, young, old, learned, unlearned and all other preferences as we have them. It also underscores the importance of having women on product development teams. This approach is not sure to eliminate all forms of bias, but it is a good way to start in order to appraise the full benefits of technology.

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            Technology as the connecting tool

            Technology so far has been a major connecting tool amongst us humans. It is used and appreciated by all regardless of race, language and sex. In order to keep it less subjective to these arguments about human biases. I believe we should gather opinions on products and solutions before making them available to the public. This could be done by gathering input from intended target users and receiving feedback across the stages of production.

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            “Recognizing the problem is a start…success will depend on inclusive technologies that meet this vast untapped market.” This cannot be more apt especially at a time when we look up to technology for solutions. We should not muzzle our progress with technology by battling algorithm bias. The first way to avoid this battle is by reading this article here.

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