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Every iPhone User Needs To Know These Smart Ways To Use Siri

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Every iPhone User Needs To Know These Smart Ways To Use Siri

Siri is an artificial intelligence program built into the iPhone and newer iOS devices. Siri is a powerful time management and productivity tool. Understanding this tool will dramatically improve your daily efficiency and memory.

Getting started with Siri

1. In order to access Siri, your iPhone has to be on but it does not have to be unlocked. Simply hold the “Home Circle” at the bottom of your iPhone for two seconds and you will hear two little delightful beeps. You will see a microphone image appear on the screen and just to the left of the microphone is a tiny question mark inside a circle.

2. Tap the question mark to immediately view examples of the wide variety of tips and time-saving shortcuts included in the current functionality of Siri.

Siri Imge 0.5

    I was unfamiliar with the full functionality of this iPhone feature. Once you hold down the home circle key and you tap on the question mark at the bottom left of the image shown above, your iPhone will walk you through the images shown throughout this article.

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    Siri has thousands of practical uses.

    The following screen shots are from my personal iPhone 5s. Let me give you a guided tour of how I have used Siri in just the last seven days.

    Siri Imge 1

      Send Messages

      The capability to speak a text message via Siri has boosted my efficiency exponentially. No more typing and retyping. Instead I can say:

      • Text John Arnold (if you pause, Siri will politely ask, what would you like to text John Arnold? If you don’t pause, your message just continues): “Will you resend me the link to your last webinar”
      • Text Mom: “Mom I will call you back in 30 minutes”
      • Reply to Teresa Beck: “We will meet you at the restaurant at 12:15”
      • Send a message to Susan: “So proud of Bowen’s three point shot”
      • Text Mary Ann: “Thanks for picking me up at 4:30. Is that 4:30 Central Standard Time or 4:30 MAG time?” (My friend MAG runs 15 minutes late–she functions in her own time zone. MAG’s very last text message to me was “MAG time plus I am running 15 minutes later than that!)

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      Siri Imge 2.0

        Adding and Changing Calendar Events

        This Siri feature is #2 on my iPhone most loved capabilities. The abilities are remarkable. This is just a partial list of how I use the calendaring functionality Siri offers:

        • “Siri, what is on my calendar today?”
        • “Move my 9:30 am meeting to 10 am”
        • “Schedule a call with Michele at 9:30 am today”
        • “Meet with Ellen at noon to discuss new book concept”
        • “Set up a meeting with Bridget in the conference room at 2 pm
        • “Cancel my 2:30 pm appointment”
        • “What is on my calendar for this Friday afternoon?”

        I love being able to tell my phone the time and date of a meeting, event or appointment, and have it instantly put on my calendar. And, if I have an overlapping conflict, Siri will let me know that as well.

        Maps and Navigation

        I am one of those women who understands left and right, but not north, south, east and west. Every few days I push the round home button on my iPhone and say:

        • “How far is it from Jonesboro, Arkansas to Memphis, Tennessee?”
        • “Give me directions to my house”
        • “How far am I from the next turn?
        • “What is my ETA?
        • “What is Abby’s address?”
        • “What are the walking directions to Gina’s Restaurant?”

        Siri Imge 3.0

          Reminders

          Using Siri to set reminders is the feature I use the most. Your short-term memory is like a dry erase white board. Ideas, thoughts and tasks will briefly creep into your conscious awareness, but if you don’t have access to an immediate place to capture that idea, it will be gone forever. The best part of the reminder functionality is that you can request the exact date and time you would like Sire to remind you to complete a task.

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          • “Remind me to pick up the milk at 5:30 pm today”
          • “Remind me to write the budget proposal at 10:00 am tomorrow”
          • “Remind me to take my car into the shop next Thursday at 7:30 am”
          • “Remind me to write James a thank you note”

          Siri Imge 4.0

            Email, Alarms and Other Clock Uses

            Siri is efficient for emailing your friends and asking about specific emails you have received, but I would be careful about sending verbal emails to people you don’t know well. Siri sometimes misinterprets your words. However, I love the alarms and other clock uses. At the touch of a button I can tell Siri:

            • “Wake me up at 7:45 tomorrow morning”
            • “Set alarm to leave for lunch at 11:35 am”
            • “What is the date for next Tuesday?”
            • “Set the timer for 15 minutes” (this is great for baking cookies)

            Siri Imge 5.0

              Web, Notes and Questions

              With the search the web feature and questions you can find out almost anything. Periodically Siri might say, “Hhhmmm, let me check the web for that” or “I am unable to retrieve information at this time”. You might ask:

              • “What is the address of the nearest gas station?”
              • “Who won the baseball world series in 1964?”
              • “What movies are playing at the Malco Theater in Jonesboro, Arkansas?”
              • “Why should I buy a hybrid car?

              Notes allow you to store information that is less time sensitive, but you still want a place to capture that information for retrieval at a later time. You might say:

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              • “Note that Abby wears a size 7 shoe”
              • “Note that Ann’s favorite color is turquoise”
              • “Note that Heather is allergic to shellfish”

              You can even add individual note to a specific note:

              • “Note that we use the 12 oz package of noodles to my grocery note”

              Siri is a powerful time management and productivity tool. Everyone relies on time management and reminder tools to function more efficiently in life.

              With Siri you can begin to rely less on:

              • notepads
              • the back of envelopes
              • sticky notes
              • the palm of your hand
              • paper calendars
              • formal written to-do lists
              • calling your own voice mail
              • emailing yourself
              • even putting rubber bands around your wrists

              Fun Siri facts

              1. Siri is a limited intelligence personal assistant
              2. Siri uses a natural user language interface to answer questions, make recommendations, and perform actions by delegating requests to a set of web services
              3. The name “Siri” is Norwegian, and means “beautiful woman who leads you to victory.” It comes from the intended name for the original developer’s first child.

              More by this author

              Allyson Lewis

              Allyson is a nationally acclaimed author, motivator, speaker, time management, productivity strategist, and executive coach.

              21 Powerful Words That Will Give You Life Motivation 77 Books That Changed My Life and 3 Recommendations to Help You Read More Uncommon Quotes That Can Change Your Life Every iPhone User Needs To Know These Smart Ways To Use Siri How Strategic Thinking Can Boost Your Performance at Work

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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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