Monday Morsel - Siri (Part 1 of 3)

Talk Siri to me

Since Siri was introduced in October 2011, the app’s communication style has proven frustrating for many people. Maybe you’ve tried to use Siri speaking in a normal voice at a normal pace and had a frustrating experience. Or maybe you’ve given up on Siri’s functionality and see it as just a novelty.

Just like a person, Siri has its own communication style. Beyond enunciating proper names and phrasing commands in certain ways, following a few basic tips when talking to Siri can result in a completely different experience. In today’s Monday Morsel, let’s focus five tips for how to talk to Siri so you can unlock Siri’s usefulness.

First of all, to invoke Siri, simply press and hold the "home" button on the iPhone or iPad until you hear the two-tone chime. The tone indicates that Siri is waiting for your instructions. Let's get started!

Be specific

General instructions can be confusing. Go to the corner and turn. Which corner? Turn which direction? The same is true with Siri. If you give general instructions, it can get confused. Be specific in your instructions. Instead of saying, “Launch iTunes,” give a command, “Play playlist: Oogie Brown.”

Make sure you have a strong connection

Siri sends commands through a remote server in order to process your speech. To ensure the best results, check how many bars of cellular or Wi-Fi service you have. A strong connection on your phone – either Wi-Fi or cellular – makes a difference.

Give the full command all at once

When you give Siri a command, give the complete instructions all at once. Don’t worry about it being a run-on sentence. The complete details are what Siri needs. Instead of saying, "Delete the reminder,” give Siri the details, “Delete the reminder to go to Best Buy.”

Speak full names clearly

Using full names will help Siri choose the correct person. If Siri doesn't understand a proper name the first time you say it, the program will usually list options from your Contacts. When you choose the intended person, Siri makes an association – essentially learning how you pronounce names. After you say the same name several times and always pick the same corresponding option, Siri will be able to choose the correct person right away.

Add relationships

The Siri commercials feature people asking an iPhone respond to relationship words like “wife,” “dad,” and “daughter.” This works, but only after you give Siri the information needed to establish those relationships. You can do this by adding that information in Contacts or by teaching Siri those relationships. Give Siri a command once with the term, such as, "Call my brother." Siri should then ask you who is your brother, and you'll be able to save that information in your Contacts. From then on, Siri will know the relationship and respond to commands that reference it.

These may seem like basic tips, but they are the building blocks for Siri. I hope you have a great week, and that you spend some time talking to Siri. If you need assistance, give me a call.