Send text mes­sages

Siri’s voice recog­ni­tion works bril­liantly when it comes to dic­ta­tion, and say­ing “Send a text to my mum” works just as well as the blunter “text my wife”. When you’ve fin­ished speak­ing, Siri will ask if you’re ready to send your mes­sage and show what it’

Mac Format - - SECRETS OF SIRI -

in ques­tion, and then give you three pro­nun­ci­a­tion op­tions. Play them all, then choose the one that’s clos­est to re­al­ity to avoid fu­ture blun­ders.

Make Siri pay at­ten­tion to you for longer

Some­times you’ll pause for thought while speak­ing to Siri and the sys­tem will de­cide you’ve fin­ished speak­ing. En­vi­ron­ments with lots of back­ground noise – or mu­sic – can cause sim­i­lar prob­lems. Get round this by hold­ing the Home but­ton down un­til you’ve fin­ished speak­ing, and only then re­lease it. Voila: Siri won’t in­ter­rupt even if you fall silent for a mo­ment.

Never dig through the Set­tings app again

The set­tings app on iOS de­vices has be­come con­vo­luted over the years, but help is at hand. Say you want to change your Instagram set­tings – Siri can take you straight to them. Sim­i­larly, giv­ing com­mands such as “Turn on Do Not Dis­turb” or “Turn on Blue­tooth” of­ten achieves a re­sult faster than is pos­si­ble by hand.

Do some maths

Quick: what’s 20 per­cent of £66? Con­grat­u­la­tions: you’re bet­ter at maths than the MacFor­mat team. For the non-math­e­mat­i­cal, Siri can do sim­ple sums. Ask­ing Siri to work out per­cent­ages is use­ful for fig­ur­ing out tips, or it can be a fast, if faintly os­ten­ta­tious, way of split­ting a restau­rant bill.

Un­leash Siri’s in­ner critic

Siri does a pass­able Barry Nor­man im­pres­sion. Ask it if a film is any good and it will give you its Rot­ten Toma­toes rat­ing, as well as the ver­dicts of a few film crit­ics. It’s best to pro­vide Siri with some con­text so it knows you’re talk­ing about a movie – a ques­tion like “Is the movie Heat any good?” yields bet­ter re­sults than “Is Heat any good?”

Change what Siri calls you

If your first name in your card in the Con­tacts app is just your ini­tials, that’s what Siri will call you. Or, if your full name is Steven, say, but you pre­fer Steve, you might never feel like Siri re­ally cares. Chang­ing the way it ad­dresses you is easy, though: in­struc­tions like “Call me Dave” (and so on) work, but if you’d pre­fer a quick chuckle, ask Siri to call you Sir, Madam or some other grand-sound­ing hon­orific in­stead.

Get used to Siri’s math­e­mat­i­cal com­mands and you won’t need to find your tip cal­cu­la­tor app on the Home screen.

Siri pro­vides di­rect ac­cess to many set­tings, which is use­ful if you’ve dis­abled ac­cess to Con­trol Cen­ter at the Lock screen.

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