You cannot be Sirious……………
This week I became the proud owner of an iPhone 4S – not, I hasten to add, out of any Apple fanboyness, more as my old iPhone 3 was looking a bit tatty. So I’m not too bothered that it looks the same as an iPhone 4 (what were people expecting it to look like – a blancmange?). However the similarity does leave those that have shelled out for it with a major problem – how do they tell the world they’ve got the latest and greatest gadget when it isn’t immediately obvious?
What I’ve been having most fun with is Siri, the voice activated personal assistant that is supposed to revolutionise your life. Bizarrely while Siri is a woman in the US, s/he is a man in the UK, sounding like a smoother version of Stephen Hawking. From playing around I’ve found a few interesting things you can do with it/him/her.
1 Making appointments
It really is simple to make an appointment using Siri. Just give the details and it automatically creates the meeting in your iPhone calendar. Provided you’ve synced it to your master calendar, it simply slots in automatically.
2 Play music
If you get a sudden yen to play a particular track, Siri can help. Provided you’re not asking for anything to complicated, like Mozart’s third flute concerto, and can remember the name of the song.
3 Find people’s addresses
Handy if they are in your address book, though Siri doesn’t work on finding businesses outside the US which is a bit limiting. I don’t want to be told about a restaurant in Cambridge, Massachusetts when I’m in Cambridge, UK.
4 Do your dirty work for you
Why tell your partner/friends what to do when Siri can do it for you? Provided they’re in your address book it will text them with your thoughts. I wait to hear about the first relationship breakup message sent by Siri (I can see the Daily Mail headlines now). Just make sure you pronounce the name clearly and don’t send a message to your mother in law that was meant for your wife………
5 Amuse the children (of all ages)
Probably the best use of Siri is amusing children by getting them to try and talk to it. My eight year old son laughed so much after having a conversation with Siri he was physically sick. And let’s face it, voice activated control is the future, so it is really educational.
There have already been a few integrations of Siri with third party software, and hopefully Apple will open up the API in the future, which is when Siri (and software like it) will become really useful. In the meantime it provides hours of fun for the forthcoming half term holidays……….
- Siri integrates with iOS phonetic name records to speak contacts correctly (applescoop2.wordpress.com)
- Editorial: Is Siri Useful? (Video) (pocketnow.com)
- Apple Begins Pimping Siri In First iPhone 4S TV Ad (iphonesavior.com)
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