Since updating to the iPhone 4S, Siri has become my new best friend. The ability to send commands to Siri has reduced a number of more pesky tasks that I used to perform by hand. I especially like the location-aware features of Siri, because I probably use Siri more in my car than anywhere else.
I recently covered a few Siri tips in this recent iOS article. In this post, I will focus on a few location aware tips for Siri, as well as a tip on not getting tongue-tied when talking to the mobile personal assistant.
You probably already know that you can ask Siri to find the nearest gas station or hamburger joint near your current location, and within a few seconds it will deliver up a list of recommendations with addresses.
But another awesome feature of Siri is how it can get your current location and perform actions based on it. For example, for a few days I had Siri remind me to leave my earphones in my car when I arrived home, otherwise I would take them in the house and end up leaving them on my next trip out.
Sending this reminder to Siri was easy. I simply told it: “Remind me to leave earphones in the car when I arrive home.” Siri of course uses my home address in my iPhone address book to identify that location. It adds the reminder to the Reminders app, which now gets used a lot more since I upgraded to the iPhone 4S.
Get My Current Location
With this location aware feature, you can set up other locations for Siri commands. Do a search and add locations that you regularly visit (e.g. stores, job, school, mall, etc). Or when you’re at a specific location, you might also try sending this command to Siri: “Get my current location.” If you get the results you want, save the information that appears on the map to your contact list.
With specific locations in your Contact list, you can send reminders, such as “Remind me to get milk after I leave California Montessari.” Or, “Remind me to buy a clipboard when I arrive at Staples.” The key to using location reminders with Siri is to use “after I leave” or “when I arrive.” If the specific destination is listed in your Contacts list with an address that Siri recognizes, it will create an appropriate reminder for you.
Building A Shopping List
As I wrote before, you can have Siri add reminders to your Reminders app. But I also realized you can take it one step further and actually have Siri add to specific lists in Reminders. When you launch the Reminders app, you might think there’s only a single list of current reminders that you put there.
But if you tap the the three-line button on the top-left, you can create specific lists on the app. Tap the Edit button on the top-right and then tap “Create New List…” Type in the name for your list, such as Home, Work, Office Store, Groceries, and so on.
You can now tell Siri to add items to a particular list, such as “Add milk to my Groceries list.” This is not a location aware tip for Siri, but it’s a great way to organize and manage your to-dos and reminders. I prefer it to using the Notes app and when Reminders is added to the next version of Apple’s operating system, Mountain Lion, the Reminders app should be even be more useful.
Dictating To Siri
I don’t know about you, but sometimes I get a little tongue-tied when I try to dictate commands to Siri. I might try to say something like “text Kevin and ask if he has received my email yet.” That command might not come out the way I intended it to.
I find it better to set up text commands this way. I start off, for example, by saying, “Text Kevin.” And Siri will respond, “What do you want to say to Kevin Carter?” At that point, I can specifically dictate my text message.
The same approach can be used for having Siri add notes to your Notes app.
In the versions to come, Siri will get even more features added to it. But in the meantime we can get comfortable with how to use voice commands rather than typing on the iPhone and other supported devices.
For other ideas using Siri, start with these articles:
- How To Update Your Twitter & Facebook Status With Siri [iPhone 4S]
- How To Get the Siri Voice & Make Her Say Whatever You Want [Mac]
Let us know in the comments what type of commands you use with Siri.