It has been about five months since Apple introduced the iPhone 4S. Since that time the subject of Siri, its artificial assistant, has been a hot topic. There have been bloggers that have hailed this as the second coming of…well…some important thing and yet others write only of their immense frustrations that it is simply a glorified voice recognition program. As you can imagine, we too at iRepairDoc have debated the merits of Siri and her semi-snarky ways. For me personally, the truth lies somewhere in the middle.
What is Siri? In short, Siri is the digital equivalent of a personal assistant. Siri is installed on the iPhone 4S to utilize your voice to send emails, schedule reminders, write texts, and more. Siri is billed as knowing what you mean rather than simply the precise word definitions of what you are saying. This may be where Siri gets into a bit of trouble but also where she is capable of some pretty amazing feats.
I fould that Siri is like most things in life…get to know and understand them and they get easier to manage. For instance, Siri has a tough time with many colloquial speech patterns and consequently will likely give a statement like “I don’t understand” if you use them. However, if you use plain language like “find the nearest gas station”, Siri shines.
Siri uses a number of sources to help give you relevant information. For example, Siri, in connection with GPS and maps can be informed where you live. That information can be combined with a request such as “remind me to call Tim when I get home”. As long as your GPS is relatively accurate, Siri performs this task with ease.
A relatively simple concept like setting an appointment can become arduous if Siri is not informed correctly. In other words, you need to know what to say to get the desired results. An example would be saying “Set an appointment.” vs “Set and appoitment with Joe at 10 a.m. to discuss financials”. The first will launch Siri into a series of questions that may or may not be interpreted correctly and the second will most likely result in a properly scheduled appointment with little fuss.
All in all, Siri is a powerful tool to help manage your life but requires a little finesse to operate optimally. Take the time to learn her and she will do the same.