I bought my new iPhone 6 when the camera in my iPhone 5 crapped out. I thought that my favorite feature in the new phone would be the upgraded photo capabilities.
Turns out, I was totally wrong. The camera, while great, is not my favorite feature.
What I really love is the new and improved Siri.
The game-changer for me was the voice-launch functionality. With it, I can simply say “Hey Siri” and it activates her. It’s custom to my voice, so my 4-year-old can’t access her with his voice. Which is probably good.
It also means that she recognizes me not just close at hand, but from several feet away. I’ve tested this and, if I raise my voice’s volume but not pitch, she can respond to me from up to 8 feet away.
(Confession: I first started testing this to see if I needed her to call 911, how far away could I ask her to do that? You know, standard Rehearsing for Disaster strategy.)
But I quickly realized there were better ways I could use what have become my favorite words: “Hey Siri”.
Here are 5 of my favorite ways Siri saves me time and hassle, and sort of makes me feel like I have a personal assistant. (And here’s how to set Siri up on your iOS 9 device. And make sure you give her a British accent for optimal assistant-feel.)
Use #1: She sets timers for me.
Example: “Hey Siri: set a timer for 10 minutes.”
Why This is Awesome: I usually use this when my hands are doing something else. Like when I’m chopping an onion and remember suddenly I didn’t set the oven timer when I put in the chicken.
Use #2: She helps me keep my schedule straight.
Example: “Hey Siri: add to my calendar tomorrow at 11am a meeting with Scott.”
Why This is Awesome: Not only does this make it easy to add items to my calendar, but if I ask her to add something at a day/time where I already have something else, she’ll let me know and only create the new event if I tell her to override the old one. She won’t let me double schedule. I like that about her.
If you cancel an event you’d been in the process of scheduling, she supportively says “OK, I won’t create that event. You were probably too busy anyway.” Siri understands my need for constant affirmation.
Use #3: She helps me get ready for my day. And feel like Beyoncé, just a bit.
Example: “Hey Siri: what’s on my calendar for today?”
Why This is Awesome: I use this every morning as I’m getting ready for the day. I delight in triple-tasking. While brushing my teeth and doing standing donkey-kicks, I have her run through all the items on my calendar. I feel very Beyoncé when I do this. Or maybe it’s Sheryl Sandberg. Either way, I’m badass.
Use #4: She captures all my stray thoughts.
Example: “Hey Siri: make a note that I want to write a blog post about all the things I love about you”.
Why This is Awesome: Some of my best ideas come to me in the shower. Or while I’m folding laundry, or on the treadmill, running at top speed. Now, with a simple “Hey Siri”, I never lose these. They are saved to my Notes app and I can access them later. Magnificence Managed! ™
Use #5: She never lets me forget to get juice. Or return my library books.
Example: “Hey Siri, when I leave the house, remind me to go to Walgreens to pick up Advil and orange juice.”
Why This is Awesome: I don’t need to spell this out. The awesome is inherent. I don’t forget things now. Nor do I have to have my front door covered in Post It Notes.
Siri simply senses I’m leaving home and reminds me of whatever I needed to do- or take- when I did. She can do the same when I arrive at work or when I arrive back home. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve said “Hey Siri, remind me when I get home that I need to get the oven pre-heating.”
It’s the little things, people. Am I right?
Those are 5 reasons I love having Siri as my Personal Assistant. I could go on and on, but you get my drift. She’s my friend, my assistant, my extra pair of hands.
She even lifts my spirits when I need some sass. Try it. Say “Hey Siri, play Single Ladies by Beyoncé”.
Thank you, Siri.