So you have a new iPhone 4S. Great! Obviously, you’re anxious to integrate Siri into your daily life. But that’s easier said than done. DON’T GIVE UP! We begged this of you in one of our very first blog posts. While we asked you to be patient, we didn’t give you any specific tips to help you through the process. Fear not! ApplEvangelist is back to lead the way.
Here’s the issue: for any virtual assistant to be successful, it has to understand your voice. Siri is based on contextual language and natural speech patterns which makes understanding your voice even more important. Not much is known about how Siri learns your voice, but it can. Most observers agree that it doesn’t actually learn your voice, specifically. Rather, the more people who use Siri the larger the database of dialects in the system, making it easier to discern what you are saying.
To speed up the process, here’s a little-known trick:
After giving Siri a command, you can scroll back up the screen and revise what Siri thinks she heard you say. Often times, the word she heard incorrectly is underlined in blue. Tapping this word brings up a list of other possibilities for what you said. Select what you meant (if it’s one of the options) and tape Done. This will re-enter the command with what you really said.
Now there is nothing to suggest that this technique teaches Siri anything. However, I frequently corrected Siri when I first received the iPhone 4S four months ago and now it took more than 20 tries to get her to misunderstand me today. In many instances, once I’ve corrected her, she doesn’t misunderstand the same or similar phrase again.
HELP SIRI HELP YOU
Siri can do more if your contacts are fleshed out and up-to-date. Take time to consolidate your entries and add as much information as possible. This includes birth dates, addresses, phonetic spellings, home/work emails, nicknames, related people etc. Simply navigate to your contacts, select an entry and tap Edit in the top right hand corner. Scroll to the bottom and select <add field. You’ll be presented with this screen:
Tap on a field to add and you’ll be taken straight to the new area. There is also an add address area where you can add as many addresses as needed.
Particularly useful with Siri are Nicknames. Many people in my address book are listed by their professional name. Adding a nickname to their contact card makes it much easier to tell Siri to text, email, or call that person as illustrated below:
WHO’S YOUR DADDY
It’s very easy to teach Siri about your relationships. It’s as easy as saying “Text my sister-in-law.” Siri will ask who your sister is and then remember these relationships and store it as part of their contact in your phone.
In its current form, the relationship functionality is limited. You can’t currently add someone as your boyfriend, BFF, or other unofficial titles.
Remember, talking to Siri is the best way for her to learn your voice. Using these few tips will speed up the process and make the overall experience more enjoyable for you
Do you have any questions about using Siri? Leave your comments on Facebook or twitter.