Siri Tips: Redundancy

As my disability becomes more severe, I’ve been using Siri more and more instead of typing on my iPhone. I really value the ability to switch between typing and speaking so easily, as it means I can use whatever suits me on a particular day. Here’s how to use it better …

Because typing is difficult for me, over time I’ve got in the habit of doing as little typing as possible. My Reminders list includes things like “vet” to remind me to take the cat to the vet to get flea treatment, and “bank” to remind me to go get $350 cash out. This is fine when I’m typing but I have discovered that when I’m dictating I need to reverse the habit and use more words.

Why? If I say “Hey Siri, put vet on my reminders list” and Siri mis-recognises the word “vet” as “bet”, then my reminders list just says “bet”. Later on I look at “bet” and I have no idea what I was wanting to remember …

But what if I said “Hey Siri, remind me to take the cat to the vet for flea treatment” it’s not a whole lot harder to say, and it’ll still be added to the same Reminders list. The additional words of context help Siri to recognise that the word is actually “vet”, because it uses contextual clues and grammar to help recognition, so it’s more likely to get it right. But also, if it still gets one or two words wrong and my reminder says “take the bat to the net for flea treatment” I’m going to have a much easier time realising what I was trying to remember.

So next time you’re dictating stuff to Siri, try using a few more words for context – it’ll help her and it’ll help you.

– Ricky

One thought on “Siri Tips: Redundancy”

  1. I’m still kind of terrified of Siri. But downloading Sierra now so it’ll be some good practice. On iOS I got better with the fear of Siri by switching it to UK male voice (when everyone else around me uses the default US female). Still… it feels odd talking.
    Time to tackle the fear of Siri. Weirdly enough, talking to Alexa of Amazon Echo never was an issue/

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