- “Set a timer for 20 minutes.” Everyone knows how to do that. But, after a bit, the timer is off the screen, as you switch to some other app or the iPhone goes to sleep. The cool thing is that you can say “Show me the timer” and it comes back to the front. Very cool. I am using that today as I cook my pumpkin pies.
- “Play some music.” Everyone knows how to do this too. The cool thing is that you can say “Stop the music” and it will stop. Nice.
- “Make an appointment.” Everyone knows how to do this too. Siri will ask “When is your appointment?” and you can tell it “4 PM tomorrow” or whatever you like. If you do it this way, Siri will make an appointment that has the title “Appointment.” The cool things is you can change the title later. So, when Siri says “Here is your appointment, are you ready to confirm it?” you can say “yes”… and Siri will show it to you. Then, tell Siri “Change the title of the appointment” to anything you’d like. In fact, you can just say “Change the title to blah blah blah“ and it will work. Siri knows what you’re talking about because the appointment is still on her mind, so to speak.
- Still talking about appointments, how cool is this: you can say “Make a haircut appointment for 4 PM tomorrow” and it’s done in one shot. Very cool. Especially if you want a haircut.
- Suppose you want to talk to your friend Dave Fournier, on the phone, and you want Siri to set that up. But, suppose also that you have Dave in your address book as “David.” Doesn’t matter: when you say “Call Dave Fournier” Siri knows out that “Dave” is short for “David” and she makes the call. Same thing with Tom and Thomas. And Chris and Christian, though I never call myself on the phone.
- In some cases, when talking to Siri, you can interchange “office” and “work”, and “house” and “home”, and “cell” and “mobile”, but not always, and especially not tonight with Siri seemingly overloaded. There are many inconsistencies in Siri, so what works when you’re asking for a phone number might not work when you’re asking for an address, and this may be one of the reasons Siri is still a “beta” feature. Expect this to improve and become more consistent in the future.
(Yes I am surprised that Apple put Siri out before it was fully ready. Very non-Apple-like.)
By the way, I would not be surprised to see Siri show up on Macs and iPads someday soon. Makes perfect sense.
More tips as I find them.
UPDATE: I found them. Here’s a terrific list of Siri commands, from The Unofficial Apple Weblog (TUAW). Well done, TUAW.
UPDATE #2: Here’s Apple’s Frequently Asked Questions for Siri. Good stuff.