Making Siri Work for You; Some Gear Diary Suggestions

GearDiary Making Siri Work for You; Some Gear Diary Suggestions

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Siri is an interesting innovation.  I remember back in my early days  in the tech biz, when I read about and heard plenty of people talking about a) how voice recognition was just around the corner, and b) how voice recognition was dang hard, and it was going to be a long ways out in the future.  Of course, in those days a 500 MB drive was considered “wow, that’s big!”, so you can guess how naive both sets of opinion were! Now we have Dragon Dictation and any number of other voice recognition software apps.  And of course, Apple’s Siri.

The question I always ask myself is, “What the heck should I use this for?”  For whatever reason, most voice recognition software chokes on me (I tend to mutter), and my weird combination of New Englander by way of California beach bum accident appears to give most voice recognition software fits.  But I’ve still managed to integrate some Siri usage into my life.  On the other end, we have Dan, who is able to actually send full emails and write rough drafts of posts using such software.

And between the two of us, well, we’ve got a couple of suggestions …

Dan’s tip:

After writing a post draft I have begun using the built-in text to voice feature on either my Mac or my iOS device to have the text READ to me. I have caught more than a few mistakes by listening to “someone else” read it to me. Worth a try!!!

Doug’s tip:

This is similar, and maybe you already know about it, but: you can ask Siri to read text messages to you when they come in. If you hear that “bing!” noise, just activate Siri and say, “Read it!”; she will, and then she’ll ask you whether you want to reply or have her re-read it. *Very* good for when you are, say, driving. [Ed note – not that we advocate doing anything other than driving when you are driving]

So those are a couple of ways that your faithful Gear Diary folks have been using Siri to help improve things.  What about you?  You come up with some novel uses for Siri?  Share them with us below!

About the Author

Douglas Moran
Doug is a nerd from way back, falling for a Commodore PET at the age of 15, and never looking back. Riding the nerd wave, he got a Computer Science degree and entered the tech industry at a young age, deciding after a year and a half of front-line phone technical support that he should try something, *anything* else. He settled on technical writing, and has been cranking out documentation for companies like Unisys, SGI, Cisco, Juniper, and many others ever since. He is nothing short of ecstatic to be working for H-P from his home base in Austin.