If you’re following the science of COVID-19 you’re likely still working at home. So how can Apple’s Siri help you get that work done?
Here’s a handful of tasks you can request from Apple’s voice-based assistant, with a couple of useful Mac-only suggestions:
Open an app
The best and easiest way to open any application on any Apple platform that supports Siri is Siri. Just ask it to “Open [app name].” It’s that simple.
Send a Message, text or email
You can ask Siri to send an email to a named person, so long as they are listed among your contacts. Just say: “Send an email to [person] saying [dictate short message].” You can send texts, too. Just say, “Send a text….”
You can send short messages the same way; just replace the word “email” with “Message.” Siri will tell you if you have new emails and read the name and subject line for you if you wish, but I usually find that takes more time than looking for myself. Finally, if you’ve paired your Mac with your iPhone, you can use Siri to make a call via your Mac.
Who is calling, please?
Siri will tell you who is calling as long as they are included within your Contacts book. Set this up in Settings>Phone>Announce Calls.
Start a FaceTime call or schedule a Zoom meeting
Just ask Siri to start a FaceTime call with (named person). You can also ask Siri to “Schedule a Zoom meeting on Friday at 3pm with [name].” Useful.
Take a Note
Do you use Notes? Siri will let you open and create a new Note. Just say, “Create a note that says….” This is such a useful tool if you’re trying to stay focused in the application you are working in, but have an idea you want to take note of – just ask Siri to help.
You can “Add a meeting” on a dedicated day.
That’s neat – did you know you can schedule a meeting for a certain date and time and in the same instruction tell Siri to let contacts know about the meet?
Just say: “Add a meeting Tuesday at four and tell [name] and [name].” So long as the named parties are in your Contacts book, Siri will drop them a message to let them know the meeting is taking place.
You can use Siri’s meeting management tools to stay on top of what’s going on, asking things like “When is my next meeting?” or “When is my meeting next Monday?” So long as you’ve popped these meetings into your Calendar, Siri will let you know.
Siri will also help you reschedule a meeting. Just tell it, “Move my 11 a.m. meeting to 12.30 p.m.,” for example.
What time is it?
If you hold meetings across time zones, Siri can be useful. Want to know the time in Tokyo? Ask Siri. Want to know the time in Boston? Siri knows. It’s usually better to check the time rather than calling someone in the middle of their night, after all.
Siri can also convert currency, figure out percentages and run almost any calculation for you, which is way easier than finding an app for that.
What’s my password?
You can open System Preferences/Settings just by asking Siri to do this for you. You can also request that Siri access your passwords, so you might say “Hey Siri, show my enterprise VPN password.” You’ll be asked to authorize that it is you asking, and then you’ll be presented with what you need.
Mac Siri talents
You can use Siri to open Mission Control, search for stuff on your Mac, open named items, open System Preferences, show you specified documents and images, and provide you with useful system information, such as how much memory your machine has. You can also ask it for information such as stock prices, weather conditions, search the web and more.
In any app on an iPhone or iPad, you just need to tap the microphone icon on your keyboard to ask Siri to dictate for you.
Siri’s sense of humor is at best unique.