What Siri Is Good For

A recent study indicates that Apple's Siri doesn't perform very well when searching for information. I think most people who use Siri would agree, but "searching" is only one thing that Siri does.

I don't use Siri much for general question-asking. ("Siri, is it raining?") Instead, I use Siri as a quick way to perform operations on my phone. For example:

  • "Add eggs to my groceries list"
  • "Text my wife I'm on my way home."
  • "What is 345 times 843?"
  • "Set timer for five minutes."
  • "Set alarm for 6 AM"
  • "When I get home, remind me to take the trash out."
  • "Give me directions to Mall of Georgia."

Siri works almost perfectly for these types of requests. I can do all of these things without unlocking my phone, typing anything, or navigating through user interfaces, saving time and minimizing interruption of whatever I'm doing.

There was a period a few months ago when Siri was offline/unavailable a lot, but it is pretty reliable now.

Apple hasn't done a good job in educating people about Siri's capabilities. Anyone who tries to do what the celebrities do in the TV commercials will be disappointed. Instead, I'd recommend reading something like Talking to Siri: Learning the Language of Apple's Intelligent Assistant which can give you all the necessary instructions and tips.

Siri is far from perfect, but it is a really nice feature, and every other phone and computer maker is adding similar features. I'd recommend learning how to use the features effectively, rather than dismissing them due to their imperfections and limitations. Or you can just keep typing everything, like an old person.

© 2003-2017 Kristopher Johnson