Call me Ishmael: creating a Siri nickname for yourself

Surely you've heard the joke. You tell Siri, "Call me an ambulance" and Siri responds, "From now on, I'll call you, 'An Ambulance', Okay?" As Leanna Lofte points out in a great writeup over at the iPhone Blog, that this joke can actually be of practical use.

You can create a more friendly identity for yourself by telling Siri to call you by your nickname, or simply indulge your monomaniacal streak by instructing her to call you "Master" or "Emperor" or similar.

Siri does this by checking out two fields in your primary Contacts entry. The Nickname field takes priority. When you say "Call me 'Master,'" Siri updates your nickname field directly. Keep in mind, though, that the nickname field is considered a canonical part of your contact information, and Fury.com pointed out that if you were to send your vCard to someone else they would see that you prefer to be known as 'Master' -- which, depending on who you like to share contacts with, could be a good thing or a bad thing.

Another way to achieve the same result, without adding a nickname to your entry, is to use the phonetic guide fields in your contact record.

The Phonetic First Name and Phonetic Last Name fields have been around for quite a while in iOS and OS X. They help you pronounce people's names while calling them. For example, you might enter "Ser Hee Yo" for a contact named Sergio. Siri now uses those fields to override the default pronunciation of your name, as well as for any other contacts that have unusual name pronunciations.

You can add these fields in iOS by tapping Edit, scrolling down to Add Field, and then choosing one of the phonetic options.

Call me Ishmael: creating a Siri nickname for yourself originally appeared on TUAW - The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Fri, 21 Oct 2011 17:10:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Source | Permalink | Email this | Comments

iPhone 4S: What can you say to Siri?

Curious about the iPhone 4S's new voice assistant feature? So were we.

TUAW tracked down a set of example phrases that the new Siri voice assistant is capable of understanding. It turns out that Siri can handle many categories of voice interaction.

Without further ado, here they are, ordered by interaction category, along with Apple-supplied examples of using each category.

Address Book

Querying Contacts

  • What's Michael's address?
  • What is Susan Park's phone number?
  • When is my wife's birthday?
  • Show Jennifer's home email address

Finding Contacts

  • Show Jason Russell
  • Find people named Park
  • Who is Michael Manning?

Relationships

  • My mom is Susan Park
  • Michael Manning is my brother
  • Call my brother at work


Calendars

Adding Events

  • Set up a meeting at 9
  • Set up a meeting with Michael at 9
  • Meet with Lisa at noon
  • Set up a meeting about hiring tomorrow at 9am
  • New appointment with Susan Park Friday at 3
  • Schedule a planning meeting at 8:30 today in the boardroom

Changing events

  • Move my 3pm meeting to 4:30
  • Reschedule my appointment with Dr. Manning to next Monday at 9am
  • Add Lisa to my meeting with Jason
  • Cancel the budget review meeting

Asking about events

  • What does the rest of my day look like?
  • What's on my calendar for Friday?
  • When is my next appointment?
  • When am I meeting with Michael?
  • Where is my next meeting?

Alarms

Setting Alarms

  • Wake me up tomorrow at 7am
  • Set an alarm for 6:30am
  • Wake me up in 8 hours
  • Change my 6:30 alarm to 6:45
  • Turn off my 6:30 alarm
  • Delete my 7:30 alarm

Checking the Clock

  • What time is it?
  • What time is it in Berlin?
  • What is today's date?
  • What's the date this Saturday?

Using a Timer

  • Set the timer for ten minutes
  • Show the timer
  • Pause the timer
  • Resume
  • Reset the timer
  • Stop it


Email

Sending Messages

  • Email Lisa about the trip
  • Email Jennifer about the change in plans
  • New email to Susan Park
  • Mail Dad about the rent check
  • Email Dr. Manning and say I got the forms, thanks
  • Mail Lisa and Jason about the party and say I had a great time

Checking Messages

  • Check email
  • Any new email from Michael today?
  • Show new mail about the lease
  • Show the email from Lisa yesterday

Responding to Messages

  • Reply Dear Susan sorry about the late payment
  • Call him at work

Friends

Checking Up on Friends

  • Where's Jason?
  • Where is my sister?
  • Is my wife at home?
  • Where are all my friends?
  • Who is here?
  • Who is near me?

Maps

Directions

  • How do I get home?
  • Show 1 Infinite Loop Cupertino California
  • Directions to my dad's work

Local Businesses

  • Find coffee near me
  • Where is Starbucks?
  • Find some burger joints in Baltimore
  • Find a gas station within walking distance
  • Good Mexican restaurants around here

Messages

Sending Texts

  • Tell Susan I'll be right there
  • Send a message to Jason Russell
  • Send a message to Lisa saying how about tomorrow
  • Tell Jennifer the show was great
  • Send a message to Susan on her mobile saying I'll be late
  • Send a message to 408 555 1212
  • Text Jason and Lisa where are you?

Reading Texts

  • Read my new messages
  • Read it again

Replying to Texts

  • Reply that's great news
  • Tell him I'll be there in 10 minutes
  • Call her

Music

Playback

  • Play The Light of the Sun
  • Play Trouble
  • Play Taking Back Sunday shuffled
  • Play Alicia Keys
  • Play some blues
  • Play my party mix
  • Shuffle my roadtrip playlist
  • Play
  • Pause
  • Skip

Notes

Creating and finding notes

  • Note that I spent $12 on lunch
  • Note: check out that new Alicia Keys album
  • Find my restaurant note
  • Create a reading list note
  • Add Tom Sawyer to my reading list note

Phone

Phone calls

  • Call Jason
  • Call Jennifer Wright mobile
  • Call Susan on her work phone
  • Call 408 555 1212
  • Call home
  • FaceTime Lisa

Reminders

Requesting reminders

  • Remind me to call mom
  • Remind me to call my mom when I get home
  • Remember to take an umbrella
  • Remind me take my medicine at 6am tomorrow
  • Remind me to pick up flowers when I leave here
  • Remind me when I leave to call Jason
  • Remind me to finish the report by 6

Stocks

Checking Stocks

  • What's Apple's stock price?
  • What is Apple's PE ratio?
  • What did Yahoo close at today?
  • How is the Nikkei doing?
  • How are the markets doing?
  • What is the Dow at?

Weather

Checking the Forecast

  • What's the weather for today?
  • What's the weather for tomorrow?
  • Will it rain in Cupertino this week?
  • Check next week's forecast for Burlington
  • What's the forecast for this evening?
  • How's the weather in Tampa right now?
  • How hot will it be in Palm Springs this weekend?
  • What's the high for Anchorage on Thursday?
  • What's the temperature outside?
  • How windy is it out there?
  • When is sunrise in Paris?

Websearch

Looking up information

  • Search the web for Bora Bora
  • Search for vegetarian pasta recipes
  • Search the web for best cable plans
  • Google the war of 1812
  • Search Wikipedia for Abraham Lincoln
  • Search for news about the World Cup
  • Bing Alicia Keys

Using Wolfram Alpha

  • How many calories in a bagel?
  • What is an 18% tip on $86.74 for four people?
  • Who's buried in Grant's tomb?
  • How long do dogs live?
  • What is the Gossamer Condor?
  • What's the square root of 128?
  • How many dollars is €45?
  • What was the Best Picture of 1983?
  • How many days until Christmas?
  • How far away is the Sun?
  • When is the next solar eclipse?
  • Show me the Orion constellation
  • What's the population of Jamaica?
  • How high is Mt. Everest?
  • How deep is the Atlantic ocean?
  • What's the price of gasoline in Chicago?

iPhone 4S: What can you say to Siri? originally appeared on TUAW - The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Wed, 05 Oct 2011 15:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Source | Permalink | Email this | Comments

What Google and Mastercard’s new mobile payment system could mean for iOS users

Last week saw a major new product announcement from Google: the new "Google Wallet" will allow people with compatible mobile phones to use them to pay for goods and services in shops with a simple wave of their hand. This follows a number of in/out/in/out/shake it all about rumors that this "NFC" stuff might be included in the next iPhone. So what is NFC and why should you care? Sit back, grab a cup of coffee, and I'll explain.

Continue reading What Google and Mastercard's new mobile payment system could mean for iOS users

What Google and Mastercard's new mobile payment system could mean for iOS users originally appeared on TUAW on Mon, 30 May 2011 11:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Source | Permalink | Email this | Comments

Testing the Sonos-AirPlay solution

AirPlay is a very cool technology, but it's limited to the second generation Apple TV and a few receivers. Sonos, as I reported last week, has come up with its own way to integrate AirPlay into a multi-room music system, and the company was nice enough to lend me an Apple AirPort Express to try it out.

Since I already had a Sonos music system, the AirPort Express was the only missing piece. You plug AirPort Express in, connect it to one of your Sonos ZonePlayers with an Ethernet cable, and run a stereo mini-plug to stereo RCA cable from the AirPort Express to your Sonos unit.

From there, you open the AirPort Utility (it ships with OS X, and you can download a Windows version) and configure it in a couple of easy steps. You then move to your updated free ZonePlayer software version 3.4 to let the Sonos system know that the AirPort Express is there. That's it.

From that point on you can wirelessly stream audio from your iPhone, iPod touch or iPad into your Sonos system. The Sonos is smart enough to auto switch to the correct input, and then you can hear the music on any individual ZonePlayer or on all of them at the same time. Of course, since the playlists on my iPhone and iPad are subsets of the music that Sonos normally has access to from my Mac, there's not much advantage there. On the other hand, I went out running yesterday listening to a podcast, and when I got back to the house, I was just a couple of taps away from hearing it on any or every audio system I had in the house. When the audio switched, not even a word was dropped.

Continue reading Testing the Sonos-AirPlay solution

Testing the Sonos-AirPlay solution originally appeared on TUAW on Mon, 25 Apr 2011 06:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Source | Permalink | Email this | Comments