The MacMentor, helping you become an extraordinary Apple technology user, one device at a time.
Monday, October 3, 2016
New Siri Features for iOS 10, macOS Sierra and Apple TV.
For many of iPhone users, Siri has been nothing more than a nuisance since it's arrival in iOS 5, way back in 2011. Perhaps it never understood what you were asking, perhaps you never understood how best to speak to it. Whatever the reason most iPhone users have never really got the full benefit of Siri.
I've witnessed Siri work and I've gotten quite a laugh when Siri doesn't understand what it's been asked. The key to it's use though simple, is not easy. It requires a good deal of inflection in your voice, and some patience.
Siri for iPhone and iPad
This past summer, Apple introduced a SiriKit SDK (system development kit) in iOS 10, which allows Siri to be integrated into third-party apps for the first time. What does that mean for you? Well, with third-party app support, Siri can now do more than ever before. For Uber users, speak a command such as "Get me an Uber to Wrigley Field" or "Send John $100 with Square Cash" or "Call dad with Skype" are now all possible. Siri's new functionality is long over-due and a feature that makes the personal assistant much more useful in our everyday lives.
Siri's new integration is available for six different kinds of functions: ride booking, messaging, photo search, payments, VoIP calling (for apps like Skype and WhatsApp), and workouts. What this means for us, is that Siri can now send messages, book rides, search photo apps for videos and images, make and request payments, place calls in apps like Skype, and initiate workouts. If your car has Apple's CarPlay, there's also specific functions for accessing climate controls as well as adjusting radio settings.
For you LinkedIn users, you'll now be able to use Siri to send a message by simply saying "Hey Siri, send a message to Bill that says, Thanks for the great referral today."
Another great new feature gives You the ability to ask Siri to locate pictures from a trip by saying, "Hey Siri, show me pictures from Italy in 2016."
Siri For macOS Sierra
Siri is now also available on your Mac with the update to macOS Sierra. After you've upgraded your Mac, Siri will live on the Menu bar, between Spotlight Search and Notifications.
Similar to how you use Siri on an iPhone or iPad, you can now use Siri for tasks like searching for movie times, calling and messaging people, even toggling settings like Bluetooth and Wi-Fi on and off! One of my favorite features in Siri for Mac is being able to search for files using Siri by saying "Show me the document I was working on last night" or "Find photos I took last month at Wrigley Field." You can even use Siri to search for information and pin the search right into a document you are currently working on!
Siri for Apple TV
Finally, I'd like to discuss Siri for the Apple TV (4th Generation). If you've purchased a new Apple TV (one with 32GB or 64GB of Storage), it now comes with Siri support that is accessed using the brand new remote control.
Apple has done a great job integrating its virtual assistant into the Apple TV. You can use Siri for things as mundane as asking Siri to play your most recent iTunes playlist, to asking Siri to search for movies staring Marlon Brando. If you are not sure what the source for a movie or TV show is, Netflix, Hulu, HBO Now, Showtime, you can simply ask Siri to search for a title like "I want to watch Field of Dreams", and Siri will show you the Apps that have that particular movie and you can choose the source to play it! If you are not sure what you'd like to watch, say something like this: "Show me something Funny", or "Show me the new releases", and Siri will create a list of Comedies and new releases for you to choose from. And hows this for cool? You can say things like "Turn on Closed Captioning", or "Fast Forward 3 minutes" and Siri can do those for you as well! Siri can search YouTube for videos, search the App Store for games, and if you have HomeKit running through your Apple TV, you can tell Siri to set the home temperature by saying "Set home temperature to 70 degrees".
Wow, Siri sure has come a long way since it's inception. Yes it's not perfect, and yes it can and still is getting better, but Apple has given you a wonderful tool in Siri, and I highly recommend you take advantage of all it has to offer.
Those are just a few of the ways that Siri can assist you. I hope you found this blog helpful, if so, please share. Until next time, best to you and your devices!