Cool Siri Tips and Tricks for True Mac Power Users
Siri is a famous digital assistant first introduced by Apple in iOS handheld devices. Over time, Siri has become available at macOS Sierra and High Sierra. Mac users new to Siri, believe it is only good for search. And this is a common misconception! In fact, Apple’s digital assistant has a much wider range of special capabilities thanks to hidden commands. Knowing best Siri tricks will definitely boost your productivity.
Siri (stands for Speech Interpretation and Recognition Interface) can process voice queries and recognize individual language usage. Also, the virtual assistant provides answers to questions, gives advice and delegates specific user requests to internet services. Siri is a highly personalized service which adapts to user preferences.
What Can Siri Do? More Things than You Could Imagine
When working on your Mac, Siri can become a reliable helping hand to run multiple tasks at the same time. For instance, it is possible to send messages via Siri while working on something without interrupting the process. So, what can you ask Siri about? What can Siri do on your Mac?
- Locate folders or specific files;
- Display information about your Mac;
- Control macOS system preferences;
- Search the internet and open websites;
- Play music, look up TV shows and movies in iTunes;
- Look for applications;
- Read and lay down emails/text messages;
- Schedule appointments, make reminders, and notes;
- Search for images and create slideshows;
- Keep up with Twitter and Facebook.
How to Launch Siri?
Use any of the below options to launch Siri on your Mac:
Click the Siri icon in Dock, Apple menu bar, or launch it from the Touch Bar on your MacBook.
- If Siri is active, click or in the Siri window.
- Hold down the Command (⌘) key and Space bar at the same time, and wait until Siri reacts.
- To activate Siri, say: Hey, Siri!
- To quit Siri, click icon or swipe right, if it doesn’t shut down
How to Change Siri Settings on your Mac?
- To enable Siri, tick the box under the Siri logo in the left preference pane.
- To choose the default language, select one from the ‘Language’ drop-down menu.
- To change the voice used by Siri, choose an option from the ‘Siri Voice’ drop-down menu. By default, Siri uses a female American voice. English speaking users can switch to male or female American, British, Australian, Irish, or South African voice.
- If the Voice Feedback is on, Siri will give a voice answer to your question or query.
- Use the ‘Mic Input’ setting to plug in an external microphone.
- In the ‘Keyboard Shortcut’ section, you can assign a key combination, or a hotkey to launch Siri. By default, Siri is launched by simultaneously holding down the Command (⌘) key and Spacebar. To assign a custom shortcut, select ‘Customize,' then hold down the keys you wish to use.
Cool Siri Secrets & Hacks for Mac Users
Experienced Apple users like making fun of Siri by asking absurd questions and getting no less absurd answers. However, Siri has a few secret features users of macOS Sierra and High Sierra will appreciate.
· Store Siri results for later use
In case Siri provides a valuable piece of information you would like to use further on, it is possible to store it in Notification Center. All it takes is to click the ‘+’ icon next to the Siri result. To use the result, click the icon in the upper right corner of the screen, or swipe in from the right on a trackpad.
· Get a movie recommendation
This Siri secret is precious for moviegoers! Find the movie locations, trailers, reviews, and showtimes. Launch Siri and address it with a phrase: "What movies are playing tonight?" It will provide the movie results depending on your location. To see all information and showtimes, click on the movie of interest. If you wish to see the movie trailer, address Siri with a phrase: "Play the trailer for [name of the movie]." To find out the movie ratings, say: "Show ratings for [name of the movie]." To get movie theater directions, say: "Find movies playing nearby. "
· Search the Internet
Siri allows performing the web search hands-free. By default, Siri uses Bing to search the web, but users can change the search engine by specifying it in the request. Activate Siri and say: "Search Google for [your search query]," or "Google [your search query]." After that, Siri will launch the Safari browser to search for the requested item in the preferred search engine.
· Find a café or restaurant
Siri can be your trusted advisor when searching for a place to eat out. It can help you find a solid local restaurant, provide a menu, pricing, work hours, and reviews. To look up a café, or an haute cuisine restaurant, activate Siri and say: "Show me restaurant information on [name of the restaurant]."
Note: when looking for a place to eat out, say the word ’restaurant.' Otherwise, Siri will use web search instead of launching the Yelp application.
It is possible to look up different types of restaurants with Siri. For instance, say "Find a Japanese restaurant nearby" or "Find Italian restaurants in [name the area]." Siri can also help in making restaurant reservations, just say something like: "I need restaurant reservations [specify the date and time]."
· Bedtime Story from Siri
Apple’s virtual assistant has a sweet side to it. Ask Siri: "Please read me a bedtime story." First, it may say something like "I'm sure you've heard it before" or "It was a dark and stormy night... no, that's not it", so you have to ask it again. After several tries, you will finally hear "Once upon a time…"
· Keep up with Twitter and Facebook
Connecting Siri to your Twitter or Facebook profile will help you keep track of your newsfeed, as well as post updates. Say "Post to Twitter," or "Post to Facebook" and pronounce your message. Then Siri will make an update to your social profile.
· Launch applications on your Mac
Most Mac users prefer Spotlight search for launching applications. However, if this seems troublesome, ask Siri to do the job. Say: "Launch [name] app" or "Open [name] app." Siri can open programs that don’t have Siri integration.
· Read and compose emails
Siri can check your mail, read aloud the full content of a particular email or even help you write one. If you want to learn about the unread emails in your inbox, activate Siri and say: "Check my email" or "Do I have any new emails?" After that, Siri will provide you with a brief overview of the new items in your inbox. Want Siri to read the new mail aloud? Just say: "Read my email," or "Read my email from [sender’s name]. " Siri will read the newest emails first, or the ones received from a particular person.
· Check voicemail
iPhone users know that checking voicemail with Siri is a cinch. Activate your digital assistant and pronounce: "Check my voicemail" or "Do I have any voicemails?" Siri will list all available voice messages on the screen for you to choose which one to play. To play the messages, say: "Play my voicemail messages." The latest voicemail will be the first on Siri’s playlist. To proceed with a specific voicemail, you can tell Siri to call back, play the message again, or play the next one.
· Find photos on your Mac
Siri can help you find a specific image in the Photos library if it contains a location tag. Say "Show me photos I took at [location]," and it will display the available items.
Don’t Fall for Siri Phone Number Trick!
No matter how useful Siri is, it can cause trouble falling into the wrong hands. Some Apple users have participated in a vicious Siri phone prank they learned about from a Twitter flash mob. Because of mispronunciation, Siri mistakenly recognized the "9/11" attack search query as the 911 emergency number in the US and Canada. The tweets encouraged users to learn an "amazing" Siri’s response to saying 9/11. Some people were tricked into making the emergency phone call. As a result, the prank caused the 911 emergency dispatch system clog up. This lead to tragic consequences in the US.
Siri is a useful digital assistant meant to make macOS and iOS users’ lives easier. Owing to a vast range of capabilities, it can help solve routine work and life issues without any effort. Apple’s virtual assistant is extremely intuitive and easy to operate, it understands individual language peculiarities and choice of wording. However, users must be careful using Siri and don’t fall for Siri-related pranks, for it can cause trouble if mishandled.