Saturday, August 23, 2014

Teach Siri your friends and family

While we wait for Siri to understand multiple simultaneous languages like Google does; there's a small thing you might not have noticed and that will be of tremendous help when dealing with it. Just think about how you normally speak... do you really say "call John Smith" or do you say "call my brother"; do you say call "Joanne Smith" or "call mom"? Thankfully, Siri can learn to know who's your family and friends... and more.

If you go into your contact information, you'll see that besides the usual name, phone, email fields, you have a lot more things you can define to each and every one of them. Things like anniversary dates, addresses, and... nicknames and relationships.

This means that you can simply set who are you brothers, sisters, parents, wife; as well as partners, assistants, managers, and even any other custom name you may choose to use (angel? :)

The best part is that you don't even need to go into your contacts to do it: you can simply tell Siri "John Smith is my brother"; "Joanne Smith is my mother"; and so on.

You can even use this to set relationship status among other contacts, like selecting your best friend's parents. Which will make it a lot easier to call "John's parents"; although at the moment Siri isn't yet smart enough to handle "call my wife's parents" (which really shows just how shallow this first generation of digital assistants really are).

But, even so, it should make your life easier when sending messages or calling your most common contacts, like calling brother/mother/father/boss/partner/etc.

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