(310) 621-5679 john@noproblemmac.com

I’ve always felt Siri was like a brain-damaged parrot with a hearing impairment.

Kinda cool to show your friends… but not much good helping you get through the day.

With iOS 8.1 things changed.

I never thought I’d say it, but the parrot… I mean Siri… has gotten much better.

And now includes a very useful feature.

I’ll get to that in a minute. First, a quick explanation for those who have never used Siri.

Siri… That Talking iPhone Thing You’ve Seen In The Commercials.

Siri Commercial

Siri can help you send messages, email, call numbers, get directions, find nearby restaurants, get the weather, etc,

Siri is interactive; you ask a question and Siri responds with an answer.

It’s range of knowledge is limited, and you may have to phrase a question in a particular way to get an intelligent answer.

Siri only works when it can connect to the internet, so you need a wi-fi or cellular signal.

How Do I Use Siri?

In order to work. Siri needs to be turned on.

On your iPhone or iPad:

  • Go to Settings > General > Siri

How To Get To Siri In iOS8

  • Slide the button over to turn Siri On.

How To Turn Siri On In iOS8

  • If you wish, you can change the language, voice gender, feedback type and make sure My Info lists you as the correct owner of the iPhone.
  • Press the Home Button to go back to the home screen.

To use Siri, press and hold down the Home button until you hear a beep.

Continue to hold down the Home button as you ask a question?

Once you have asked your question release the home button and wait for a response.

Play with Siri and see what kind of useful information you can get:

  • Ask for directions to the nearest Starbucks
  • Say you want to send a Message to a friend.
  • Ask what picture won the Academy Award for Best Film in 1981…

Siri’s Delightful New Feature

When Siri is attached to a power source, in your car, or at home, it is in active listening mode.

You no longer have to press and hold the Home button… you just say “Hey Siri” and start asking questions.

In order for this to work, it needs to be turned on.

On your iPhone or iPad:

  • Go to Settings > General > Siri
  • Slide the “Allow Hey Siri” button to On.

How To Turn Hey Siri On In iOS8

  • Press the Home Button to go back to the home screen.

In situations where you need both hands to… operate a tower crane, stop yourself from falling, strangle someone, or just eat a meal… this feature is a Godsend.

I’ve used it to:

  • Interrupt Maps driving directions, to send a quick Message that “I’m running late.”
  • Ask what appointments I have today… without stepping out of the shower.
  • Continue writing on my Mac, as I ask Siri for the definition of a word, or the Wikipedia entry for “Jack the Ripper.”

Bonus Tip

After being used, Siri tends to stay on the screen. Annoying, if it’s blocking a navigation Map.

Say… “Hey Siri”… “Go Away” and she disappears.

Have a great weekend.

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