9 Comments

Summary:

You know about Siri on your iPhone 4S, but does Siri know you? In order to take full advantage of all that Apple’s personal digital assistant has to offer, you first must properly introduce yourself. Here are a few tips about how to do exactly that.

Introduce Siri to Your Family

You may know all about Siri on your iPhone 4S, but does Siri know you? In order to take full advantage of all that Apple’s personal digital assistant has to offer, you first must properly introduce yourself. Here are a few tips about how to do exactly that.

In the Settings app on the iPhone 4S, you can tell Siri which contact is yours by picking your card from Contacts under “My Info.”  This also helps Safari fill out online forms, tells Mail who is sending and receiving, and even lets both Find My iPhone and Find My Friends know which labels to use for various locations.

Siri MyInfo Settings

Tell Siri who you are. If you haven’t already, you need to create a contact for yourself and populate it with your information. Don’t hold back; be as detailed as possible. To additional fields for entry, click on the “Add field” button at the bottom of the contact record when it’s in edit mode. Siri can change some info itself, however. Tell Siri to call you by your nickname, for instance, and it’ll update your contact information with the nickname you gave.

Siri Learns Nickname

Show Siri where you live and work. In addition to Siri, iOS 5 also brings a Reminders App. You can even have Siri create location-based Reminders for you. To take full advantage, fill out your home and work addresses in your contact information. This way you can tell Siri to remind you of something when you leave home, get to work, or whatever you choose. Add as many custom locations as you need.

Take Siri to Work

Introduce Siri to the rest of the family. You can put your personal relationships on record with Siri through your contact info, too. Add a new field to your contact info and select “Related People”.  When you tap on the label, you can choose from several different relationships. If that contact also happens to be in your Find My Friends list, you can simply ask Siri where your Wife, Husband, Mother, etc. is located. You can also tell Siri how contacts are related to you to automatically add this data to their Contact card.

Introduce Siri to Your Family

Teach Siri proper pronunciation. Sometimes Siri isn’t so good at pronunciation.  To correct this, you can specify a phonetic spelling of your name in the Contacts app.  Under the “Add Field” there’s an option for “Phonetic First Name” as well as a “Phonetic Last Name” entry. Be careful though; this isn’t necessarily going to work. For some contacts it seems to work just fine, while for others it doesn’t have any effect. Also note that in using this field, you can change the alphabetic sort order for that particular contact.

Siri Important Dates

Overall, I’ve found the more Siri knows about me, the more valuable it becomes. And don’t forget to tell Siri important dates for each of your contacts, like birthdays and anniversaries, including your own, so that it can help you pretend you have an elephant’s memory, too.

  1. For non-English users the phonetic transcription is of little use, as we (I’m non-English too) have to think which sound might come close to a certain way of writing the sound (transcribing it). The use of a true phonetic language would be more useful as the sound of every character in the phonetic alphabet is obvious. Unfortunately there is no phonetic alphabet on the iPhone (yet).

    Sjoerd (pronounced something like sYouRt, but still not close enough)

    Share
    1. Eventually, Siri’ll speak Dutch too.

      Share
    2. I think you better write it as ‘shourd’. It should work like that

      Share
  2. nice… basic info for Siri

    Share
  3. I tried to add a field to my contact info as descibed but could not figure out how to choose “Related People”.

    Share
    1. You have to choose “add field” when editing a contact to expose the “Related People” field. All of my contacts are managed by Apple (MobileMe, Mac, iCloud, etc). It may be that the provider you are using to sync contacts (Yahoo, Exchange, etc) does not support relationships the same way as Apple.

      Share
    2. Same for me at first, but that was because it was already there, NOT in “add field.” See if there is a field already that has a title of “mother” or something similar.

      Share
  4. Siri is still beta in Canada I get the “cant’ find locations or maps in Canada” message. Sounds like it would (will?) be a great feature.

    Share
  5. How do u get Siri to locate places in Canada?

    Share

Comments have been disabled for this post