Tag Archives: Siri

Apple iPhone 6S and Siri – My Favourite and Most Useful Commands for Siri

Today, I thought I would share one of my favourite voice commands that I use all the time with Siri. If you have the iPhone 6S or 6S Plus you can have “Hey Siri” set to be always on (listening) for your voice. This is my preferred choice.

Your hands are wet as you’ve just had a shower. So say “Hey Siri”, then ask Siri, what time is it. Siri will respond dutifully with the time.

Next you’re cooking and need to set a timer. Just say “Hey Siri”, “Set timer 10 mins” or once “Timer 10 mins”.

But my all time favourite which I use a lot when in the car driving is “Hey Siri” , “Notifications” . I use to have to say “Any notifications”, but now Siri understands me to say just “Notifications”. After this command, Siri will read off all the notifications from all your different apps that you have showing in the notification centre, plus the short line of text revealed by each notification.

So these are my top 3, what are yours?


BMW will incorporate Siri and S Voice into its 2014 cars

Siri will be a standard option in 2014 BMWs thanks to an update to BMW iDrive, the car maker’s integrated mobile interface.

The update will enable BMWs to interact with not only Apple’s Siri in Eyes Free mode, but also Samsung’s S-Voice Drive mode. Users will be able to press a button on the steering wheel and, once the digital assistant has activated, dictate messages, send calls, and use other voice command options. BMW’s system is also compatible with apps like Pandora, Stitcher, Rhapsody, and Glymps.

But it’s useless as it can’t iron my shirts or make my tea.

Siri is a virtual assistant – but remembers your voice for longer than you think

If you search using Siri, that search query could be kept for a very long time. In the Siri’s Privacy agreement, Apple says that it deletes your user data as well as the recent things that you’ve said to Siri whenever you slide the Siri switch off. But it keeps the older stuff.

“If you turn off Siri, Apple will delete your User Data, as well as your recent voice input data,” Apple’s privacy statement reads. “Older voice input data that has been disassociated from you may be retained for a period of time to generally improve Siri and other Apple products and services.”

So what exactly does ‘disassociated’ mean. And ‘period of time’. And using it to ‘generally improve Siri and other Apple products and services’. This is actually fairly open ended.

This matters, because we often say to Siri more personal stuff than we do with search with Google or Bing. Siri is, after all, a personal digital assistant; someone you can dictate messages to. And if that information is stored on Apple’s networks, it could be used by marketers, or by government investigators, or even subpoenaed in a civil suit years later. I promise I am not being paranoid.

In fact Siri was a big enough concern that last year IBM CIO Jeanette Horan, banned Siri outright on IBM’s networks, worrying that what people said to Siri might be stored somewhere.

Despite Apple’s privacy agreement, it is still not crystal clear about its data retention policies. It is not, for example, linked on Apple’s Siri FAQ page. In fact, it doesn’t appear to exist anywhere on Apple’s website.

Apple is not alone. Google, which offers its own Voice Search software on Android phones, says that it anonymizes audio samples and then stores them for up to 24 months to improve its speech recognition software.

So next time you speak to Siri, just be careful.