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Hey Siri: The Pros and Cons of Voice Commands
Smartphones are growing increasingly smart and Siri is the perfect example of that. A voice command app, Siri is renowned for her sassy comebacks and funny comments—as well as for making life easier for people who are too lazy or busy to type. With a couple of phrases, you can transform Siri into a personal assistant extraordinaire, but should you use her for everything?
The pros of voice command
Siri does a lot more than type
While most people use Siri as a Dictaphone or a personal scribe, she comes jam-packed with plenty more features. She’ll write your texts for you, but you can also ask her to post statuses or tweets to Facebook or Twitter by saying, “Post to [Twitter of Facebook]” and then dictating your post.
Siri happens to also be something of a mathematical wizard and can solve simple equations and more complex problems. Alongside maths and dictating, Siri is handy for accessing your settings, finding emails, and converting measurements.
If that wasn’t enough, the humble voice command app can also teach you Morse code. Ask Siri “what’s Morse Code for [phrase]” and she’ll give you the answer. Might be useful if you inexplicably need to send a telegraph.
Last but not least, Siri can book your evening out for you with the help of certain apps. If a meal out sounds tasty, ask Siri to search for a restaurant nearby and she’ll search Yelp or the equivalent for you.
Siri will then give you a list of restaurants. Once you’ve seen something you like the look of, you can say “Make a reservations [details]” and Siri will give you a ‘make reservation’ button if you have a reservation-based app like Open Table installed.
Hit the button and thank Siri for organising your life for you.
You can go hands-free in the car
If you’ve got iOS 8 or 9 (if you don’t what are you running?) you’ll have the all-powerful Siri and its hands-free mode. Once you’ve got “Allow ‘Hey Siri’” turned on, you can get Siri to do any of her many tasks by saying ‘Hey Siri’.
You do need to be connected to a power outlet, so charging your phone in the car is the ideal time to test Siri. If you’ve got your iPhone plugged in and acting as a jukebox, you can ask Siri to find and play a specific song for you.
With certain apps, you can ask Siri to do everything from acting as a GPS to making sure you locked the garage door when you left home.
And without having to so much as to touch a button!
Siri will keep you company
Siri has a reputation for her biting wit. If you’re ever bored or have nothing to do, you can have a chat with Siri, make jokes, or ask her philosophical or deeply personal questions. Of course, you can also ask her what 0 divided by 0 is, and watch the mayhem unfold.
The cons of voice command
While Siri is a powerhouse for regulating your life, she does come with a couple of drawbacks.
Siri has listening problems
“I don’t know how to respond to that” is Siri’s go-to when she doesn’t understand what you’ve asked. And this happens more often than you’d like, as Siri isn’t always the best listener, especially in loud environments or if someone has a strong accent.
If your Wi-Fi dies, Siri dies with it
Siri needs Wi-Fi to fuel her. If you’re on a patchy connection or your 3G goes down, Siri can’t function as all the voice commands are relayed from Apple’s servers. This counts for all voice commands, by the way, and not just internet-based ones.
You may fall in love with Siri
If you’ve seen Spike Jonze’s dreamy Her, you’ll know that Joaquin Phoenix’s characters falls madly in love with Samantha, Scarlett Johansson’s golden-voiced operating system.
Granted, Samantha is an awful lot more advanced than Siri so you’re probably safe from Siri’s ‘lure’.
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