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20 Siri tips that'll make your life easier

Find out which Siri commands will cut the sass and make the personal assistant work smarter for you.

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Sharon Profis
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1 of 21 Sharon Profis/CNET

Train Siri to work smarter for you

There are so many ways Siri can make your life easier. But if you don't know the proper commands, you might get a lot of unwanted sass. Here's a growing list of tips and tricks that Siri a better personal assistant.

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Correct her mistakes

Siri doesn't always get it. Sometimes it's ambient noise, and other times, it's a mystery.

To correct her, swipe down to reveal your initial command, and use the "Tap to edit" option to make a correction. When you're done, Siri will come up with a new answer, and she'll better understand you in the future.

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3 of 21 Sharon Profis/CNET

Stop speaking like a robot

Even though Siri isn't quite as human as the personal assistant from the movie "Her," she's capable of understanding very human speak.

The next time you say a command, don't worry so much about it sounding perfect or being exact -- Siri will figure it out.

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Don't sacrifice grammar for Siri

You'll sound a little silly, but using punctuation (and smileys) is as easy as saying the punctuation. For example, "Hey comma how are you question mark smiley face" will turn into "Hey, how are you? :-)"

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It's OK, you can change your mind

Even though her assertiveness suggests otherwise, the commands you give Siri aren't set in stone.

If you need to change a completed command, follow up immediately by tapping the mic and saying, "Change it."

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Reveal your history

Siri can be so helpful that it's easy to have a long conversation with the assistant. To recall an answer she gave you earlier in the conversation, just swipe down to scroll up.

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Teach Siri correct pronunciations

For the lognest time, Siri called me "Sharon Prawwwwwfis." Annoying.

If Siri misprounces your name -- or anyone else's -- there's an easy way to correct that.

At any point just say, "That's not how you pronounce [name]" and Siri will take you through a process of correcting it.

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8 of 21 Sharon Profis/CNET

Alarm-setting for the lazy

When you're drowsy and slipping into slumber, it's appropriate to feel too lazy to set an alarm. So, let Siri do it by saying "Set my alarm for [time]."

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9 of 21 Sharon Profis/CNET

Siri can tweet, too

Don't let Siri stop you from being social. If you've set up your Facebook and Twitter accounts on your iDevice, Siri can handle status updates. Just say, "Tweet [insert tweet here]" or "Update Facebook [your message here]."

Siri can even understand hash tags, so "Tweet Go USA exclamation point hash tag world cup" turns into "Go USA! #worldcup."


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Make Siri listen

Siri can be quick to interrupt, especially if you're in the middle of a thought.

To prevent her from cutting you off, continue holding down the mic button (or home button) until you complete your comand.

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Decide with a coin flip

Can't decide? Let Siri handle it for you. Just say, "Flip a coin," and Siri will randomly populate heads or tails. And, she's so authentic that sometimes the coin falls in the crack of her virtual sidewalk.

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12 of 21 Sharon Profis/CNET

Search for something on Google

If you'd rather use Google search for the answers you need, just say "Google search [your search term]."

This is especially useful if you want to see Google's search cards for things like sports, nutritional information, flights, and language translations.

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Search for a note or e-mail

Need to quickly find an e-mail or note? Siri can handle it. Just say "Find my note about [word]" and it'll appear.

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Assign nicknames and relationships

To be able to use commands like "Text my sister" or "E-mail my manager," you have to tell Siri who these people are.

You can create any kind of relationship -- even unconventional ones like "lifesaver" -- by telling Siri "[Person's name] is my [relationship]".

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Use complex commands

Don't be afraid to talk on and on about your upcoming appointment -- Siri can handle it. In this example, Siri noted the name of the event, the time, its location, and the invitee. To top it off, the guest even received a calendar invite.

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16 of 21 Sharon Profis/CNET

It's a bird, it's a plane!

While you wait at the bus stop, sinking into boredom, get Siri to entertain you. The personal assistant can tell you which planes are traveling overhead in real time.

Practical? No. Entertaining? Yes.

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Learn the basics

To see a list of some of the most helpful commands Siri can handle, just say, "What can I say?"

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Let her switch settings

The less you have to tap around your phone for mundane tasks, the better. The next time you have to toggle a setting, just ask Siri to do it.

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Launch apps

Now that folders can be nested in folders nested in folders, it's easy to lose track of an app. Instead of hunting around, just tell Siri to launch the app you're looking for.

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Give yourself a new name

By default, Siri will address you with your name as it's entered in your Contacts. But if you want to spice things up, just ask Siri to call you something else.

"Queen of the Universe" has a nice ring to it, right?

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Make Siri manly

The default voice for Siri is female, but if you prefer a male personal assistant, set that option by going to Settings > General > Siri > Voice Gender.

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