Siri

Can I train Siri to work more accurately?

Siri

Episode 1354

Ellie from Honolulu, HI

Ellie is frustrated by Siri's use of punctuation, as it's very inconsistent. How can she teach it to do better? Leo says that Siri is mystifying when it makes that judgement, and there's really no way to fix it. It's not perfect, but it should get better the more it's used. Even if it's 95% accurate, that 5% can still be annoying. Siri is trainable, but whether it actually improves speech recognition is debatable.

Can I get my TV to read menus for me?

Samsung J5500

Episode 1327

Kenny from Springfield, MO

Kenny is vision impaired and is looking for a way to have his TV read the channels and menus aloud. Scott says that he's never heard of that and neither has David. The chatroom says the Samsung J5500 can, though. Scott doesn't know if there is much choice out there for that, which is a shame because accessibility is important. If it's in the J series, it's probably in the K Series as well.

Why doesn't Siri work in Messages?

Apple Messages

Episode 1320

Steve from Canoga Park, CA

Steve updated his iPhone to iOS 9.3.5. Leo says it's important because it fixes the exploit that enables countries to spy on iPhone users. But now Siri isn't working for Steve. He gets an error that he can't understand: "Please Try Again." Leo says a dirty microphone can easily do that. If it's also an issue via Bluetooth, then it points to something else. It could be a bad update. He can still dictate messages, though. Leo says that's a Messages issue then. The only thing he can do is backup his phone and do a factory reset.

How can I do remote access via voice dictation?

Apple iPhone 6s and 6s Plus

Episode 1233

Richard from Youngstown, OH

Richard is visually impaired and bought the iPhone 6s Plus. Richard's friend is hearing impaired and he wants to know if she could use her iPad as a kind of stop gap hearing aid or screen reader? Leo says that using dictation mode with Siri would do it. Google has a good voice dictation mode as well. But if he's talking about remote access via voice, that would be a challenge. But maybe Richard should learn to write apps and create it!

Why can't Siri text for me?

Siri on iPhone and Apple Watch

Episode 1226

Alex from Los Angeles, CA

Alex is having trouble with Siri and using his contacts in iOS 9. Leo says that sometimes connecting a third party app like Facebook to contacts will cause multiple entries and that can confuse Siri. Especially if the contact in question has no phone and has the same name as the one that does. So it would be a good idea to merge his contacts. He should log into iCloud as well and see what his contacts look like. It's likely that Siri is just using a contact that has no number so it can't call or send a text. Merging the contacts will fix it, and it'll clean up his contacts as well.

Siri Has a Hint for Apple's September 9th Event

iOS 9

Episode 1216

Apple has sent out invitations to their annual fall iPhone event. Siri even has a "hint" about it if you ask her, but don't expect any real information from it. It's more of a fun little coy game. The September event is being held at the Campbell Center in San Francisco, a massive 7,000 seat auditorium, which Leo says has removable seats, so it's likely there will be a lot of product demos going on. He also wonders if Apple product announcements are becoming a bit ho-hum, expecting just the next thing. The magic just isn't really there anymore, it's just another electronic.

What can I do with my Amazon Echo?

Amazon Echo

Episode 1195

Karen from Tustin, CA

Karen finally got her Amazon Echo and she loves it. Leo says he just got his as well. This market of smart assistant technology has really been driven by Siri, Cortana, etc. Echo is the smartest one so far, Leo thinks. Leo says Amazon seems really committed to it.

There's also a great free service called IFTTT (If This, Then That), which will allow Karen to create recipes and set up automated tasks.