Productivity 
● 3 minutes TO READ

Look Ma, No Hands

Your voice assistant is like a magic genie in your phone—and you’re not using it enough!

Hey, Siri!

If you’ve never asked Siri to tell you a science joke (Never trust an atom. They make up everything.) or told Google to add milk to your grocery list, you’re just not enjoying your phone to its full potential. Don’t worry, we’re here to help you get started with your voice assistant. Follow these steps to open up a whole new side of your phone:

1. First things first: Go to your phone’s home screen.

  1. Most phones are already locked and loaded to respond when you activate Siri (iPhone) or Google (Android).

2. Say the magic words: “OK, Google” or “Hey, Siri.”

  1. Add some personality! You can change your voice assistant’s language (including accent) in settings.

3. Getting to know you …

  1. The more you use your voice assistant, the more the A.I. will learn your voice and accent, and be able to deliver what you’re really looking for. So if you don’t get the answer you’re looking for on the first try, keep asking. (And ask in a different way!)
  2. Get silly. Try asking Siri questions like “What’s your favorite animal?” Ask Google “What does the fox say?”
  3. Artificial intelligence can be creepy, like the AI in “Her” or the possessed ship in “Event Horizon,” but that’s just fiction. For now.

4. Make your voice assistant part of your day.

  1. Schedule meetings and set reminders with a quick voice command. Want to know what’s coming up while you’re shaving? Just say, “Ok Google, what’s my schedule like today?”

5. Grocery lists

  1. If you’ve ever found yourself in the snack aisle, staring blankly at the corn chips, without a clue about what you came to buy, you’ll be delighted with the list feature of your voice assistant! Download and sync a list app like any.do with other shoppers in your household, then say “Hey Siri, add milk to the grocery list!”
  2. While you’re at it, you can task your voice assistant with searching for new recipes and even coupons.

6. Capture your muse!

  1. Got a great idea for your next blockbuster screenplay? Have a burning need to write a haiku? Tell Google or Siri to put it in your notes.

7. Read Texts …

  1. … Without actually reading! Siri or Google can tell you what your mother had to say while you’re making meatloaf for dinner. ‘Cause nobody wants to touch their phone with meatloaf hands. Just tell Siri or Google to read your newest text messages.

8. Make last minute plans!

  1. Hungry for a great burger? Wondering what new movies are out at the cinema? Just ask Siri or Google for a list of the nearest burger restaurants, or for movie showing times.

9. Sync to your house!

  1. Forget The Clapper. Just use a voice command to dim the lights or increase the temperature in your house. You’ll need to buy devices to link your phone to your thermostat and dimmer switches, first.

Give your voice assistant a try. It won’t be long before you’re wondering how you ever got things done without one!

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