Siri is so under-utilised by parents, when really Siri is the best friend parents have all been dreaming of.
Everyone knows who Siri is. Even those without an iPhone are probably familiar with her. What many don’t know though, is that Siri is the best friend for all parents.
We have all experienced “that guy” who uses Siri at a party to say something silly, tell a joke, beatbox or something equally hilarious but pointless. Lets face it, Siri is a party gimmick, right?
But did you know that Siri can also be very helpful for parenting?
No, no, seriously. Hear me out.
My little one loves listening to music, and I have even managed to get her into some ‘real’ music, such as the Beatles. Sometimes, as we are driving along, she has an urge to sing along to “Yellow Submarine”, but of course, it is illegal to operate a mobile phone whilst driving.
“Hey Siri, play Yellow Submarine album, by the Beatles”
It plays, she is happy, and my hands haven’t left the wheel. Everybody wins.
But wait, there’s more!
Another amazing feat is when driving, I can make a call or even send an SMS, all without removing my hands from the wheel. “Hey Siri, send a message to Mum… I am getting Pizza for dinner tonight!” Message sent. I tell you, it is addictive!
Try this one, next time your child is misbehaving.
“Hey Siri, set a reminder to write a letter to Santa”
Reminder set, and child temporarily becomes an angel.
Shortcuts and real game-changers
Now with the latest iOS update (iOS 13 or later), there is another app called “Shortcuts”. Paired with Siri, this app is the ultimate in getting stuff done. With some tweaking and fiddling, a ‘shortcut’ can do almost anything.
I have one set to activate seven different alarms for each morning (I am NOT a morning person!) so instead of setting them all, then deactivating them all every single day, I just say “Hey Siri, its bed time”. My shortcut activates, alarms are set, screen dims, Do Not Disturb mode is activated, volume lowers and Low Power mode is activated.
In the morning, I say “Hey Siri, I’m Awake”, and the alarms are all deactivated, and everything else is reversed. Saying “Hey Siri, Let’s do this!” gets my workout app open, music open, playlist pumping and Do Not Disturb mode on”.
A great one to set up is “Hey Siri, Say cheese!” and the camera will take a photo. Perfect for those who want a selfie but have arms that are too short…
If you are a tech-head, Shortcuts can also control your AppleTV or other ‘Smart’ devices in your home, such as lighting, Power Points and Sound Systems. Imagine saying “Hey Siri, I am almost home!” and having it turn on the lights, heating/cooling, TV or favourite playlist (Or simply activate the coffee machine so it is ready when you get home!) An app that can literally make you a coffee for when you arrive home. We are in the future, folks!
There are so many things that this app can do, and is limited largely by your imagination and needs. But for the technophobes or those who do not want yet another app, simply having Siri pull its weight and send an SMS, email or make a call is surely a helping hand at times.
But making Siri beatbox is still fun sometimes…