This is another in our “She Said, He Said” blog post series. Unfortunately, there will be no #shehechat this Thursday at 8 p.m. CST this week because we are speaking at an event that evening. However, we will return to our normal time slot next week.
Shelby and I both got our new iPhone 4S’s in the last couple of weeks. I received mine first and that drove Shelby nuts for a few days. As a new iPhone user, I’m impressed with the overall user experience of the device but it’s safe to say Siri is the feature that iPhone veteran Shelby finds most interesting. Since I got my 4S first, I’ll start off our conversation about Siri.
Jim: By the first evening of the iPhone 4S release, Siri’s network was having problems so I started out a bit frustrated with the feature. Earlier in the day, I had been able to have Siri both call and text you so I could rub it in that I had my new phone already and you did not. Cheryl (my wife) was close by at the time and raised her eyebrows in surprise at how well Siri recognized and complied with my requests. Okay, I’m going to break up your conversation with your Siri now so you can start adding to this post…
Shelby: For the record, the fact that you got your iPhone first wasn’t what was driving me nuts. It was the fact that AT&T couldn’t track my shipment and I didn’t know when I was going to receive it. (Do you believe that?) Anyway, I figured out how to use Siri pretty quickly and spent most of my first night with her just chatting. I found out some interesting things. She’d tell me her favorite color (greenish, with many dimensions) but wouldn’t admit to her age or weight.
Jim: Let’s get back to the useful information in this post. The next cool feature I uncovered was that Siri could access my entire iTunes library. I can simply say “Play R.E.M.” and she plays all the music by that group on my iPhone. That’s pretty cool because I don’t have to search and scroll. I also find her interface to Google Maps to be very strong. I simply say something like “Take me home” and she creates a route from where I am to my home. That’s pretty cool stuff. One frustration I’ve had is the lack of an interface to Twitter but I found a workaround to that which I’ll explain after you tell us something besides how she responds to “how old are you?”
Shelby: Well, I haven’t found a way to tweet through Siri yet but I agree that her geo-location knowledge is top notch. I’ve already used her several times when I’ve been driving alone and needed directions or to find a particular place nearby. When we were in New Orleans last week for the trade show and we needed an audio wire, I asked Siri. She found a Radio Shack within walking distance from the convention center and we had our problem solved over our lunch break.
Jim: Getting Siri to interface to Twitter is a little tricky, but all I did was create an address book entry for “blue birdie” with a phone number of 40404. Then, I enabled my phone number in my Twitter profile. Now, I can just say, “Text blue birdie.” Next I say something like “at sign shelmke see I can use Siri to tweet.” I’m assuming that at the moment Apple and Twitter have not worked out an arrangement to allow a more direct interface. We can only hope one is coming as much as we use Twitter.
Shelby: That’s a pretty nifty trick, I have to admit. Don’t be mad at me if I don’t use it though. It’s certainly not perfect since that tweet you just sent out really said, “see I can use Siri to tweak.” We are obviously still figuring Siri out and have a lot to learn. Meanwhile, I’m going to continue to tell Siri that I love her every day and enjoy her many random replies.