Siri, Apple’s intelligent voice-activated assistant, is an easy target to mock, but it’s actually pretty useful. Easily enabling you to speak to your iPhone to quickly find out the latest sports scores, or weather updates, it saves you from having to tap away at the screen.
Ever switched back to your Mac and wished you could just speak your command? Well, now you can. One of the big pieces of news to come out of WWDC was that Siri will be a part of the next macOS, Sierra, coming this fall. So here’s what you’ll be able to do with Siri on Mac in Sierra:
1. Finding Files Quickly
During the WWDC demonstration, Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of Software Engineering, showed off how Siri can be used while searching for a file. It looks pretty great. You can use it to look up images online, or find an important document on your system. Ok, so you can do this by typing, right? This looks set to be quicker, and an ideal alternative to Finder, especially when your hands are full. Ever tried to multitask and fail miserably? Your voice just became another tool in making things easier.
2. Perform contextual searches
Finder is a useful way to find something, but it doesn’t think like a person. You still need to know some rough parameters to be able to find something. With Siri for Mac, you’ll be able to ask Siri to find you all the files you created last Tuesday, or specific files that your Mom or work colleague sent you. That’s pretty handy if you’re a little disorganized and never quite got used to proper folder organization.
3. Open apps and play music easily
Juggling a bunch of different windows and you don’t really want to get out of the zone? Worst of all, you’d quite like to load up your favorite playlist to relax a little? Ask Siri and she’ll do the rest for you, without requiring you to leap out of your perfectly arranged selection of windows. It’s sure to be a boost to your productivity levels, effectively giving you an extra ‘virtual hand’ in your workflow.
4. Actually Use Notification Center for Something Helpful
Notification Center for Mac is a nice idea but one that few of us use to its full potential. That potential just got better through Siri. You’ll be able to ask Siri to look up the baseball scores, or check someone’s Twitter feed, then pin those results to Notification Center. There, you’ll be able to check in on what’s going on at any time, without it getting in the way of the rest of your work. You can even do it for web searches or documents, proving to be ideal for extensive research.
5. Goofin’ Around
Ok, not everything about Siri has to be there to save you time or make your life more organized. You can goof around too. As anyone with an iPhone will tell you, Siri can be quite entertaining with her answers. As the demonstration at WWDC showed, asking Siri what she thinks of being on Mac, she came out with ‘no complaint about the lack of Windows’. Want to procrastinate from work? Try asking Siri to beatbox or to sing a song. Ask her about the meaning of life, or for the plot line to Inception. It’s silly but fun seeing what she can come up with.