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Poll: How many HN iOS users actually use Siri?
18 points by Turing_Machine 313 days ago | comments
I played around with it a bit when it was new, then haven't used it since. Now that it's been out for quite a while, I was curious about its uptake.
I use it all the time and would hate to be without it.
56 points
I use it occasionally.
97 points
I use it rarely.
68 points
I never use it at all (other than playing around/demos) and wouldn't miss it if it were gone.
224 points


raldi 313 days ago | link

I use it all the time for exactly two things:

1. "Set an alarm for __:__"

2. "Set a timer for ____ minutes"

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chasingtheflow 313 days ago | link

If you're parked in a street sweep area:

"Remind me to move my car on ___ at 2pm"

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Zimahl 313 days ago | link

These are completely valid use cases. I think the problem with Siri is that it was billed as some insanely useful tool that would radically change how you use your phone. Obviously it's limitations outweigh it's strengths.

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evv 313 days ago | link

> Obviously it's limitations outweigh it's strengths.

Right now, true. But I'm sure people said that of the first GUIs as well. Now GUIs offer everything the average user needs. Before we know it, the same will be true of voice control, and eventually brain control.

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joedj 313 days ago | link

I use those two very often. Also:

- "Remind me when I get home/to work to ___" - "Add ___ to my shopping list"

Annoyingly, it interprets "Add" as "And" about 50% of the time, and gets confused. Have manually corrected that about 1000 times...

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rogerclark 313 days ago | link

also useful are "turn off all of my alarms", and "delete all of my alarms"

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baby 313 days ago | link

This is exactly why I want SIRI. Only for those two uses. More is bonus.

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weakwire 313 days ago | link

Yeap. these are the ONLY 2 reasons I use siri

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spellboots 313 days ago | link

I find it really useful for two specific actions: Setting a timer whilst cooking, and setting reminders.

"Remind me to renew my insurance next monday at lunch time" takes a lot less time that manually entering a date, time and task. 5 seconds as opposed to 30 seconds to a minute.

And whilst cooking, setting a timer quickly without having to navigate through menus with greasy hands is great.

It did take quite a while to actually remember to use it.

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nilsbunger 313 days ago | link

I use Siri and voice dictation every day for:

    "text my wife I'm on my way home"
    "set timer for 10 minutes" (cooking)
    "Directions to 101 spear st, san francisco"
    "Remind me to ______ at 5pm today"
... and writing meeting summaries in the car. (always needs some fixing afterwards from my mac)

It sucks for lots of other stuff, but I've found these pretty useful.

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mbesto 313 days ago | link

Just a suggestion - using the word "actually" will severely skew the results of your poll. Too much confirmation bias.

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geuis 313 days ago | link

I disabled it mainly for one reason: the ill-conceived placement of the Siri button on the keyboard. I use the keyboard all the time, but I only use Siri from time to time.

When I am trying to type, I shouldn't have to worry about where my left thumb is hitting when I need the ".?123" button.

As far I know, there's no way to keep Siri enabled but to remove that button from the keyboard.

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aashay 313 days ago | link

I seem to have the opposite problem. I use Siri/dictation _all the time_ when responding to text messages (because I can talk a lot faster than I can type on an iDevice) and I frequently accidentally hit the international keyboard or .?123 button instead.

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onedognight 313 days ago | link

I use it all the time while driving:

  1. Tell <first name> I'll be late.
  2. Directions Home or Directions to <some restaurant>
  3. Remind me to <do something>
  4. Play <Artist or Song>
These are amazingly reliable for me and quite helpful. I find that people who started using Siri later have adopted a more efficient style, probably because it gotten better and can handle more terse queries now.

I hardly ever need to use full names or contact locations like Mobile or Home or pedantic detail like "Send a Text message". It almost always picks the correct option (the one I use most often).

Sometimes she gets places consistently wrong, but you can often either speak slower or spell out things like acronyms.

Also, you might not have noticed, but you can speak punctuation, like when dictating.

    Ask my wife, are you home question mark
will turn into this.

    Are you home?

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thom 313 days ago | link

As a follow up - if voice recognition was perfect every time, how much would you use it?

If every third-party app you used daily had a Siri plug-in, how much would you use it?

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r00fus 313 days ago | link

The 3rd party use of Siri would be a godsend. I envision numerous use uses of Siri where I didn't need to touch the phone.

Example: Driving, listening to Audible (anyone know anywhere else I can get digital audiobook downloads at a reasonable price?), I'd like to skip back 30s. Siri integration would make it possible for me to focus attention on other things (my passengers) as they come up, then rewind. As it stands, I just end up skipping that part of my book and piecing together afterwards (or hitting the pause on my bt headset).

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mbell 313 days ago | link

I'm not sure perfect voice recognition is actually the problem. I think I have pretty solid voice recognition capabilities myself yet the cognitive load to determine what it is that someone wants is still high.

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thom 313 days ago | link

So you mean the quality of results is poor (compared to just Googling, for example)?

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chetanahuja 313 days ago | link

I'm an Indian and Siri has no notion of any accents or usages other than some variations of American English. Android speech recognition though works incredibly well for me.

I live in a mixed iPhone/Android household. The iPhone users have completely given up on Siri understanding almost anything in their accent. My Nexus4 understands me almost flawlessly. I use it all the time for the usual "remind me to mail the check at 2 pm", "Call <person-name> mobile" type things to relatively complex search queries "what was that movie with Hugh Jackman about magic" etc. It typically does and searches what I want within the first try... more complex things could take two or three tries. But the hit-rate is good enough to encourage me to keep using it on a regular basis

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tdicola 313 days ago | link

I use it all the time to add things to a grocery/shopping list reminder.

'Add eggs to groceries'

'Add soda to groceries'

etc.

It works really well for me and is much faster than opening a note app, finding the grocery note, typing in what I need, etc. The only odd thing is that it creates things as reminders and not as notes--you can use notes but you have to explicitly say 'Add foo to groceries note', so I just use a reminder since it's faster (and has a nice checkbox interface).

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mbreese 313 days ago | link

My son (5yo) laughs at me arguing with Siri when trying to send an SMS to my wife through my car's Bluetooth/hands-free setup.

He thinks my phone is an idiot that can't understand me.

So, I'm not sure how successfully I use Siri, but I do use it a lot for hands-free messaging.

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onedognight 313 days ago | link

My daughter says, "Did it work, dad?" every time she hears Siri respond to me.

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antirez 313 days ago | link

I use it for a single thing, but I always use it for that almost daily: to add things to the calendar.

Also from time to time I text my wife while driving.

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JMiao 313 days ago | link

I like looking up scores and statistics during the NFL and NBA seasons via the Yahoo Sports integration.

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nate_martin 313 days ago | link

I use it for setting timers and alarms, but that's about it. For more advanced queries, I am always afraid that Siri will fail me and I will have to look it up on google myself, so I just do that first.

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TylerE 313 days ago | link

I vote for the 5th option, "I never use it, found it annoying, and turned the bloody thing off in settings".

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ry0ohki 313 days ago | link

Yep, nothing like the accidental triggering of Siri in a quiet meeting/conference...

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adolph 313 days ago | link

There is a setting to put Siri in kinda-silent mode. Settings>General>Siri>Voice Feedback: Handsfree Only. This turns off the voice and boop-boop.

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Encosia 313 days ago | link

If the dictation feature on the keyboard counts (and I suppose it should, because the dictation is sent to a service somewhere to be processed; it doesn't happen on the phone), I use that dozens of times a day. I rarely use Siri proper for anything other than setting the occasional reminder or alarm though.

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chc 313 days ago | link

I use it all the time to choose songs or make calls while driving, and it's the fastest way to set alarms or timers.

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zwily 313 days ago | link

I use it almost every day to make calls and listen to/respond to texts while driving.

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incongruity 313 days ago | link

That's how it started for me. Now it just seems so much faster to dictate a text/email if I'm not near other people that I have found myself using it more and more. It beats typing on the small touchscreen keyboard.

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slaundy 313 days ago | link

I use the dictation feature in email and notes pretty constantly. It's remarkably accurate with zero training needed, and is much faster than typing by hand. Also saves on hand strain.

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wslh 313 days ago | link

Indeed, I was expecting that Siri can follow a simple conversation. Like a Turing test for children but only answers a few questions like "What is your name?" or "How old are you?".

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peelle 313 days ago | link

I use it all the time.

I am a runner, and biker who does not drive but once a week. When I leave the house I jack in the head phones and go. It would be a pain if I had to take out my phone to call people, or change playlists while biking or running.

Also I am learning Chinese so I use it as a language partner. If it can understand me then a Chinese speaker can.

Also when I decide to go to the movies, or eat while traveling I am not usually near a computer. I'm out with my friends. Holding down the button and and saying "I'm hungry" is a lot faster than opening my map application and typing "restaurant" which I usually spell wrong. :-(

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jinushaun 312 days ago | link

Too slow on 3G. Also, not completely eyes/hands free. Too dangerous to use in the car. As a result, I never use it.

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piyush_soni 313 days ago | link

Someone do the same for Google Now. I use it all the time, and is indispensable for me :). And I know Siri is useless, especially for people having non-American accent.

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heavymark 313 days ago | link

I use to use it all of the time, because when it works it works great, such as setting an alarm, a count down, "Directions to XYZ", "Message Joe, be there in 5", "Remind me to take out trash when I get home" and such. The problem is quite often when I ask for one of those it does the spinning wheel for about 10-15 seconds then says its not available right now. Other times it works relatively instantly.

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thesteg 313 days ago | link

I use it sometimes when I'm cycling to play certain song, playlist or album, or to get the current time. If it would understand me, it would be even useful.

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quackerhacker 313 days ago | link

Can u put an option: "what was the point to upgrade, when my iPhone 4 works fine." :)

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maibaum 313 days ago | link

Please go back to Reddit

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37prime 313 days ago | link

I use Siri while driving, replying to messages in particular.

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mtourne 313 days ago | link

None of those fancy things seems to work if you have just a hint of an accent. Yes my accent is fairly noticeable, but that doesn't seem to bother humans .. But I feel less bad knowing Siri doesn't work if you happen to be Scottish.

ps: I also hate phone menus that can only be accessed via voice recognition.

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noblethrasher 313 days ago | link

1. Weather (every morning).

2. Call so-and-so

3. Set timer/alarm

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gte910h 313 days ago | link

It's great at known words per se, it's HORRIBLE at looking up street names/businesses.

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warrenmiller 313 days ago | link

I use it to set my alarm and call people

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gcb0 313 days ago | link

only have an 3Gs to test the browser rendering.

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r00fus 313 days ago | link

You're going to need to upgrade, 3GS isn't supported on iOS7.

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gcb0 312 days ago | link

uh.. "need to"? rather keep my money and my pretty icons instead of the microsoft cloned ones :)

also, it will still be some time until all the 3Gs are gone from the site i use this phone for testing to. (not in the USA)

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wilfra 313 days ago | link

"Where is the nearest Starbucks?"

"I don't understand 'Near Mint Star Monks'"

"IIIIII NEEEEED DIIIIREECTIOOONS TOOOOOO TTTHHHEEEE NEEEEAAARRESSTT STTTAAARRRBBBBUUUUCCCKKKSSS"

<Siri does nothing>

<ask again>

"Getting directions to Starbucks"

I use it for that - and similar - with some regularity. Faster than pulling over and safer than typing.

I've found it pretty useless for anything else.

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quackerhacker 313 days ago | link

I have Siri on my "new," iPad (the 3rd gen - such a terrible name) and this is exactly what I've used mine for also....well that and I'm one of those people that sometimes ask it dumb questions just to see my wife's face scrunch up.

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xauronx 313 days ago | link

If you haven't told her "what to call you" you need to do so now.

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quackerhacker 313 days ago | link

I have, but she only occasionally calls me Batman (lol), but I get no respect from her, probably cause she asked who my wife was and I defined her in my contacts...example, I asked her today "who's your boss?" She said I don't have one Batman

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drivebyacct2 313 days ago | link

Hm, I'm really, really surprised. I'd like to hear the results for Google Now. I use it probably half a dozen times a day, though I probably only have to actively talk to it once or twice a day when I'm going somewhere out of the ordinary and need directions.

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IgorPartola 313 days ago | link

Obligatory: poll responses voluntary. Poll results meaningless. Responders lie. pg, please remove the ability to create polls because it just introduces noise. It might have been useful at one time, but not anymore.

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