Siri

How can I do voice dictation on my Mac?

Microphone

Episode 1510

Tracy from Los Angeles, CA

Tracy wants to know how her husband can do voice dictation on his Mac. Leo says to go to the System Preferences pane for keyboard settings and enable voice dictation on the Dictation tab. Then he can tap the function key twice on his iMac, and that will trigger voice dictation. It's pretty accurate. It won't be perfect, but it'll be 80% there. He can even do voice editing.

How can I use call waiting with a Bluetooth headset?

Plantronics M70 Bluetooth Headset

Episode 1508

Ed from Las Vegas, NV

Ed is blind and uses a Plantronics Bluetooth headset with his iPhone. When he gets an incoming call while he's on a call, he can't do anything without cutting off his current call. Leo says that call waiting is an imperfect technology and he doesn't use it. Leo says that if he can tell Siri to put it on hold, and take the other one, that would be great. Ed should talk to an Apple Genius at the Apple Store. They may know something.

Does Apple CarPlay support Google Play Music?

Apple CarPlay

Episode 1443

Jonathan from New York, NY

Jonathan wants to know if CarPlay will support Android and Google Play Music. Leo says that Google Play Music will be coming to CarPlay soon. Although it's unclear when it will get seeded down to older models. Siri probably won't interact with it or control it, though. This seems counter to the very idea of CarPlay to begin with — that it's a handsfree experience when driving.

Why does Siri sometimes not make phone calls?

Siri & Search in iPhone Settings

Episode 1424

Ron from Chatsworth, CA

Ron has an iPhone 7 and when he asks Siri to call someone, sometimes she gets it right, sometimes she doesn't because he has to unlock his phone first. Rich says that there are a couple of settings in the Siri tab that has to do with authorization and contacts. It has to do with privacy and security. He can enable "Allow Siri while locked" if the phone is locked. He can also go through the process of setting up his "Hey Siri" voice by disabling, and re-enabling Siri in Settings.

Apple May Announce Siri Home Device at WWDC

Apple HomePod

Episode 1392

There's plenty of credible evidence that Apple is going to get into the home connectivity game with an announcement of a Siri home speaker at WWDC. But Leo says that Siri is the dumbest of all the digital assistants, since Apple has systematically dumbed the service down since they acquired it. So he's not sure how beneficial it would be to have a Siri device over Amazon's Echo or Google's Home. Apple may have the edge with superior hardware, though.

How can I stop Siri from repeating itself when setting an alarm?

iPhone alarm

Episode 1355

George from Newport, CA

George has an issue with Siri repeating itself seven or eight times when he uses Siri to set alarms. Leo says he may want to try rebooting the iPhone. It should be rebooted every once in awhile to clear things out. He could also do a hard reset by pressing and holding the on/off button and the home button until the Apple logo appears. The worst case scenario is that he'll need to backup his iPhone and then do a DFU recovery (device firmware update).

Can I train Siri to work more accurately?

Siri

Episode 1354

Ellie from Honolulu, HI

Ellie is frustrated by Siri's use of punctuation, as it's very inconsistent. How can she teach it to do better? Leo says that Siri is mystifying when it makes that judgement, and there's really no way to fix it. It's not perfect, but it should get better the more it's used. Even if it's 95% accurate, that 5% can still be annoying. Siri is trainable, but whether it actually improves speech recognition is debatable.

Can I get my TV to read menus for me?

Samsung J5500

Episode 1327

Kenny from Springfield, MO

Kenny is vision impaired and is looking for a way to have his TV read the channels and menus aloud. Scott says that he's never heard of that and neither has David. The chatroom says the Samsung J5500 can, though. Scott doesn't know if there is much choice out there for that, which is a shame because accessibility is important. If it's in the J series, it's probably in the K Series as well.

Why doesn't Siri work in Messages?

Apple Messages

Episode 1320

Steve from Canoga Park, CA

Steve updated his iPhone to iOS 9.3.5. Leo says it's important because it fixes the exploit that enables countries to spy on iPhone users. But now Siri isn't working for Steve. He gets an error that he can't understand: "Please Try Again." Leo says a dirty microphone can easily do that. If it's also an issue via Bluetooth, then it points to something else. It could be a bad update. He can still dictate messages, though. Leo says that's a Messages issue then. The only thing he can do is backup his phone and do a factory reset.