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Take Control of Siri

Extend the power of Siri to control smart home devices!

Save 33% as you learn about home automation with HomeKit and go in-depth on Siri. Buy with Take Control of Apple Home Automation for only $20!

Feb 19, 2019

Take Control of Siri

Make the most of Apple’s digital assistant!

Siri, Apple’s voice-controlled digital assistant, has been around since 2011, when it debuted on the iPhone. But since then, it has become vastly more powerful and useful, and has spread across Apple’s entire ecosystem—it now runs on iOS, macOS, Apple Watch, Apple TV, and HomePod. Siri can now listen and speak in a wide range of languages and accents, perform a long list of helpful day-to-day tasks, and keep you entertained in the process.

Although Siri is easy to use, it’s so multitalented that you might easily overlook some of its best features. In this book, former Macworld editor Scholle McFarland takes you deep into Siri’s capabilities. You’ll learn tons of tips and tricks about making the most of Siri. Discover how Siri can increase your efficiency and productivity, lend a hand when you’re in the car or out for a jog, and even make it simpler to play music or find movies and TV shows to watch.

Among many other things, this book teaches you:

  • What hardware and software you need to use Siri
  • How to change Siri’s language and voice
  • Ways to personalize Siri by telling it about yourself, your contacts, and more
  • The numerous ways to activate Siri (by touch or by voice)
  • How to use Siri with AirPods, wired earbuds, or third-party headphones
  • What to do if the wrong device answers your “Hey Siri” request
  • How to ask Siri about sports, math and conversions, time, food, movies, people, stocks, the weather, jokes, and random facts
  • Tips for asking Siri follow-up questions
  • How to control music (on any device, with or without an Apple Music subscription)
  • Techniques for using Siri to get directions, set reminders and appointments, send messages and email, and take notes
  • Ways to use Siri to search for files on your Mac
  • What Siri can and can’t do for you on an Apple TV or HomePod
  • How to make and use Siri Shortcuts on an iOS device or Apple Watch
  • Everything you need to know about your privacy where Siri is involved

Plus bonus videos! Since Siri is an audio-based, interactive tool, there are some things that are more readily demonstrated than written about. So Scholle has put together a series of videos that illustrate techniques from her book, allowing you to see and hear exactly what happens as you use Siri.

Whether you’re new to Siri or a seasoned pro, you’re sure to find lots of tricks and suggestions in this book to improve your experience of using Siri.

Update Plans

February 19, 2019—The book is up to date as far as we know, but when Apple makes significant changes to Siri, we’ll consider updating the book as needed.

Posted by Joe Kissell

  1. MacVoices Interviews Scholle McFarland About Her Book on Siri

    Chuck Joiner of MacVoices interviewed Scholle McFarland about Take Control of Siri. Scholle and Chuck discuss her book, including some of Siri’s lesser-known features and how it can help in your home, car, and elsewhere.

    Posted by Joe Kissell (Permalink)

  2. Take Control of Siri—Videos

    These videos illustrate techniques for using Siri, based on Take Control of Siri by Scholle McFarland:

    How to Change Siri’s Voice

    How to Use Siri with Reminders

    10 Types of Questions You Can Ask Siri

    How to Use Siri in the Kitchen

    10 Ways to Use Siri on the Mac

    How to Get Help with Siri in an Emergency

    How to Use Siri in the Car

    Joking Around with Siri

    6 Cool Things You Can Do with Siri

    How to Control Your Music with Siri

    Posted by Joe Kissell (Permalink)

The Author

Scholle McFarland has been covering the Mac since 1996 as an editor at MacUser magazine and then Macworld. During that time, she witnessed Apple transform from everyone’s favorite “doomed” company to everyone’s actually favorite company and is still amazed by the whole thing.

When she’s not working as a freelance writer and editor, Scholle (“Sholly”) likes to hang out with her family, friends, and many animals in beautiful Portland, Oregon.