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Hey Siri! Now on Your Mac

Have you upgraded to Mac OS X Sierra yet? I know that some people wait awhile to upgrade but I have been running Sierra for some time and you will want to upgrade. It is a rock-solid upgrade, it is free and it brings a lot of new features to the Mac. In the words of one big loser, “what do you have to lose?”

Okay, political commentary aside, one of the most exciting and useful features of Sierra is that Siri, finally, has come to the Mac! You know I have been playing around with Amazon’s Echo and I can definitively tell you that Siri is way smarter than Alexa. I still like Alexa but she pretty much is good for telling me dog and pirate jokes.

You can access Siri by clicking on the menu bar icon in the upper right-hand corner of your Mac’s screen or by clicking on the Siri icon in the dock. If you do not see those, you might not have Siri activated so go to System Preferences > Siri and check the box to “Enable Siri”. There you will find the check box to “show Siri in menu bar” which you can toggle on and off as well as options to choose Siri’s language and voice. You can also choose a keyboard shortcut if you would like, F7 is the default.

But, don’t you want to just say “Hey Siri”? That doesn’t necessarily work out of the box but you can make it work! Make sure you activate enhanced dictation in the keyboard system preference. Then, you can go to System Preferences > Accessibility > Dictation to set up the voice command that will activate Siri with a “Hey Siri”.

So, what can ask Siri to do for you? Well, start out by asking her what she can do. You will get a nice long list of things. You can ask Siri to launch apps, tell you the weather, get the Cubs score, FaceTme a friend, get directions to your meeting and so much more. I have been using Siri to find particular files, launch my apps and most of all to settle trivia bets.

Remember PDAs? Not public displays of affection, the other PDA – Personal Desktop Assistant. Well, Siri finally has made that a reality on your Mac. Use Siri to manage your calendar, remind you of appointments or bills to pay, play music for you or just a huge range of tasks. Here’s one huge list of Siri commands.

One of my favorites is searching mail. I can say “find me emails from Hapy” and Siri will give me those almost instantly. Better yet, I can ask Siri to email someone about that Kibbles & Bytes special or set a calendar appointment for the meeting with my service team. I think you are going to like Siri on the Mac!

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