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Talking to Siri: Learning the Language of Apple's Intelligent Assistant [Paperback]

by Erica Sadun, Steve Sande
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)

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Talking to Siri: Learning the Language of Apple's Intelligent Assistant (2nd Edition) Talking to Siri: Learning the Language of Apple's Intelligent Assistant (2nd Edition) 3.9 out of 5 stars (8)
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Book Description

March 25, 2012 0789749734 978-0789749734 1

Sweet-talk SiriTM into doing practically anything!


Apple’s Siri voice technology is even more amazing when you really know how
to talk to it. Now, two top Apple tech experts show how to talk Siri into doing
more than ever before! Just look up what you want to do, and you’ll find tested
step-by-step instructions for getting exactly the results you want. From start to
finish, this book is packed with quick and easy ways to make Siri even more
reliable and useful—and way more fun!


•     Get more accurate recognition every time you use Siri

•     Ask questions that avoid “misunderstandings” and lead to precise,
accurate answers

•     Check weather forecasts, stock prices, and lots more

•     Help Siri recognize and connect with your spouse, children, and parents

•     Use Siri to stay in touch with friends, colleagues, and customers

•     Transform Siri into your personal media DJ

•     Find the nearest store that’s selling whatever you’re looking for

•     Let Siri calculate restaurant tips and “splitting the tab”

•     Use Siri to organize your life—and never miss another commitment

•     Answer math and science problems with Siri and Wolfram Alpha

•     Dictate memos, text and Twitter messages, and even blog posts

•     Make sure Siri responds only to you, not to an impostor


Frequently Bought Together

Talking to Siri: Learning the Language of Apple's Intelligent Assistant + Siri For Dummies
Price for both: $25.64

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  • Siri For Dummies $12.17

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Erica Sadun writes lots of books and she blogs at TUAW. When not writing, she’s a full-time parent of geeks who are brushing up on their world-domination skills. According to her academic dosimeter, she has acquired more education than any self-respecting person might consider wise. She enjoys deep-diving into technology.


Steve Sande also writes way too much. He’s the hardware editor at TUAW, and recently logged more than one million words written for the blog in just over 3 years. He’s written a number of books for Take Control Books and Apress, is married to a rocket scientist, and spends his days being bossed by a cat.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 168 pages
  • Publisher: Que Publishing; 1 edition (March 25, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0789749734
  • ISBN-13: 978-0789749734
  • Product Dimensions: 7.2 x 5.1 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #955,812 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Erica Sadun is the bestselling author, coauthor, and contributor to three dozen books on programming, digital media, Web design, and other topics- Sadun holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Georgia Tech's renowned Graphics, Visualization, and Usability Center.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Useful, the manual Siri should have had April 10, 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This little book makes using Siri much easier. It is the manual Siri should have had. It goes over simple uses--creating reminders, for example, and more complex uses. These include using Siri to send text messages, to compose e-mails, to search for an item close to you, to maintain a grocery list and remind you when you get to the store what to get. It goes over using Siri to enter things in your calendar, and as a shopping aid. It has a chapter on the kind of humorous prompts that will get Siri to wisecrack back. And it introduces a function I had no idea Siri had, integration with Wolfram Alpha, which you can ask everything from solutions to math equations to currency conversions to conversions of recipe ingredients and on and on. I haven't mastered all that this little book can teach me, but I plan to keep it around and master one sort of task after another and see which ones are useful in my life. For example, who knew that Siri can be a countdown barbecue stopwatch? I think I might use that! Cool!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Making the Most out of Siri April 11, 2012
Siri is one of the coolest smartphone features to come around since, well, the advent of smartphones. It takes the personalization of your daily tasks to a whole new level. Siri's also incredibly fun to use, and as many websites dedicated to it can attest, it has a very quirky dry sense of humor.

Most of the things that I've used Siri for I've picked up from the original Apple presentation of iPhone 4S plus a few additional adds and online tutorials. I've used Siri mostly to place phone calls, send text messages, add items to my calendar, and lookup information online or figure it out using Wolfram Alpha. However, there are many more only slightly more complex and ingenious tasks that Siri can be coopted into doing. Unfortunately, like with most other Apple products, Siri didn't come with a detailed user manual. "Talking to Siri" more or less fills in that need. It's a very short little book, but it will definitely increase your ability to get the most out of Siri. For me some of the most useful tidbits of information were the workarounds around Siri's inability to use Twitter, Blogger, or many other such outside messaging/posting services. It is very likely that in the future there will be an "official" way of contacting these services directly, but in a meanwhile it's possible to tweet using Siri by sending text messages to a particular Twitter-affiliated number. You'll find many such little nuggets in this book, and if you want to become a Siri power user, then you should definitely check it out.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Second chance for Siri August 16, 2012
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I have to admit, I really hated Siri. It actually got me upset to try and communicate with her... childish, I know. I just stopped using the program, was better then (practically) arguing with a phone. Then, I saw this book and thought I would give it a try. The book was like couples therapy. It really put Siri into perspective for me and turned me in the right direction to be able to get out of the program what it was able to give.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It's ok but... January 13, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The book has value but is more proof that I never want to buy the Kindle version for any techical manual. You need paper to quickly reference or re-reference siri use and e-books don't cut it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars You need to know this stuff August 31, 2012
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Why Siri doesn't already come with a book like this, I have no idea. It should be packed right with your iPhone. Although Apple tries to major on making things intuitive, let's face it--you can't know everything you need to know just by intuition. Apple always seems to assume that you can figure everything out without help, but without this book there is so much you will miss. This book spells it out for you and explains how Siri really works. I wish I had a manual like this for my dog; I still can't figure out all the things she does. One thing I found especially useful about this book was that it showed me a lot more uses for Siri. It will maximize the usefulness of Siri for you and eliminate the frustrations you may have encountered with it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing technology, amazing book August 15, 2012
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Siri is unique, easy and fun to use. Everyone knows that. But with this book, written by two geniuses who are Apple Tech people, you can maximize your investment of your iPhone 4s. Before I read this book, I knew, of course, I could tell Siri to do things, like reminders, make calls, etc.,BUT there is a vast amount of stuff I never knew siri was capable of. For instance, if I look up in the sky while relaxing in my yard and see a plane go overhead, I can ask Siri to give me flight info of that plane. Siri isn't perfect, but it sure is a step forward into the future. If this old man can read this book and learn about Siri, anyone can. I received this book courtesy of Amazon Vine.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Meh! October 10, 2012
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I guess if Apple were to put out a manual on Siri, it would be something like this. This isn't a bad little book and I learned a few things I didn't know about Siri. But, I'm not sure it's worth the price. I got it right before iOS6 was launched with the new version of Siri. So, maybe there will be a new edition for iOS6.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quite Necessary To Optimize Your iPhone September 28, 2012
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This book is very similiar to Siri For Dummies. So, instead of exploring on your own, this booklet goes into direct and simple exercises in exactly what Siri can and cannot do. There are so many things you can do with Siri, so I'll only mention a few cool things I learned. You can be driving and texting safely at the same time (although I still feel uncomfortable even saying this). Hands free - Simply say, "Send a text to Sue". Siri asks you what you want to say. You simply state your message. When done, Siri asks you if you want to send it. You can do that or cancel it and redo it or have Siri read it back to you for correctness. I found Siri took a while to learn some of my verbiage, but learns after a while, but is sometimes not perfect. All done vocally. Of course, if you are not driving you can vocalize and press buttons.

Siri will also play any song on your iPhone by request. Play "Under My Thumb" and Siri plays it. 'Find me a gas station' and Siri finds the closest ones with a map. Ask about the weather for next week and Siri will tell you. If Siri cannot answer your question directly, she will ask if you want to search the internet. I found this happens a lot.

Reminders is the best feature for me. Siri will remind you at any time you specify and remind you what the meeting is and with whom. Want to call someone hands free? Say, "Call Sue", and it is done. If you have more than one Sue, Siri will ask you which one by listing them vocally. This is virtually unlimited.

The only thing I found silly (but fun) are all the questions you can ask Siri and get a sarcastic or funny response. "Siri, I love you". Response; "I bet you say that to all your phones". Silly, but fun.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Helpful
I found this book helpful. It taught me things to do with Siri that I didn't know she could do. It was easy to read and navigate. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Ryal McMurry
5.0 out of 5 stars Makes Siri Success More Consistent!
I've had my iPhone 4S for about nine months now, and one of my favorite features is Siri. My success with getting Siri to do exactly what I want or need hasn't always been so... Read more
Published 12 months ago by April Blake
4.0 out of 5 stars Great way to be more productive
Love the tips and sample phrases!

Some of the info is outdated with iOS 6 but most of the book is very good!
Published 14 months ago by Arlen M. Nagata
4.0 out of 5 stars A Study Guide for the Dedicated
Properly utilizing Siri is complicated, challenging and requires a determination to make Siri work for you as it should. Read more
Published 14 months ago by David Bower
4.0 out of 5 stars Useful introduction, but get 2nd edition or later
There were significant changes to Siri (including some anticipated by the authors) when it was updated along with iOS 6. The second edition publication date was January 2013. Read more
Published 15 months ago by David K. Watson
4.0 out of 5 stars Very helpful little book!
Although tiny, this book packs a punch! It's got lots of great suggestions for how to make the most out of using Siri, and, as other users have mentioned, is like the guide that... Read more
Published 16 months ago by Leanne
5.0 out of 5 stars Actually makes my iPhone fun to use..
I got my iPhone 4s and did play with Siri a bit - mostly for the newness of the technology. I quickly got tired of it, though, because I really didn't know how to use it (her?). Read more
Published 17 months ago by N. Caruso
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Helpful
After purchasing my iPhone this summer, I found that this book offered a wealth of knowledge when it comes to the phone's assistant, Siri. Read more
Published 17 months ago by musiclover13
4.0 out of 5 stars A Helpful Guide
By now, everyone knows that if you have the iPhone 4s you can talk to it. You can ask it questions and a helpful voice (Siri) will answer. Read more
Published 17 months ago by Aaron Davis
5.0 out of 5 stars You will learn something!
Unless you are super techy or spend tons of time inspecting your phone and Siri, this is a great book for things you may have missed. Read more
Published 17 months ago by mom2twoboys
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