Siri, the voice-control 'personal assistant' Apple has featured in its iPads and iPhones since the iPhone 4s, has come in for more than its fair share of mockery and criticism, including most recently an amusing vignette on the Simpsons. But is it really as rubbish as all that?
We asked followers of the @MacworldUK Twitter feed if they use Siri, and we were surprised by the amount of positivity: the responses were roughly evenly split. (Although bear in mind that fans of Macworld are by definition unusually intelligent and tech-savvy people, so that may have skewed the results. And you'll notice that quite a few of the following Siri users mention that they use it only rarely.) It's possible that the new Siri features added in iOS 7 have added to its appeal - but maybe some people aren't aware of all the updates.
Here are some of the features and functions that can make Siri truly valuable, together with highlights of the positive comments about Siri from our readers. Hopefully when we come to update this article in a year's time we'll find that even more of us are getting the most out of this much-maligned feature.
For the other side of the coin, however, take a look at 'The 10 worst things about Siri', which we'll be posting later.
Reasons to love Siri: Saves time typing long search terms, emails and messages
"Typing a long search term such as 'what's the seating capacity of Wembley stadium?' takes ages on the iPad keyboard (no swipe input) so Siri is a much quicker and easier way of doing this," writes Chris Martin.
"I also use it occasionally to write a long email or iMessage which, again, would take much longer if I typed it out."
Reasons to love Siri: Great for setting alarms and reminders
Siri is at its best when performing small but potentially fiddly and often-repeated tasks. "It's great for setting reminders and alarms," says Adam Gates, echoing comments by many readers.
"For reminders/cal events/alarms it's good, because it cuts a longer route to set them up manually," writes Camillo Miller.
Our own Ashleigh Allsopp backed this up. "Setting alarms is great. I always use Siri for that. 'Wake me up at 6.30. Sometimes, it treats me by saying 'Alarm is set for 6.30. Don't worry Ashleigh (Pronounced ASH-LAY), I won't forget.'"
Jim Martin, a friend and colleague of Macworld, writes: "I use Siri to add calendar appointments: there's no faster way than by saying 'Set a meeting for next tuesday at 3.30pm about smartphone security'."
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