Siri on the new iPad – My favourite feature of the iOS 6 release
Once again I am late to the party, I finally have a device that will work with Siri. All you iPhone 4S users will be well aware of the capabilities of the virtual friend that you can talk to on your phone. I have already asked Siri to tell me a joke and he told me that he couldn’t, because he always forgets the punchline. I don’t think I will bother asking him the meaning of life, as we all know that the answer is 42. Thank you very much Douglas Adams for providing the answer.
Siri is location aware
Siri knows that I am in Spain and that answers that are provided requiring location, such as a list of the nearest pizza restaurants, should be local to me to be useful. I do love eating pizza, so I asked the question and was given a list which included some restaurants I have already been to. I was quite impressed. I also asked about Indian restaurants nearby and I know that there is one locally, but according to Siri the nearest is 83 km away.
The long wait to use iOS 6 features
I had to wait until around seven o’clock in the evening before iOS 6 release became available in Spain. Then, due to the size of the download, or should I say downloads, as I had to make separate downloads for the iPhone and for the iPad, it was six hours afterwards when I had iOS 6 working on a device. At 1 AM in the morning when I can just barely keep my eyelids open, it is not best the time to start playing with a new operating system.
With the iOS 6 Apple operating system safely installed on the iPad 3, I then had to start the process of downloading a ton of applications. Apple had updates to all of the iWork applications, both on the iOS devices and also for Mac OS X. I had to leave these iOS 6 iPad applications downloading overnight. Oh, the joys of having a really slow Internet connection. This morning I have looked at the older version of the iPad, that has been passed onto my wife and it is still telling me that iOS 5.1.1 is the most up-to-date version available. I did think that with this iOS 6 release that there were some features available for the original iPad. It seems I was wrong about that.
Using Siri with Omnifocus
Although I thought that the Omnifocus group of applications for the Mac and for iOS were a little on the expensive side, I have ended up buying them anyway. This started with buying Omnifocus for iPad and really liking the way that it worked. Only today I have also bought the version for the Mac. I spend so much time at my desktop computer and the synchronisation between devices will be very handy. Now with the iOS 6 release with us, I want to be able to tell Siri to add things to Omnifocus for me.
Reminders Capture to Omnifocus
It is very easy to do this in the Omnifocus settings. So in the left portion of the screen you tap on the gear wheel icon and choose settings. In the section called Capture you tap on Reminders Capture. You set the switch to on and then you choose the list from reminders, that you want to capture into Omnifocus. Within Reminders I have four lists at the moment and I have chosen one of them to work with Omnifocus. The reminders created with Siri go into the default list of reminders and from there into Omnifocus. When the reminder is created in Omnifocus it is deleted from the Reminders application.
It would seem to me to be perfectly sensible to have all of your to-do items and lists in one application. The Reminders application is quite simple compared to Omnifocus. Once the reminder is in Omnifocus in the inbox, I am then able to assign it to a project or to a context. Of course you can do fancy things like adding attachments such as audio and photos to your actions. I am still working out whether it is possible for me to have a geo-fence on actions within Omnifocus. I know that I can assign a place, but I don’t know if I get reminders if I get near to a place in terms of proximity.
Siri – the Genie on my iPad
I am fairly sure that I will find many more ways in which I can use Siri on the iPad 3. I have yet to try to use it to send messages or to place a phone call. Mind you placing a phone call on the iPad is going to be rather difficult. Is a shame really, that you can’t use the iPad for making phone calls, even if you have the version with a Sim card in it. You would look rather silly holding it up to your ear, but it would be okay to use it with the new Apple Ear Pods. That is another story though.
You can rest assured that I will be asking Siri to give me the score in Premiership matches. I will be asking it about movies and seeing what other information it can give me from sources such as WolframAlpha. I did ask Siri for the population of Spain and I was told that there are 45 million people living here. I asked for information about Catalonia and Siri was less than forthcoming. Obviously Siri is a little bit political too.
Lots of new and exciting things in the iOS 6 release
Of course this is only just the start of it, with regards the new things in this iOS 6 Apple operating system update. I’m looking forward to see what I can do with the iOS 6 passbook and I think that I like the new mapping system. At first look there doesn’t seem to be huge big differences in the look of the maps. Maybe the new maps from Apple do look a little cleaner and tidier, but most of the information is in there. There isn’t a Street view in the Maps which can sometimes be useful. Maybe Google will make a standalone application for maps. It is possible to ask Siri to find places on the maps for you. How useful is that then?
Mountain Lion got an upgrade also
I had to download hundreds of megabytes of data for Mountain Lion, so that everything works well and integrates together. I will need to try out the Mountain Lion Facebook integration to see how well that works. Lots of testing to do today of all these operating system bits and pieces to see how well they all work together. Generally everything went well with all of the upgrades, although the iPhone was slightly more convoluted. I have also had to repair the permissions on the iPhoto library on my Mac in order to get it to work with the updated iPhoto application. Lots of lovely new stuff to play with, isn’t it great to be a geek?