Debbie Mayo-Smith 's Opinion

A motivational speaker gives her tips on business success

Debbie Mayo-Smith: Speaking to your phone and other tidbits

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Always be learning - let Siri know your family. Photo / Thinsktock
Always be learning - let Siri know your family. Photo / Thinsktock

I don't know if you have children, but when they get older - one thing is for sure. They WILL make fun of you.

While walking down the hall, out of one of the bedrooms I heard my 20 year old Daniel regale his twin Samantha about how embarrassing and lame his mother was. Poor Daniel, he had to experience walking with me when I was talking out loud to my iPhone.

He might have been mortified that little bugger, but I was delighted. It was proof of my ABL philosophy. Always Be Learning.

The day before I had skimmed through a new book I bought on i06 (the new operating system) for iPhones. I had opened it up at a random spot and voila! It showed that instead of writing, you can use the built in speech recognition and speak for up to 30 seconds. Your words will be transcribed into a note, email, message - etc. It works so well it's amazing. You can use it for almost every application on the iPhone and of course, Android has it too. Another reason you really must get a smartphone.

I don't have an Android - but for the iPhone, simply turn on Siri. I had mine turned off when it first came out - Siri that is - my husband said it would use up bandwidth as it requires internet access when not in a wireless location. However with the new plans we all must have a gig or two now, it doesn't matter that much.

You activate Siri by tapping the home button or initiate the setting that it the voice recognition starts when you hold the phone up to your ear. For both Android and iPhone, when you go to email, text, search, find a location on maps and more - simply look for the microphone icon

Let Siri get to know your family

Break the ice with Siri and let her into your life by assigning nicknames to your contacts. You can do this in one of two ways, vocally or manually. After firing up Siri, you can tell her "John Doe is my father" and she'll respond, "Okay, do you want me to remember that John Doe is your father?" With a confirmation, you'll be able to say "Call Dad" and get linked to John Doe's phone number. If you want to store a number of relationships at once, go into your own contact, tap Edit and scroll down to the line that reads Mother. By tapping Mother, you can change to Father, Brother, Sister, even Assistant or Manage

Change Siri's accent (and gender)

Siri's accent is automatically set to American English for those who buy the iPhone in the US, but being a multifaceted personal assistant, she can put on a foreign accent at the drop of a hat. Under General Settings, look for Siri. From there, a Language option gives you five choices as to Siri's vernacular - English (Australia), English (United Kingdom), English (United States), French, and German. The two latter options change Siri's entire dialect, of course, but English speakers who want a slight taste of Britain or Australia are in luck. Keep in mind that the British Siri is a man.

- NZ Herald

Written by international speaker and bestselling author Debbie Mayo-Smith. For more tips, over 500 how-to articles visit Debbie's article webpage.

Debbie Mayo-Smith

A motivational speaker gives her tips on business success

Debbie is one of the most in-demand speakers in Australasia; in the top 7pc of speakers globally and well-loved for her practical, plain talking technology quick tips. A best-selling author of sixteen books, Debbie has sharpened the activity of over 1 million individuals around the world through her presentations, training, newsletters, books and videos.

Read more by Debbie Mayo-Smith

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