Siri is finally available in macOS Sierra. It’s kind of like the Siri you’ve know to love (or tolerate) on iOS. But the things she can do on macOS are slightly different. So is the way you interact with her. If you just installed macOS Sierra and aren’t sure what you should be using Siri for, here are some ideas.
But first, a side note on using Siri. You can invoke Siri by clicking the “Siri” icon in the menu bar or the Dock. Or using the keyboard by holding down Command and Space keys. You can learn how to change the keyboard shortcut here. Also, it’s important to note that Siri will not work if the Mac is not connected to the internet.
1. Look For Files
My Mac storage is a mess. And I’m sure yours is too. It’s just that the way that Finder is designed, I just can’t get myself to organize everything in neat, nested folders. Previously I got around this by ignoring Finder altogether and doing all of my file opening and management using Alfred.
But now I can use Siri for it. And do it much better.
You can ask Siri to show you files only from last week, files containing a phrase or files associated with a certain app.
When you get the results, you can then ask follow up questions to narrow down the search.
You can click the “+” icon to add the search results to the Notification Center as a widget. This way you can access them later on.
2. Search The Web
This goes without saying of course, but you can quickly search for anything online using Siri. Just say “Search the web for x”. You can also search for just images. She will show results in the Siri popup.
3. What’s Trending
You can keep up with what’s trending on Twitter by simply asking “What’s Trending”.
4. Post To Social Media
If you’ve connected your Twitter and Facebook accounts in macOS Sierra, you can tell Siri “Post to Facebook” followed by the message and she will post the status update.
5. Open Apps
If for some reason you think launching apps using Spotlight is too much work, you can ask Siri to open any app for you.
6. Open Websites
Personally, I find this much more useful. Just ask Siri “Open Facebook.com” and she will. Basically, any website address she can understand, you can open it, in your default browser. Much faster than going to the browser, opening a new tab, typing the address and then pressing Enter.
7. Play Some Music
One of the most frequent uses of Siri on my iPhone is related to the Music app. Now you can do the same on Mac as well. Just ask Siri to play a song or an album and she’ll do it.
8. Read Emails
Don’t like going through all your emails? Just ask Siri to read them to you. Ask her “what are my unread emails” and she’ll show you your inbox. Then just ask her “read that email” and she’ll start read the mails to you, in order.
9. Take A Reminder
When you’re working on something and a task pops up in your mind, just tell Siri “Remind me about x in 20 minutes” and she will set the reminder. You can also set location-based reminders.
10. Control Settings and OS
The easiest things to do using Siri are things that would be harder to accomplish using the UI. Like turning on Do Not Disturb mode or disabling Bluetooth. Just ask Siri “turn on Do Not Disturb” or “Put Mac to Sleep” and she will do it.
11. Stay In Touch
You can quickly send an iMessage to one of your contacts by saying “Message xx saying I’ll be 10 minutes late”. You can also call someone on FaceTime using Siri.
12. Find Specific Photos
If you use the Photos app and have photos tagged with location, you can just ask Siri, “show me photos I took at x” and bring them up.
If you Go to “System Preferences” -> “Siri”, you’ll find a couple of options. From here, you can disable or enable Siri, change Siri’s voice and language, as well as the keyboard shortcut.
Your Favorite Siri Command
What’s the one thing you always ask Siri to do for you? Share with us in the comments below.