What good is a tool if you feel strange about using it? I have a complete toolkit to handle odd jobs around the house. I have a growing list of utilities to perform various and sundry actions on my Mac. Even iPhone and iPad have a list of utility apps to get something done that Apple’s built-in iOS and iPadOS apps won’t do.
For now, there remains a common interface across all my Apple devices that goes beyond the standard point and click or tap.
Yes, Apple’s talking personal assistant has been around a few years and improved to the point where responses almost always match carefully crafted queries. Siri Shortcuts are highly customizable actions that are easy to create and become useful almost instantly.
So, why is it that talking to Siri with anyone else around still feels weird?
“Hey Siri, shut up…” still gets a chuckle around the house. Nobody blinks an eye when I ask Siri for the date, or who won the 49ers football game, or the weather forecast, or even how long it will take to get to the mall in traffic.
That’s it. Any additional dialog or instructions gets a raised eyebrow from anyone listening nearby, less at home of course, definitely in public. Siri has been around for years already, and Apple continues to improve responses, response time, and Shortcuts– though they take some effort to understand– can be valuable, in private or public.
This week I read about Walmart’s new Voice Order feature. The feature has been around awhile but now it uses Siri on iPhone, iPad, Watch, Mac, and even HomePod and CarPlay. Even better, Walmart has a Siri Shortcut.
Got something you want to pick up during a Walmart run? Just say “Add to Walmart” and then list whatever you want to add. You can order and Walmart will deliver. You’re not required to buy right away, either, just keep adding to the shopping list– via Siri.
That’s where Siri feels strange, so I find myself– I can’t be the only one with this problem– waiting to use Siri when nobody else is around or within earshot.
Talking to Siri still feels weird.