Dr. Mac’s Rants & Raves
I was surprised to discover that many Mac users have no idea that Siri—Apple’s intelligent personal assistant—has been available on their Macs since the release of macOS Sierra nearly a year ago. If you’re among them, may I suggest it’s about time you acquaint yourself with the joys of using Siri-on-your-Mac?
Let’s start by making sure Siri is enabled on your Mac and assign it a keyboard shortcut by launching System Preferences and clicking the Siri icon. Now, check the Enable Siri check box if necessary, and choose a language, voice (I’m partial to the British Female Siri voice), microphone, and keyboard shortcut.
I like the default keyboard shortcut, “Hold Command + Space.” It’s easy to remember since the shortcut for a Spotlight search is “Command + Space.” So, to summon Siri, I just hold down those keys for a second or two. In other words, a short press of both keys brings up Spotlight; a longer press of both brings up Siri. That is sweet.
What Can Siri-on-my-Mac Do for Me?
Of course, Siri-on-your-Mac does most of what Siri-on-your-iDevice does, but it also does a few Mac-exclusive tricks. So, for example, Siri-on-your-Mac understands requests like:.
Plus, of course, Siri understands how to launch apps, and find and open a specific document or folder.
Here’s another cool feature: You can save important information you get from Siri—like Twitter feeds, sports team schedules, files related to specific projects, and more—right in Notification Center, where you can access them quickly and easily. To add an item to your Notification Center, just click the little + at the top of the Siri results window. The coolest part is that these results update automatically, so what you see in Notification Center is always up to date.
What Else can Siri-on-my-Mac Do?
You can also ask Siri to search the Internet for information, and then drag the info—which can be a picture, text, a URL, or almost anything else—from the Siri results window to your Desktop or directly into a document.
And, of course, Siri-on-your-Mac does all those wonderful things you know and love about Siri-on-your-iDevice, including requesting a song, artist, genre, or music from a particular year or decade; get driving, walking, or public transit directions to almost anywhere; creating a Reminder or Calendar event; and providing the date, time, and weather conditions for your current (or any other) location.
Finally, like Siri-on-your-iDevice (as long as the device is running iOS 10 or later), you can edit your Siri queries after the fact with the keyboard, which is often faster and easier than trying to correct a mistake by voice.
So, if you haven’t tried Siri-on-your-Mac, what are you waiting for?
P. S. This just in—Apple has released a funny (IMHO) ad about Siri that features Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson: