How to get the most out of Apple’s Siri in iOS 12

“iOS 12 isn’t a radical change from iOS 11, but Apple did make notable… upgrades to Siri,” Christina Bonnington writes for Slate. “Siri was the first mainstream virtual assistant to land in our electronics, but Google and Amazon (and others) developed their own artificial intelligence helpers that have since surpassed Siri’s abilities. With iOS 12, Siri closes the gap. Apple has expanded its knowledge graph, is using A.I. for proactive suggestions, and includes automation for customizing commands and behaviors.”

“In iOS 12, your iPhone begins to learn your typical behaviors: You may play a certain Spotify playlist each morning, search for lunch spots around noon each day, or habitually look up Google Maps directions for calendar meetings an hour before they’re scheduled. Siri Suggestions considers about 100 different factors, including time of day, location, upcoming calendar events… to decide what apps and shortcuts to surface as a banner on your iPhone or Apple Watch home screen,” Bonnington writes. “When you download iOS 12, Siri Suggestions won’t appear instantly. Over time, as Siri learns your habits, you’ll begin to see suggestions. This sort of predictive behavior may pose a security concern for some users because of the personal data that’s actively monitored. Apple mitigates this risk by keeping its machine learning on device, rather than sending potentially sensitive information to cloud data servers.”

“If you prefer a more hands-on approach to improving Siri, there’s also Siri Shortcuts,” Bonnington writes. “To make the Shortcuts process easier, as your phone offers Suggestions based on your habits, it’ll also offer to turn those Suggestions into dedicated Shortcuts for you. (You can try this out by heading into Settings, Siri & Search, and then looking at iOS 12’s list of Suggested Shortcuts and All Shortcuts.)”

Much more in the full article – recommended – here.

MacDailyNews Take: How are Siri Suggestions, Siri Shortcuts, and/or Siri in general working for you, if at all, in iOS 12?

Siri Shortcuts can’t even launch the Nike Run Club app, despite Apple selling Nike-branded Apple Watches for years – September 18, 2018

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “Fred Mertz” and “Judge Bork” for the heads up.]


  1. Can’t quite figure out how to get a Siri short cut that will launch Pages (which is easy enough), and then open a blank document.

    Siri itself works great. I find it more robust and responsive. The HomePod experience is greatly enhanced and I thought it was okay to begin with.

    1. Nice to read about your experiences. I sometimes have trouble with multi-room playback with HomePods. I ask Siri to play something in “every room” and she responds “now playing x everywhere.” However, I usually find one or two rooms silent and end up running around the house asking each individual HomePod to “add” (to the currently playing song).

  2. I downloaded the shortcuts app on day one. I don’t really know how to use it. I tried to set up some simple shortcuts. Both seem to work. One was “turn on DND.” Then I wondered, why couldn’t I simply ask Siri to do it? Why do I have to manually create a shortcut for that. Yesterday, a popular messaging app issued an update which included support to shortcuts. Can’t get it to work. Shortcuts has been… disappointing so far. Maybe it is just me, but I don’t find it easy to use… or to get working properly. I have a feeling I will soon move the shortcuts app to some folder on page 2 or 3. Anyone having better luck?

      1. Thanks for sharing! I would be curious to hear if anyone is having great success (and ease) with the Shortcuts app. I consider myself a “fanboy” and early adopter. If I’m frustrated, I can’t see 99% of the iOS user base really accepting Shortcuts with open arms. I guess this is why it wasn’t included as a standard app in iOS 12.

  3. So what is the difference in having a shortcut vs asking Siri to do the same thing? Serious question. Anybody know?

    My experience with Siri continues to be maddening. Her inability to answer a related follow-up question immediately after the first question is inexplicable. So I wonder, is the Shortcut app designed to help Apple learn what we would ask Siri to do, if Siri actually worked? If not, what is it and how is it different? If so, brilliant; if a bit underhanded! Maybe, hopefully, Apple has finally decided to fix Siri.

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