Siri: Where’s My Next Appointment and What’s My Holiday Schedule?

Tags: , ,

Bottom line: Siri is smart enough to connect a few dots in telling you details about your schedule.

I was pleasantly surprised to find that Siri could answer a few queries that required a bit more “thinking” than just looking up a direct answer. In one case, I wasn’t sure what I had schedule for Thanksgiving. I knew that I could ask Siri a query regarding my schedule on a specific date, such as “What’s my schedule for Wednesday?” or “What’s my schedule for November 11th?” but I couldn’t remember when Thanksgiving ways. I also suspected that Siri could answer a question like “When is Thanksgiving?” but I didn’t want to ask two separate questions when I didn’t really care what the date of Thanksgiving was. Taking the next logical step, I was pleased to find that asking Siri about my schedule on Thanksgiving was no problem – she seemed fully able to identify Thanksgiving and pull up my schedule for that day. I know this seems simple, but I was impressed at the multi-step processing, which seemed to be no problem at all.

In the other case, I wanted to know how to get to my next appointment, but I didn’t remember what I had named the event.. I know Siri can give me directions, I know she can figure out what my “next appointment” is, and I know that I had input the location into the Calendar.app event. Again, I was pleased to see that she could figure out how to process a multi-step query like “How do I get to my next event?” in which she had to first decide what my next event was, then reference that for the event location, then present me with an address (and 1-click access to a turn-by-turn map).

Although I confess that Siri and I have not always been the best of friends, the way these two examples worked intuitively and on my first attempt certainly put a smile on my face.

  • The Merg

    The ability to have Siri provide me directions to my next event is something that I’ve been trying to get it to do. I’m curious though as to how you get it so that it takes just one-click to get turn-by-turn directions.

    When I ask the question of “How do I get to my next event?”, Siri shows the next event on its result screen. However, in order for me to get turn-by-turn directions, I need to tap on the result screen so the Calendar app is opened up with the event, I tap on the address on the event so the Map app opens up, I tap on the pin so the address details screen opens up, and finally I tap on “Directions to here”. For me, that is 4 clicks/taps to get turn-by-turn directions.

    In your example screen shots, when you ask that question, does Siri actually list the address on the result screen? In my case, it seems to show me what time my next event is. I’ve included a screen shot of what I get when I ask the question.

    Thanks,
    Merg

    • http://www.n8henrie.com/ Nathan Henrie

      Hi, and thanks for the comment. You have a good point, and I don’t have a solution to get 1-click directions. I was mostly impressed that Siri could answer the question, at least if you phrase it “where is” (instead of asking for directions as in your example). As a medical student, most of the time I need quick directions, I’m looking for a room number (which I include in my calendar events). I’m sure you can see how simply answering the question suffices in this case.

      For a really easy 25% reduction in clicks

      • The Merg

        So do you still need to go through all the clicks that I am as well? Like I mentioned, I did notice that in your screen shot, it appeared to pop up with the address as Siri’s answer. Is it really doing that for you or is it showing it like in my screen shot?

        BTW, thanks for the green button tip.

        Thanks,
        Merg

        • http://www.n8henrie.com/ Nathan Henrie

          Yes, that’s what I tried to explain, but I should have been more clear. It verbally tells me the address (and displays as shown in the screenshot) when I ask “where is…” instead of “how do I get to…” like you’re doing. Despite showing me the address, I still have to go through nearly all the clicks you’re doing, except the last one thanks to the green button trick.

          • The Merg

            Gotcha. Yup, using the command of “Where is my next event?” I get it to display the address, but as you state, you still need to go through three more taps to get turn-by-turn directions there.

            You’d think this would be an easy thing for Siri to do…

            – Merg

          • http://www.n8henrie.com/ Nathan Henrie

            It looks like “Give me directions to my next appointment” tries but fails to accomplish what you’re wanting. It launches directly to turn-by-turn directions in maps, no extra clicks whatsoever, but for me it gives me directions to “unknown location” every time. Sometimes in China, sometimes just down the street. I’ve verified that the “next appointment” has a valid location, and Siri recognizes this when I ask “where is my next appointment,” but still gives me directions to “unknown location.” Weird bug.

          • The Merg

            Yeah, I’ve seen that one too. I actually thought it was working until I saw I was getting turn-by-turn directions to somewhere off the west coast of Africa.

            – Merg