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Elgan: Getting serious about Siri

Mike Elgan | Oct. 24, 2011
Apple's new Siri virtual assistant feature in the iPhone 4s is already causing controversy and dividing the gadget-loving universe.

The phone's keyboard has a microphone button. When you press it, you're in dictation mode until you press the Done button.

By mastering this technology, you can save yourself a lot of time -- and typing. Here's what you need to know.

First, you can just say the punctuation and formatting you want, and the software will add it for you. For example, you can say:

"Hi comma John period new paragraph I just wanted to all caps THANK YOU all caps off for the nice gift period new paragraph Best regards comma Mike."

Second, unlike with Siri, you can take your time with dictation. It will wait. And you can stop and start, pause and reflect and write emails and notes as long as you like.

There's no question about it. The naysayers are saying nay to the wrong technology.

Voice-based virtual assistant technology is here to stay. It's not a gimmick, but a powerful and useful new interface that can transform how you live and work.



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