The commercials showing Siri in action showcases some of the many benefits of having an intelligent assistant who will act on your every work. Okay, so maybe not every word, but there is plenty she can do to help you be more lazy productive. With Siri, you can avoid having to look contacts or type long emails. Follow along and we’ll show you how to use Siri to text, email and even have her read messages back to you.

Send text Siri

Siri works best when you are in an optimal setting, so if you are walking the streets of Manhattan and expecting great results, you may want to reduce your expectations. To access Siri, Press and hold the home button.

Dictate a text message using Siri

For the longest period of time, I would use very literal terms when asking Siri to send a text. “Siri, send a text message to Jill”. The more words you use, the greater the chance Siri might not understanding your request. It might be my Long Island-ese, but Siri seems to think Send a text means I’m looking for Seth’s contact information. You can use this phrase to send a text, but Siri will then ask you for the message itself. Here’s an easier way to kill two birds with one stone.

Press and hold the home button to invoke Siri. Then say,

Tell Jill that {contents of the message you would like to send}.

Siri will then create your text message, but leave out the command.

Siri will rummage through your contacts. With any luck, she’ll find the right person and create your message. Setting up relationships with Siri will also help. If they have multiple phone numbers, Siri will default to the mobile phone number. If you are texting someone that is not in your contacts, you can ask Siri to:

“Send a message to 555-555-1212”

There will be buttons on screen for Cancel or Send, but you don’t have to bother with them if you for example in a hands-free situation. ‘Yes’ will send the message. ‘No’ will cancel the message. You can also say any of these options here:

Change: Okay, what would you like the message to say.

That’s your cue to let Siri know of any changes to your message. Essentially, you’ll be asking for a full rewrite of your message. To my knowledge, there is no way for Siri to edit a message.

Cancel: To which Siri will reply, I won’t send it.

Review: Your message to Jill says, “Your message text.” She’ll then ask if you would like to Send, Cancel, Review or Change it.

Using Siri to read your text messages

Siri can be asked to read new messages only. Ask her to “read my new messages” or “read my text” will cause her to read any new messages. Use the phrase ‘read it again’ will have her repeat it to you. You can also ask to Reply {your message to the recipient).

Siri can be incredibly helpful in so many ways. Using Siri to text and read messages can be a time saver, especially when you are in an environment where she can easily understand your requests. Try these tips above and before you know it, you’ll wonder what you did without Siri.