How Siri’s ultimate killer feature could be remembering

Apple-Siri

Siri does many things, not all of them as well as others. But one thing she’s really great at is reminders: Tell Siri to remind you to call your Mom on her birthday every year, and you’ll never have to worry about it again.

While Siri is great at reminding you to do things, though, one thing she can’t do is remind you to remember things. But there’s no reason she can’t, and it would make an absolutely killer feature.

Over on Reddit, Redditor GoodNewsNobody suggests that Siri, as part of her duties as a virtual assistant, should be able to remind you of scraps of ephemeral knowledge that you might otherwise bury in Notes, never to find again.

Some of the examples he lists are:

• “Siri, remember my wife’s favorite flower is a Hydrangea”

• “Remember my locker combination is 17,6,3’

• “Remember my printer uses 211XL ink”

• “Remember my niece’s shoe size is 5’

• “Siri, remember the color I painted my room is Silver Sage”

The idea is that instead of trying to find these scattered pieces of information in Notes or a program like Evernote, you could just hit the home button and say, “Siri, do you remember my niece’s shoe size?”

Honestly, I think this is just a fantastic idea, and it seems relatively simple to build out on Siri’s existing Reminders backbone. The issue would be security, of course, but I think that could be safeguarded: For example, if someone tried to tell Siri to remember their Social Security number, Siri could simply recognize the trigger “Social Security number” and refuse.

There’s no proof Apple is working on something like that but, inspired by the thread, many Redditors are already suggesting it as a feature Apple could add to a future version of iOS. Let’s hope we get it. Maybe for 8.1?

  • dcj001

    Siri does not remember to remind us. When Reminders are created, Siri sets them up in the Reminders app.

  • Superalias

    And while we’re at it: Siri for Mac OS X! Come on over, Siri!

  • odino

    I guess I don’t get it. This is the same as saying “make a note that my sister’s shoe size is x”. And then “search notes for my sister’s shoe size”. Yes it’s “buried in notes” but why is that a big deal if I can ask Siri to search notes, just as this is saying you can ask Siri if it remembers it? Practically the same thing IMO.

  • Windlasher

    Extra programming required.

    Siri could remember your nieces shoe size but then she is going to have to realize that your niece is a growing 14 year old girl and assuming one pair of shoes on each birthday, she will have to calculate the average growth rate of a teenage girl in your particular region.

    Then you might have to take into account that your niece suffers from giantism and realize that her feet now occupy the space of roughly Lebron James and Michael Jordan’s feet combined.

    Include the shipping rate for freight and expatiated delivery because you forgot to charge your IPhone yesterday and you are now a day late.

    Its easier to just buy her an iPod.

  • Matthew Green

    I use Siri to remember my grocery shopping list. I created a new task list (or notes list) called “Shopping”. Now when I realize that I need to buy milk, I just tell Siri “add milk to my shopping list”. Then when I am at the store I can ask Siri to “show my my shopping list”. Works like a charm.

    • Gary Heartsfield

      Matthew I can not get this process to work 7.1.2
      did you leave something out ?
      Thanks Gary

      • Matthew Green

        Sure…I will go into more detail.

        On your iPhone:
        1. Open the Reminders app
        2. If you don’t see the “New List +” option, click on the Reminders or Tasks title and they will slide down to allow you to add a new list.
        3. Touch the “New List” tag to add a new list. Call it “Shopping”
        4. Save everything.
        5. You can close the app if you like.
        6. Go to Siri and say “add milk to my shopping list”. Siri will add it and ask you to confirm. Just say yes.
        7. To review your shopping list just say “show me my shopping list”

        Note – I now use this for birthday gift list, etc.

      • LordQuad

        Excellent knowledge and a brilliant nugget! I appreciate you sharing!

      • Gary Heartsfield

        Matthew Thanks for the info, works great.
        Gary

    • Peter

      Just set this up thanks to you, and it’s perfect! I’m so happy. Thank you!

  • Gary Heartsfield

    Thanks Matthew perfect

  • Hildebrand

    Wow! It’s as simple as it is effective. Siri could exclude specific queries from the lock screen or require extra authentication.

    • bbock

      Yes, it could listen for key words like: PIN, Password, Passcode, Username, Number. These could trigger Siri to ask: Would you like to make this secure? If the user says yes, iOS could store it in a local database hashed to the device and to touch ID or lock code.

  • bbock

    I think the security thing could be settled by having the user use a keyword “privately”. So a user could say “Remember my pin code is 1234, privately.” Then SIRI could store that into an on-device database. Apple could index it to the server, but it would just be a pointer to the local storage. And it would require authentication to retrieve. Personally, I wish on devices with Touch ID that SIRI would always require authentication, except for car navigation functions using car kit.

  • http://mwiz123.wix.com/main mwiz123

    LOL that would be awesome!!!

  • Infitima

    I think /u/jaxonn should get some credit to. He posted this under r/jailbreak to be used a tweak.

About the author

John BrownleeJohn Brownlee is a Contributing Editor. He has also written for Wired, Playboy, Boing Boing, Popular Mechanics, VentureBeat, and Gizmodo. He lives in Boston with his wife and two parakeets. You can follow him here on Twitter.

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