How to Use Siri for Writing and Sending E-Mail - dummies

How to Use Siri for Writing and Sending E-Mail

One of the most impressive things Siri can do is send your e-mails for you. Siri can transcribe your words into text so that you only need to talk into your iPhone 4S. Siri will then type out the words you say, including the name of the person or group you’re sending it to, the subject line, and the body of the message.

You’ll find this can really speed up your “written” communication on your iPhone 4S. In fact, experts say talking is three to four times faster than typing. Plus, not everyone is as fast or accurate on an all-touch smartphone as they are on those button-based ones out there. (Think BlackBerry smartphones.)

You have two ways to start composing an e-mail using Siri. You can start right from your home screen by pressing and holding the Home button (or if it’s set up to do so, by holding your iPhone up to your ear). The other way to have Siri transcribe your words into text is to start a message to someone the old fashioned way (typing), and then tap the microphone icon to start talking.


Here’s the blow-by-blow account:

  1. Press and hold the Home button.

    The little chime you hear means Siri is listening for your instructions.

  2. Say the word “E-mail” and then the name of the person you want to e-mail.

    Siri opens your mail program and puts the name of the person you’re e-mailing in the To field — if they’re in your address book.

  3. Dictate your e-mail.


    When you’re done, Siri shows you the contents of your message on the screen. For example, you can say “E-mail Mary Smith [short pause]. Hi Mary, hope you’re having a good day. This is just a reminder about our meeting at 3 p.m. See you then.”

    Take advantage of the fact that Siri previews your e-mail by showing you the contents of your message on the screen by taking the time to review your e-mail, just in case you need to tweak it, add more recipients, and so on, before you send it.

    Siri next asks you, “What’s the subject of your e-mail?”

  4. Say what you’d like the subject line to say, such as, “Meeting confirmation.”

    Siri again shows you what your e-mail currently looks like. Siri says, “Here’s what your e-mail looks like. Ready to send it?” If you’re in fact ready to send it, you can let ‘er fly.

  5. Review all fields, and then say, “Okay,” “Yes,” “No,” or “Cancel.”

    Alternatively, you can tap md Cancel or Send

    If you say “Yes” or tap Send, then it’s bye-bye e-mail. Your e-mail message is sent, and you’ll hear that iPhone “whoosh” sound as a confirmation.

    If you say “No” or tap Cancel, the message is canceled, and you’ll see a large red CANCELED stamp across the message. It won’t be saved as a draft.

It might take you a bit to get the hang of composing and sending e-mails with Siri. When you’re starting an e-mail, remember that you can do these things:

  • Teach Siri who your contacts are. When you’re starting an e-mail and say, “E-mail Dad,” for the first time, Siri asks who your dad is. You’re prompted to tap the contact name in your Contacts listing for your dad. Going forward, you can simply say, “E-mail Dad,” and Siri knows whose address to retrieve; you won’t have to tap the name again.

  • Correct mistakes and make other changes. If you make a mistake and need to change your e-mail, say, “Change subject,” or “Change e-mail,” and then give Siri a revised message for the recipient.

  • *Tell Siri which e-mail address to send a message to. If you have multiple e-mail addresses for someone in your Contacts, you can instruct Siri to e-mail a specific address.

  • Cancel messages: To cancel the message altogether, say “No” or “Cancel” when Siri asks you if it’s OK to send the message.

  • Have Siri type the subject line first. To do so, say “subject” right after you say the receiver’s name, and Siri regards the next few words out of your mouth as the subject line.