Without much fanfare Apple’s Siri– the personal assistant and knowledge navigator for iPhone and iPad– has become pretty good at answering questions, making recommendations, and tell you what’s going on.
So, why is Siri not available on the Mac? It might have something to do with how we use our Macs vs. how we use iPhones and iPads. As an example of just how annoying Siri might become in the future we merely need to look at LiSA.
Please. Stop. Talking.
Maybe Star Trek got it right. The computer was called simply ‘Computer’ and queries were kept to a minimum; meaning, the crew didn’t rely on constant interaction.
LiSA is the Liquid Information Speaking Assistant for Apple Mail that uses a real human voice to tell you about incoming email messages.
In other words, LiSA tells you a message has arrived, but customizes the notification based upon the sender. Think “You have a message from a friend” whereby LiSA knows your friends, but can also identify others as in “You have a reply from your brother.”
LiSA can announce incoming email messages from everyone or only those where you assign the relationship first. Think friend, boss, brother, sister, son, father, mother, or whatever else works for you and your relationship to personalize the message.
To use LiSA’s notifications, simply open the app and assign a relationship to a contact.
LiSA also comes with dozens of voice tones which can be installed into iTunes and assigned as ringtones for specific contacts; perfect for iPhone.
There are a few caveats, not the least of which is annoyance if you receive too many messages throughout the day. LiSA uses AppleScript and Mail, not other email apps, and it only reads and speaks un-read email, so Mail must be running in the background.
While cute and clever and definitely interesting, too many voice announcements of incoming email messages gets annoying rather quickly, which makes me wonder how Siri would perform as an interactive assistant on the Mac.