A Good Reason To Use Siri: She’s 2x Faster than You.

“Why should I use Siri?”

People ask me this question on a daily basis, and I always go on and on about how much time Siri saves, but where’s the proof? Where’s the evidence that Siri can save you days of your life? The proof is right here, in our (semi)scientific tests.

Just how much time can you really save? If you texted as many times as the average teen per week, and your texts average around 12 words, you can save up to two hours and 20 minutes a week, just by texting with siri. That’s nearly 5 days of your life every year, for you to find something else to do.

The Experiments

We Tested and Timed Siri with 10 Tasks, And With 8/10, You Can Save Significant Time By Using Siri.

Siri sends email 1.52 times faster than you:

For my email test, I wrote up a stereotypical spam email, and had Siri dictate it, and then I sent it to myself. With perfect accuracy, Siri transcribed and emailed my message in 35.35 seconds, punctuation and all.

For the manual trial, I opened the email app, and manually typed up the email, and sent it in 54 seconds, with one spelling error.

Siri Tweets More Than Two Times Faster Than You

Using Siri, I dictated a tweet to our twitter account (which you should follow here) including punctuation and two hashtags. All was perfectly tweeted in 19.525 seconds. Opening twitter manually, typing, and sending the tweet took me 43.999 seconds.

Siri Texts More Than Twice As Fast As You

Texting was amazingly fast. I texted a 16-word  fake pizza order to a friend, with several toppings, and I did it all, from a locked phone to a sent text using Siri, in 25.438 seconds. Doing it by hand, the exact same text took 50.197 seconds. That’s big time savings.

Checking The Weather is Slightly Faster With Siri

It’s not too hard to check the weather, but Siri did save a bit of time, checking the weather for New York City. Siri did the job in 8.07 seconds, while by hand it took 10.249 seconds.

Dialing a phone number Using Siri Is Probably Not Worthwhile (Siri’s Slower)

This is one area where Siri lost out, because saying “dial one-nine-two…” is just not as fast as dialing whatever number. Siri dialed the number in 14.09 seconds, while I managed to dial the same number in 9.530 seconds.

Dialing a Contact’s Phone Number Definately Is (Siri’s Faster)

I actually didn’t test this one (I forgot), but this is probably the Siri function I use most often, and I can vouch that it’s much faster than finding a contact in a recent call list, or in contacts.

Opening a web page Is About as fast either way (It’s a tie)

When it comes to opening web pages, the task was about a tie, because both tasks require unlocking your phone. I tested using CNN.com, and it was neck and neck. The numbers were 10.2 seconds for Siri, and 10.7 seconds by hand.

Doing [basic] math is better with Siri (once you get the hang of it)

It turns out Siri’s not too great at math terminology. When she understands what you say, she does problems very quickly, but she didn’t understand what I wanted on multiple trials. Ultimately the difference in time between using Siri and opening and using the calculator app was pretty small. Siri did the math in 8.329 seconds, while I managed to do it manually in 10.239 seconds. Still, once you get the hang of Siri’s math syntax (how to ask her questions correctly), she’s faster. It just takes a little bit of time to learn.

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Siri Finds Facts Two Times Faster (i.e When’s Lincoln’s Birthday?)

When it comes to finding facts, Siri is ridiculously fast. Science facts are all spot on, thanks to Wolfram Alpha (i.e Neptunium’s atomic number). History facts, like the birthday example above are pretty spot on as well.

More challenging facts, like cabinet members of past presidents (i.e Who was John Adams’s secretary of war?) rarely come up with an instant answer, but since Siri automatically does a Google search, it’s still as fast as going into your web browser to search for the answer.

Results: Siri found Lincoln’s birthday in a remarkable 7.028 seconds, versus a web search, which took 15.599 seconds. Excellent.

Siri is Four Times Faster Than You At Setting Alarms!

I hate waking up early, because I always forget to set an alarm, but Siri makes the process so painless for me that I no longer delay setting it until I’m too tired to remember. Manually, the process took me 20.209 seconds. Siri did it in just…wait for it…5.020 seconds. That’s more than four times as fast, by far the most efficient of all of our experiments.

Verdict: Never type an email, text, or tweet, or set an alarm manually again. Siri will save you big time. For all other things, it’s based on your preference.


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Michael Sitver

Michael Sitver is a technology insider who has been blogging about technology since 2011. Along the way, he's interviewed founders of innovative startups, and executives from fortune 500 companies, and he's tried dozens or hundreds of gadgets. Michael has also contributed to works featured in Newsday, The San Francisco Chronicle, and the associated press. Michael also occasionally consults, and writes for Seeking Alpha and Yahoo News.

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