How to Teach Siri Who People Are (for Faster Calling)

Calling people with Siri is a great little shortcut, but it isn’t always natural to say “Call Jane Smith” instead of “Call Mom”. Luckily, you can teach Siri who people are–your parents, your doctor, or anyone else–for even more convenient voice calling.

This is particularly great for people like “My doctor” or “My plumber” whose names you may not remember offhand. Siri does this by referencing the nickname field on contacts stored on your phone. So before you get started teaching her, you’ll actually need to have contacts for those people on your iPhone. Once those are in place, it couldn’t be easier.

Activate Siri by holding down the Home button (or just saying “Hey Siri” if you have that feature turned on) and then say something like “John Smith is my plumber.” Obviously, substitute the name and relationship with whatever you’re setting up. You can use professions (like plumber, doctor, and mechanic), relationships (like mom, dad, sister, and best friend), or even other words. It only really works when you use a single word for the nickname, but that seems to be the only real limit.

After Siri thinks for a moment, she’ll ask you to confirm the relationship. Tap or say “Yes.”

Siri then shows you a confirmation page that lists all the relationships you’ve set up.

Now, all you have to do is activate Siri and say “Call my plumber” (or whatever) to have Siri do her thing.

And that’s all there is to it. You just need a little bit of planning and you’ll be able to call anyone you need to without diving into your contacts list. Of course, you can also go into your contacts and manually enter nicknames if you want to do it that way. It’s just not as much fun (or as fast).

Also, if you want to remove any of these associations, you’ll need to edit your own contact. Just scroll down the page and you’ll see where relationships are listed. Unfortunately, you can’t remove relationships just by telling Siri they’re over.
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