Update Facebook and more when using Siri on the iPhone /iPad

Siri spellingiPhone Siri is not a new thing in today’s world but most people don’t use it very often. But through this post I want to highlight some of its key features like:

  1. Users can update Facebook status without even using their device. Just by using Siri.
  2. Siri is an inbuilt calculator that works smoothly just by virtual commands – tell Siri to add any set of numbers and they will be read out. Tap to edit
  3. Ask for a spelling and you will get the definition as well.
  4. Ask for currency and measurement conversions.
  5. Creat calendar events by saying make an appointment with time and date.
  6. Set up reminders and to do lists

 

Thanks to Bharat Gupta via the Add a new Strategy form. 

Google Drive for online storage and collaboration

google drive

Google Drive is an online tool which uses your Google account to store files online and can also be used to share files with other people and work on projects together. Being able to join in with a few others to work on a project and be able to take a break and have work still done is really useful.

Google Drive is able to create files, even from your desktop, and pick the permissions of who is allowed to edit it. More than one person can work on the file at the same time and the service has a chat panel for the people working in it, so that they can communicate. Everyone working on the file is given a colour and it shows who is typing when multiple people are working. Google Drive can also use documents from other applications to help create a project such as Google docs and Google sheets.

Google Drive is compatible Windows Vista, XP, 7, 8
Mac, mavericks (10.9), Mountain Lion (10.8), Lion (10.7)
Linux can access Google Drive through the website but the software is not available on the system
android 4.0+ and iOS 7.0+ are able to use Google drive, android 2.3-3.2 and iOS 6.0+ Can only view the files
Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Internet Explorer run Google Drive but require Java script

Tom, Mathematics

Siri for Calendar and Time Management.

siri screengrab

Siri asked to check appointments on 22nd September

Siri is brilliant for calendar management and time/task management, but underused, you can verbally manage your calendar/ tasks which, I personally find reduces the burden on my working memory and is more intuitive .  The speed of which I can set myself a reminder by taking the phone out of my pocket rather than searching for a pen and paper which I inevitably end up losing anyway is astounding!  I really like iOS accessibility. I definitely find low maintenance strategies with gainful upsides work well.

Useful wikihow page on how to turn on Siri

John Hodgson
Study Needs Assessor

Evernote for Research

EvernoteEvernote is the “most useful app. Good layout and easy to organise my notes and research. Able to synchronise with laptop. I can use a notebook for each of my modules. I find the ability to synchronise whatever I input on iPad with laptop. Excellent for storing notes which were made earlier, easy to find, no more searching through pages in books. Far superior to Notebook+ and Notebook. This app really met my needs.”

EM University of Birmingham iPad project

 

Evernote is available for Windows, Mac, Android and Blackberry.

YouTube video –How to clip web pages to Evernote from your iPad

Speech to Text app on a mobile

“I like to generate a transcript of a lecture session and I use speech to text to dictate into my mobile or I record the session”  D.T.

There are several ways of dictating and producing text on the mobile – iPhone has built in speech recognition (Siri) for many of its apps or the use of Dragon Dictation when online that allows short paragraphs to be dictated and collected within its own note pad. Android has Dragon mobile assistant and if you want to experiment there is Utter in beta mode for commands.  It does not make the Android totally hands free, but it shows the beginning of an off/online conversation with reactions!

utter! Android Voice Command Assistant – BETA! YouTube video

Taking notes on an iPad and using iCloud

icloud“I don’t like pens and papers! Too much waste and extra cost.  I’ve been using my iPad with a stylus and several note taking/drawing apps so far. I synchronise all my notes with iCloud (it was iWorld before Apple introduced iCloud) and I’m perfectly happy – so is my room as it doesn’t have stacks of paper and pens around :>)”  Trinity – computer scientist

There are so many note taking apps and drawing apps that it is hard to advise which ones are the best but a combination of Evernote and Skitch is a good one – the Appadvice site has a note taking advice page with many more apps and the University of Exeter have a blog with a review of some more useful time management, maps, social network and note taking iPad apps. They mention WritePad that has handwriting recognition. 

WritePad for iPad YouTube Video

 

SwiftKey Android mobile app for speedy keyboarding.

SwiftKey mobile app for Android is super great with writing prediction. It can even create meanings from very incorrectly spelt words.  Great for speed writing an also for dyslexic users!”  Andrew (computer science)

SwiftKey have produced a YouTube video of their version 4 of the app where you can also write phrases with word prediction.

Free Dictionary on the iPad and Dictionary.com app

Dictionary on iPhone“I like the way on the iPad the dictionaries are available from different apps but I also use the free Dictionary.com and Thesaurus app as it works offline and gives me the pronunciation of words.”  Andreas

There are advertisements supporting the free version of the app.  These disappear if you pay £2.99 for the ad free version of the Dictionary.  The iPad version also appears to work on an iPhone OS 6 as can be seen in the image and you can say the word using speech recognition.

Butterscotch.com have provided a YouTube video about the Dictionary.com app and mentions that you need to be online to use the audio pronunciation.

Kindle – read books anywhere, anytime!

kindle“I have a Kindle – it means I read books anywhere even at times that I can’t carry extra books!”   Andrew

The smallest and lightest 6 inch Kindle 4 allows you to download Word and PDF files, has an onscreen keyboard controlled by the middle 5-way controller button,  dictionary and built in wifi for downloading books or other files.  Font sizes can be changed but there is no text to speech.

 

 

Open courses to help me catch up with work.

“I watch open course videos to improve my knowledge or to help me to catch up with my classmates.  I do not find some of the uni notes good enough so the online videos are the best help and they often come from Oxford, Cambridge and MIT etc.” Linda

oxford podcasts

The links to Oxford, Cambridge and MIT show a range of options from podcasts to a YouTube channel and a web page from MIT with links to more sites.  There are also many websites that have lists of courses, videos or podcasts and they often use the acronym ‘MOOCs meaning Massive Open Online Courses for example

MOOCs: Top 10 Sites for Free Education With Elite Universities

300 Free MOOCs from Great Universities (Many Offering Certificates)