Train Siri To Identify Contacts By Your Labels

I just turned 74 a couple of weeks ago and although I can see everything almost perfectly, I can’t read anything smaller than 24 point without glasses. That means that placing calls on my iPhone can be a problem if my reading glasses aren’t handy. When I discovered this new feature in iOS 8 I was thrilled.

Say you want to pick up your iPhone and tell Siri to call your husband whose name is Tom. There may be lots of Toms in your Contacts list. You can narrow that list down to the actual Tom you want by assigning a pet name, or a label to your specific Tom.

First, the person under consideration must be listed in your Contacts along with their phone number.

To have Siri recognize your specific Tom, hold down the home button until Siri appears. In a strong voice say “Tom Sample is my love machine”.  You may have to correct Siri a time or two until she gets it right. When she does, grant permission for her to apply the new term.


Very Important: You have to word your request by saying “person is my xyz.” I went crazy trying to make this work until I figured out the necessity of putting the word my in front of the nick name.

Here is another thing I learned the hard way. If you try to say something like “Tom Jones is my son”,  Siri wants to use Tom Jones is my child. I have more than one child so that doesn’t work. Siri and I argued about that a lot and Siri won. My guess is it has something to do with other programming in Siri. As soon as I picked another identifier it worked perfectly.

Here is interesting fact to remember – you can’t go to Tom’s contact card and find his pet name. Just think about that for a minute. I don’t think you want to send Tom’s v-card to Aunt Mini with the love machine moniker listed there. You can, however, find it, along with any others you set up, on your own v-card.

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