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Saturday, February 2, 2013

1294. Setting an Alarm on the iPhone, the Easy Way


Jay asks: I often need to set an alarm on my iPhone, and working my way through the clock app just takes too much effort. Is there a quicker way to set an alarm?
It’s weird how much effort it takes to create an alarm on the iPhone, using the Clock app. If you have a recent model iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, or iPad mini, it’s really easy, using Siri. Although neither of us uses Siri for much at this point, this is one task at which Siri excels. Press and hold the Home button until Siri starts up, and you’re ready to go.
Siri supports several different ways to set alarms. You can specify a time (“Set an alarm for 8PM”), or an elapsed time (“Set an alarm for 5 minutes from now.”) You can use alternate text, like “Wake me up at 9AM.” (Note that Siri can’t set an alarm for more than 24 hours in advance—for that, you’ll need to create a reminder instead, but you can do that with Siri as well.)
You can easily create a repeating alarm. Simply add the text “every weekday”, “on weekends”, or “every day” to the alarm setting. You can also specify days, using text like “every Monday.” So, to set an alarm to wake you at 7AM on weekdays, tell Siri “Wake me at 7AM on weekdays” and she’ll set up the weekday alarms. You could then repeat the command, indicating your wakeup time on weekends.
You can also ask Siri to show you all your existing alarms, using a command like “Show me all my alarms.” You can change an alarm using text like “Change my 9AM alarm to 10AM.” If you want to turn off one or all your alarms, you can use text like “Turn off my 8AM alarm” or “Turn off all my alarms.” Finally, you can cancel an alarm or all your alarms, using text like “Cancel my 8AM alarm” or “Cancel all my alarms”.
Although Siri has limited abilities (other than amusing you by answering questions like “What’s the meaning of life?” and “What’s the best smartphone?”), she excels at setting alarms (and similarly, reminders). Take some time to experiment with her time-based abilities—we think you’ll appreciate her a lot more.

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