Guide to Siri Part 4 – Mail App

The Phone / FaceTime app has 2 basic Siri commands from which it will respond to:

  1. Call
  2. FaceTime

Below are some examples of using this command with the Phone / FaceTime app:


Phone calls

  • Call Richard
  • Call Richard Mallion mobile
  • Call Alex on his work phone
  • Call 020 8660 9999
  • Call home
  • FaceTime David


Guide to Siri Part 3 – Mail App

The Mail app has 3 basic Siri commands from which it will respond to:

  1. Email
  2. Mail
  3. Reply

Below are some examples of using this command with the Mail app:


Sending Messages

  • Email Richard about the trip
  • Email Phoebe about the change in plans
  • New email to David Acland
  • Mail Dad about the collection tonight
  • Mail Lisa and Jason about the party and say I had a great time

Checking Messages

  • Check email
  • Any new email from Michael today?
  • Show new mail about the lease
  • Show the email from Lisa yesterday

Responding to Messages

  • Reply Dear Santa thank you for the presents

Guide to Siri Part 2

This is part 2 of our Siri guide.

At present Siri only works with built in Apple’s Built in Apps.  Below is a list of apps that work with Siri.

  • Alarms
  • Calendar
  • Contacts
  • FaceTime
  • Find My Friends
  • Local Search with Yelp!
  • Mail
  • Maps
  • Messages
  • Music
  • Notes
  • Phone
  • Reminders
  • Stocks
  • Timer
  • Weather
  • Web search
  • Wikipedia search
  • Wolfram|Alpha 
  • World Clock

In the next few guides we will list the available commands available for each app

Guide to Siri Part 1

With the iPhone 4S Apple introduced their  speech-recognition personal assistant, Siri.  It allows you to use your natural speech to do hundreds of useful tasks like sending a text message and placing a phone call.

Over the next few weeks we will be posting guides on how to use Siri with the various built in apps on the iPhone 4S.

In this article we will get started with some basic information.

Siri is really simple to use. To get started, just hold down the Home button on your iPhone 4S, wait for the beep and watch the  “What can I help you with?” caption pop up on the screen.

The microphone icon will also light up to let you know that Siri is ready to listen.  Now you can just simply ask Siri to do something.
In all there  are 3 ways to talk to Siri:

  1. Pressing down the Home button until you hear a beep
  2. Bring your iPhone 4S to your ear until you hear a beep
  3. Pressing the  remote button on your headphones or Bluetooth headsets til you hear a beep.  Note you must have a headset that has a remote and microphone built-in.

Siri will wait for you to stop talking before it will respond. You can also tap on the Siri icon again to let Siri know that you finished talking.  This is useful in a noisy environment.
Next there are a few things you should do straight away:

Make sure Siri knows who you are.

To do this, go to Settings > General > Siri > My Info, then select your contact info.Update your contact info.
Fill out as much details as you can so that Siri can learn about your key relationships, where you work, and how to pronounce your name.  You can do this with the Contacts app. Simply select your name in the contacts app and tap on Edit.  Fill out as much details as you can. Note you can tap on “add field” to bring up more key fields that would help Siri know who you are. If you have a name that Siri doesn’t recognise phonetically, you can manually update the phonetic spelling of your name here. Once you have filled out all of your contact info, you can now tell Siri things like “Call my wife.” or “Call my work.”

Tell Siri to call you by your nickname.

You can do this by updating your contact info, or you can tell Siri to do so.

    1. Activate Siri by holding down the home button or by bring the phone to your ear, then wait for the beep.
    2. Say “Call me _____”. Fill in the blank with whatever you qant Siri to call you.
    3. Siri will reply “from now on, I’ll call you ____. OK?
    4. Reply “Yes.”
    5. I’m known as “master” :-)


Use the iPhone’s Headset to Take Pictures

By Richard Mallion

One of the nice features of iOS 5 is that we can use the volume button to take pictures from the iPhone.

However, what you may not have realised is that using the volume up button on the Apple Remote Earphones, which come with every iPhone, will also take a picture.

Useful if you want to take a really steady shot without your hands shaking the phone.

iOS 5: Unlock device by swiping Notification

By Richard Mallion

If your iOS 5 device is locked and you receive a notification, you can swipe the notification instead of the ‘Slide to Unlock’ widget, and you will be automatically directed to the related app. If you have a passcode, you’ll still be prompted to enter it.
Make sure you swipe starting from the icon on the left hand side on the notification as shown below.


System Admin Conference 2011 Summary

The Amsys 2011 System Admin Conference was attended by over 60 IT Administrators and decision makes from the education and business world.This years event was held at Regents College, London
The focus of the day was on Mac OS X 10.7 Lion and iOS 5. Each session focussed on what is new, how to use and administrate these features and some tips and tricks.

Here is a summary of what was covered.

Whats New in Mac OS X 10.7 (Lion) client

  • Installing and deploying Mac OS X 10.7
  • Understanding the Recovery Partition
  • AirDrop
  • Auto Save and Versions
  • Resume for applications and the system
  • Mail
  • Screen Sharing/Remote Desktop
  • FileVault 2
  • Sandboxing
  • Time Machine


Whats New in Mac OS X 10.7 (Lion) Server

  • Installing and deploying Mac OS X 10.7 Server
  • The new administration tools
  • Open Directory Server
  • Open Directory Client
  • Wiki Server
  • Podcast Server
  • WebDAV
  • Profile Manager
  • Network File Services


iOS 5  Whats new

  • Notification Centre
  • iMessage
  • Reminders
  • Twitter Integration
  • Newsstand
  • PC Free, Wireless syncing and activation
  • AirPlay
  • iCloud


iOS 5  for Business

  • Microsoft Exchange Integration
  • Security
  • Deployment
  • Mobile Device Management


We will  be holding a Systems Admin Conference in Manchester on the 3rd of February, watch this space for more details.

Emoji Keyboard for iOS 5

By Richard Mallion

With the introduction of iOS 5, Apple have added an “Emoji” keyboard.

To enable just go to Settings > International > Keyboards > Add New Keyboard.

Here you can select the “Emoji” keyboard.

Now can switch between these keyboard while typing.

Apple releases Find My Friends, AirPort Utility apps for iOS 5

By Richard Mallion

 Apple on Wednesday released Find My Friends and AirPort Utility on the App Store.

Find My Friends is a free download designed for iOS devicesB. It requires iOS 5 and an iCloud account, which can be created free on an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch.

Find My Friends allows you to easily locate your friends and family from your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch.

Adding a friend is easy — just send a request to see their location. Once your friend accepts using the Find My Friends app, you will then be able to see that friend’s location on a list or on a map.

Users can choose to share their location for a limited period of time with a group of friends. Apple said the software can be used to keep track of traveling companions when on vacation, or to see if your children are home from school, or to find friends you’re meeting for dinner.

Features of the application, as listed by Apple, include:

  • Easily locate friends and family
  • Temporary sharing option
  • Simple privacy controls
  • Parental restrictions
  • Free for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch

Also now available is AirPort Utility, also for iOS 5 devices. The application allows users to manage their Wi-Fi network and AirPort base stations.
AirPort Utility lets users make changes to an AirPort Express, AirPort Extreme and Time Capsule directly from an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch.


With AirPort Utility, users can:

  • See a graphical overview of your Wi-Fi network
  • Get information about your connected Wi-Fi devices
  • view and change network and Wi-Fi settings
  • restart or restore a base station, or update the firmware on a base station when available
  • View or update passwords for your network, base stations or disks
  • Easily access network information such as IP address, DNS servers, and router addresses
  • Manage DHCP reservations and port mappings
  • View status or error messages for your base stations

Apple releases iOS 5 for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch

By Richard Mallion

Apple on Wednesday released iOS 5, the next generation of its mobile operating system that powers the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch with wireless syncing, iCloud support and the new Notification Center.

Before users can update to iOS 5, they must be running iTunes 10.5, which was publicly released on Tuesday. Once installed, an iOS device can then be updated to version 5. Going forward, users of iOS 5 will be able to update wirelessly, without the need to use a cable.

iOS 5 is available for the iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, iPad 2, first-generation iPad, fourth-generation iPod touch, and third-generation iPod touch. The update is quite large at 700 megabytes, but future OS updates will be delivered as deltas which will be installable wirelessly directly from an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch.

An update is also available for the Apple TV, bringing wireless mirroring functionality over AirPlay.

In all, iOS 5 packs more than 200 new features. The most noteworthy among them is Notification Center, which allows users to easily view and manage notifications in one place without interruption; iMessage, a new messaging service that lets you easily send text messages, photos and videos between iOS devices; and Newsstand, a new way to purchase newspapers and magazine subscriptions.

For a full list off features visit Apple’s web site at

Amsys System Admins Conference

We are delighted to announce this years Macintosh System Administrators Conference.

The event aims to bring together technical support professionals from Apple and cross platform environments to share news and views and discuss everyone’s favourite technology! The Macintosh System Administrators Conference will be held over a full day and will incorporate a mixture of seminars, discussions and workshop. The workshops will have machines ready so you gain some hands on experience as well as having access to Amsys technical staff for face to face discussions.

This years event will focus on Mac OS X 10.7 and IOS 5

Conference Date
Thursday December 8th, starting at 10:00.

Conference Venue
The conference venue will be the same as the last 2 years – Regent’s College in Central London.

Conference Sessions
Mac OS X 10.7, Lion

  • Whats new in Mac OS X 10.7 Client
  • Whats new in Mac OS X 10.7 Server
  • Deploying Mac OS X 10.7 in business and education
  • Indepth look at Profile Manager with Lion clients

iOS 5

  • Whats new in iOS 5
  • Using profile Manager to manage iOS 5 clients
  • Managing and deploying iOS 5 Devices in Business:
  • iCloud and cloud services in general

We are making 50 places available so if you are interested, reserve your spot now!

Price per delegate £95 + VAT

We look forward to seeing you there!

Apple announces the iPhone 4S

By Richard Mallion


Apple has announced the next-generation iPhone, the iPhone 4S. Although externally it appears identical to the iPhone 4, internally it’s seen many changes. It includes the same dual-core A5 processor that debuted in the iPad 2. Its graphics processor, which is also dual-core, provides up to 7 times the graphical performance of the iPhone 4′s A4 chip.


The iPhone 4S has improved battery life over its predecessor, and it now allows for 8 hours 3G talktime, 14 hours 2G talktime, and 6 hours of 3G web browsing.


The iPhone 4S’s wireless system has also been tweaked; the handset will now intelligently switch between antennas for optimal performance. This not only improves signal reliability, it also doubles the theoretical maximum speed from 7.2 Mbps on the iPhone 4 to 14.4 Mbps on the iPhone 4S. The iPhone 4S is also now a true “world phone” with integrated chipsets for both GSM and CDMA networks. This will simplify Apple’s product lineup and consumer buying decisions, as there will be only one “model” of iPhone 4S that should work on virtually any carrier in the world.


The iPhone 4S has a much-improved 8 megapixel camera that can shoot up to 3264 x 2448 images. Its backside-illuminated sensor allows it to capture 73 percent more light per pixel than the iPhone 4, and a five-element lens leads to photos that are up to 30 percent sharper than those on the iPhone 4. A new signal processor enables face detection and 26 percent better white balance. The camera also works much faster than on previous models; Apple claims it takes only 1.1 seconds to take the first photo, with subsequent shots having a delay of only half a second. The improved camera also features true 1080p HD video recording and video stabilization, a first for the iPhone.


Like the iPad 2, the iPhone 4 can now mirror its screen via AirPlay or a cable connected to the dock.


Perhaps the most anticipated feature of the iPhone 4S is its support for Siri, an “intelligent assistant” that enables recognition of voice queries and commands.


The iPhone 4S is available in capacities ranging from 16 all the way up to 64 GB.


iOS 5 available October 12

Apple has announced that its next-generation mobile OS, iOS 5, will launch to the public on October 12. It will be a free upgrade for the iPad, iPad 2, iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, and the third- and fourth-generation iPod touches.

Below is a summary of the goodness you can expect from iOS 5 but for full details please visit Apple’s web site .

Notification Center
You get all kinds of notifications on your iOS device: new email, texts, friend requests, and more. With Notification Center, you can keep track of them all in one convenient location. Just swipe down from the top of any screen to enter Notification Center. Choose which notifications you want to see. Even see a stock ticker and the current weather. New notifications appear briefly at the top of your screen, without interrupting what you’re doing. And the Lock screen displays notifications so you can act on them with just a swipe. Notification Center is the best way to stay on top of your life’s breaking news.

Read all about it. All in one place. iOS 5 organizes your magazine and newspaper app subscriptions in Newsstand: a folder that lets you access your favorite publications quickly and easily. There’s also a new place on the App Store just for newspaper and magazine subscriptions. And you can get to it straight from Newsstand. New purchases go directly to your Newsstand folder. Then, as new issues become available, Newsstand automatically updates them in the background — complete with the latest covers. It’s kind of like having the paper delivered to your front door. Only better.

Next time you think to yourself, “Don’t forget to…,” just pull out your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch and jot it down. Reminders lets you organize your life in to-do lists — complete with due dates and locations. Say you need to remember to pick up milk during your next grocery trip. Since Reminders can be location based, you’ll get an alert as soon as you pull into the supermarket parking lot. Reminders also works with iCal, Outlook, and iCloud, so changes you make update automatically on all your devices and calendars.

iOS 5 makes it even easier to tweet from your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. Sign in once in Settings, and suddenly you can tweet directly from Safari, Photos, Camera, YouTube, or Maps. Want to mention or @reply to a friend? Contacts applies your friends’ Twitter usernames and profile pictures. So you can start typing a name and iOS 5 does the rest. You can even add a location to any tweet, no matter which app you’re tweeting from.

Since your iPhone is always with you, it’s often the best way to capture those unexpected moments. That’s why you’ll love the new camera features in iOS 5. You can open the Camera app right from the Lock screen. Use grid lines, pinch-to-zoom gestures, and single-tap focus and exposure locks to compose a picture on the fly. Then press the volume-up button to snap your photo in the nick of time. If you have Photo Stream enabled in iCloud, your photos automatically download to all your other devices.

iOS 5 brings even more web-browsing features to iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. Safari Reader displays web articles sans ads or clutter so you can read without distractions. Reading List lets you save interesting articles to peruse later, while iCloud keeps your list updated across all your devices. On iPad, tabbed browsing helps you keep track of multiple web pages and switch between them with ease. And iOS 5 improves Safari performance on all your iOS devices.

PC Free
With iOS 5, you no longer need a computer to own an iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch. Activate and set up your device wirelessly, right out of the box. Download free iOS software updates directly on your device. Do more with your apps — like editing your photos or adding new email folders — on your device, without the need for a Mac or PC. And back up and restore your device automatically using iCloud.

 Wi-Fi Sync
Wirelessly sync your iOS device to your Mac or PC over a shared Wi-Fi connection. Every time you connect your iOS device to a power source (say, overnight for charging), it automatically syncs and backs up any new content to iTunes. So you always have your movies, TV shows, home videos, and photo albums everywhere you want them.