Smart Phone Assistants and How to Use Them


Did you know… 
 
Both Android and Apple smart phones come with an invaluable assistant who is ready to complete common tasks such as dialing up one of our contacts, sending a text message, checking our calendar for our next appointment, or plotting the fastest route to our destination. 

Androids Google Assistant

Androids Google Assistant

Turn on “OK Google” 
1. Make sure you have the latest version of the Google app. (To get the latest version, go to the Google app page on the Play Store and tap Update). 

2. Open the Google app . 

3. At the top left, tap Menu Settings Voice "Ok Google" detection. 

4. Check the box next to "From Google app." 

5. Now simply launch the google app and press the microphone icon to initiate the Google Assistant.  There are additional features listed below that will allow you to initiate the assistant from any screen.

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“OK Google” settings you can change 

When you turn on "Ok Google," there are a few settings you might be able to change depending on your device. Here’s what the terms mean: 

 

  • From any screen: You can say "Ok Google" from any screen on your device if the screen is on or the device is charging. This isn't available in all languages. 

  • Always-on: You can say "Ok Google" whether your screen is on or off on a Nexus 6, Nexus 9, or Samsung Note 4 device. 

  • Trusted voice: When you say "Ok Google" from a secure lock screen and we're able to recognize the sound of your voice, you can ask Google to do things for you or visit sites without having to unlock your device manually. 

  • Personal results: See personal results for your voice searches, even when your device is locked. 

  • Retrain voice model: Reteach Google the sound of your voice. Try this if Google isn’t recognizing your voice when you say "Ok Google." If you don't see this setting, make sure "From any screen" or "Always-on" is turned on. 

  • Delete voice model: Delete the voice model that Google uses to recognize your voice. 

OK Google is invaluable once you start using it.  Answers to questions such as “How many days until next Christmas?”, “How many Miles is 350 Kilometers?”, and “When do the Oilers play again?” are just a small sample of what Googles Assistant can do.

This link is a list of 160 OK Google voice commands provided by www.computerworld.com

Moving on to iPhone’s Siri

iPhone’s SIRI

iPhone’s SIRI

Turn on Siri 
1. Open the settings app found on your home screen or app list.  

2. Click on Siri found in the settings list and toggle the feature on.  

 
Activate Siri and issue a command 
1. Press and hold the Home button. Siri is enabled by default on all devices that support it, so usually you can just press and hold the Home button to start the Siri interface. The Siri prompt will appear, and you'll be able to speak your command or question. 

 

2. Say "Hey Siri" if your iOS device is plugged into a power outlet. When your iOS device is plugged in, you can say "Hey Siri" to launch the Siri interface without pushing any buttons. 

 

3. Press and hold the Call button on your Bluetooth headset. If you have a Bluetooth headset, press and hold the Call button until you hear a short notification chime. You can then speak your command or question. 

 

4. Press and hold the Voice button on your steering wheel to start Siri with CarPlay. If you're using CarPlay in your car, you can start Siri by pressing and holding the Voice button on your steering wheel. You can also press and hold the digital Home button on your CarPlay display. 

 

5. Bring your Apple Watch up to your face to start Siri. If you use an Apple Watch, you can start Siri by bringing the watch up to your face. As soon as you raise your watch, you can start speaking the command or question. 

 

Hey Siri is invaluable once you start using it.  Answers to questions such as “What appointments do I have tomorrow?”, “Who is near me?”, and “What is the address of Felesky Flynn Calgary?” are just a small sample of what Apples Assistant can do.  This link is a comprehensive list of Hey Siri commands

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Did you know about Windows Desktop Themes?

If you’ve grown tired of seeing the same boring desktop interface provided in Windows, there is an easy way to apply a theme pack to add a little variety to your work space.  This method applies to all version of windows from Windows 7 and newer, local sessions and RDP sessions alike.

Step 1 -  Right click on your desktop and choose the Personalize option.

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Step 2 -   Choose a theme to apply. Should your list of themes read (0), no problem we’ll get some new ones in  Step 2a

Step 2 - Choose a theme to apply. Should your list of themes read (0), no problem we’ll get some new ones in Step 2a

Step 2a -   Click the  Get more themes online  link. This will open a web browser window and present you with a list of themes you can choose from. Make a selection by clicking on the  Download  link under the theme of your choosing. In the screen shot example the  Community Showcase Aqua 3  was selected.

Step 2a - Click the Get more themes online link. This will open a web browser window and present you with a list of themes you can choose from. Make a selection by clicking on the Download link under the theme of your choosing. In the screen shot example the Community Showcase Aqua 3 was selected.

Step 3 -   After the theme downloads, Chrome users click the  down arrow  then choose  Open .

Step 3 - After the theme downloads, Chrome users click the down arrow then choose Open.

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Enjoy your new work environment - Your theme has now been applied.  Any themes you apply will add themselves to your My Themes list shown in Step 2 for re-use in the future.  Windows will cycle through the desktop wallpapers included in the applied theme at regular intervals .

Contextual Virus Scan

Usually the Antivirus programs add a “Scan with ….” entry to a file contextual menu. 

 

Saving an infected file to your computer will not “activate” the virus; double clicking a file to open it or opening a suspicious attachment will. 

 It is recommended that you don’t open any suspicious file unless you have verified its origin.

For example, if you receive a suspicious attachment from one person in your Contact List try verifying by phone if the email was sent by the contact. If no, the contact is probably sending spam to her/his Contact List. 

 In any case, if you think that the file or attachment is legitimate and you want to double check it, open the folder where the file is located and RIGHT CLICK the file. The contextual menu will open. Look for a “Scan with ….” or a similar item. 

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There are also some online scanners like Google’s “VirusTotal” that can be used to verify a file on your computer. 

Office 365 Web Portal

Did you know…

Office 365 email accounts are hosted by Microsoft’s Office 365 servers. There are many benefits to having mailboxes hosted this way, the most important one though, is the ability to access your email from anywhere in the world as long as you have internet access and a web browser.

 

OUTLOOK VIA THE OFFICE 365 WEB PORTAL

Accessing your account: Load up the web browser of your choosing and navigate to http://portal.office.com. You will be presented with the logon screen where you will enter your email address and logon password. Your password is the same one you use daily to log onto your computer – no need to remember a separate password.

Accessing your account: Load up the web browser of your choosing and navigate to http://portal.office.com. You will be presented with the logon screen where you will enter your email address and logon password. Your password is the same one you use daily to log onto your computer – no need to remember a separate password.

Access your mailbox:

Once you have logged into your Office 365 account, you will see Outlook listed under the Apps section of the Office 365 landing page. Clicking this will launch Microsoft’s online version of Outlook, which functions almost identically to the desktop Outlook client you use every day.

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MORE THAN JUST OUTLOOK…

Licensing exists for access to the full suite of Microsoft Office applications which can be accessed via the Office 365 Portal. This includes online versions of Excel, Word, PowerPoint, Teams, OneDrive, among others.

How to create a morning routine with Amazon Echo

Did you know you can create a morning routine with Amazon Echo….

Here are the steps:

  • Open the Alexa app

  • Select the three bars on the top right-hand corner 

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  • Select “Routines”

By default, Amazon has given you two sample routines. You can edit these two routines by tapping on them.

By default, Amazon has given you two sample routines. You can edit these two routines by tapping on them.

Once you have selected your routine, you can enable or disable the routine with the toggle switch on the top right-hand side of the screen.

Once you have selected your routine, you can enable or disable the routine with the toggle switch on the top right-hand side of the screen.

Tips and Tricks:

  • You can edit the routine trigger word or sentence by tapping on the default phrase and typing a new one.

  • Under the “Alexa will” - (shown in the above screenshot) section is where you can adjust the tasks that you would like Alexa to perform. This can be anything from reading your calendar, playing music, turning lights or appliances on and off, and even reminding you to brush your teeth. The options are endless. Simply tap on “add action” and then select from all the options that Alexa has to offer. 

  • When you trigger your routine, Alexa will perform all the tasks in the order that they are displayed in the app. If you would like to change the order, just tap and hold the two lines to the right of the task and move them to the position you would like. 
    Once you are happy with your routine, simply hit the back button and you are done.

  • Now just say your trigger phrase and let Alexa take care of the rest. In this case, I simply say “Alexa, Goodnight”