As the new boating season starts we have added a new, unique and useful feature for our popular Boat Beacon app – “Hey Siri, Man Overboard”
Boat Beacon now supports several Siri voice commands which you can use with your device or on your Apple Watch (requires iOS 12 or later and WatchOS7 or later). This lets you use Boat Beacon’s features hands free. The current list of voice commands are:-
- “Man Overboard “- Toggles Marking and tracking a man overboard position with Boat Beacon
- “Start Sailing” – put Boat Beacon into “On boat” mode. Same as tapping the Sailboat icon bottom left
- “Finish Sailing” – Turn off Boat Beacon “On boat” mode.
- “Drop Anchor” – Mark your anchor position and set a drift zone around it.
- “Up Anchor”- removes the Anchor watch.
- “Navigation status” – report current speed, course and heading.
You can add the commands to Siri from the Boat Beacon app in settings or directly in the Siri App itself. They work directly with Siri without having to mention “Boat Beacon” in the command. You can also customise the commands to respond to your own preferred phrases or language.
Tap the Add to Siri button in Boat Beacon settings to see the list of commands that are active and more that you can add. “Drop anchor” and “Start sailing” have been added in the screenshot. To add another command just tap its “Add to Siri” button. Once added you can ask Siri to do them at any time on your device or your Apple Watch.
You can also edit the commands that have been added by tapping the “Added to Siri” button next to them and add additional speech commands to launch them. For instance add “On board” as an addition/alternative to “Start sailing. You can type the phrase or enable dictation and speak it. Useful also for setting phrases in other languages or using alternative phrases that Siri finds it easier to understand.
You can view and delete the commands in the Siri Shortcuts app on your phone. Once added the commands work automatically on your Apple Watch, no more set up required. If you want to see them in the actual Siri app on your Apple Watch as well then you can set “Show on Apple Watch” in the Shortcut settings in the Siri app on your phone.
Try it now. Add “Man Overboard” and then say “Hey Siri, Man Overboard” to your iPhone/iPad or your watch. It will sound an alert, mark the position and start tracking it for you.
Say “Man Overboard” again to clear the alert. N.B. This will still leave Boat Beacon in sailing mode.
There is a User guide in the app and online here:-