Home » Blog » Siri, Google Calendar and Unexpected Invitee Emails – New iOS 6 Update

Siri, Google Calendar and Unexpected Invitee Emails – New iOS 6 Update

Nov 18, 2011   //   by David   //   Blog, iOS Tips and Tricks  //  19 Comments

I love my iPhone 4S. I love Siri. I love Google Calendar.

However, using Google Calendar there doesn’t seem to be a way of turning off the automatic invite email that gets sent when you tell Siri to “Schedule a meeting with [person’s name] on Monday at 10am”. If the the person is in your contacts with an email address they are added as an invitee and Google Calendar automatically emails them the invite. Of course, there are ways around this by changing what you tell Siri but that misses the point of the intuitive nature of Siri and impacts it’s usefulness.

I’ve had a few emails go out to unexpected invitees for tentative meetings I was just planning before contacting the client. I really wish Google would made the automatic sending of invite emails a setting based feature.

If you know of a fix, add-on or workaround that includes leaving the name of the person in the meeting request to Siri, please comment here. Of course, if I find anything on the web I’ll be sure to post it here too.

UPDATE: September 2012 – I’ve updated to iOS 6 and have been testing the unwanted automatic email invitations and it looks like Siri is doing something a little different. I’ll keep playing around with it but at the moment it seems to still be adding the event to the invitees calendar.

UPDATE: For a little clarification in why I point to Google Calendar as the source of the problem, when I create an appointment WITH someone and it sends out the automatic invitation to the meeting it comes from the email address associated with my Google Calendar not the email address used on my iPhone. Looking at the message source code you can also see that it is coming from Google Calendar calendar-notification@google.com

UPDATE: April 2013. FINALLY…Thanks to Peter here is a usable workaround. You can say “schedule quote lunch with Joe end quote at noon” so that no email is sent and they are not added as attendees.

19 Comments

  • Hello: I’m curious — have you figured out a fix to this yet? It drives me nuts. Thanks.

    • Nothing yet. Most of the workarounds I’ve found take away the functionality that I want…adding the name of the person to the calender event. The emailing is coming from Google and if you look on their forums it’s a common request to have an account option added to toggle invites on/off.

      • Uch. driving me crazy too. any way to turn this off yet either on siri’s side or google’s?
        the only workaround i’ve found is to say “schedule lunch joe blo at 4pm” don’t way “with joe blo” and don’t say “meet” or “meeting” joe blo, but if you say “lunch” or “call” or something else, that seems to work.

        other question: how do i get siri to set an “alert” for that schedule entry (i.e. ‘alert 15 minutes before’)?
        thanx

        • It’s a Google issue, and there are lots of posting on their boards about making this a setting. Unfortunately, nothing yet.

          Funny, when I tried to say “schedule lunch with [name]” it still sent out an invitee email.

          As for the alerts, at the moment Siri doesn’t set alerts but you can setup default alerts times. On your iPhone go to Settings-> Mail, Contacts, Calender -> Default Alert Times (down near the bottom under Calendar) and set the default alert time for events to 15 minutes. Not a perfect solutions…but a good workaround.

          • Sorry if i was unclear, don’t say “With” and don’t say “meet” or “meeting”, so you would say “schedule lunch [name]” and that seems to work as a workaround for me.

            and yes, aware of the default alarm, but i don’t want everything to have an alarm, just some things, so i’ll continue to edit siri’s work.
            😉

          • It’s not a google calendar issue its a Siri issue. This auto-invite happens regardless of whether you have google’s calendar synced.

          • Sort of, Siri sets up the attendees list but the calendar sends out the emails. Many of the calendars allow for automatic emails to be blocked.

            What calendar do you have synced?

  • I don’t think this has anything to do with google. If so how? It seems just to be Siri. I don’t use a google calendar on my phone and my default email is not a gmail account.

    They have to know this is an issue I wonder when they will give us some options with Siri??

    • When you schedule a meeting with [name], Siri adds them to your invitees list. In the case of Google, invitees automatically get sent an invite email when the calendar event is created. However, If you manually create a meeting in google calendar you can add invitees and opt not to email them. Other calendar services have similar functionality which you may be able to turn off. So far Google hasn’t added any settings that would help with Siri.

      If you are using another calendar, like iCal, you might want to check and see if you have a setting to turn off invitee emails.

    • Yes, it has everything to do with Google Calendar. Everyone entered as participant/attendees (and is in your address book) gets an invite. This is independent of how it is entered in the Calendar, using SIRI or just typing, using Apple, Android, Windows, Linux. The option can not be shut down. The workaround is not to enter participants and let any smart piece of software (lie SIRI) interpret names as being an attendee. Avoid words like meet, meeting, lunch, dinner and so on. The smarter your software is in detecting whether it is an appointment, the more trouble you are in. Scramble names, the smarter your software is in recognizing names and finding a person in your address book, the more trouble you are in.

  • We need a fix. My calendar contacts are synched with everyone at work, which is about 150 emails. So if I say “I have a meeting with scott” it will send some random guy who I don’t know an email invite, then I have to cancel, and then I get an email the next day wondering why he keeps getting meeting cancelation notices. All because I setup a meeting with a Scott who isn’t in my contacts.

  • Do you know what’s really terrible?!!! When Siri misunderstands what you are saying and sends emails to your X’s inviting them to “Chicken Dinner”!!!

    YES, IT HAPPENED TO ME!

    I got an email back from a girl I dated a long time ago saying she got an email from me that I was inviting her to a “chicken dinner” along with another girl I knew… The fact that I’m now married makes things even harder to explain!

    It took me a looooong time to figure out what had happened. Finally, one day, I saw “chicken dinner with [x] and [x] on my calendar (which is synched with Google Calendar)… I quickly connected the dots and remembered a time I was driving and Siri completely misheard me and put something about “chicken dinner” on my calendar… Google must have sent the email on behalf of Siri’s request!

    Aghhh! STOP MESSING WITH PEOPLE’S LIVE’S SIRI!

  • It appears Google has finally corrected this egregious oversight. Try it out. No more automatic invitations are sent when I include email addresses in the description or title of a google calendar event.

    • Nope, doesn’t seem to be. It’s still sending out invites this morning.

      • Yep, still does it.

  • It’s not really a problem with Google (as some commenters seem to be suggesting). Siri will try to invite people when you create an appointment and use the word “with” followed by a name in your address book.

    Try this workaround…

    “Create an appointment for lunch at 11:30 Tuesday”

    Then say…

    “Change the title”
    “Lunch with Bob”
    (you might also be able to say “Change the title to lunch with Bob”)

    This should create the meeting with the proper subject without sending out invites.

    • Thanks for the workaround. While I partially agree it’s not a Google Calendar problem (since Siri creates the invitee list) it is an oversight in not have an option on the Google calendar settings that controls whether invitee emails are automatically sent by default. Worst case is you don’t even know the notice was sent. Also, it’s not just Siri that runs into this issue when scheduling appointments.

      For a little clarification in why I point to Google Calendar as the source of the problem, when I create an appointment WITH someone and it sends out the automatic invitation to the meeting it comes from the email address associated with my Google Calendar not the email address used on my iPhone. Looking at the message source code you can also see that it is coming from Google Calendar

  • I want to tell Siri to “schedule lunch with Joe at noon” so it ends up on my calendar, but so it doesn’t email Joe as an invitee. Is this possible?

    You say this “schedule quote lunch with Joe end quote at noon”
    No email will be sent.

    • Thank you Peter, this seems to work well and is a decent workaround.

Leave a comment