One of the key differences between the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S is the availability of Siri on the newer smartphone. There have been a few hacks and allegedly legal options that put Siri on older versions of the iPhone, but nothing officially sanctioned by Apple.
The latest Siri workaround comes from iOS hackers Grant Paul, known as chpwn, and Ryan Petrich. In a recent blog post, the duo unveiled Spire, which is a "new tool for installing Siri on previously unsupported, but jailbroken, devices," Paul said. As you might recall, an iOS 5 jailbreak was just released.
The 100MB download is available via Cydia and it will add Siri to any device running iOS 5.
If that sounds a bit too good to be true, though, it is. Actually getting Siri to work on a device other than the iPhone 4S will require some technical know-how.
The search giant purchased CleverSense, which developed Alfred, an app the company has designated as "your personal robot."
And while you can't speak to Alfred like you can with Siri, the app provides recommendations on restaurants, bars, coffee shops, and clubs based on your preferences, location, and other factors, eventually "learning" what you like over time.
"We built Alfred to create a simple, enjoyable, and powerful way to discover new places and help make decisions on the go," Babak Pahlavan, CleverSense co-founder and CEO, said in a note on its Web site. "It's exciting to see that our passion turned into something people around the world use regularly to make everyday decisions that are just right for them."
With Google, CleverSense said it will "start a new chapter in curating the world around us [and] accelerate our efforts toward this shared vision."
We have previously highlighted the exploits of the iPhone hacking community in its attempts to break Siri's exclusivity to the iPhone 4S. And while various device modders have been successful at getting the application itself ported over to devices like Apple's iPhone 4 and iPod touch, they didn't manage to address the elephant in the room: How to get Siri to work with Apple's servers, which don't seem to allow requests from unauthorized (non-iPhone 4S) devices.
Two hackers have since discovered the secret Siri sauce, but neither has spilled the beans as to exactly how their non-iPhone 4S Siri app works. According to Steve Troughton-Smith, however, the tweak was built using a single line of code and "a ton of filesystem changes." And as long as a user first jailbreaks his or her device before installing the to-be-released tweak, Siri is unlocked with no restrictions on its use: It works with the same speed and speech recognition as its iPhone 4S counterpart.
After publishing our iPhone 4S review, we got a bunch of you asking what happened to our unboxing photo gallery. We wanted to make sure we had both the white and black models in-hand prior to the photo shoot. We've now published our iPhone 4S unboxing gallery (better late than never!), and we should have the video up shortly as well!
Gallery: iPhone 4S unboxing gallery
ThinkGeek is set to bring the best of Siri and HAL 9000 together in early 2012 with the IRIS 9000 iPhone dock. This thing has a remote control that allows you to activate Siri from across the room, a built-in mic and speaker that lets you interact with Siri and make calls, and a menacing red LED eye that glows as Siri speaks. Check out video of the device after the break.
Read More | IRIS 9000 on ThinkGeek
After over a year, Apple has released the follow-up to the iPhone 4, and its called the iPhone 4S. What do you do with your phone? If you're like most Americans, you make some calls, take some photos, and send some texts. Maybe you kill time with some games, check Facebook or Twitter, and look things up on the Web. If that's you, then the iPhone 4S ($199-$399 with contract on Sprint, Verizon, and AT&T) is your phone: it's the best cameraphone in the US, the fastest Web-browsing phone, and one that has finally licked the iPhone's calling problems. It's so good, that it's our current Editors' Choice on Sprint, Verizon, and AT&T.
Edit: Be sure to check out our iPhone 4S review as well!
Back in June, I detailed the nine features that I wanted Apple to include in iOS 5—features that would fix obvious OS flaws and expand upon its already rock-solid foundation. Days later, at WWDC 2011, Apple revealed a handful of the "200 new features" that would comprise Cupertino's latest mobile operating system—many of which were what I and droves of other iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch users had desired for some time. Fast forward to today: iOS 5 is now here, and it surpasses iOS 4 with its overhauled alerts and notification system, wireless syncing, the ability for users to activate iPads without first connecting them to a Mac or PC, and many other much-welcomed features. No operating system—be it mobile or desktop—is without flaws, but Apple iOS 5 manages to keep the dings to a minimum and retains its place as the best phone and tablet operating system. Note: iOS 5 is only compatible with the iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPod touch 3rd Generation, iPod touch 4th gen, iPad, and iPad 2.
Now, let's get to the review, shall we?
In advance of yesterday's Let's Talk iPhone Apple event, the rumor mill was in full swing, but among the few predictions to actually come true was voice recognition in the new iPhone, now known as the iPhone 4S.
Last year, Apple acquired voice-recognition application startup Siri and added some voice-to-text features to iOS 4. The feature will be beefed up with the iPhone 4S to understand context and allow you to speak naturally when asking questions.
"Siri on iPhone 4S lets you use your voice to send messages, schedule meetings, place phone calls, and more," Apple said. "Ask Siri to do things just by talking the way you talk. Siri understands what you say, knows what you mean, and even talks back. Siri is so easy to use and does so much, you'll keep finding more and more ways to use it."
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