Siri has been relegated to the confines of the iPhone 4S for the past six months, while many a new iPad owner and Mountain Lion beta tester have wondered what's taking Apple so long to release the feature from beta. For those of you running the latest version of OS X, Reddit user Moosehadley figured out that you can inject Siri's female voice right into OS X Lion (we've confirmed that this works for Mountain Lion as well.) All you need to do is go into System Preferences > Speech > Text to Speech. Use the System Voice pulldown, and choose Customize. From the list, select "Samantha" and let it install. This is the same voice used for Siri, and should hold you over until her full functionality makes it to the Mac.
We gave you a look at the new iPad Retina display in our last video, and now we're here to show off the DIctation feature. Dictation allows you to speak your words to the iPad while it listens and attempts to turn your words into text typed into the app your using. As you can see in the video, Dictation is easy to use (it's right on the keyboard, next to the space bar,) but it doesn't always get everything perfect. You also need to remember to speak your punctuation when using the feature. It's definitely convenient, and easy to go in and clean up any mistakes after the fact. Get a look at how it all works in the video above.
As Apple promised this morning during its iPad event, iOS 5.1 is now available for download. What's new? Well the major items include the fact that Siri can now speak to you in Japanese, photos can be deleted from Photo Stream (finally!), and a camera shortcut is now always visible on the lock screen of the iPhone and iPod touch. Other additions include a 4G indicator on the AT&T iPhone 4S, and optimized audio for iTunes TV and movies to make the audio louder and clearer when watching on an iPad. Download it now!
In this episode we give you a look at a bunch of cool Siri hacks you can perform on your iPhone 4S. All you need to do is jailbreak the smartphone using the latest version of greenpois0n, Absinthe A5, and then search for and apply the hacks. A hacked Siri can perform a bunch of new tasks and functions that were previously unavailable. Things like language translation, launching any app you have installed on your iPhone 4S, engaging in a conversation with you, and even search and display YouTube results! We give you a full demo in this episode. Oh, and don't forget, you can also install Siri on non-iPhone 4S iOS devices!
Big thank you to GoToMeeting and JackThreads for sponsoring the show - be sure to check them out! GoToMeeting provides rich, super-simple collaborative virtual meetings. As for JackThreads, we've got exclusive invite codes that give you $5 to use towards anything you'd like on the site.
The first legal Siri port has been developed and released for jailbroken iPhone 4, iPhone 3G and 3GS, iPod touch 3rd and 4th generations, and both iPads, and it's called Spire. The way the tweak works is by using an external proxy server to mimic Apple’s own Siri servers, which are used exclusively for the iPhone 4S. Spire has a quick install and a simple setup that takes no time at all to get up and running. There are some minor issues with the method however, namely that for every iDevice connected to a proxy server, Apple is losing money. The problems don’t stop there though. This also leaves the "official" iPhone 4S Siri possibly open to vulnerability for use with these proxy servers, which can potentially lead to unreliability within the phone itself and possible personal information being leaked from all the connected devices.
Moving away from the negatives to the positive, looking at the Spire, it functions exactly like its older sibling for the iPhone 4S as you are not running it on the iPod Touch 3rd generation (the tweak takes full advantage of the external microphone.) Have you got Siri up and running on your jailbroken iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch?
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!