Wednesday, November 30, 2011
There is hardly anything noticeable save for iTunes Match streaming over 3G and extremely minor keyboard enhancement in the iOS Mail application. Apple is also more open about geo-fencing (such as in Reminders.app) in the location services preferences (Thanks Jonathan). If you find anything else please let know at : firstname.lastname@example.org.
We’re just going to right come out and say it: we’re pretty much in love with SiriProxy, and we’re not ashamed to admit it.
Created by Pete “Plamoni” Lamonica, SiriProxy lets Siri interact with pretty much anything on a network, and people have done some pretty awesome things with it, ranging from opening car doors to launching apps on a Mac.
As is so often the case with such hacks, the clever people of the internet have not stopped with new ways of using SiriProxy, and a new video just popped up on our radar that we think you’ll like, especially if you’ve ever been a fan of Star Trek…
One of Star Trek’s most impressive pieces of future-tech was the all-knowing computer that was controlled by voice commands. Trekkers would ask the computer pretty much anything, or tell it to perform a task, and it was done. We marvelled, but we also knew that sooner or later our lives would imitate art. Today, that reality seems a little closer than it did yesterday.
As the video shows, one intrepid coder has made Siri understand when he wants his curtains closing and his lights turning off. The system even understands the difference between two separate lights.
This is just another example of what Siri could be made to do if Apple opened it up to developers, or even began building Siri into homes.
Cool right? Ya! That's why we love "Siri Proxy"
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
Apple has just seeded iOS 5.1 Beta to developers, a little over a month after releasing iOS 5. As most of you are aware, the software was crippled right out of the gate with a number of issues, including poor battery performance and Wi-Fi problems.
Two weeks ago, Apple finally released iOS 5.0.1 to the public, after multiple betas. The new software was supposed to patch the battery bug, but the company later admitted that it didn’t completely resolve the issue. Will iOS 5.1 finally fix these flaws?
We don’t know yet actually, we can’t access the changelog. All we know is that the 5.1 Beta is available for the above-listed devices, and must be installed using iTunes 10.5. We also know that you can’t downgrade once you’ve upgraded, so jailbreakers beware.
It’s interesting that Apple skipped iOS 5.0.2 and went straight to 5.1. Typically, Apple uses tenth-place-only software (4.1, 4.2, 4.3) to incorporate new features. Maybe it is finally going to unveil iOS 5′s hidden Panorama picture mode or FaceTime over 3G.
According to some excerpts from Steve Jobs’ recently released biography, the ex-CEO wanted to “reinvent” three markets: television, text books, and photography. The first is still a rumor, the second is happening as we speak, and the third is still up for discussion.
Looking at the image upload data from Flickr shows that the top four most popular cameraphones are iPhones, and the most popular camera overall is the iPhone 4. So is this what Jobs was talking about? Or did he want to build an actual camera, like this one?
The folks over at ADR Studios, a design firm, have uploaded some gorgeous renderings of what an Apple camera might look like. Actually, the iCam is more of an iPhone accessory than a standalone camera, but either way this looks like one mean picture-taker.
The iCam concept interacts with the rumored iPhone 5 handset. The device hooks up with the accessory through the dock connector, allowing both products to seamlessly share data and content. The camera also sports a built-in pico projector, and a zoom lens.
We don’t really see Apple releasing something like this, as it doesn’t have a good track record with expensive device accessories [see Hi-Fi]. But the iCam is gorgeous, and would probably do well for a third party manufacturer, as long as it wasn’t too pricey.
What do you think of the iCam?
Hackers have been trying to port Siri to older iDevices since the virtual assistant was announced alongside the iPhone 4S. Siri doesn’t technically require the new handset’s A5 processor and increased memory, so limiting the technology to the 4S is clearly a marketing maneuver.
We’ve already seen Siri running on an iPhone 4, so we know it’s possible. But those instances required special circumstances, and we didn’t know if we’ll ever see a public release. Siri’s dictation feature has now been made publicly available in Cydia for the iPhone 4, and it actually works.
Developer Eric Day has uploaded a jailbreak package entitled Siri0us. Day describes his tweak as “Siri dictation for your iOS 5 devices. No iPhone 4S keys/files required.” And believe it or not, the utility actually works. iDB tested it out on a couple of iDevices.
Dictation works great on the iPhone 4, transcribing words into text rather quickly. The technology is actually Naunce-based dictation, but the end result is pretty much the same as Apple’s Siri. As you can see in the video, small ads are displayed in the bar above the mic icon. You will need an internet connection for the microphone to show up.
We have also confirmed that Siri0us works on the iPod touch 4G.
To get Siri Dictation running on your jailbroken iDevice, simply add http://apt.if0rce.com to your list of Cydia sources and search for “Siri0us.”
The developer has noted a bug that some may run into when trying to install. If your iDevice keeps respringing, do not restore! Use a SSH tool to remove the /System/Library/PrivateFrameworks/AssistantServices.framework file.
It took us 5 or 6 retries to download the package, so if you get any errors just back out and start over. Also, keep in mind that we have the tweak running on testing devices with no personal information on board as a precaution. However, we have no reason to believe that Siri0us is dangerous.
Several readers have tipped us that this does indeed work on the iPhone 3GS.
Several readers have tipped us that this does indeed work on the iPhone 3GS.
Update: Siri0us servers experienced several outages due to high traffic over the last 48 hours, the developer, Eric Day, has removed Siri0us from Cydia. Eric is looking for a different voice recognition service that he can use legally in his tweak.
Monday, November 28, 2011
Ac1dSn0w currently offers a tethered jailbreak on iOS 5.0 and 5.0.1 for users running OS X Snow Leopard or Lion. As an alternative to popular jailbreak tools like RedSn0w, PwnageTools and Sn0wBreeze, Ac1dSn0w is available for free right now.
The Pwn Dev Team explains:
Ac1dSn0w doesn’t support anything new. The same devices are able to be jailbroken with the new tool: iPod touch 4G, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, and first-gen iPad. The jailbreak for the A5-powered iDevices (iPhone 4S and iPad 2) has not been released yet in any form.
Ac1dSn0w offers a different type of interface on the Mac, and still lacks certain features that RedSn0w possesses, like the ability to create custom firmware packages.
There are, however, good things planned for Ac1dSn0w:
The upcoming “iRecovery Remote” feature will allow you to talk to remote iDevices and send your own payloads, etc. over an internet connection. This particular feature is pretty exciting, as it hasn’t really been done before.
The Pwn Dev Team currently consists of 9 official members, and the team is led by a hacker that goes by the name of “P01sonN1nja” (not to be confused with p0sixninja of the Chronic Dev Team).
Dev Team frontman and unlock guru MuscleNerd has given an update on a new unlock for the newly-released iPhone 4S. According to MuscleNerd, a “very promising” unlock for the new handset is “in the works.”
While iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4 owners with older basebands have been able to unlock after jailbreaking for awhile now, there’s a whole set of newer basebands waiting for an UltraSn0w update.
UltraSn0w lets jailbreakers unlock the iPhone for free to use on different carriers, and there hasn’t been a baseband update for quite some time. Currently, UltraSn0w for iOS 5 supports the following basebands on the iPhone 3GS: 4.26.08, 05.11.07, 05.12.01, 05.13.04, and 06.15.00. The 01.59.00 baseband is also supported on the iPhone 4. There are multiple iPhone 4 basebands that have yet to be unlocked with an UltraSn0w update.
The Gevey SIM hardware unlock supports the same basebands as UltraSn0w on iOS 5. You must preserve your baseband when jailbreaking (tethered or semitethered) by using either RedSn0w or Sn0wBreeze if you want to keep unlocking.
Obviously, an unlock for the iPhone 4S will require a jailbreak, and an untethered jailbreak is also in the works for iOS 5. The Chronic Dev Team gave an update late last night on the status of the iOS 5 jailbreak. Hackers are working feverishly to uncover stable exploits, and they want your help.
MuscleNerd hasn’t given an exact ETA on the UltraSn0w update, but potential unlockers with newer basebands shouldn’t be left out in the cold much longer.
Microsoft and its chief strategy and research officer Craig Mundie have been taking a lot of smack over the past couple of days. Mundie made some controversial comments regarding Apple’s new Siri feature during a recent interview with Forbes Magazine.
The executive claimed that Microsoft has had Siri-like technology on its Windows Phone platform for over a year, and that Apple’s success with it has been the result of “good marketing.” But the two systems are miles apart, and here’s a video to prove it…
Jason Cartwright of TechAu has put Windows Phone’s voice control component up against Apple’s digital assistant to see if there was any truth to Mundie’s comments. Is Microsoft’s Tellme feature really Siri-like? Watch:
Ouch. As you can see, the two services aren’t even in the same ballpark. Not only does Siri understand hundreds (if not thousands) more commands than Tellme, its voice recognition also seems to be far superior.
The video provides yet more evidence that you can’t simply lump Siri in with other me-too voice control features. It’s miles ahead of both Android and Windows Phone offerings. And when you’re that far behind, nobody cares if you were first.
Friday, November 25, 2011
Last week we saw how a developer created a proxy server to sit between Siri and Apple to make certain commands perform command line functions. Another developer today took that proxy server and hooked it up to his Viper Car system which allows him to turn his car off and on.
Siri hacking is rapidly turning into a fun sport. How long until Apple blesses third parties with this type of functionality?
Locking and arming the car alarm video below:
Thursday, November 24, 2011
Since Apple unveiled the iPhone 4S last month, everyone has been talking about one thing: Siri. The lovable assistant is the product of over 40 years of artificial intelligence research and the US CALO program (Cognitive Assistant that Learns and Organizes).
Siri isn’t apparently exclusive to Apple’s handset. Microsoft’s chief strategy and research officer Craig Mundie recently told Forbes that Microsoft has had similar voice control tech on its Windows Phone platform for more than a year!
We know, we didn’t see that one coming either…
Here’s what Mundie told Forbes in a recent interview:
Right. It’s amazing to us that someone in such a high position at such a prominent company could make such an ignorant comment. For an example of just how dissimilar the two features are, here is an excerpt of a Windows Phone review from PCWorld:
That doesn’t sound like the same feature that Scott Forstall demoed on stage in front of a crowded auditorium at Apple’s iPhone event last month. On top of that, Windows Phone’s voice command feature can’t interact with its user or other applications. For instance, it won’t open up the clock application and set an alarm for you. It also can’t set location-based reminders.
In fact, there’s a lot of things Microsoft’s voice command feature can’t do that Siri can. You can see why it was a bit of a stretch (to say the least) for Craig Mundie to compare it to Apple’s voice-controlled assistant. Same goes for the Android fans that keeps insisting Siri is just another voice-to-text robot.
Siri’s abilities aren’t just limited to a list of speakable commands. She understands normal, everyday language. She can even remember names, birthdays, and other important information.
Sure, Apple was a little late to the voice control party. But that’s because, as usual, it was taking something that had been done half-assed everywhere else, and making it great.
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Ever since rumors of an impending Siri port started circulating, non-iPhone 4S owners have been wondering why Siri can’t be made available on older iDevices. We’ve seen video of hackers running Siri on the iPhone 4, iPod touch 4G, iPhone 3GS, and even video of Siri controlling random devices, like a thermostat.
While these specific instances show that Siri can indeed run on non-4S devices, publicly distributing Siri poses a whole other set of problems. The complex system that Apple’s servers use to authenticate with Siri on the iPhone 4S is one of the main reasons that a Siri port can’t be made available to everyone at the moment.
A developer that goes by the name of “n00neimp0rtant” has detailed why he, or anyone else, cannot release a Siri port. On the ModMyi forums, he includes a video of Siri working on his iPod for proof.
A development firm called Applidium recently hacked Siri’s security protocol and made the findings available for everyone to access online. Since then, another hacker has created a Siri proxy sever that allows anyone with the appropriate knowledge to make Siri interact with non-Apple devices. When Siri connects with Apple to process requests, a multi-level series of authentications takes place.
Here’s how the authentication with Apple’s servers works, as explained by n00neimporant:
Not only does Siri require an iPhone 4S unique identifier, but the servers are smart enough to recognize a faked connection after 24 hours:
Essentially, running Siri on a non-4S device requires access to a iPhone 4S, effectively making the port useless for people that don’t own Apple’s latest smartphone.
There are more networking problems that make a Siri port problematic, including the fact that no two devices can use the same identifiers/validation data to run Siri at the same time. Essentially, if you’re using an iPhone 4S’s unique identifier to run Siri on an unsupported device, the voice technology won’t work on the iPhone 4S that is acting as the host for the other device.Finally, n00neimportant explains how a Siri port would theoretically be distributed legally. He compares the distribution to the way that jailbreak tools like PwnageTool handle copyrighted software:
Hopefully that clears the air. And in case you didn’t know, Apple itself has said that it has “no plans” to bring Siri to other iDevices.
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