By now, you’ve likely already downloaded the recently released (and excellent) Google Maps app on your iPhone and made it your primary navigation tool. Unfortunately though, there’s no way to make it your default maps app without jailbreaking. But what if there was a way to make it so that Siri will give directions to a location using Google Maps? JailbreakNation discovered that by adding “via transit” to the end of your Siri command, a go-between “Routing Apps” page will appear and allow you to select desired navigation apps. For example, you can say “Give me directions to [destination] via transit“, or “Take me to the closest [POI] via transit“. Voilà. You can then select Google Maps and choose from one of the suggested routes. It’s not a perfect integration, but at least it’s there if you’d like to use both Siri and Gmaps. Check out the demo video below.
For those who you who don’t have an iPhone 4S (or the new iPad with iOS 6) and feel left out with not being able to converse with Siri, you’ll soon be able to do many of the same things that Apple’s digital assistant is able to. Along with Google’s announcement today that Knowledge Graph will be making its way outside the US, and the introduction of the Gmail in personal search results feature, the Big G has made it known that the Google Search app for iOS will be updated soon and it’ll include voice-based questions and answers.
It appears that Siri has all but confirmed that Japanese support for the iOS digital assistant will be coming soon. If you ask Siri now what languages she speaks, you’ll get the reply “I can speak French, English, Japanese, and German… but I’m always learning.”. That said, Japanese isn’t an option yet under Siri’s languages setting. For full support, that may not happen until the next iOS update (5.1). As for additional languages, the FAQ section for Siri states that more will be arriving in 2012, including Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Italian, and Spanish. So if you’re an iPhone 4S user who speaks one of these languages, hopefully it won’t be much longer before you can whisper sweet nothings to Siri in your native tongue.
Tweaks to extend Siri’s functionality have been rolling in over the past few days, one of which was VoiceUtils, a tool that allows users to open apps on their iPhone 4S via voice commands (among other things). The latest to hit Cydia is Lingual, a hack that essentially transforms Siri into your personal translator. Created by CodeThemed, and based on the AssistantExtensions platform for Siri development, Lingual taps into Microsoft Bing’s Translate API and is able to translate from english to over 30+ languages through Siri. So you can ask “What’s Where’s the bus stop in Spanish” and Siri will display the translated text for you momentarily. It won’t actually say aloud the translation, but it’s still really neat nonetheless. Lingual is free to download and can be found by simply searching for it on Cydia. Check out the video demo of how it works after the gap.
Well it didn’t take long for Siri tweaks to surface after the Untethered Jailbreak for A5 devices (iPhone 4S and iPad 2) went live several days ago. VoiceUtils, a newly released Cydia app developed by Nick Frey, finally allows Siri to open stock and third party apps, unlock the device, reboot/restart/respring the phone, and even enter Safe Mode. These actions were previously not available to Siri, and many users have wondered why Apple has decided not to (for the time being at least) include basic functionality such as launching apps. At least now for iPhone 4S jailbreakers, the free Cydia utility will give them more control over their device and simple actions like restarting the SpringBoard is only a voice command away. Check out the video demo of VoiceUtils in action after this space.
If you think Siri’s a bit too snobbish for your liking (as in you don’t have an iPhone 4S), there’s a new digital assistant in town, and she’s not exclusive to only one iDevice. Meet Evi, the app that works on the iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad (iOS 4 and higher required) and Android phones.
Evi is the revolutionary artificial intelligence here to help with all of your everyday information needs.
Unlike a search engine, which simply looks for matching words and shows you a list of websites, Evi understands what you want to know and gives back exactly what you’re after.
Need to know where the nearest bank is? Not a problem. Going out for dinner but can’t decide where? She can help with that too. The more you ask, the more she will learn, and thus she is improving all the time.
There’s a new Siri Port in town and this time, it’s completely legal (unlike this one). Brought to you by jailbreak developers chpwn and Ryan Petrich, Spire allows older (jailbroken) iOS 5 devices like the iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, iPod Touch 3/4G and iPad 1 to run Siri. Available on Cydia as a 100mb download, the port will also require additional info from an iPhone 4S (needed to communicate with Apple’s servers) and a proxy server.
Avatron, the company behind the excellent Air Display (TMA Review), has released Air Dictate, an app that lets you use your iPhone 4S’ speech recognition and turns it into text on your Mac computer. It’s quite to similar to the recently released Vocal app, though Air Dictate’s sole purpose is to act as a personal transcriber. You’ll need to have Air Dictate installed on your iPhone 4S, the free Air Dictate Receiver app installed on your Mac and have on the same WiFi network. Then:
- Launch any app that allows text input. For example: TextEdit, Mail, Pages, Microsoft Word.
On iPhone 4S:
- Launch the Air Dictate app.
- Choose your Mac from a list of nearby computers.
- Press the microphone button, speak for a while, and press the button again to stop.
Air Dictate’s a pretty simple app, though for those who’d rather “type” with their voice rather than an actual keyboard, Avatron’s latest utility will get the job done. The app’s also only sale now for intro price of $0.99, so if you have an iPhone 4S and want to check it out, you may want to pick this up sooner rather than later.
Avatron Software, Air Dictate, – $0.99
Check out this rather hilarious video trailer by Rooster Teeth Productions. If you’ve ever had a nagging suspicion that Siri’s true intention is to take over the world, just know that you maybe not so paranoid after all.
Siri’s been hacked to remotely start a car and even change channels on a TV set, though this is likely the first time iPhone 4S’ digital assistant’ hasbeen made to “play” an instrument. Using an AirPort Express and some special MIDI files, this Siri hack is able to make the not-so-cheap Yamaha Disklavier piano play requested songs. Here’s how the setup works according to The Loop:
Take a standard MIDI songfile and convert it to an audio file (while maintaining the MIDI data). The songfile is then sent wirelessly via WiFi to an Apple Airport Express (which is mounted underneath a Yamaha Disklavier reproducing piano. The audio output of the Airport Express is then connected to the analog MIDI inputs of the Disklavier, using a standard audio cable.
Then, you simply ask Siri to play your favorite song from your iTunes library, and Siri responds immediately, by making the Disklavier’s keys and pedal move up and down, recreating the performance, including full orchestration.
For those fortunately enough to own a Disklavier, there’s even an iOS app – Disklavier Controller - that lets you perform similar functions like song selection and playback. Of course, this is no where near as cool as asking Siri to do all the hard work for you.