Near the end of December we covered
an interesting non-jailbreak tweak called SiriPrefs that would allow Siri to open applications, access menus, and other device specific categories. Well the Siriprefs project is officially live.
Israeli developer DanyL (Dany Lisiansky) developed the tweak which is actually a set of network tools that work together allowing Siri— as well as Bing and Google Voice—to open applications. Because the project involves a DNS Server, Transparent Proxy Server and Web Server set up on the user's home network a VPN must be set up in order to use Siriprefs away from the user's local network.
DanyL has posted a nice step-by-step guide on how to set up the network tools. The only caveat is users need to be running Debian (a free Linux/GNU OS
) or a Debian based distribution of Linux to setup the network tools. Once running Debian the rest of the setup is a series of scripts entered via terminal. The step-by-step guide is available here
, as well as a video that walks users through the steps.
Obviously, this tweak is more difficult to implement than jailbreaking and installing packages via Cydia, but it also doesn’t require a jailbreak and can work on none Siri enabled devices through Bing and Google Voice.
As much as I love Jailbreak applications and tweaks, workarounds like this—while not as neat as the numerous packages littering the many repos– are just as amazing. Even more amazing is the fact the DanyL’s Siriprefs project is here to stay as DanyL claims there’s no way for Apple to block the project now or in the future.
Demonstration of capabilities
*Update* Interview with DanyL
How long have you been an active member in the JB community?
I have been in the JB community since the iPhone 3G, and made a few simple plist tweaks and themes about 2 years ago. Than I moved to the PS3 jailbreak community and learned developing and reverse engineering (security researching).
Now when I bought an iPhone 4S, I'm back, and I'm planning to stay!
How long have you been working on Siriprefs?
Because I'm still in school, I had to work on SiriPrefs at my free time, which took me about a week and a half to accomplish.
When I started to work on SiriPrefs, I had a few problems. The first thing I thought about, was to use SiriProxy to open URL schemes, but since Siri itself can't open URLs directly, this couldn't be done, so I thought about Siri's search option, which launch Safari with the searched keyword, and this gave me the idea to build a server which recognize that keyword and redirect to a specific URL scheme and launch settings and applications.
Because SiriPrefs redirect URL based on the search keyword, it works from any Safari based applications too, such as Bing and Google that also has a voice search option.
What gave you the idea to pursue this siri-tweak?
When I was playing with Siri, I was disappointed that apple didn't include an option to control iPhone's settings, and decided to take this task in my hands and make it happen.
What other kinds of app/tweak development are you involved in?
As I mentioned before, until now I was developing and researching the PS3.
But I'll soon get a Mac for iOS development, and I'll start developing some tweaks and apps for the iOS community too.
Any future siri related tweaks on the horizon?
Sure, as soon as I get a mac I'll start working on it.