Considering Siri is still officially in its beta stage, I think most would agreed that aside from a few niggling issues, the advanced personal assistant from Apple definitely sets the iPhone 4S apart from other devices in the same class range. No piece of software is ever going to be perfect, and will always have real-world limitations, but Siri is an extremely powerful extension to iOS which is growing in features as time progresses.
Whenever a new piece of technology or software is released to such a large audience, there is always going to be questions about the feature set and the scope of the environment with which that software can work. Siri for example, has the ability to look into the user’s calendars and contacts and make additions and amendments which makes the software extremely capable from a task management perspective. However, users in the United Kingdom have been perplexed as to why Siri can’t make simple online searches for local businesses, considering that third party applications such as ‘Evi’ can perform such a task.
If history has taught us anything since the birth of the iPhone, it is that the development community will always innovate and release work which they believe enhances the already advanced features of iOS. The jreailbreak community has been benefitting from these modifications for a number of years now, and as Apple continues to add improvements to iOS, developers will continue to have additional aspects of the operating system to tweak and improve. The recent release of the iOS 5 untethered jailbreak for the iPhone 4S has opened up a world of possibilities for developers to hook into, and extending the abilities of Siri which has been evident with the influx of tweaks we have seen in the last few days.
The newest kid on the block has been given the name ‘Lingual’ and offers functionality which we are yet to see in any other Siri-based tweak. Lingual will be available as a plugin for the recently released AssistantExtensions mod, allowing users to dictate a word or phrase to Siri and request real time translation in one of 35 supported languages. AssistantExtensions is a free of charge download from Cydia, released by developers ‘K3A’ and offers additional Siri functions right out of the box. One of the defining features which differs AssistantExtensions from other software out there, is the fact that developers can write plugins to hook into the Extension tweak, which is exactly what Lingual is.
Users will need to have AssistantExtensions installed as a pre-requisite before Lingual will work. The Lingual plugin, developed by CodeThemed, will then be activated using the standard Siri methods. Users will be able to say "translate [phrase] to [language]" or "what is [phrase] in [language]" and Siri will respond instantaneously with the required translation. I’m sure you don’t need me to tell you the real world benefits that such a powerful modification can provide, but even from a personal development point of view; the Lingual plugin could prove to be a priceless commodity if it works effectively.
Lingual will be available in the coming days on Cydia, and will require the installation of the AssistantExtensions tweak which is free of charge.
For jailbreaking iPhone 4S and iPad 2, you can simply follow our step by step guide posted here to jailbreak iOS 5.0.1 using Absinthe on Windows or Mac. For those of you with iPhone 4, 3GS, iPad 1, and iPod touches can use Redsn0w or Sn0wbreeze to untether jailbreak on iOS 5.0.1.
Thanks Phil for the hat tip!