Ever since Apple launched Siri with the iPhone 4s, I’ve been one of the naysayers of the technology, claiming that it’s a gimmick, and I still believe that Siri isn’t very functional. Sure, I do appreciate being able to quickly set an alarm, or send a text while I’m doing something else, but I still think the technology is a little gimmicky. And while I never really put a lot of thought into why, I realized it recently. The app just doesn’t have as much functionality as it should. There is so much on the iPhone that Siri simply can’t do.
One of the best alternatives I’ve seen takes advantage of using Siri, but also brings new functionality to it. It was created by college freshmen at the University of Pennsylvania at a hack-a-thon. And simply put, it’s a relatively basic workaround to allow Siri to access way more than it can now. The “hack” is called GoogolPlex, and it improves Siri’s functionality by allowing users to control Philips Hue lights, temperature through Nest, and my personal favorite, play music through Spotify.
The video above shows some of the functionality that is added with GoogolPlex. The best part is that GoogolPlex doesn’t require users to download anything, and, perhaps more importantly, it doesn’t require a jailbreak. In order to access the benefits of GoogolPlex, users simply have to change the network proxy settings in the Settings app in iOS. It’s as easy as that, and then you begin your Siri commands with “GoogolPlex” and then say your command. So for example, “GoogolPlex, play Demons” to play a song in Spotify. This will then open a Safari command which will then launch Spotify and play the song you requested.
I just haven’t been able to understand why Apple hasn’t implemented features such as this. Opening Siri to third-party developers would make the feature so much more functional, and maybe even make it a feature that I would use and even brag about. However, currently Siri is just a feature of iOS that I forget about all the time. It seems useless to me since it is so limited in what it can do currently.
Hopefully in iOS 8, Apple will finally turn Siri into something that is more functional. After all, we know that it really doesn’t take much to make it infinitely more functional. What are your thoughts on Siri? Will you be using GoogolPlex to expand Siri’s usefullness? Drop your thoughts in the comments section below and let us know! Also, if you’re interested in checking out GoogolPlex, read more about it, as well as find instructions on its website found here.