Siri is such an attention gatherer that it simply refuses to lay low for any period of time. Every few days, it just has to make its way back into the news for one reason or another. This time around, the spur has been caused by a new, free jailbreak tweak released in the Cydia store, which promises to bring Siri-like functionality to iOS 5 devices other than iPhone 4S (i.e. iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, 3rd and 4th generation iPod Touch). Siri0us integrates the speech-to-text dictation functionality with the stock keyboard. Obviously, the tweak is nothing like Siri, but still it offers a functionality that can prove to be useful for many people in a lot of scenarios.
Siri0us is not available in any of the default Cydia repositories, so to install the tweak you will have to launch Cydia and go to Manage > Sources > Edit > Add and enter the following URL in the dialog box that appears to register the tweak’s repository:
Once that is done, simply open the Search tab and enter “Siri0us”. Remember, your device must be running jailbroken iOS 5 to install the tweak.
Once installed, the tweak will add a new button bearing a microphone symbol to the stock keyboard, right beside the spacebar. When pressed, a Siri-like interface pops up, prompting you to dictate whatever you want entered into the text field. Like Siri, the tweak requires an internet connection to convert speech to text. We tested the tweak successfully on our jailbroken iPhone 4. The dictation button appears in all the places where the keyboard pops up, and the voice recognition is pretty up to the mark as well.
Users have reported a few issues with the the installation of Siri0us involving unexplained reboots. These problems have even been addressed by the developer of the tweak on its homepage. If you face this problem, do not restart your device; instead, use SSH to remove the culprit file from within the file system. We personally didn’t experience any significant problem, although we did have to try more than once to get the tweak installed.
Comparing Siri0us with Siri would be highly unjust as this little tweak just tackles one aspect of Siri, which is dictation. But who knows what lies in the near future? It’s possible that somewhere in the world, a developer is close to porting the whole thing, or something as good as it, to older devices.