Four Freshmen Hack Siri To Make iPhone Custom Commands

Apr 18, 2014 10:55 AM EDT | Jordan Ecarma

The college students have struck again.

In a world where Harvard dropout Mark Zuckerberg has built one of the biggest empires in the technology industry, we can't be too surprised that a group of freshmen from the University of Pennsylvania have come up with an impressive iPhone hack to give Siri custom commands.

As reported by TIME, the workaround is called "Googolplex" and allows users to create their own commands for Siri and even connect to outside apps like Spotify or Google Maps.

If computer hacking isn't your area of expertise, don't worry. Ajay Patel, Alex Sands, Ben Hsu, and Gagan Gupta, the creators of the workaround, say setting up the system takes less than a minute and the hack can be used without any jailbreaking.

After setting up the system through www.betterthansiri.com, users can direct Siri with custom commands by putting the word "Googolplex" before their instructions. The hack works when Siri thinks you're saying "Google Plex" and uses the search engine to hunt for the word "Plex" through its proxy server. The commands are then interpreted and sent back to the phone.

While the hack could potentially be a security concern, the developers have stated that the alternate system is only activated when users say "Googolplex" before the command; otherwise, directions to Siri should be secure.

One problem with the Googolplex workaround is that it needs a Wi-Fi network to be directed and only works after an HTTP proxy is set up, so third-party apps can't be used during a jog or while driving a car.

According to the developers, Googolplex can serve as a replacement to defunct hack SiriProxy, which worked through intercepting Siri's internal networks but was shut down by Apple.

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