Apple’s Siri voice assistant is great, but it’s simply limited and incapable in comparison the likes of Google Now (and now, Microsoft’s Cortana). Four college kids from the University of Pennsylvania have hacked together a solution for this called GoogolPlex, which extends Siri functionality to do things like control a Nest thermostat, Philips Hue lights, and more.
GoogolPlex uses an HTTP Proxy to give your iOS device access to the GoogolPlex service with absolutely no jailbreaking or downloads. On top of that, you can set up the service in less than 30 seconds and it’s completely free.
The college students, Alex Sands, Ajay Patel, Ben Hsu and Gagan Gupta, entered this awesome piece of software as part of a hackathon, and took third prize with competition from upwards of 220 other projects. They detailed the technical details behind how GoogolPlex works on their blog, but today they introduced the world to their little project hoping to make our iOS device experience just that much better.
The capabilities of the service vary widely, from being able to play music in Spotify, turn up the temperature of a Nest thermostat, or even start your Tesla S. What makes GoogolPlex even better, though, is that you can create your own GoogolPlex commands and even access what is basically the App Store for Siri actions. People have already created cool commands that have Siri flip a coin for you or tell you a programming joke. The possibilities are endless.
As listed on the GoogolPlex website, here are the instructions to set up the service.
Follow these instructions to have GoogolPlex set up in under 30 seconds:
- On your you iOS device, go to Settings > Wi-Fi
- On your selected network, click the
- Scroll down and select “Auto” under “HTTP PROXY”
- Enter http://totally.betterthansiri.com in the URL field exactly as shown
- Now you can begin using GoogolPlex! Try it out by making your first request!
- Note: The first time you use GoogolPlex you must select “Continue” when prompted and create an account. You will only have to do this once.
- Check out our command center to see what others have created or add your own commands!
Try out GoogolPlex by asking Siri the following:
- “GoogolPlex, play Demons” (Spotify)
- “GoogolPlex, turn on my lights.” (Philips Hue)
- “GoogolPlex, make it warmer.” (Nest Thermostat)
- Or create your own commands for GoogolPlex!
For more information about GoogolPlex, head over to the “betterthansiri” website, set up and account, and put Siri to work for you.