Samsung moves to block unofficial use of S Voice, wants to keep it fresh for the Galaxy S3 [Updated]

May 21, 2012
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    Updated with workaround for Samsung’s restriction. See below. Thanks, Frank!

    While not everyone is enamored with the design of the Samsung Galaxy S3, apparently people don’t mind getting an early taste of the phone’s smart software. It started with Flipboard, a supposedly exclusive social magazine app for the Galaxy S3, which was extracted from the device merely days after its introduction. Then came the wide availability of the Galaxy S3’s ROM, which gave way for even more goodies to come. One of said goodies is Samsung’s answer to Siri, the Samsung S Voice.

    The APK for Samsung S Voice was highly sought after, and it did make its way to other Android devices sooner than you can say Siri, though it only seems to work on devices running Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. Unfortunately, the happy days may not last for too long, since Samsung has apparently grown weary of seeing the S Voice everywhere but on the Galaxy S3.

    The Korean company is reportedly working with Vlingo – the service that powers the S Voice app — to block requests made from unauthorized devices. Some of those who tried to use the leaked app in the past 24 hours have reported that they received a “Network Error. Please Try Again” message. Others said that the requests weren’t even processed. This might be a sure sign that the quality time with S Voice is over. At least until devs find a workaround to the process that blocks non-Galaxy S3 devices from using the the service.

    If you’ve missed the boat on Samsung S Voice — it’s basically a personal voice assistant software that allows you to control many aspects of your phone using your voice. Like Siri, the S Voice lets you use personalized voice commands to launch apps, take pictures, control music playback, and a lot more.

    Have you given the S Voice a test yet? Is it still working on your device?

    [Update] As our reader Frank points out, there is a simple workaround against Samsung restrictions. Check it out here: http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1664785

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    Comments

    • http://twitter.com/frankkie12345 Frank Bouwens

      There is a workaround for S Voice.
      To make it work, change your build.prop to pretend your device is a Galaxy S3.
      ro.product.device
      ro.product.name
      ro.build.product
      see:
      http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1664785

    • AppleFUD

      Samsung needn’t really worry much about it. There aren’t even that many rooted ICS devices at this point in time.

      The worse part is, you have idiots putting the app on devices it won’t work on worth beans and then posting “their experience” saying how bad it is. . . duh!

    • http://www.alexdumitru.com Alex Dumitru

      It’s been fixed. I used this guide and it works: http://www.android.gs/how-to-fix-s-voice-network-error/

    • JayZed

      I find this service to be lame and redundant. I can now tap an icon on my home screen and then say “set an alarm for 9am” and it happpens. So why do I want the extra steps of this back-and-forth-type of “conversation” with my phone? I guess I am just a fan of vanilla android (have had G2 for 1.5 years).

      But I also am ticked at the whole set up. Google built Android so multiple firms could use it, but Google assumed they would differentiate based on hardware. And what is now happening? Just the opposite. These OEMs are tweaking and forking the software to differentiate. So as a user, how do I now view Android? It’s messy.

      Think if Windows was the same way. Let’s say you buy a Dell laptop and it has a fingerprint reader pad that allows you to use this in place of ever typing any of your passwords (for computer access, websites, anything). Then you by a Sony two years later and, viola!, you no longer have that functionality. Or what if IBM replaced the Windows Start button on their devices with an app bar/tray like we see on MacOS. That would potentially confuse people when they would transition from device to device. The beauty of Windows for me personally is that I only have to learn new stuff each time there is a Windows upgrade. But if Windows were open source, I’d have to trudge through so much crap just to find out how my new device works.

      That hasssle would lead me to locking myself into a particular manufacturer and not deviating much at all. Doesn’t that sound a bit like Apple’s model?

      My prediction is that within 5 years, Apple will be the most popular OS worldwide and Windows second. And we will be able to thank Android for this. Google will be fine with it, right? I mean Google seems to love Apple (always see their employees using Apple products) and seems to shun Microsoft (“let’s build Google docs to replace the need for MS Office.” Does it piss off anyone else that Google doesn’t feel compelled to build a desktop version of Play so as to directly compete with iTunes for music management? I think it’s because most Google employees fawn over Apple and have all their personal music in iTunes and have no reason or desire to switch. This secret love affair with Apple sure makes it hard for me to stay committed to the Google ecosystem.

      It’s like Google saw itself (when it was small) as the guy to stand up to the bully MS and take the side of Apple. Problem is that Apple now hates Google for interfering with their iPhone dominance. For all of Google’s tripping over itself to keep Apple happy, what do they get in return? A kick in the teeth when Apple says, we’ll create our own navigation and maps solution, thank you very much.

      For me it ALL comes down to a simple premise: can I create files and spreadsheets when I am DISconnected from the Internet? Google does not serve me well in this regard. Therefore I am left with MS or Apple. I expect that will continue to be the case for many people for a good long while (chrombook anyone?).

    • Scott_n_fla

      Was able to install and run the app last night on my Galaxy S2 4g Epic Touch running Cyanogenmod 9 Tablet UI (ICS 4.0.4 See installation information for Cyanogenmod 9 elsewhere on this site). It’s cute – but not sure I will still be using it after a week or two…

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