Hound BetaHound Beta is a software application that looks like it’s an attempt to be a faster better voice search that Google Now. It’s currently invite only as they attempt to work the bugs out, and seems to be extremely fast at guessing what I actually slurred at my phone.

Currently you need to sign up for the beta, or get an invite from a friend who has it.

Alternately you can just be rooted or know someone who is because they left their entire security and invite numbers you have in plain text on the phone, and that was just posted about by Alex Cruz how to defeat that here and here.

Update at the bottom

TL;DR grab a root file browser, navigate to /data/data/com.hound.android.app/shared_prefs. You’ll find a file in there called com.hound.android.app.preferences.xml – edit that with your editor of choice, make this line happen in it: <boolean name=”invitation_complete” value=”true” />

By “make this line happen in it,” I mean if you see something similar that says false, change it to true. If like me you installed and don’t see that line at all in the file, just add it, close Hound Beta via force close or swiping it out of recents, re-open and you’re now in the beta.

There’s also a line in the preferences file which tells you how many invites are left. Look for something that says “referral_count” value = “3” and change that to “999” or so. You can now invite your closest thousand friends.

Let’s hope that the folks at Soundhound / Hound Beta learn a bit from this debacle on how to properly lock down an application as this doesn’t bode particularly well for their future track record keeping your searches and data secure. I’d really like to believe that when I ask Hound Beta “where’s the nearest STD clinic” there’s not going to be a plaintext file sitting here or there with my name, phone number, whatever, and the time I asked that question.

I used ES File Explorer with root mode enabled, and Hound Beta from Google Play. Get it while it’s hot and don’t trust them with any information until they learn to not store data in plain text xml file.

Update: If none of that works, try this.