Apple Pulls Siri App Plug; Can Siri Be Hacked for iPhone 4?
If you were a fan of Siri when it showed up as an app in the App Store, enjoy it while you still can. Apple is pulling the plug on the app and its servers Oct. 15, 2011. But don’t lament the loss so quickly: Jailbreakers are already working on making Siri available to iPhone 4 users. But can it become a reality?
Here’s the breakdown:
The Siri App: Apple, naturally, wouldn’t want one of the key selling features of the iPhone 4S to be available to just anyone, would it? It’s an aggressive move, but it’s likely a smart move for Apple for a few reasons beyond the obvious 4S selling point. According to a 9to5Mac interview, Siri’s co-founder Norman Winarsky noted Siri was heavily optimized to run on the iPhone 3GS (at the time) and speculated that with a better CPU (such as the A5), Siri should have much more processing power to handle more advanced tasks.
“When we originally released Siri for the iPhone 3GS, we had to perform all kinds of optimizations and shortcuts to get it to work efficiently. All I can say is that it will likely run much better on a faster phone.”
Hmm. So Apple may be justified in making Siri an iPhone 4S-only feature if the ends justify the means, which would be a dazzling display of voice recognition that rivals whatever the standalone app could produce. Which, it seems, Apple has done.
Siri on iPhone 4: Of course, with Siri being one of the biggest selling points for the iPhone 4 with iOS 5, us plebeians with a regular old iPhone 4 want in on the action. And theoretically, shouldn’t we be able to? The A4 CPU should be beefy enough to perform Siri functions, even if it’s a little slower than the A5 counterpart. Jailbreakers have taken to task digging through the iOS 5 gold master that was released Oct. 4, 2011, but discovered the hooks for Siri exist in the OS but the code apparently is absent. Users may have to wait for the iPhone 4S to make it into the hands of jailbreakers before any sort of porting happens. I have a sinking feeling, however, that Siri code will be directly linked (read: hard coded) to the A5 CPU, meaning regular iPhone 4’s won’t be able to run it even if they could.