What many consider to be Apple‘s most exciting feature in the iPhone 4S, vocal assistant feature Siri, can in fact, be ported to the iPhone 4.
According to 9to5 Mac, developer Steven Troughton-Smith was able to port the software on his iPhone 4 after first installing the files for Siri and Springboard, which controls how the iOS home screen acts. For example, it is Springboard that allows your icons to wiggle after you’ve held one down for a certain amount of time. Once he had the files in place, he successfully began porting.
We’ve learned from the project that technologically there is no reason Apple could not include the Siri engine in the version of iOS 5 that runs on the iPhone 4 or possibly even on the 3GS. It certainly could run on the iPad 2 since it ships with the same processor as the iPhone 4S. The article’s author wrote:
We are not entirely sure why Apple is making Siri an iPhone 4S exclusive but it could be due to special microphone support, or because the A5 may allow it to run slightly quicker.
Apple has been known to hold features for its newest products. The first assumption is obviously Apple wants to make its next product appealing. It’s marketing. But at the same time, Apple doesn’t like applications to work on its products if not perfectly. In the first video below, the iPhone 4 seems to balk a little under the extra Siri weight.
Siri on the iPhone 4 can recognize spoken commands in both the standard Siri view and the keyboard Dictation view. The only issue at this point is that Apple is not authenticating (obviously) commands to its servers from iPhone 4 hardware. The Siri port to the iPhone 4, at this point, also has the ability to speak back to the user. You may notice Siri and the iPhone 4 acting very sluggish in the above video. The issue here is not Siri, but is that a special GPU driver for iPhone 4 is needed; and it is obviously not included in the iPhone 4S binary cache – where the Siri files are located.
The issue here was a problem connecting Siri to the iPhone 4 GPU, or graphics processing unit. But after a few hours, Troughton-Smith was able to access it and run Siri with less hiccups. The two videos below show the difference between accessing the GPU and not — it’s very choppy at first, as opposed to a nice, smooth glide through the features we see post GPU access. Though this downside was fixed, another issue is Apple’s servers will not listen to Siri commands coming from the iPhone 4.
Currently jail-breaking the iPhone 4 and porting Siri seems to be the only option. Also this hack hasn’t been tested out completely and developers are still working to make it available to the jail-break community. So we’d suggest you wait a while before you try porting Siri yourself. There is still no word on whether Apple will officially launch Siri for iPhone 4 customers either.
Will Siri and the new Camera be enough for current customers? Will you upgrade? Share your views below: