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Monday October 31, 2011 3:30 pm

iPhone hackers get Siri working on iPhone 4, iPod touch


Hoping to get Siri on your iPhone 4?

We have previously highlighted the exploits of the iPhone hacking community in its attempts to break Siri's exclusivity to the iPhone 4S. And while various device modders have been successful at getting the application itself ported over to devices like Apple's iPhone 4 and iPod touch, they didn't manage to address the elephant in the room: How to get Siri to work with Apple's servers, which don't seem to allow requests from unauthorized (non-iPhone 4S) devices.

Two hackers have since discovered the secret Siri sauce, but neither has spilled the beans as to exactly how their non-iPhone 4S Siri app works. According to Steve Troughton-Smith, however, the tweak was built using a single line of code and "a ton of filesystem changes." And as long as a user first jailbreaks his or her device before installing the to-be-released tweak, Siri is unlocked with no restrictions on its use: It works with the same speed and speech recognition as its iPhone 4S counterpart.


According to Apple Insider, Troughton-Smith has promised to reveal the secret to his workaround once he can confirm that the tweak works without messing up any other parts of iOS. As for a release date for the hack, however, he's a bit murkier: He has no plans to announce one just yet, claiming that doing so would, "anger the hive."

Of course, it remains to be seen just how Apple might respond to an "unauthorized" version of Siri on a non-iPhone 4S device. Jailbreakers worldwide might find themselves in yet another game of cat-and-mouse, similar to how Apple's frequent iOS updates can either nullify new jailbreaking techniques or otherwise force third-party hackers to design new ways to have the best of both worlds: An updated and jailbroken i-device. If Apple amps up the means by which Siri authenticates to servers, it could very well break the unofficial Siri App before it makes much headway.

Siri, in many ways, has been the standout feature for the iPhone 4S. But it wasn't a home-grown app from Apple initially; Apple instead acquired Siri–the company behind the personal digital assistant–in April of 2010 for an undisclosed amount at the time. Rumors pegged Apple's total purchase price at around $200 million for Siri.

This article, written by David Murphy, originally appeared on PCMag.com and is republished on Gear Live with the permission of Ziff Davis, Inc.

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