We have some good news for iPhone 4 users who were hoping that Siri – Apple’s revolutionary personal assistant feature, that is exclusively available only on Apple’s iPhone 4S, can be enabled on iPhone 4.
9 to 5 Mac reports that they have been working with iPhone developer and hacker Steven Troughton-Smith to have managed to successfully port Siri to iPhone 4.
9 to 5 Mac reports:
Troughton-Smith was able to get the beginning steps of a full port rolling after installing the iPhone 4S Siri and Springboard files onto an iPhone 4.
Siri’s interface loads up with all the features from the iPhone 4S implementation.
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.
Checkout the video of Siri running on iPhone 4:
It hasn’t been clear why Siri is exclusively available only on iPhone 4S as there has been no official word on it from Apple. 9 to 5 Mac claims that there is no technical reason why Siri can’t run on iPhone 4 and they believe that even iPhone 4’s hardware can support it. 9 to 5 Mac goes on to speculate:
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.
You may remember that last year, Apple didn’t enable the custom wallpaper feature in iOS 4 for iPhone 3G users as it felt that “the icon animation with backgrounds didn’t perform well enough”. So it is possible that Apple was not happy with the sluggish performance on older iOS devices and as 9 to 5 Mac has pointed out, the special microphone support could have kept it out of iPad 2, which comes with similar hardware.
Steven has posted another video where the Siri UI is running a bit more smoothly on iPhone 4:
Let us know what you think in the comments.