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Siri hacked on to iPhone 4

updated 12:55 am EDT, Sat October 15, 2011

Siri brute forced into iPhone 4 firmware

Well-known mobile developer Steve Troughton-Smith successfully hacked the Siri voice command system into the original iPhone 4 late Friday. He has brute forced both the Siri code and the necessary changes to Springboard (the home screen) with both running properly. The voice commands both work with the natural language question-and-answer system as well as dictation.

The primary obstacle is the loss of graphics acceleration. With the phone having to run video through software, the interface is noticeably more sluggish than on the stock model.

Apple hasn't explained why Siri is exclusive to the iPhone 4S and may have lost arguments that the older iPhone 4 can't run the network-based command system. Some speculation has argued that may be a question of setting expectations rather than absolute requirements. While Siri might not require the dual-core A5, the extra power could help improve the overall responsiveness. [via 9to5]

by MacNN Staff



  1. chas_m




    Apple never said it was impossible, they said it's only for the iPhone 4S. As anyone who has watched this company for ANY length of time knows, Apple does NOT support newer software on older models when they have concerns that the experience will be mediocre or poor. As the article itself says and video shows, Siri runs slowly on the iPhone 4. That is MORE than enough to keep it unsupported by Apple. They want Siri to delight normal people, not cater to a bunch of hackers.

    I wish the power-nerds would just bear that in mind once in a while. If you want to run it on your iPhone 4, great! Learn the hacks and have at it. But don't complain that Apple's being mean to you.

  1. SergioRS

    Joined: Dec 1969


    RE: Mediocrity Concerns

    I totally agree with you chas_m, except in the case of iOS on the iPhone 3G - that's an update that probably shouldn't have happened.

  1. Paul Huang

    Joined: Dec 1969


    A not-so-smooth experience is not worth it

    Try getting a nice car, but drop a Pinto engine into it. Why even bother?

  1. MacTech84

    Joined: Dec 1969


    iFixIt Tear Down

    Seriously.... Am I the only person that got this.... Look at the iFixIt Tear Down, there is a mysterious Apple branded chip on the iPhone 4S that is not present on the iPhone 4. ITS HARDWARE ACCELERATED PEOPLE! Play with it and tell me its software only. h***, all of the iOS 5 dev builds only showed some kind of mic input. Its exclusive to the 4S as it requires a dedicated chip. Play with an iPhone 4S and you will see what I mean.

  1. slapppy

    Joined: Dec 1969



    For the real thing when I upgrade. I don't want the Android Mobile Hackjob experience on my iPhone 4.

  1. msuper69

    Joined: Dec 1969


    He never asked Siri to do..

    anything. As others mentioned, the iPhone 4 obviously doesn't have the horsepower to properly run Sifi. Slow, ragged performance?
    This is something to show off?

  1. facebook_Kevin

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Oct 2011


    Lest we forget...

    ..the original Siri app was running fine on my 3GS before Apple decided to kill it when the 4S came out.

  1. nostrademas

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Mass adoption is in beta

    I'd prefer to think that given Siri itself has been released as a beta, and Apple is also contending with the iCloud roll-out, they are restricting Siri to a controlled user base until everything is working at their end. This week has seen huge loads on their systems, and already a predictable backlash when everyone tries to jump on within the first hours of release. The migration servers were inundated, then there have been Mail authentication failures to the iCloud IMAP server which thankfully are now dying down. Imagine if a flagship technology like Siri also suffered badly? Apple just doesn't set themselves up for a fail like that.

    When things have stabilised and beta/server issues have been ironed out, with an iOS update they can open it up to other qualified hardware.

    The graphics issue is a red herring as the 4S version does that in hardware and he has had to hack it in software in this demo. But this *is* all about user experience and making sure that the 1-2m beta testers using iPhone 4S get it right for when the other 100m+ users come online.

  1. mr100percent

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Man that is slooow. I was first excited to hear it, but if it looks worse than an iPhone 3G running iOS 4.0 (man those were painful days), then count me out.

  1. facebook_Kevin

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Oct 2011


    Not to mention...

    ..that there are other voice command apps in the App Store. And there's Dragon Dictate for dictating emails, text messages, and Twitter and Facebook updates. Just sayin', if you was speech tech on an iPhone 4 or 3GS, it's already here.

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