Why Siri Isn’t Working for iPhone 4, and What’s Being Done About It
Siri is Apple’s
purchased newly innovated technology that has the world’s citizens talking to their phones in a whole new way. Treating it like a real human assistant, people all over the world today, and in the future, are telling their phones to schedule meetings, look up information, and of course asking it the ever popular questions so far: “What is the meaning of life?” In fact, people are asking Siri pretty much every question you can think of, and this badass technology is proving to be quite accurate in its beta testing. I’m sure there are at least a few cases where Siri gets stuff wrong, but I haven’t seen it yet.
Siri demands a lot of processing power to operate to its full potential. The minor amount of waiting time a person has to endure to get that amazing result is simply because it’s using that dual-core A5 chip. If it didn’t have that A5, would it be as snappy? Absolutely not.
Does it mean we shouldn’t have it if we don’t have the A5? According to Apple, yes. I disagree, but that’s about all I’ll go with that story.
Siri pulls resources from all over the web in mere seconds, and delivers accurate results. This doesn’t mean, however, that these same results couldn’t come on the iPhone 4. True, it would be slower, but people would need to understand that
Apple wants your money innovation doesn’t slow down for old technology. Sometimes, to produce something magical, you need to leave the old behind. Apple understands this, and so does every other manufacturer. New jailbreak apps, as you will soon see, are going to begin dropping support for iOS 3, which will leave the iPhone 3G to grow as much as WebOS is today (only it still has the massive app store).
For jailbreakers, hopes are high. The reason for that, of course, is that jailbreakers know how to get functionality out of their device that Apple denies them (not “doesn’t include”… specifically and deliberately denies). They know that people are working to bring Siri to the iPhone 4, and that progress is moving very fast.
For example, the video below demonstrates iOS 5 on iPhone 4. It also demonstrates Siri being there. What you will note from this is that the video never once demos the voice command features. There is a reason for that, which I’ll go ahead and tell you after the break:
Siri seems to run pretty smooth on the iPhone 4 in this video, but what about the voice commands? Why didn’t we get a chance to see those in action? The simple answer is: “It doesn’t work.” It doesn’t just not work because of the code either… Siri is more than willing to listen to you when you speak on this device test. It just doesn’t produce any results. It doesn’t work because Apple is stopping it from working.
When Siri gets ready to fill that first command, it very quietly sends a signal to Apple’s servers. That signal serves pretty much one, and only one, purpose. Just like Adobe software, it “calls home” to see if it is allowed to do what it’s about to do. It says “Am I supposed to work on this device?” If Apple responds positively, Siri will work for that device. However, Apple won’t say yes to devices that don’t have that A5 chip, and this is causing an issue with getting it to fully work for iPhone 4. Developers are not only going to need to bring all of the function into it, but they’ll need to come up with a way to trick Apple’s servers into making them believe the iPhone 4, is really an iPhone 4S. This isn’t going to be an easy task.
It’s this very reason that jailbreakers have their work cut out for them in getting the full functionality of Siri onto an iPhone 4. Granted, it’s not going to be the same user experience as on the iPhone 4S, and results from your commands will likely take longer to populate. It will still work though, if developers of this little hack can manage to get it up and going for us.