Update: Even With iPhone 4S Jailbreak, Siri No Longer Available on Non-Iphone 4S Devices
In our last post, we wrote about how easy it had suddenly become to port Siri to non-iPhone 4S devices, as long as you had access to an iPhone 4S and could jailbreak iPhone 4S. Well, things move fast in the jailbreaking arena, and this story is no exception. It seems that just as quickly as the procedure was made available, Apple has moved to shut it down.
Mobile Mag first broke this story, saying that Apple has most likely made this move in an effort to keep Siri on the iPhone 4S only as part of their marketing strategy. Others, who have been active in Apple related forums, speculate that perhaps it’s not part of any grand master plan by Apple, but rather just a result of the fact that they simply don’t have the bandwidth to provide Siri services to anyone with an Apple device. As I said before, it looked a few days ago like there was finally a way to port Siri. But as quick as the news broke, Apple shut that specific hack down. Now, regardless of the status of your iPhone 4 jailbreak or even iPhone 5 jailbreak, you won’t be able to port Siri until someone comes up with a new, and novel, strategy for a Siri port.
The quest to port Siri to devices other than the 4S, which it resides on natively, has been fraught with difficulty. Many wonder if the future of jailbreaking will, in fact, involve such major hurdles as this. Apple was able to make things so difficult by forcing any device that uses Siri to establish a secure connection with servers at Apple headquarters. iOS 5.0.1 finally presented a couple of userland exploits that allowed the jailbreaking community to have a go at a permanent Siri port.
Apple then patched the exploit. Jailbreakers had a working Siri port for maybe a couple of weeks before it was shut down. People who had successfully ported Siri to devices such as the iPhone 4 or the iPad 2 suddenly found that Siri would no longer function on those devices; it began giving errors when anyone tried to launch a hacked version of Siri.
The Siri porting tool was, and is, known as Spire. It was only working on iOS 5. When iOS 5.0.1 was rolled out, that iOS version contained a patch which made it so that Spire could not establish a connection to the Apple authentication servers. The technical name for what Apple did is that they put a “SetActivationToken” on the phone, which made it so that the servers would only recognize Siri connections which originated from iPhone 4S devices. We can only guess that the iPhone 5, and the iPhone 5 jailbreak, will include Siri or a version of her as well.
Late Breaking iPhone 4S Jailbreak Update:
As I write this, it seems that someone has found a way around this exploit once again. It may be possible to port Siri to older devices once again for the time being, although Apple will likely patch this new exploit as well. It seems that the new fix involves using a file management utility to go into a jailbroken iPhone 4, 3GS, etc, and delete a file called com.apple.assistant.plist. We assume that Apple will work quickly to make it so that this file cannot be deleted. With iOS 5.1 on the way, we can also only assume that update will contain more exploit patches which will lock down the ability to port Siri to legacy devices. We’ll have more updates for you as soon as they become available.