By Greg Mills
People were still standing in lines around the block when iPhone 4S firmware was hacked to work with iOS 5 to allow Siri to run on iPhone 4. The first attempts were a proof of concept but the hacked iPhone had trouble connecting with Apple’s servers that were configured to only allow Siri to work on the newest iPhone.
I speculated at the time, that restricting Siri to iPhone 4S was likely a marketing ploy to push people into trading up to the new iPhone. Apple indicated that the dual A5 chipset was required to process speech at the speed required for Siri to work properly. It appears now that just about any iOS device that can run iOS 5 can also run Siri.
There might be a slight hit on the processing speed and some problems also might be due to the quality of the microphones on early iOS devices. See http://www.ipodnn.com/articles/11/10/30/siri.now.working.completely.on.other.ios.gear/ .
Siri is certainly coming to all Apple devices in the short term. Once the cusp of the iPhone 4S market is sold, Apple is likely to allow Siri across the board on other devices. The iPhone 4S customer base is large enough to work out the kinks in Siri. Apple has learned to rotate updates to specific devices and geographic areas systematically to avoid crashing its server farm.
At some point Apple will announce an update to the Mac OS that will turn Siri on for Mac OS X Lion users. We can speculate that Siri running on Apple TV might wait until a major hardware update such as a new Apple DVR TV device.
The bulk of the magic of Siri is supported by the server farm but a high quality mic is required. Since we know Nuance speech recognition works on previous iPhones and I think iPod touch and iPads as well, the microphone problems may be fixable with software tweeks.
More on this as reliable information comes out. Right now it is a fairly complicated procedure to get Siri up and running on any thing south of iPhone 4S.
That is Greg’s Bite for today