Apple disabling unauthorized Siri ports on non-iPhone 4S devices

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014


A report on Tuesday revealed that Apple has added a new barrier to the software needed to run Siri, a move that shows the Cupertino, Calif., company is actively tracking the growing number of iDevice users who have managed to port the voice-recognizing assistant to non-supported hardware.



In an attempt to halt the unauthorized use of its digital assistant on devices not intended to run the software, Apple covertly instituted a "SetActivationToken" property list file which effectively disables any attempts to communicate with Siri's servers, according to Apple blog Redmond Pie.



To get the voice-recognition software to work on other iOS devices, the so-called jailbreak community came up with a basic program called Spire which installs the required on-device files to communicate with the Siri servers. Spire's developers, the prolific hacker "chpwn" and Ryan Petrich, allege that the program is a completely legal port.



The software has caveats, however, as it is only available to jailbroken devices, requires a proxy Siri server and an iPhone 4S certificate.



Despite the troublesome task of installing and troubleshooting the workaround, the demand from users who don't have an iPhone 4S yet want a taste of Siri has been enough to warrant a response from Apple.



Since Siri was announced in October 2011 as the standout feature of Apple's iPhone 4S, users of other iOS devices like the iPhone 4 and 3GS have questioned the company's decision to keep the software locked to the newest generation handset.



Apple has not officially responded outside of saying that the hardware on the 4S makes Siri possible, though previous anecdotal reports have claimed that the exclusivity may stem from a modified proximity sensor or integrated noise reduction tech from EarSmart.



The feature has been seen as a driving force for sales of the newest iPhone, and Apple may be pushing users to upgrade rather than rely on an untested, unauthorized piece of software.





Apple's newest iPhone 4S commercial featuring Siri. | Source: Apple







The jailbreak community is already claiming that a simple "solution" to the "SetActivationToken" addition is to simply delete the entirety of a certain .plist information bundle, however the technique hasn't been fully vetted.



This latest attempt to free an iOS feature from Apple's "walled garden" is but one of a myriad jailbreak attempts by users who want interface with their devices in ways frowned upon by the company.



[ View article on AppleInsider ]

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 54
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,425member
    Good. Screw the jailbreak community. Regardless of what anybody claims or says, I still believe that the majority of them are simple cheapskates and thieves.



    And the few people who claim that they are not, well they should just go out and buy an Android phone if tinkering and wasting time playing around with their phones gives them hard ons.
  • Reply 2 of 54
    successsuccess Posts: 1,039member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post


    Good. Screw the jailbreak community. Regardless of what anybody claims or says, I still believe that the majority of them are simple cheapskates and thieves.



    And the few people who claim that they are not, well they should just go out and buy an Android phone if tinkering and wasting time playing around with their phones gives them hard ons.



    What about the people who like to vent on forums to get hard-ons?
  • Reply 3 of 54
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    I have no problem with this as Siri's usefulness is usefulness is directly affected by the system load but I suspect they will going back and forth with the hackers until the iPhone 4S is the one of the oldest iPhone on the market.



    I do hope that hackers aren't clever enough to figure out how to access Siri on non-iOS-based devices. Having Android users to use Siri because their service in unintuitive could be devastating to all Siri users.



    I have noticed that Siri is more responsive and perhaps even more intelligent since it first debuted. I hope we get some info about Siri updates at the next event.
  • Reply 4 of 54
    This is great news for consumers. Siri doesn't work well on older devices that's why Apple was forced to make the very difficult decision not to offer the technology to 3GS and 4 owners.



    Apple is always about protecting the user experience. That's why I love them.
  • Reply 5 of 54
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,425member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by success View Post


    What about the people who like to vent on forums to get hard-ons?



    What about them? Are you suggesting that I go out and buy an Android phone too?



    I can afford to buy all of my apps. I have so many apps, that they all don't even fit on my current iPad.



    Jailbreakers have the mentality of a Fandroid, and that's what they should be using, an Android device.
  • Reply 6 of 54
    flaneurflaneur Posts: 4,509member
    Siri is "really sorry" she "can't help . . . now" often enough in the L.A. area, at least once a day it seems, to make me think that they don't have enough bandwidth for her yet. Or maybe datawidth is the term?



    So keep her restricted to paying customers for the time being. She's one big reason why people who sprung for a 4S are impressed with the phone over and over again. I still haven't gotten over being amazed. In fact it's growing.



    Of course the other amazing thing is the video out of this camera.



    Edit: I say L.A. like as if it's a factor in Siri's overload episodes. I have no idea if geography has anything to do with it. Probably not, eh?
  • Reply 7 of 54
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    This latest attempt to free an iOS feature from Apple's "walled garden" is but one of a myriad jailbreak attempts by users who want interface with their devices in ways frowned upon by the company.




    Apple frowns upon crashing, the loss of all security and crummy-looking user interfaces.



    Jailbreakers are the scum of the earth.
  • Reply 8 of 54
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by I am a Zither Zather Zuzz View Post


    Apple frowns upon crashing, the loss of all security and crummy-looking user interfaces.



    Jailbreakers are the scum of the earth.



    Interesting. With that in mind, I wonder what TIm Cook thinks of Apple's own Mac OS X Lion developers.
  • Reply 9 of 54
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by success View Post


    What about the people who like to vent on forums to get hard-ons?



    The "hard-on" line immediately marks you as a juvenile (mentally, physically or both), and undercuts whatever "argument" you thought you had.



    The content of your post might be better phrased as "Look at me, I'm an intolerant young guy with a potty mouth who attacks people for no reason!"
  • Reply 10 of 54
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post


    The "hard-on" line immediately marks you as a juvenile (mentally, physically or both), and undercuts whatever "argument" you thought you had.



    The content of your post might be better phrased as "Look at me, I'm an intolerant young guy with a potty mouth who attacks people for no reason!"



    He was responding to a "Hard On" reference previously made. LOL!





    Quote:

    playing around with their phones gives them hard ons.





  • Reply 11 of 54
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post


    Quote:
    Originally Posted by success View Post


    What about the people who like to vent on forums to get hard-ons?



    The "hard-on" line immediately marks you as a juvenile (mentally, physically or both), and undercuts whatever "argument" you thought you had.



    The content of your post might be better phrased as "Look at me, I'm an intolerant young guy with a potty mouth who attacks people for no reason!"



    To be fair, he was simply referencing what Apple ][ posted.
  • Reply 12 of 54
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,425member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by I am a Zither Zather Zuzz View Post


    He was responding to a "Hard On" reference previously made. LOL!



    Yep, let's all blame Apple ][! Apple ][ is the root cause of most problems in this world, or at least on this forum.
  • Reply 13 of 54
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post


    Good. Screw the jailbreak community. Regardless of what anybody claims or says, I still believe that the majority of them are simple cheapskates and thieves.



    And the few people who claim that they are not, well they should just go out and buy an Android phone if tinkering and wasting time playing around with their phones gives them hard ons.



    Pretty ironic post considering your signature.
  • Reply 14 of 54
    focherfocher Posts: 638member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post


    Good. Screw the jailbreak community. Regardless of what anybody claims or says, I still believe that the majority of them are simple cheapskates and thieves.



    And the few people who claim that they are not, well they should just go out and buy an Android phone if tinkering and wasting time playing around with their phones gives them hard ons.



    I think what you meant to say is "regardless of any evidence". You just make a blanket assertion with no basis or evidence, and about something that has no negative impact on anyone whatsoever. You must be the life of every party.
  • Reply 15 of 54
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post


    Yep, let's all blame Apple ][! Apple ][ is the root cause of most problems in this world, or at least on this forum.



    Hey - can I use your line as a sig?





    Quote:



    ...playing around with their phones gives them hard ons.



    Apple ][




  • Reply 16 of 54
    I do wonder if there are license fees paid to companies like WolframAlpha or others associated with the tech that are built into the costs of the iPhone 4S. Purely speculation since it seems to work just fine on the 4.
  • Reply 17 of 54
    wigginwiggin Posts: 2,265member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by eksodos View Post


    This is great news for consumers. Siri doesn't work well on older devices that's why Apple was forced to make the very difficult decision not to offer the technology to 3GS and 4 owners.



    Apple is always about protecting the user experience. That's why I love them.



    But Apple has every now and then also used new features, which could have been released on older devices, as the carrot to entice people to upgrade. I've not seen or read any reports specifically about how well Siri performs on the iPhone 4, perhaps there is some performance or hardware functionality in the 4S that is critical for Siri to work. But I also wouldn't be surprised if there wasn't and it was purely a marketing carrot for the 4S sales. (One that I believe is still "beta" software, isn't it?)
  • Reply 18 of 54
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,425member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by I am a Zither Zather Zuzz View Post


    Hey - can I use your line as a sig?







    Sure, I don't mind.
  • Reply 19 of 54
    ibillibill Posts: 392member
    It's worth mentioning that Siri is still beta software, and Apple is no doubt collecting data from the server in order to further its development. They have good reason in my view to limit its functionality to the hardware it was intended for. Frankly they have that right in any event, but it makes even more sense considering the ongoing development.
  • Reply 20 of 54
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


    I have no problem with this as Siri's usefulness is usefulness is directly affected by the system load but I suspect they will going back and forth with the hackers until the iPhone 4S is the one of the oldest iPhone on the market.



    I do hope that hackers aren't clever enough to figure out how to access Siri on non-iOS-based devices. Having Android users to use Siri because their service in unintuitive could be devastating to all Siri users.



    I have noticed that Siri is more responsive and perhaps even more intelligent since it first debuted. I hope we get some info about Siri updates at the next event.



    Huh, maybe it's me or something my evil offspring has done, but Siri seems to be less accurate and less helpful then before. Of course since the kids keep changing it so that Siri calls me big teddy bear* who knows what else they messed with.



    *So embarrassing when out in public.



    On topic.

    In low volumes the Jail breakers probably are not hurting anything. However, in this instance, I think the jail breakers are stealing a service. If Apple chooses to lock them out I believe they have every right to do so. i also think that if Apple gets to aggressive with locking them out that they run tj=he risk of looking like a bullying asshat.
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