Jailbreaking iPhones to Install Siri: 10 Reasons It's a Bad Idea

NEWS ANALYSIS: Siri is only available on the iPhone 4S. But iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4 owners are trying desperately to get the virtual personal assistant onto their handsets. They shouldn't.

Apple's Siri virtual personal assistant is one of the most coveted voice-control features ever launched. Although it's currently available solely to iPhone 4S owners, people who own the iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4 are chomping at the bit to get the service onto their own devices. They're so infatuated with it, in fact, that many consumers have taken to jailbreaking their devices and using workarounds to get the job done.

However, doing so is not a good idea. If jailbreaking and installing workarounds operate the way they should, users will have Siri on their legacy iPhone models. But if they don't, all kinds of trouble can ensue. And in the vast majority of cases where people are relying on their smartphones to place calls, answer emails and perform other activities, taking that risk just isn't worth it.

Read on to find out why iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4 owners shouldn't be hacking their smartphones to run Siri.

1. Security troubles galore

Anytime consumers start fiddling with devices, especially Apple products, they're going to run into security issues. In order for Siri to run on an outdated iPhone, users must first jailbreak the device. Jailbreaking, in many instances, can create security holes that allow malicious files to be downloaded and stored on the device. Plus, there's no telling if the workarounds related to Siri don't have a malicious payload built in. Simply put, hacking the iPhone for Siri support can present a host of security problems.

2. Copyright complaints?

According to the latest reports on Siri hacks, many solutions to get the virtual personal assistant running on the iPhone require users to violate Apple's copyright by extracting encrypted Siri files. Apple has so far not commented on those workarounds, but it might not be long before Apple turns its attorneys on supposed copyright violators.

3. Jailbreaking isn't always worthwhile

What's the sense in jailbreaking? Sure, it lets users run more applications and gives them access to other features. But aside from that, it puts their smartphones at risk and can potentially create an unstable iOS environment. The risks to jailbreaking are numerous. It's important for people to understand that before they start tinkering with their iPhones just to get their hands on Siri.

4. The service isn't that great

Siri is fun to play around with for the first week or so, but after that, it starts to lose some of its luster. The service breaks down when users pose sophisticated queries. Despite what Apple's commercials say, it's not nearly as responsive as consumers would hope. Siri is great to use, but it's not good enough to justify hacking the iPhone.

Don Reisinger

Don Reisinger

Don Reisinger is a longtime freelance contributor to several technology and business publications. Over his career, Don has written about everything from geek-friendly gadgetry to issues of privacy...