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 In order for Siri to run on an outdated iPhone, users must first jailbreak the device.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.
Keeping Siri Running Requires Constant Attention
5. There’s always the chance of bricking
The biggest problem with fiddling with an iPhone is that it can sometimes result in permanently disabling the device. Getting Siri onto the iPhone 4 or iPhone 3GS takes technical know-how that the average consumer simply doesn’t have. After just one wrong move, users might be left holding a very expensive brick. That’s not a good thing.
6. Who knows how Apple will respond?
So far, Apple has stayed mum on whether or not it will fight back against those running Siri on older-model iPhones. However, when the company left an opening in iOS 5.0.1 by making RAM disks unencrypted, it quickly responded with a fix. With that move, Apple seemed to say in its own way that it doesn’t want people hacking old iPhones to run Siri. It might not be too long before Apple responds by closing this loophole.
7. Alternatives re already available
The nice thing about Siri is that it isn’t unique. In fact, users who sift through Apple’s App Store will find a host of applications that support voice control, including Vlingo and Dragon Go, among several others. They might not be Siri, but they’re awfully close. And it’s worth trying them out before hacking the iPhone.
8. Legality is a real concern
At what point does Siri hacking stop being legal? That’s the question any consumer trying to get the service onto their iPhone needs to ask. As noted, in order for Siri to work on an iPhone 4 or iPhone 3GS, users must make Apple think the device is actually an iPhone 4S. The only way to do that is to get iPhone 4S tokens from someone else’s device. Simply put, there are real legal concerns to bringing Siri to the iPhone. Users should keep that in mind.
9. It requires constant attention
Interestingly, Apple regenerates iPhone 4S tokens every 24 hours. So to keep Siri running on their jailbroken iPhone 4 or iPhone 3GS, they’ll need to get a new token each day. Running Siri on an old iPhone takes a lot of work and dedication.
10. Chances are, support will be coming
In the past, Apple has brought new features to a single device only to make it available to other products over time. Chances are the company will do the same with Siri in 2012. The personal assistant will first make its way to the iPad 3 and then the iPhone 5. By then, Apple might also offer it on the iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4. And, by then, it might be time to work with your carrier to get a deal on an upgrade to the iPhone 4S. Have a little patience. Siri is coming one way or another.