Apple Makes Siri iPhone 4 Port Legally Possible With Today’s iOS 5.0.1 Update

Apple Makes Siri iPhone 4 Port Legally Possible With Today’s iOS 5.0.1 Update

Siri is by far the iPhone 4S’s most-desired feature, and many non-4S users have been clamoring for hackers to make the voice assistant available on older iOS devices. While Siri ports have been demoed to the public before, it’s been made clear that public distribution is not possibile at this time due to legal issues.

Apple has made a Siri port legally possible with today’s iOS 5.0.1 revision by offering wide-open access to system files that were previously encrypted.

MuscleNerd, a prominent figure in the jailbreaking and hacking community, recently tweeted that the iOS 5.0.1 update from today features decrypted ramdisks, making it possible to extract the necessary files for a Siri port without infringing on Apple’s copyright. MuscleNerd said, “it’s the first public 4S ipsw where the main filesystem keys are obtainable (due to non-encrypted ramdisks).”

There have been multiple methods proposed for running Siri on non-4S hardware in recent weeks, but all of them are either illegal or impractical. To run Siri properly, one would need access to an iPhone 4S unique identifier and that key would need to be switched out every 24 hours to avoid detection. If thousands of devices start calling on Siri from one 4S identifier, Apple will be able to easily spot the activity and kill the port.

It’s unclear as to why Apple left such an opening for hackers to exploit when a Siri port has been such a hot topic as of late. iOS 5.1 is coming soon, and Apple may re-encrypt access to the 4S Siri files with its next update. Perhaps the second iOS 5.0.1 revision from today was rushed. Whether it be out of ignorance or some hidden agenda, Apple has made the possibility of a Siri port legal — at least for the time being.

  • Carlos Costa

    well i really hope that musclenerd or someone in the jailbreaking and hacking community are able to encrypt the code fast enough before they patch something like this.
    i would love to have Siri on all my A4 devices

  • Jack McClauren

    What were they thinking?

  • ZangKoo2

    Sounds to me like that dude really knwos what the deal is. Wow.
    http://www.Total-Privacy (dot) US

  • Eric Schatz

    While the hackers are at it, it seems my fridge would be an excellent device to port Siri to. “Siri, please get me a beer.” “Why don’t you get off your lazy ass and get it your damn self?” On second thought….

  • GeekJenJen

    You would still need your own iPhone 4S to transfer the software. Even then I am not sure that it wouldn’t be a violation of some obscure EULA stuff. Downloading copyrighted Siri software from a 3rd Party will still be illegal, decrypted RAM disk or not. It’s just as illegal as ripping a non-encrypted CD/DVD and spreading the content. 

    Sorry, I don’t get the headline. It may be easier, but it’s not legally possible. 

  • Joao Driessen

    Could it be possible that apple will release Siri for older iPhone models?
    Therefore the need to encrypt those system files becomes redundant?

  • Njideka Okafor

    Just thinking but wont this legal access drive up sales for the cheaper iPhone 4 model? I mean i could by a cheaper iPhone4 and still have the cool and hottest voice assistant. Or probably prepare folks for better Siri integration with apps from 3rd party developers and/or more likely future Apple hardware.

    Apple’s smart. They are too careful to make this kind of mistake. This is more deliberate. And it has a purpose. The next updates would must definitely be encrypted all the way down to preserve the company’s culture for great user experience from both hardware and software and non-open source.

    Its great when you have a wonderful platform (device or software). Its even better if hackers and folks can do (a limited) more with it than you originally planned.

  • Njideka Okafor

    LoLz. maybe it just what Apple has in mind. Apple Fridge, Apple Doors and Windows and all. Would be cool thu.

  • Njideka Okafor

    That’s a point. But isn’t it easier to just maintain the encrypted Siri than pulling a legal stunt like that. Especially if since you know there are competitors out there looking to beat you on your own game (Droid).

    Why let them have the code to your coolest development? Especially when they could/might do it better and still get a way with it. I don’t think Apple is more willing to sue its faithful customers more than putting away its competitors. On the contrary, letting the customer play more with Apple software on Apple hardware out weighs (in choice) having some competition doing the same thing Apple can do.

    Looking to see Siri meet Majel. Wonder what the conversation would be like. Just my thoughts.

  • Njideka Okafor

    Just as i thought.

  • Richard Mears

    Possible. Not Legal.

  • Al

    Musclenerd? lol what a name. I guess we’re all meant to be impressed. I bet he gets ALL the chicks!

  • Al

    Has anyone else used Siri a lot at first, and now forgets that it even exists?

  • Yousaf Khan

    I think its a trap.

  • sleepd

    It’s possible Apple will enable easier access to Siri on other iPhone models as a way of building audience after beta, then open it up to both desktop search access and other mobile platforms as well. They’d be quite happy to steal away some of Google’s core traffic as they angle towards becoming more of a service vendor for the next decade.   

  • mbchp

    I think your opening statement “Siri is by far the iPhone 4S’s most desirable feature…” is a pretty big reach. It’s the most MARKETED feature by Apple, simply because of what it represents for them (future device interactions), as well as their sizable investment in Nuance to buy the original Siri.

    I bought the 4S on launch day at an Apple store. Waited in line over night for it. But it wasn’t because of Siri. That was just icing on the cake. The “most desirable feature(s)” for me was, in this order: the dual-core processor, the extra 32gb of storage (got the 64gb model) and the improved camera optics / image & video processor.

    To my original point, Siri is still a beta. And it’s riddled with limitations and inconsistencies. Again, just because it’s the most widely marketed feature of the iPhone 4S over the iPhone 4 doesn’t mean it’s the most desirable. It’s the easiest (and arguably the only) thing you can yank from the 4S and apply to the iPhone 4, which gave hackers a challenge and those without upgrades hope for a little something new.

    I look forward to the improvements in Siri and the deeper app integration over time. But after a couple months of use, I’m glad I can safely say Siri was not the reason I bought the phone. Otherwise, I’d be feeling some disappointment. The other improvements were worth it on their own merit.

  • Carlos Martins

    Why does it seem to go unnoticed that the really big issue this update tries to fix is the dreaded Invalid SIM error that is plaguing thousands of iPhone 4S users around the world?
    Some say it fixed the issue, but lots others are saying it had no effect… At least the cat is now out in the open, and Apple has officially acknowledged there are bugs with it: http://support.apple.com/kb/TS

  • Iria00

    Uh, it sure as heck is NOT legal.  It’s possible.

  • Mark Thomas

    Yeh, seriously is a bad name.

  • Tyler Logtenberg

    Apple Windows… now thats a thought.

  • Alexander Scott

    Could it be that Apple has out of no where has all of a sudden become cool??

  • Mike Rathjen

    Explain how it is illegal.

  • Mike Rathjen

    Explain how it is illegal.

  • Clark Wallace

    Apple Apple’s?

  • Tyler Thompson

    No it IS legal.

  • Celz

    That’s why its the most desired feature because any other 4S enhancements are not features but hardware improvements

  • SevanGrim

    For most people, those hardware upgrades are not worth the upgrade unless they reeeeaaaaly needed a new phone or that extra space. The 4s’ camera is not that huge a selling point as most people who actually care about their picture quality get an actual camera, and the A-4 chip is nowhere near obsolete enough for the A-5 to be heavily desired. even the extra space isnt quite a reason, because it would be cheaper and more battery efficient if you just bought an 4thgen ipod touch.
      
     Siri is hands down the biggest reason to upgrade to the 4s, with only SOME people thinking these minor hardware improvements are good enough. Siri is the only thing truely new and exciting about the 4s. Its exactly why Apple wont be giving it to us 3g and 4 users, even though it has been proven possible. They want people to buy the 4s (which cant be costing them much to make as its almost entirely comprised of things that are in or should have been in the 4) so they can get more money on next to nothing.

    i have a friend who bought one for the antenna, and everything else was a bonus, and i have bought every ipod touch for the small improvements, so i know what you mean about only wanting the hardware upgrade. But make no mistake, most of the world hated that those were the only upgrades… and then Siri made them all buy one anyway.

  • broo

    well- it would be Apple iWindows…

  • Vatsal Manot

    Hi, download the file for decryption. Google ios decryptor and download it. Google 7Zip also as it will help open the dmg file.Click Decrypt and it will automatically give the key. After that open it and click hsfx or something like that in the extracted folder which will be located near the ipsw itself. Voila!

  • Vatsal Manot

    Hi, download the file for decryption. Google ios decryptor and download it. Google 7Zip also as it will help open the dmg file.Click Decrypt and it will automatically give the key. After that open it and click hsfx or something like that in the extracted folder which will be located near the ipsw itself. Voila!

  • Steven Knight

    Not sure why some of you are having trouble realising that this doesn’t make it legal.

    It’s legal for someone to grab the Siri files, but not legal for someone to distribute modified files through a Cydia repo that connects to Apple’s servers and uses another authentication token. Buy an iPhone 4S if you want Siri so bad. 

    Even if you do want to use Siri on a non-4S device via your own server you still need a) an authentication token from a 4S (either grabbed directly from a 4S file system, currently impossible as there is no jailbreak) b) getting a valid authentication string, applying that to your server so it acts as a middle man between your non 4S-device and Apple’s servers c) The Siri files from a legal source, such as this firmware version but it means you’d have to grab them yourself and apply any modifications to the files by yourself because it someone distributes Apple’s code, even if from a legal source, it is illegal d) Even if you do all of that, your non 4S-device would still have to connect to Apple’s servers to pull requests from it, you cannot have a locally detained Siri server of your own.

  • yahoo-ZEW2UIZ75VCK2VCL2EWJXLIHXA

    Hi-
    Thats a gr8 news (for all those on iPhone 4 who wants SIRI legally)
    But how? I’m currently on iOS 5.0.1 & how do I get it legally now? When I link my phone with itunes, it still says that I’m currently on the latest version of iOS.
    So any easy steps to get SIRI on my iPhone 4 ?

  • Raoul Duke

    “I bought the 4S on launch day at an Apple store. Waited in line over night for it.” 
    You are what’s wrong with Apple today… They used to make the coolest computers now they’re just cool looking ones with no soul. After the first iMac, one ibook, one powerbook 
    (no intels yet); I buy the new “revolutionary” macbook air and to my surprise, a month after heating problems cause the dim to fail, then both hinges break one after the other and to finnish all that after 18months my battery implodes opening my MB air in half.

    All this because DOUCHES like you don’t care about the computer or the vision apple had when they used to make real comps. Now they target YOU the DOUCHE whom use to have a PC and just want a mac cauz its cool… DOUCHE AGAIN and you FN DOUCHE
    Damn it

    Long leave the revolution!!!
    RIP Steve

  • Raoul Duke

    And also because we all need 64 GB of storage on a phone to store our billion contacts… Man you’re a DOUCHE, A giant one!!!

  • Billy Erb

    This guy’s right.  Just because someone leaves their car doors unlocked with the keys in the ignition doesn’t make it legal to take someone’s car. 

    The Apple servers still only recognize 4S requests from a 4S identifier token.  Sure, you’re no longer infringing Apple copyrights, but you’re violating the TOS.  It’s not illegal in the sense that suited men in dark sunglasses are going to come to your house and haul you away for asking Siri where the closest Dunkin is, but you’re risking losing access to not only Siri, but the rights to use your phone for violating your TOS with Apple.

    Copyright infringement, no.  TOS violation, yes.  Simple.

  • Tyler Trebuchon

    uhhhhh no you’re not losing the rights to use your phone, Apple can’t legally take your phone away for this. All they can do is void your warranty, which jailbreaking already does.

  • Njideka Okafor

    Ya bet!

  • Njideka Okafor

    LMAO

  • Njideka Okafor

    What’s the point with that. Mac OS X does just fine already. LoL

About the author

Alex HeathAlex Heath is a senior writer at Cult of Mac and co-host of the CultCast. He has been quoted by the likes of the BBC, KRON 4 News, and books like "ICONIC: A Photographic Tribute to Apple Innovation." If you want to pitch a story, share a tip, or just get in touch, additional contact information is available on his personal site. Twitter always works too.

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