Ever since Apple’s iPhone 4S exclusive release of Siri, users of older iPhones have felt a bit put out, and numerous attempts have been made to port Siri to the iPhone 4, 3GS, and even the iPod touch. These efforts have so far seen only limited success – but now things may be about to change.
Redmond Pie reports that, according to prominent iOS hacker MuscleNerd, the revised iOS 5.0.1 update released yesterday makes it legally possible to port Siri to older devices, where legal issues have previously make it impossible to publicly distribute such ports.
The change is due to Apple offering open access to certain previously encrypted system files necessary for Siri to function properly, allowing developers to take advantage for the first time. And since the files are no longer encrypted, legal issues surrounding such ports are now much less of a concern.
According to MuscleNerd, who revealed the news on Twitter this morning, “it’s the first public 4S ipsw where the main filesystem keys are obtainable (due to non-encrypted ramdisks).”
What’s puzzling about the whole matter is the question of why. Why would Apple suddenly open up such a pathway for hackers? Was it an oversight, or is there more to it than that?
At the current moment, it’s entirely unclear why Apple hasn’t encrypted the file system this time around, and equally unclear whether they plan to re-encrypt those files and revoke access in iOS 5.1. But at least for now, there is a glimmer of hope for bringing Siri to older Apple devices.