Siri Ported to iPhone 4 Again, but Is It Safe? How About Legal?

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Siri, it’s so magical and wonderful and useful and friendly…as long as you have an iPhone 4S and a Ph.D. in Apple public relations, that is. Wouldn’t it be great if you could run it on a plain old iPhone 4?

Now you can, though “can” comes with a slew of caveats. For starters, the hack that’ll let you do so, involves jailbreaking your iPhone 4. Assuming you’re cool with that, there’s also a legality question—Siri isn’t a freebie open-source app, it’s licensed software, and putting it on your iPhone 4 probably counts as piracy, meaning there’s both a legal and ethical component to the hack.

(MORE: Rumor: You Thought Siri Was Exclusive to Apple’s iPhone 4S?)

No, it’s not one of the hacks you might have heard about since Siri debuted in October, but a new one called H1Siri (for “Hi Siri!”) that claims to unlock full Siri functionality, as opposed to the half-measures in other hacks, on any GSM or CDMA iPhone running iOS 5 or later. According to the Chinese team that pulled off the hack (via TechCrunch), it was never meant for public consumption, but it “leaked,” and there you have it–free Siri for everyone!

Except word is it’s not so friendly, and that it could cause all sorts of trouble for your iPhone, from random reboots to full-on bricking.

My advice? Skip it. It’s probably illegal, and if you’re really after a natural language app on your older-model iPhone, there’s always powerful freebie apps like Dragon Go! and Vlingo to scratch the itch until you’re ready for a newer phone with Siri inbuilt, or a rival with Siri-like technology.

MORE: Catfight! Siri, Meet Iris, Your 8-Hour-Old Android Rival

Matt Peckham is a reporter at TIME. Find him on Twitter at @mattpeckham or on Facebook. You can also continue the discussion on TIME’s Facebook page and on Twitter at @TIME.

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