Report: New iPhone 4 Siri Hack May Not Break the Law

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Some Apple blogs are reporting that copyright infringement is no longer required to install Siri on an iPhone 4. It’s a dubious claim, but even if it was true, it doesn’t bring us any closer to a practical, working hack.

iOS 5.0.1, a small update for the iPhone 4S, provides access to system files that were previously encrypted. According to Cult of Mac, that means a user with technical know-how could extract the necessary Siri files from an iPhone 4S using a Mac or Windows PC, and then load them onto an iPhone 4.

(MORE: Siri Tricks and Tips: Do More with the iPhone 4S Virtual Assistant)

How is this legal compared to earlier methods? Frankly, I’m not sure. I think the idea is that if you’ve got access to an iPhone 4S, you could grab the necessary Siri files yourself (still possibly illegal) instead of downloading them over the Internet (definitely illegal).

In any case, I don’t see how this is helpful for users. You still need an iPhone 4S to pull the files from, and a method for loading Siri on an older phone, which itself must be jailbroken. So far, the hacks we’ve seen are either unavailable to the public or potentially dangerous, with a risk of random reboots or bricked phones. Besides, this particular method of extracting Siri files could just be an error on Apple’s part, soon to be corrected.

So I’ll just repeat what I’ve said before: Don’t get your hopes up for a working Siri hack on older iPhones. Even if someone makes it happen, every request has to go through Apple’s servers, and I’ll be surprised if Apple doesn’t figure out a way to shut these requests down.

(MORE: Rumor: Android’s Answer to Siri Is Coming Soon)