Well-known iOS hacker chpwn (aka Grant Paul) along with Ryan Petrich have released a new tool for installing Siri on jailbroken phones. The Siri port, called “Spire,” works on any phone that can run iOS 5. However, because Apple only officially supports Siri requests coming from the iPhone 4S, a proxy server address is still required.
Oh, there’s one more thing: Spire is legal.
While it’s technically been possible to run Siri on non-iPhone 4S devices, as previous Siri ports have shown, those ports have violated Apple’s copyrights. Siri’s resource files, images and code are not meant to be copied and widely distributed. So instead, Spire downloads Siri itself directly from Apple. Clever!
Once the 100 MB download is installed on the jailbroken device, users will have to configure the software with a proxy server address. Explains Paul via the Spire Proxy FAQ, “Apple has made it very likely impossible to defeat the authorization requirement [for Siri]. I reverse engineered it, and it does not appear possible to connect Siri to the cloud without information from an iPhone 4S.”
Remember, hackers don’t often throw around words like “impossible” too often. Clearly, Apple has some heavy-duty security in place for managing Siri requests.
So how does one get a proxy address for Siri then? Paul suggests that you could ask an iPhone 4S-owning friend for their authentication tokens. But more interesting is his speculation that we will soon see for-pay Siri proxy services that charge a monthly fee for access to a copy of Siri installed on their own iPhone 4S devices.
A third possibility – and one the hacker community would have to build – is to rip out Siri’s guts and replace it with Google Chrome’s speech “API” to decode the Siri requests and return results.
In other words, as of now, Spire is a good first step towards a legal implementation of a Siri port, but it’s going to be hard for people to actually use it until there are solutions for legal Siri proxies, too.
Spire is available now in the jailbreak app store, Cydia.