Two hackers have built a tool that provides a way to get Siri on any iOS 5 device that has been jailbroken. The tool, named Spire, is technically a legal way to get Siri on these devices, although it is certainly not Apple certified.
Spire is the brainchild of two hackers Ryan Petrich, and Grant Paul (who goes by chpwn on Twitter). The two are veteran hackers with Petrich having previously hacked Siri onto an iPhone 3GS and Paul having a number of hacks available in the Cydia app store where Spire can currently be found.
In a blog post introducing Spire, Grant Paul claims,
“Spire uses a new method to obtain the files necessary for Siri, so it doesn’t have the copyright issues encountered by previous attempts. Similarly, rather than directing all traffic through a specific proxy server (and the associated privacy issues), Spire allows you to specify your own proxy server.”
The proxy server acts as the middle man between Siri requests and Apple servers. When you ask Siri for information, the request first hits a proxy server and is then redirected to Apple’s servers before the data is pushed back to your phone.
In the case of Siri, an iPhone 4S proxy server needs to be obtained in order to make Siri work on none iPhone 4S devices. Getting that proxy server is the challenging part of making Siri run on something that isn’t actually a 4S. What you need are proxy server authentication codes which are most easily obtained from owning a 4S or having a friend who has one and is willing to share the codes.
Paul seems to think the natural evolution of this is to have fee based services pop up, which offer the ability to rent space on a proxy server. Paul also thinks using Google’s speech API could be a way to route data around these specific proxy servers, allowing Siri to search in a way that wasn’t directly through Apple.
If you are interested in Spire you can snag it right off the Cydia app store, at a paltry 100MB download. Are any of you guys interested in getting Siri onto an iOS5 device? I would be most interested in having the digital assistant on my iPad 2 and I’m still surprised that’s not something Apple chose to support out of the gate.