Regardless if you think it is a game changer or simply a tacky gimmick, one of the main attractions of Apple's latest smartphone, the iPhone 4S, is certainly its speech controlled artificial intelligence application Siri. Over the past weeks, we have seen successful attempts to port Siri to older devices such as the iPhone 4, iPod touch 4G and even the aging iPhone 3GS. It's clear that the hacking community got their sights well fixed on Siri. In a latest report, a developer has managed to unlock Siri's protocol.
Mobile developer Applidium has dissected Siri's service protocol which paves the way for playing with the exclusive iPhone 4S feature outside the device. This means that Siri could potentially be ported not only to other iOS devices such as the iPad but it could also make its way to the Android platform through third party apps. Upon thorough testing, Applidium found out that the iPhone 4S uses standard HTTPS network to communicate with Apple's server but rather than the regular GET requests, the device sends data using "ACE".
According to Applidium, the iPhone 4S sends each Siri request involving a unique host identifier which is based on hardware UDID, which is why non-iPhone 4S devices are prevented from sending requests to Apple's servers. Applidium somehow managed to copy an iPhone 4S host identifier and used them for other devices and even using a Mac setup. The testing also helped in proving that Siri is sending raw audio captures of the user's voice, compressed in VoIP optimized Speex audio codec.
The test helped Applidium to discover that any iPhone should be able to at least support Siri's basic voice recognition features. It has been announced by Apple that the company doesn't have any future plans to release Siri on older hardware although the iPhone 4 and 3GS have supported third-party speech-to-text services before. But as you can see from previous demonstrations, Siri is not your average voice recognition application. This is because Siri actually evaluates the requests taking into consideration some factors like the user's relationship to specific contacts, the user's location and so on.
But according to Applidium, exploring Siri's protocol isn't all that easy because the requests are tied to a hardware key and can easily be subjected to change if the need arises. If Apple suspects that an exploit has been found, they could simply stop responding to that certain hardware key. Siri is owned by Apple so they can change however they want to transmit the data.
Now pretty much anyone can create a third party app using the real Siri but it will require a unique hardware key from an iPhone 4S. But the key is prone to eventual expiration or it will simply be blocked by Apple. From the looks of it, unless hackers manages to find a workaround, we won't be seeing a fully functional Siri port soon. Visit Applidium for a more technical explanation on cracking Siri's protocol. [via ModMyi]Contact Us for News Tips, Corrections and Feedback