Nov. 9, 2011 at 2:21 PM ET
Siri, the personal assistant built into the iPhone 4S, is pretty darn great (even if it sometimes says the darndest things). But will it ever officially come to older iPhones or iPads anytime soon?
I wouldn't bet much on it.
It has been suggested that Siri may require the latest iPhone's powerful processor to function and that it couldn't possibly be supported by lesser devices. But the iPad 2 matches the specs of the iPhone 4S — and iOS developers and hackers have already managed to port Siri to older iPhones using some creative workarounds.
So what's preventing Apple from officially offering the personal assistant on those devices right now?
Several things. For starters, Siri is currently considered to be in beta by Apple. This means that it's still in the development phase, not a "final" product. (It also means that every single iPhone 4S owner is technically testing software for Apple.)
More importantly though, Siri's not even always perfectly functional on the device it launched on. Many users have reported intermittent Siri outages which are speculated to occur when Apple's servers are overloaded. Just imagine what would happen if every iPhone or iPad owner were granted the opportunity to use Siri at this point — it wouldn't be pretty.
That line of thinking aside, Cult of Mac contributer Michael Steeber has another reason as to why Siri won't be coming to older devices: Because Apple just plain doesn't have plans to support those gadgets.
Steeber explains that someone "contacted Apple with a bug report" along with a suggestion to release Siri as a paid update to older iOS devices. That person forwarded Steeber the reply he (or she) supposedly received from Apple:
Engineering has provided the following feedback regarding this issue:
Siri only works on iPhone 4S and we currently have no plans to support older devices.
Ouch. Now keep in mind that this note has gone through several hands instead of coming to us straight from Apple. And since the company's keeping mum about rumors, there's no way to get official verification of its accuracy, or how likely it would be to change.
It's also worth noting that there was never really a reason to expect Siri to come to devices other than the iPhone 4S. Apple made no such promises — and it technically isn't obligated to support a new feature like that on older generation gadgets.
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