Apple is allegedly testing out Siri on older devices like the iPhone 4, according to rumors circulating last weekend.
If Apple does plan to port Siri on other devices than the iPhone 4S, this would rid the latest version of the iPhone of the most popular feature that distinguishes it from its predecessors.
A source close to Apple told Jailbreaknation that the company is testing Siri on iPhone 4, and that a software update is possibly coming up for Siri to run on older devices. The iPhone maker has granted its employees special access to a software version so they can use Siri's features on older devices, according to the site, which also warned that the testing cold lead Apple to discontinue the project.
In fact, Apple's curiosity in knowing how Siri works on different devices doesn't mean that those outside of Apple campus will ever get the voice assistant on non-4S devices.
Getting Siri to talk on the iPhone 4 sees no technical barrier, which means that the iPad 2 and the newest iPod touch can also handle Siri, says Darrell Etherington of Gigaom.
Despite the expectation for the iPhone 4S to excel in its sales, if Siri on the iPhone 4 seems able to drive iPhone sales higher in general, Apple could be less concerned about keeping it as a device-specific feature, said Etherington.
By spreading Siri across more Apple devices, the feature could serve Apple's dominance in mobile market as its users get familiarized with, and hopefully fascinated by, Siri's companion in their daily lives.
To be so frantic about getting Siri on your mobile devices, however, may be too early. For the much-fantasized voice assistant has been quite a letdown for many users.
As a beta product, Siri has suffered a good number of outages, and you may not even recall how many times Siri was reportedly hit by another outage, since early October when the iPhone 4S was released.
Since Siri heavily relies on Apple's servers and databases in processing the requests received on the iPhones, the network being down means Siri is down.
Furthermore, when the network is down, Siri cannot fulfill even basic tasks on top of those that require internet connection - Siri gets paralyzed, unable to perform tasks like voice-to-text, creating a reminder, or playing music stored on the iPhone device.
Many iPhone 4S users took their complaints on Siri to Apple's support communities.
One user hannahat posted,
iPhone 4s arrived by mail today. Turned on Siri via Settings/General. Asking REALLY simple questions like 'What is the weather?' and Siri has not responded ONCE with an answer other than:
'What was that again?'
'Sorry, something's gone wrong. Can you try that agan?'
'Sorry, I didn't get that.'
'Uh oh. Something's wrong. Can you try again?'
SO frustrating and disappointing. The microphone doesn't seem like the problem, as it is able to record audio elsewhere.
The thread has been viewed by over 28,000 people, telling how siri-ous the users' frustration over Siri's disappointment is.
Apple has not released any statement regarding the problems, but allegedly pointed to server issues when asked about the outage.
Getting Siri on the iPhone 4 and the iPads will get many Apple fans excited, but the tech giant needs to bring Siri up to where it's expected to be as a functional voice assistant, before Siri is made available to tens of millions of its users.