Tech Industry

Apple muting Siri on older devices?

Company has no current plans to make the voice assistant app available on older iPhones and iPods, according to correspondence with Apple engineers.

An exchange with Apple over a suggested iOS build for older devices that would include Siri.
Michael Steeber

Apple has no current plans to make the Siri voice assistant available on older iOS devices, according to a tip reported to developer Michael Steeber.

Siri, which was released as an exclusive beta to the iPhone 4S, uses the built-in microphone to take user commands and turn them into actions on the phone. That includes actions that make use of a network connection, like searching the Web, setting reminders, and checking stock prices.

A tipster told Steeber that when he contacted Apple with a bug report, he also suggested Apple make available an optional build of iOS with Siri included as a paid upgrade: "iPhone 4 Users and iPod touch 4th generation users pay a fee of 19.99 to upgrade to a 'special' build of iOS 5.0.1 with Siri Final in it, (To avoid hackers hacking Siri onto non 4S devices illegally) **Many iPhone 4 Users and iPod touch 4th generation Users will pay for this special iOS build (5.0.1) which will enable Siri for a fee of $19.99 US dollars."

Apple's engineers responded by saying: "Siri only works on iPhone 4S and we currently have no plans to support older devices."

Apple representatives did not immediately respond to CNET's request for comment, but certainly this is the type of information that should be taken with a grain of salt.

Engineers may not be authorized to speak in an official capacity for the company, but one must suspect that they would know what direction the company was heading with a software product--although the employees who field customer bug queries might not be as informed as the department heads.

The company says it plans to add support for additional languages, as well as bringing over some U.S. only features like maps and local search sometime next year.