Siri Limited to iPhone 4S and Future Devices

February 8, 2012, By Sanjeev Ramachandran

The luxury of searching with Siri, with voice commands, has been so far limited to iPhone 4S only. Will iPhone 4 get it ever? A quick analysis of the factors, presents a grim picture.

Though there were a number of reasons pointed out by the observers for Siri to be restricted to iPhone 4s, a new one has popped up with a recently revealed SEC filing showing that the issue is mainly hardware related.

When Siri was a third party app, it used to run well on even iPhone 3Gs. After Apple’s acquisition, it was integrated into iOS 5 and released in October last year. They have also pulled the app from the App Store, post-launch.

Though, the adventurous folks still used hacked versions in older devices too, the issue was thought to be something else than hardware. But for Apple, the difference comes in the performance.

First of all, Siri is a resource crunching application which needs a lot of cache space and wide bandwidth to access to larger databases, while processing voice inputs. It altogether demands a faster and efficient processor making it perform well on a faster phone.

Another factor which affects the performance of Siri is the clarity of voice outputs. For this purpose, iPhone 4 and 4S has a secondary microphone to filter background noises. These microphones coupled with a signal processor from Audience, delivers a clear input for Siri.

But when they rolled out iPhone 4S, Apple integrated signal processing technology from Audience directly into its A5 processor. Apple has licensed using the technology, and has put a newer version of it with A5. The new version recognizes users voice even if he is some feet away from the device.

So the chances of an Apple device getting a better performing Siri depend on all the above factors. iPad 2 has an A5 processor, but has no secondary microphone.

The iPhone 4 is the most suitable device with all qualifications to get Sir, but it is pretty slower when compared to iPhone 4S to run Siri. The soothsayer says Apple will prefer Siri to go forward to new devices in the lineup, than making a look back.

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