Feeds

iPhone 4 incapable of handling Siri, says chip chap

Cough up for 4$ or somehow stagger on without blabberware

Maximizing your infrastructure through virtualization

Siri won't run on iPhone 4 because the phone's chip can't handle it, an analyst at the Linley Group has said. The news is a blow to iPhone 4-ers hoping for an upgrade to the voice-activated virtual assistant and is also a surprise to anyone familiar with the I-hacked-my-iPhone-4-to-run-Siri stories.

Linley Gwennap of the Linley Group cracked one of the secrets of the new iPhone's A5 chip after working out that it packs some serious audio cleaning power not available on the iPhone 4's A4 chip.

The audio technology from Californian company Audience can isolate voices and suppress background noise in real-time, significantly improving sound quality on conversations.

Audience has worked with Apple since 2008, and there is some Audience technology in the A4 chip, but it is a less advanced version than that available with the A5 packs. In particular, Audience on the A4 needs users to hold the phone up to their mouths when speaking to it. The iPhone 4S version allows for "more consistent voice and audio quality wherever the device is held and used".

Apple famously dislikes shipping less-than-perfect products, and that alone is likely to be enough of a reason why they wouldn't let a hard-of-hearing Siri go live on the iPhone 4.

"Apple cut a deal to integrate the noise-reduction technology directly into its A5 processor, which appears in the iPhone 4S," says Linley:

This technology is critical for the new phone because not only does it improve call quality, it blocks out background noise when users provide voice commands to Siri, the intelligent assistant built into the iPhone 4S. Without this noise reduction, Siri would be unusable even with a modest amount of background noise.

An SEC filing for Audience revealed that its profits had shot up over the past two years after it produced a custom chip for Apple that went into production in the first half of 2010.

It could improve again too. Audience released yet another update to its technology in December this year and has ongoing contracts with both Apple and Samsung according to the financial report. ®

Seven Steps to Software Security

More from The Register

next story
Whoah! How many Google Play apps want to read your texts?
Google's app permissions far too lax – security firm survey
Chrome browser has been DRAINING PC batteries for YEARS
Google is only now fixing ancient, energy-sapping bug
Do YOU work at Microsoft? Um. Are you SURE about that?
Nokia and marketing types first to get the bullet, says report
Microsoft takes on Chromebook with low-cost Windows laptops
Redmond's chief salesman: We're taking 'hard' decisions
EU dons gloves, pokes Google's deals with Android mobe makers
El Reg cops a squint at investigatory letters
Big Blue Apple: IBM to sell iPads, iPhones to enterprises
iOS/2 gear loaded with apps for big biz ... uh oh BlackBerry
OpenWRT gets native IPv6 slurping in major refresh
Also faster init and a new packages system
Google shows off new Chrome OS look
Athena springs full-grown from Chromium project's head
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Mobile application security vulnerability report
The alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, and the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.