The possibility of easily porting Apple's Siri voice-acivated assistance system from its currently exclusive iPhone 4S platform to older handsets became more likely, with an update unencrypting the filesystem on the handset.
Previously known as Siri Assistant, the voice recognition system was originally an app available on the App Store for all iOS devices. Apple, however, bought the company behind the system and rewrote it as an exclusive feature for its iPhone 4S handset - summarily removing it from devices on which it was already installed with a terse message telling users to spend hundreds of pounds upgrading their phones if they want to continue using it.
Since the launch of the iPhone 4S, hackers have been working - with varying degrees of success - to get Siri back on the iPhone 4 and older handsets. Security facilities put in place by Apple have made this difficult, however, with many ports requiring a valid iPhone 4S unique identifying key before Apple's servers will respond.
Late last night, however, Apple released a revision to iOS 5.0.1, which removes encryption to RAM disk areas that were previously locked down. As a result, Cult of Mac reports, it's now possible to obtain filesystem keys that could result in files required for the full functioning of Siri on older handsets to be extracted.
Currently, it's not clear why Apple has removed the RAM disk encryption from the handsets - but hackers are already working to use the facility, however long it may last, to bring Siri back to those who relied upon it only to have Apple snatch it away in order to sell more handsets.