What you need to know
- Apple adds two new English voices for Siri.
- Apple will eliminate the default voice for Siri.
- Users will now have to choose a voice when setting up Siri.
Apple's virtual assistant, Siri, will be getting a new sound in the newest iOS 14 beta. Apple is adding two new English voices for people to select for Siri. Some new voices for Siri over the years have included Australian, British, Irish, and others, as well as the option to choose a male voice.
The new voices are not only offering more options to your best iPhone but would also sound more natural thanks to Apple's Neural text-to-speech engine. The new voices should sound smoother and more organic as a result.
In even bigger news, TechCrunch reports that Apple will no longer use the female voice as the Siri default. Instead, people will get to choose the voice they want to use for Siri rather than having a pre-assigned default. Critics have long pointed out that companies like Google, Apple, and Amazon all default to female voices, making them inherently biased and have even been labeled a sexist practice. TechCrunch also receives a statement from Apple regarding the change:
This move seems to be a continuation of Apple's commitment to diversity and inclusion. A commitment that has been front and center since hiring Barbara Whye as their Vice President of Inclusion and Diversity.
We know that a diverse and inclusive world makes life better for everyone, and having new options for Siri will ensure that everyone gets to choose the voice for Siri that they feel the most comfortable with.
Luke Filipowicz has been a writer at iMore, covering Apple for nearly a decade now. He writes a lot about Apple Watch and iPad but covers the iPhone and Mac as well. He often describes himself as an "Apple user on a budget" and firmly believes that great technology can be affordable if you know where to look. Luke also heads up the iMore Show — a weekly podcast focusing on Apple news, rumors, and products but likes to have some fun along the way.
Luke knows he spends more time on Twitter than he probably should, so feel free to follow him or give him a shout on social media @LukeFilipowicz.
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