iOS 17's latest Siri upgrade could be a gamechanger

Siri on iOS
(Image credit: Christine Romero-Chan / iMore)

Apple released the first public iOS 17 beta yesterday which means that more people than ever are now using the software that was announced as part of the WWDC 2023 event last month. And it appears that Apple snuck in a handful of new features with this release as well.

At the top of that list of new additions is one that could be a big deal for bilingual people because Siri will now understand bilingual requests for the first time.

Other improvements include being able to see up to 2,000 calls in the Phone app's call history, new iPad message filters, and more.

Stealthy improvements

The new improvements were spotted by TechCrunch with Siri's bilingual upgrade undoubtedly the pick of the bunch.

"The Cupertino-based company has added support for bilingual queries to Siri starting with select Indic languages," the report says. "This means users will be able to ask queries to Siri by mixing English and Hindi. Additionally, users can mix English with Telegu, Punjabi, Kannada, or Marathi."

This news also comes as Apple added support for saving full-page screenshots to the Photos app for the first time, while improved dual-SIM support has also been brought to this latest iOS 17 beta. Now, separate ringtones can be applied to each SIM, for example.

Apple also added the ability to filter messages by unknown or known senders on the iPad as part of iPadOS 17, we're told, while up to 2,000 calls will now appear in the call history and include those made via FaceTime and WhatsApp.

Apple also added transliteration support on iOS for Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, and Malayalam as well as the ability to sign into an Apple ID using a phone number instead of an email address. Finally, a new built-in Punjabi dictionary has been added in this latest beta.

Apple's iOS 17 update isn't expected to ship to everyone until this September, with its other software updates likely to follow suit. The update will be compatible with most modern iPhones so you won't need to have Apple's best iPhone just to get the new features.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.