With the release of the first iOS 16.4 beta, Apple has introduced Hebrew voices to Siri for the first time. This is a huge update that is likely to reach all users by April.
While the HomePod and HomePod mini are not officially sold in Israel, those that purchase the device externally are often disappointed to see that there is no Hebrew support for Siri despite Siri on iPhone fully supporting Hebrew.
The Verifier recently revealed that Israeli iPhone employees have been part of a closed beta program to help with Hebrew Siri support in the latest HomePod 2 and HomePod mini. With the new information that iOS 16.4 beta 1 includes Hebrew voices for HomePod, it is increasingly likely that Israeli retailers will start selling the smart speaker sooner rather than later.
HomePod finally gets Hebrew support
Siri has had Hebrew support since 2016, and as such Hebrew speakers have been awaiting the inclusion in the HomePod despite the smart speaker’s first release in 2018. The addition of Hebrew support alongside the brand new HomePod 2 release, is a great way for Apple to target a new market that it has previously neglected.
The HomePod 2 was released earlier this month and we believe it is a huge improvement over the discontinued previous model with better sound, new sensors, and at the same price.
Our News Editor, Stephen Warwick said in our HomePod review, "I absolutely love the new HomePod. It’s a triumph. I still can’t believe how Apple has managed to pull off the audio improvements it has, but it really is something. Whether it's listening to music or watching TV, this beats any smart speaker, Bluetooth, or otherwise that I’ve ever heard. In fact, the new HomePod is so good that I’d even recommend it as an upgrade from the original HomePod if you have one. It's the best smart speaker I've ever heard.”
For Hebrew speakers, now is the best time to get on board with Apple’s smart speaker.
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John-Anthony Disotto is the How To Editor of iMore, ensuring you can get the most from your Apple products and helping fix things when your technology isn’t behaving itself.
Living in Scotland, where he worked for Apple as a technician focused on iOS and iPhone repairs at the Genius Bar, John-Anthony has used the Apple ecosystem for over a decade and prides himself in his ability to complete his Apple Watch activity rings.
John-Anthony has previously worked in editorial for collectable TCG websites and graduated from The University of Strathclyde where he won the Scottish Student Journalism Award for Website of the Year as Editor-in-Chief of his university paper. He is also an avid film geek, having previously written film reviews and received the Edinburgh International Film Festival Student Critics award in 2019.
John-Anthony also loves to tinker with other non-Apple technology and enjoys playing around with game emulation and Linux on his Steam Deck.
In his spare time, John-Anthony can be found watching any sport under the sun from football to darts, taking the term “Lego house” far too literally as he runs out of space to display any more plastic bricks, or chilling on the couch with his French Bulldog, Kermit.