There are already four English-accented American voices for Siri, but Apple will add a fifth in iOS 15.4. The new voice aims to provide a gender-neutral option for the first time, such as mentioned by Axios.
The audio is called “Voice 5” in the settings panel in the current beta, though developer Steve Moser noticed on twitter That sound is called “Queen” under the hood. Apple confirmed to Axios that the audio is based on recordings made by a member of the LGBTQ+ community. Moser also tweeted an example of what the new sound looks like:
Most of the time since Siri became a standard feature on the iPhone in 2011, the female voice has been the default. That changed last year when Apple changed the iPhone’s setting to require the user to choose a male or female voice when the iPhone first started, with no default option selected.
Apple sent the following statement to Axios about the new audio added in the iOS 15.4 beta:
We’re excited to introduce a new Siri voice for English speakers, giving users more options to choose a voice that speaks to them. Millions of people around the world rely on Siri every day to help get things done, so we’re working to make the experience feel as personal as possible.
Apple also added the third and fourth Siri American English voices last year – female and male voices intended to represent African American speech.
In addition to these five American English voices, Apple offers Siri voices in many other languages, including Cantonese, Mandarin, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Malay, Norwegian Bokmål, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, Thai, and Turkish. There are also many regional variations or dialects within those languages, such as Chilean, Mexican, Spanish, and United States variants of Spanish.
Other changes in the upcoming iOS 15.4 include the ability to use Face ID while wearing a face mask, dual-SIM 5G support, the ability to set a preferred music streaming service, and more.
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