Over the years, Apple’s Siri has always used a female voice for users. However, Apple now acknowledges that users need a preference even when it involves something as insignificant as Siri’s voice. The company has now added a new Siri voice to the latest version of the iOS operating system. The “voice” is marked in Apple’s official explanation as: neither from men nor from women. Simply put, it is a gender-neutral voice that can be either from a male or female.
According to reports, Apple began to provide Siri voice options from black voice actors sometime last year. Now, it is offering Siri neutral voice options. In an official statement to the media, Apple said: “We’re excited to introduce a new Siri voice for English-speaking users, giving users more choices when choosing which voice to speak to. There are millions of users who rely on Siri every day to help them do their jobs. So we’ve worked hard to make the experience of this feature as personal as possible”.
According to reports, Apple’s iOS 15.4 beta officially hit the public on Tuesday. This update comes with a new “Option 5” appearing on the Siri user interface menu. Siri, which once used a female voice by default, now lets users choose their preferred voice. In addition, Apple told the media that Siri’s new neutral voice was recorded by a “neutral” staff member, but did not provide further details.
Apple iOS 15.4 Beta 2
Apple released the latest iOS 15.4 developer preview Beta 2 update earlier this month. This update brings some functional improvements and fixes. Apple claims that the iOS 15.4 Beta 2 addresses a bug in iOS 15 that allows iPhones to upload some Siri recordings to Apple even if users had previously opted out of the feature.
The company previously rolled out features to improve its voice assistant, but some users turned off the option to share Siri and dictation with Apple. Apple said it turned off the settings for “many” Siri users, and iOS 15.4 fixes the issue.
“In iOS 15.2, we turned off the improved Siri & Dictation setting for many Siri users, and fixed a bug that was introduced in iOS 15. This bug inadvertently enabled the setting for a small percentage of devices. Since this bug was discovered, we have stopped reviewing and are in the process of removing audio received from all affected devices.”
Apple said that when the bug was first discovered, it stopped reviewing audio from affected devices and deleted accidental recordings. However, it didn’t say why the company didn’t notify users when it first discovered the issue. There’s no word yet on how many recordings Apple has or whose recording it has.