Apple has released iOS 14.5 beta 6 to those registered to test it, and it’s been discovered that it gives you the option to select a default voice for Siri at setup.
According to beta testers, Siri can now be configured while you’re setting up your device with whatever voice you’d like, not the default female voice we’re all used to seeing. Apple also includes two new voices which should prove to be more advance than the other voices available. TechCrunch sums them up pretty well in their article.
The two new voices use source talent recordings that are then run through Apple’s Neural text to speech engine, making the voices flow more organically through phrases that are actually being generated on the fly.
The new voices will be available to English users globally when iOS 14.5 is released.
The change is a part of a larger effort towards diversity, according to Apple who gave the following statement to multiple outlets.
“We’re excited to introduce two new Siri voices for English speakers and the option for Siri users to select the voice they want when they set up their device,” a statement from Apple reads. “This is a continuation of Apple’s long-standing commitment to diversity and inclusion, and products and services that are designed to better reflect the diversity of the world we live in.”
The choice of Siri’s voice at setup is just one of the many features Apple will be packing into iOS 14.5 when it’s released. Over 200 new emoji, the ability to unlock your iPhone while wearing a face mask, the ability to change Siri’s default music player, battery recalibrations for iPhone 11 users, tweaks to the Apple Music and Podcasts apps, Xbox Series S/X and PlayStation 5 controller support, and more will all be onboard.