iOS 15.4 Adds a New, Less Gendered Voice for Siri

Ina Fried, reporting for Axios:

With the latest version of iOS, currently in testing, Apple is offering a Siri voice that is less explicitly male- or female-sounding, Axios can confirm.

Why it matters: It’s part of an effort by Apple to offer a more diverse array of options for its virtual assistant. Last year it added two Siri options recorded by Black voice actors. [...] Apple confirmed the new voice was recorded by a member of the LGBTQ+ community, but did not offer further details.

Over at Macworld, Michael Simon has an audio clip of the new voice. It’s rather uncanny how gender-neutral it sounds. I listened to it yesterday and it sounded slightly female to my ears; today I listened again and it sounded slightly male. Sort of like one of those optical illusions that changes when you stare at it.

Also interesting that Apple no longer describes any of these voices. You listen to them and make up your own mind what they sound like, and which one you prefer.

Thursday, 24 February 2022