Matthew Panzarino, reporting for TechCrunch says the latest beta version of iOS and iPadOS 14.5 includes two new English Siri voices. The report elaborates that the existing female voice is no longer the default and that users will choose the voice they want to use with Apple’s voice assistant when setting up a device for the first time.
In a statement to TechCrunch, an Apple said:
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. 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.
Panzarino says he’s heard the new voices and likes them a lot and will be embedding samples in his story once he has the sixth iOS 14.5 beta installed.
I’m surprised that Apple is adding new Siri voices this late in the iOS 14 cycle, but it’s a welcome change that eliminates bias and makes Siri a more diverse and inclusive service.