Apple released iOS 15.4 and iPadOS 15.4 this week and there are a load of new features to sift through: Face ID with a Mask, Tap to Pay, new emoji, and Universal Control on the iPad. But there’s a smaller change that’s just as meaningful: a new Siri voice.
Released as part of the fourth iOS 15.4 beta, the new voice is simply labeled America (Voice 5). But when you listen to it, you’ll notice that it’s somewhat androgenous and difficult to pin down as explicitly male or female. As part of its continued push for diversity, Apple told Axios that it hired “a member of the LGBTQ+ community” to record the new Siri voice. Here’s how the new voice sounds:
It’s not clear whether the new American voice will come to the other language varieties as well. Apple offers five American voices and just two on than any other language
“We’re excited to introduce a new Siri voice for English speakers, giving users more options to choose a voice that speaks to them,” Apple said in a statement. “Millions of people around the world rely on Siri every day to help get things done, so we work to make the experience feel as personalized as possible.”
Apple last year removed the default female voice in iOS 14.5 and added three new voices, including two options recorded by black actors. At the time, Apple said the voice options were “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.”
To change the voice you hear when Siri responds to a query, head over to the Settings app, then Siri & Search > Siri Voice and select the one you want. You can also select the new voice on your Mac (System Preferences > Siri) or Apple Watch (Settings > Siri).