There are already four American-accented English voices for Siri, but Apple will add a fifth in iOS 15.4. The new voice aims to offer a gender neutral option for the first time, as reported by Axios.
The voice is labeled “Voice 5” in the settings panel in the current beta, although developer Steve Moser noticed on Twitter that the voice under the hood is called “Quinn”. Apple confirmed to Axios that the voice is made up of recordings from a member of the LGBTQ+ community. Moser also tweeted a sample of what the new voice sounds like:
Since Siri first became a core feature of the iPhone in 2011, a female voice has usually been the default. That changed last year when Apple changed the iPhone configuration to prompt the user to choose a male or female voice when starting the iPhone, without a default choice selected.
Apple sent the following statement to Axios regarding the new voice added in iOS 15.4 beta:
We are excited to introduce a new Siri voice for English speakers, giving users more options to choose a voice that speaks to them. Millions of people around the world rely on Siri every day to get things done, so we’re working to make the experience as personal as possible.
Apple also last year added the third and fourth American English Siri voices—female and male voices intended to represent the speech of African Americans.
In addition to these five American English voices, Apple offers Siri voices in many other languages, including Cantonese, Mandarin, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Malay, Norwegian Bokmål, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, Thai and Turkish. There are also several regional or accent variations within those languages, such as Chilean, Mexican, Spanish, and American variations of Spanish.
Other changes in the upcoming iOS 15.4 include the ability to use Face ID while wearing a face mask, dual-SIM 5G support, the ability to set a favorite music streaming service, and more.