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 provide 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 release, though developer Steve Moser noted on Twitter that the voice is named “Quinn” under the hood. Apple confirmed to Axios that the voice is built from recordings by a member of the LGBTQ+ community. Moser also tweeted an example of what the new voice sounds like:
For most of the time since Siri first became a core iPhone feature back in 2011, a female voice was the default. That changed last year when Apple changed the iPhone setup to prompt the user to pick a male or female voice when first starting the iPhone, with no default choice selected.
Apple sent the following statement to Axios about the new voice added in the iOS 15.4 beta:
We’re 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 help get things done, so we work to make the experience feel as personalized as possible.
Apple also added the third and fourth US English Siri voices last year—female and male voices meant to represent the speech of African Americans.
In addition to these five US English voices, Apple offers Siri voices in numerous 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 US variants of Spanish.
Other changes in the upcoming iOS 14.5 include the ability to use Face ID while wearing a face mask, dual-sim 5G support, the ability to set a preferred music-streaming service, and more.