Siri now has a fifth American voice thanks to the latest iOS 15.4 beta. The new voice is simply referred to as “Voice 5” in Apple’s user interface, while iOS engineer Steve Moser claims that the filename refers to it as “Quinn.” The voice arrived just over a year after Apple added its final two American Siri voices and ceased using a female-sounding voice as the default.
Apple is reported to be launching a new gender-neutral Siri speech option. According to Axios, this speech option for English speakers was added to the current beta version of iOS 15.4 on Tuesday.
Apple verified to the publication that it was recorded by a member of the LGBTQ+ community, but it did not provide any other information about the voice actor’s identity. Apple noted at the time that the voices were recorded by Black performers as part of the company’s “long-standing commitment to diversity and inclusion.”
Apple is still beta-testing iOS 15.4 updates. It will be the successor to iOS 15, which was released in the fall of 2021. A new batch of emojis, security updates, a Face ID refresh, and Universal Control are all included in the beta version of iOS 15.4. iOS 15.4 is expected to be released in the spring.
“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 told Axios in reference to the new fifth American voice. “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.”
When Apple released iOS 14.5, it eliminated Siri’s female voice as the default, allowing iPhone and iPad owners in the United States to choose their own voice option. In an effort to broaden the digital assistant’s appeal, the corporation included two new Black voices with American accents. Siri currently offers British, American, Irish, Indian, Australian, and South African accents in English.
Though Apple has yet to make an official announcement, it is expected that the company will have its next product event on March 8, with new devices and features to be unveiled.