First listen: New 'natural-sounding' Siri voices for the U.K., Australia, and Japan

Posted:
in iPhone edited February 2014
New voice options included in iOS 7.1's latest developer preview make Siri's responses smoother and more lifelike for users in the U.K., Australia, and Japan.

Siri


The new voices --?provided to AppleInsider by people familiar with the content of the update --?compare favorably to their predecessors, lending Siri a more even tone and less stilted speech pattern. In keeping with Apple's intention to allow some international users to choose Siri's gender in iOS 7.1, both male and female voices were updated.



Apple similarly overhauled Siri's American voice in iOS 7's initial release, which also added a male option for the first time. Siri also gained the ability to control more features on users' devices, like opening apps and searching photos.

While no timetable for iOS 7.1's release has been made public, some are speculating that this may be the update's final beta release. A new report from BGR suggests that developers will soon receive a ready-for-release, or "gold master," build of the software with public availability to follow in early March.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 28
    asciiascii Posts: 5,936member

    The UK male voice sounds extremely realistic, like a recording (at least in the sample given). Speech recognition and synthesis has really improved in leaps and bounds over the last few years.

  • Reply 2 of 28
    Translation of Japan female answer : "No!"
  • Reply 3 of 28
    gtrgtr Posts: 3,231member

    The Australian accents are awful.

     

    I don't know if that's Apple's fault or my country's. :lol:

     

    UK male is good. Brings us one step closer to Jarvis.

     

    Japanese male should include Toshiro Mifune.

  • Reply 4 of 28
    At last, a choice of gender for the UK voices: really good news. They do sound better too.

    I thought the Australian voices sounded a little more artificial, though they do have a reasonable Aussie accent (but I'll defer to a real Aussie on that :D)
  • Reply 5 of 28
    seanie248 wrote: »
    Translation of Japan female answer : "No!"


    She said that she doesn't know the user's location because location services aren't available then indicates the user should activate location services.

    An authentic Japanese voice would never say "no."
  • Reply 6 of 28
    irelandireland Posts: 17,798member
    Do your homework properly, guys. The UK voices have been living for 2+ weeks in the previous beta.
  • Reply 7 of 28
    crowleycrowley Posts: 10,453member
    Nice. Not that I have Siri voice turned on or have any intention of turning it back on, but nice.
  • Reply 8 of 28
    I would the UK male voice to sound like Micky Flanagan
  • Reply 9 of 28

    The Aussie accent is great! Very realistic and makes a pleasant change.

  • Reply 10 of 28

    As an Aussie I think the female Australian voice is worse than the current one, and both the male and female responses are not very intelligent.  Should I read something into that?

     

    I like the UK voices and their response is intelligent. ;)

     

    If the female Japanese voice spoke in English I'd use that as my default one.  As it is now I guess my default one would be the UK female voice.

  • Reply 11 of 28
    hentaiboyhentaiboy Posts: 1,252member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by barefootman View Post

     

    The Aussie accent is great! Very realistic and makes a pleasant change.


    Siri, how would a mango chutney go with my King Prawns?

     

    "Bewdy bonza mate"

  • Reply 12 of 28
    palegolaspalegolas Posts: 1,361member
    Even though they're new, they're clearly using the old voice synthesis - except the UK ones.
  • Reply 13 of 28
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by YesIAm View Post



    I would the UK male voice to sound like Micky Flanagan

     

    Dear God, NO!

  • Reply 14 of 28
    dunksdunks Posts: 1,254member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by donvreug View Post

     

    As an Aussie I think the female Australian voice is worse than the current one, and both the male and female responses are not very intelligent.  Should I read something into that?

     

    I like the UK voices and their response is intelligent. ;)

     

    If the female Japanese voice spoke in English I'd use that as my default one.  As it is now I guess my default one would be the UK female voice.


     

    If you speak with an Australian accent you should set Siri's language to Australian otherwise it will not correctly interpret your natural speech; particularly vowels.

  • Reply 15 of 28
    I like Alex! These new voices speak too quickly, and without enough variation in tone IMO. I hope they are extra options and not replacements.
  • Reply 16 of 28
    That's all fine but really I'd like SIRI to sound like Homer Simpson. If not then, I think I like the UK voices over the US ones.
  • Reply 17 of 28
    I too think the Aussie voices sound more artificial than the current ones and they have a slight kiwi accent. The other voices sound great though. I should qualify that by stating that I don't understand Japanese and my english isn't that good either. ;)
  • Reply 18 of 28
    And here I was hoping Siri would be able to understand *my* voice better (and what I am asking), not the other way around.
  • Reply 19 of 28
    Fair enough. I have it set this way.

    Australian accents always sound wrong when reproduced in foreign t.v. shows or films (and by Siri). Usually its too harsh or exagerated. Maybe that's the way we sound to non-Australians. This is why I prefer the UK English voices.

    I actually didn't even realise Australians spoke with an accent until I went overseas. :-)
  • Reply 20 of 28
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,745member
    One accent 'to fit all' in most countries is asking for trouble, especially as they get far more genuine sounding. Forgiving a slightly mechanical voice for not sounding like the speaker isn't from 'your neck of the woods' is one thing but I bet we will soon hear complaints that these realistic voices are 'not from around here'. I am certain the Scots would prefer a Scottish accent, but Apple better do at least a west and east coast option if not a highland one also... and so on! So my bet is, sooner or later we will be able to choose regional dialects.
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