Apple changes British & Australian Siri voices on HomePod

Posted:
in General Discussion
Apple has stealthily updated Siri's British and Australian voices on the HomePod, apparently seeking to make them clearer and more natural-sounding.

Apple HomePod


The extent of the rollout is uncertain. Most social media anecdotes stem from the regions the accents are based on, which could mean Apple is only gradually deploying the new voices, even though the accents can be selected in any country.

Apple first began introducing more natural voices to Siri with the launch of iOS 11 in 2017. Prior to that Siri's robotic sound was sometimes the subject of jokes, even if it didn't affect functionality.

So will the real #Siri please stand up. pic.twitter.com/8a8LCyarqI

-- Callum (@callumjcoe)


That functionality has garnered more serious criticism in the past two years. Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant are widely considered superior, with more skills and better comprehension. They're also supported on a broader number of devices, whereas Siri works only with Apple hardware.

The company is believed to be working on Siri improvements, which could be showcased at WWDC 2019 this June. There developers should catch previews of the next major versions of iOS, macOS, watchOS, and tvOS.

The updated Siri voices were first highlighted by MacRumors.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 25
    JanNLJanNL Posts: 258member
    As there is no option to buy a HomePod in the Netherlands, I bought two in France and chose English (UK).

    And indeed, today Siri is a different person  :) (a lot less snooty British ;) )
  • Reply 2 of 25
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,143member
    JanNL said:
    As there is no option to buy a HomePod in the Netherlands, I bought two in France and chose English (UK).

    And indeed, today Siri is a different person  :) (a lot less snooty British ;) )
    Good thing then, I can't stand that snooty English I prefer the USA voice to that.
  • Reply 3 of 25
    davendaven Posts: 506member
    I've tried the different languages and they are fun to play with. One neat thing to do is to change the language and then ask Siri to tell a joke. You get local humor.
  • Reply 4 of 25
    can't understand why they wasted their time doing that. maybe if they should sit down and figure out how to make it control Spotify - you know - like every other voice assistant.
    stanhope
  • Reply 5 of 25
    JanNLJanNL Posts: 258member
    MacPro said:
    JanNL said:
    As there is no option to buy a HomePod in the Netherlands, I bought two in France and chose English (UK).

    And indeed, today Siri is a different person  :) (a lot less snooty British ;) )
    Good thing then, I can't stand that snooty English I prefer the USA voice to that.
    True, but there's one problem: my English is a bit British  :/  (so the UK Siri "understands" me better...)
  • Reply 6 of 25
    macguimacgui Posts: 1,157member
    This is typical of Apple, spending more time on polish (not Polish) than on substance. I'll trade functionality over pretty 99% of the time.

    I think Apple is spending Siri time unwisely. Siri being able to say 'I don't know how to do that' in a very lifelike voice isn't a plus, in my book.

    Personally, if I could pick any voice, I'd want her to have a Scottish brogue, a Southern lilt, or an Irish accent. But I don't care if she sounded like she was from Manchester or Wales, as long as she could do a lot more than the current repertoire.  No offence to anybody from Manchester or Wales. (Snide Sean Locke grousing.)
    flyingdpstanhope
  • Reply 7 of 25
    “Australian Siri - how’s the weather looking today?”

    ”Beaut bloody bonza Mate!”
    StrangeDays
  • Reply 8 of 25
    Do you people actually believe the voice synthesis teams are the same people doing the AI algorithm and deep learning work? Hint: they aren’t. So it’s not as if Apple is using up action points working on voice synth that could have been used on AI. 

    The new voices in general are awesome. I recently switched my HomePod over to the american male voice, and am surprised at how real and pleasant it sounds. 

    Not on that I have much trouble with Siri — setting reminders, sending texts, making appointments, controlling the lights, and answering basic trivia has been no trouble. I don’t try to stump it and don’t have any reason to. 
    fastasleeplolliverdavenequality72521
  • Reply 9 of 25
    JanNL said:
    MacPro said:
    JanNL said:
    As there is no option to buy a HomePod in the Netherlands, I bought two in France and chose English (UK).

    And indeed, today Siri is a different person  :) (a lot less snooty British ;) )
    Good thing then, I can't stand that snooty English I prefer the USA voice to that.
    True, but there's one problem: my English is a bit British  :/  (so the UK Siri "understands" me better...)
    Your language and Siri's language are two different settings.  You can choose your own (English) dialect for yourself, and any of the different English voices for Siri.  Presumably the same with other languages that have multiple voices and dialects, but I haven't tried it.
  • Reply 10 of 25
    Can anyone explain to me pls why Siri is different for different types of devices in terms of voice (and service)? 
  • Reply 11 of 25
    Can anyone explain to me pls why Siri is different for different types of devices in terms of voice (and service)? 
    There were some articles about it, the different hardware devices have different Siri modules loaded onto them. I’m not sure of the why tho. 

    https://www.macworld.com/article/3257605/ios/siri-vs-siri.html
    edited February 13
  • Reply 12 of 25
    JanNL said:
    As there is no option to buy a HomePod in the Netherlands, I bought two in France and chose English (UK).

    And indeed, today Siri is a different person  :) (a lot less snooty British ;) )
    I liked snooty British..i won’t be updating for this foolishness...fix siri’s dense comprehension and intelligence
  • Reply 13 of 25
    macgui said:
    This is typical of Apple, spending more time on polish (not Polish) than on substance. I'll trade functionality over pretty 99% of the time.

    I think Apple is spending Siri time unwisely. Siri being able to say 'I don't know how to do that' in a very lifelike voice isn't a plus, in my book.

    Personally, if I could pick any voice, I'd want her to have a Scottish brogue, a Southern lilt, or an Irish accent. But I don't care if she sounded like she was from Manchester or Wales, as long as she could do a lot more than the current repertoire.  No offence to anybody from Manchester or Wales. (Snide Sean Locke grousing.)

  • Reply 14 of 25
    macgui said:
    This is typical of Apple, spending more time on polish (not Polish) than on substance. I'll trade functionality over pretty 99% of the time.

    I think Apple is spending Siri time unwisely. Siri being able to say 'I don't know how to do that' in a very lifelike voice isn't a plus, in my book.

    Personally, if I could pick any voice, I'd want her to have a Scottish brogue, a Southern lilt, or an Irish accent. But I don't care if she sounded like she was from Manchester or Wales, as long as she could do a lot more than the current repertoire.  No offence to anybody from Manchester or Wales. (Snide Sean Locke grousing.)
    Southern accent would be heaven
  • Reply 15 of 25
    Can anyone explain to me pls why Siri is different for different types of devices in terms of voice (and service)? 
    There were some articles about it, the different hardware devices have different Siri modules loaded onto them. I’m not sure of the why tho. 

    https://www.macworld.com/article/3257605/ios/siri-vs-siri.html
    Interesting to see the side by side comparisons. As you said no mention of the ‘why’. Really weird that Siri is by far worst on the Mac. 
  • Reply 16 of 25
    bonobob said:
    JanNL said:
    MacPro said:
    JanNL said:
    As there is no option to buy a HomePod in the Netherlands, I bought two in France and chose English (UK).

    And indeed, today Siri is a different person  :) (a lot less snooty British ;) )
    Good thing then, I can't stand that snooty English I prefer the USA voice to that.
    True, but there's one problem: my English is a bit British  :/  (so the UK Siri "understands" me better...)
    Your language and Siri's language are two different settings.  You can choose your own (English) dialect for yourself, and any of the different English voices for Siri.  Presumably the same with other languages that have multiple voices and dialects, but I haven't tried it.
    I was gonna ask, so whatever voice setting you use has zero bearing on Siri’s interpretation of what you say, right? I’m switching mine to Irish for now. 
    edited February 13
  • Reply 17 of 25
    mcdavemcdave Posts: 1,114member
    Actually the Loup Ventures testing shows Siri is ahead in product-relevant topics.  The Devil is in the detail people.
    daven
  • Reply 18 of 25
    mcdavemcdave Posts: 1,114member
    I wish Apple wouldn’t asume dialect & accent are regional or related to the voice you choose.  Look at their own workforce then practice the diversity they preach.
  • Reply 19 of 25
    mcdave said:
    I wish Apple wouldn’t asume dialect & accent are regional or related to the voice you choose.  Look at their own workforce then practice the diversity they preach.
    What do you mean?
  • Reply 20 of 25
    Do you people actually believe the voice synthesis teams are the same people doing the AI algorithm and deep learning work? Hint: they aren’t. So it’s not as if Apple is using up action points working on voice synth that could have been used on AI. 

    The new voices in general are awesome. I recently switched my HomePod over to the american male voice, and am surprised at how real and pleasant it sounds. 

    Not on that I have much trouble with Siri — setting reminders, sending texts, making appointments, controlling the lights, and answering basic trivia has been no trouble. I don’t try to stump it and don’t have any reason to. 
    Action points? What are you using V.A.T.S. again?
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