When the latest iPhone update – iOS 15.4 – hits your phone at the beginning of March there will, as usual, be a host of new features, some of which you will never use. I mean, how many new emojis do we actually need? But one new addition is especially intriguing: a fifth American voice for Siri which, according to the suits at Apple HQ, is neither male nor female.
We’ve listened to the recording a few times and it is most definitely androgynous and impossible to identify as either male or female. What do you think?
Apple have confirmed that they hired “a member of the LGBTQ+” for the new voice, commenting, “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 said in a statement. “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 personalised as possible.”
Last year Apple added three new American voices, including two recorded by black actors. At the time, the tech giant said that the new voices were “a continuation of Apple’s longstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion, and products and services that are designed to better reflect the diversity of the world we live in.”
There are currently no plans to release a gender-neutral voice option in any other language, including with a British voice, so gender-progressives in the UK will have to decide for themselves whether they’re prepared to put up with an American accent or whether they’ll just stick with the rich tones of the current male and female voices.