News February 14, 2019

Apple introduces Australian Siri voices on HomePod

Apple introduces Australian Siri voices on HomePod

After complaints from Australian users, Apple has quietly updated Siri’s Australian male and female voices on the HomePod.

They sound clearer and more natural sounding.

A similar move has been made in the UK.

Siri’s original robotic voice began to be replaced overseas from 2017 with the launch of iOS 11.

Apple is said to be making upgrades to Siri which could hit the market as early as June, says MacRumors, for the latest iOS, macOS, watchOS, and tvOS versions.

This follows criticisms that Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant have wider skills, are easier to understand, and are found in more devices while Siri only works with Apple hardware.

The original Siri voices for the world (Susan Bennett), Australia’s female (Karen Jacobsen) and Britain’s male (Jon Briggs) never made direct deals with Apple for use of their voices.

Jacobsen’s and Briggs’ came from a ScanSoft database.

Accomplished voice actor Bennett was hired in July 2015 to go into a studio for a month to record a bunch of material for four hours a day, five days a week.

The phrases made no sense to her, but she did what she was told for her hourly rate, and went on to other jobs.

Six years later she heard her voice on Siri.

Apple’s company policy is to keep the identities of its voices unacknowledged.

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