The latest version of iOS, currently in testing, will reportedly offer a voice assistant that is less explicitly male or female sounding.
The new option for a virtual assistant as part of the beta version of iOS 15.4, which was released on 22 February, will be more gender-neutral and voiced by a queer person, according to reports from Axois.
“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 to Axios. “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.”
The welcome addition comes a year after Apple updated settings so that Siri no longer defaults to a female voice — meaning users had to start picking their preference from the available options.
Steve Moser, a contributing writer at Mac Rumours and iOS developer, tweeted that the new option is currently logged under the filename of ‘Quinn’ – indicating that Quinn could be the command name to activate the new voice assistant.
iOS 15.4 Beta 4 changes 🧵: Apple adds a 5th American Siri voice with filename ‘Quinn’ pic.twitter.com/HFQZV1oF0I— Steve Moser (@SteveMoser) February 22, 2022
The updated option is the latest effort from the tech giant to be more diverse with its software options. Despite Apple CEO Tim Cook being one of the wealthiest, most powerful LGBT+ people in existence, the company has, in recent years, draw some criticism, namely for enabling the censorship of certain LGBT+ apps in various countries around the world.
In February 2021 Apple released a selection of gender-neutral emoji’s, which were welcomed by the community.