Apple’s Siri will get a host of new features, including better expression, as part of an iOS 11 update coming this fall.
“We’ve used deep learning to create a really natural and expressive voice for Siri,” Apple VP Craig Federighi said. Siri is now available on 375 million devices, he said.
The changes were announced today at WWDC, Apple’s annual developer conference being held June 5-9 at the San Jose Convention Center in San Jose, California.
Other upcoming features include the ability to say your words in another language when talking to Siri, starting with translations from English to Chinese, Spanish, Italian, French, and German.
Available in developer preview today and this fall for the public, iOS 11 for iPhones and iPads will bring additional support for categories of functionality available to developers using SiriKit to integrate the intelligent assistant into an app. New categories will include notes and reminders, to-do-lists, banking for account transfers and balances as well as apps that scan QR codes like WeChat.
Siri has been able to do things like add events to calendar or answer random questions for a long time, but at WWDC last year, Apple announced plans to open Siri up to interact with apps, a feature that first became available last September with the launch of iOS 10. Since then, Siri has been able to do things like send WhatsApp messages and search for LinkedIn Learning courses with voice alone. iMessage apps and the iMessage App Store also debuted with iOS 10.
Siri app suggestions will extend into native News, Mail, Messages, and Safari apps to make personalized suggestions based on prior activity.
An onstage presentation by Federighi showed Apple Pay recommendation among word suggestions in iMessage, suggesting that apps may be among recommendations Siri shares within the messaging app.