How to change Siri’s accent on iPhone, iPad and more

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australian siri
Changing Siri's accent is easy.
Photo: Cult of Mac

Most folks refer to Siri as “she,” but that’s not always true. The original British English Siri, for example, was male-only up until iOS 7.1 added a female version. And in the latest iOS 14.5 beta, a female Siri is not the default option.

No matter what, you don’t have to stick with your local version of Apple’s comically bad voice assistant. U.S. English speakers, for example, can currently choose from American, Australian, British, Indian, Irish and South African accents for Siri, and also pick male or female versions — with more voices coming soon.

So, if you’re a U.S. native who views the U.K. Standard English accent as quaint, cute, respectful, sexy or reproachful, it’s easy to set your iPhone or iPad to sound like a Brit or whatever you want. And your choice of Siri accent will follow you on all Apple devices logged into with your Apple ID. (In addition to iPhone and iPad, Siri works with just about everything now: Mac, AirPods, iPod, Apple Watch, CarPlay, HomePod and Apple TV.)

Let’s see how to change Siri’s accent.

Siri gets new voices, and won’t default to female, in iOS 14.5

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Apple’s AI-driven voice-controlled digital assistant Siri
Siri just became more gender fluid.
Image: Apple

After almost a decade of using a female voice by default, Siri users will be given a choice of voices for the virtual assistant when they set up Apple devices. The virtual assistant will also come with two new English-language voices.

These changes debuted in iOS 14.5 beta 6 and the iPads equivalent, which Apple seeded to developers Wednesday.

Apple goes on AI shopping spree to make Siri smarter

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Siri Lights
A slew of AI-related acquisitions might make Siri less of a nimrod. Which is important considering it’s built into so many products, like HomePods.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple reportedly bought more companies developing artificial intelligence technology over the past five years than anyone else. A prime goal is to make the Siri voice assistant smarter, according to GlobalData, the market-research firm that compiled a list of AI-related acquisitions by many companies.

How to choose which HomePod listens to you when using two or more

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How to choose which HomePod listens to you
It's easier than you think.
Image: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

Are you constantly being ignored by the HomePod that’s closest to you when asking Siri for assistance? Sadly, Apple doesn’t make it completely obvious how to manually specify which HomePod listens to you when you’re using more than one. But it is possible — and super-simple.

We’ll show you how.

HomePod mini sounds pretty big for such a little guy [Review]

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HomePod mini
The HomePod mini sounds great for such a small speaker.
Photo: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

Apple has been doing some remarkable things with audio lately. The sound coming out of a new MacBook or iPad Pro is nothing short of amazing, given the tiny speakers they have. AirPods sound spectacular. And then there’s the original HomePods, which punch way above their weight and are some of the best speakers out there.

But what about the new HomePod minis, which cost $99 and pack the potential to give Apple a much-needed boost in the smart speaker game? Do they sound any good?

How to use Intercom on HomePod, iPhone, AirPods and more

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How to use Intercom
Intercom is on its way. Here's all you need to know.
Image: Apple/Cult of Mac

Apple’s new Intercom feature lets you use HomePods to send short audio messages to almost anyone with an Apple device. While Apple showcased Intercom when unveiling the upcoming HomePod mini smart speaker, the feature also works with the regular HomePod as well as iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch and more.

If you a HomePod, and you’ve updated it (and your other Apple devices) with the latest software, you can use Intercom to communicate with your family or housemates in new ways.

With HomePod mini, Apple goes small, cheap and smart

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HomePod mini lives up to its name
HomePod mini offers a smaller and cheaper Apple smart speaker experience.
Photo: Apple

Apple took the wraps of the HomePod mini Tuesday, showcasing a pint-size smart speaker that promises high-end audio at a lower price than its big brother. But the most interesting parts might have nothing to do with music.

With Apple’s custom U1 ultra-wideband chip inside, the HomePod mini also can serve as an advanced hub for home automation. A new Intercom feature promises to connect family members wherever they are. And, in typical Cupertino fashion, the speaker will work closely with other Apple devices.

Today in Apple history: Siri debuts on iPhone 4s

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Sorry, Alexa: Siri still the most widespread AI assistant
Siri had first been predicted by Apple back in the late 1980s.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

October 4: Today in Apple history: Siri debuts on iPhone 4s October 4, 2011: With the unveiling of the new iPhone 4s, Apple introduces the world to Siri.

A groundbreaking example of AI in action, Siri’s debut fulfills a long-term dream at Apple. The company first predicted such a feature in the 1980s — with the Siri launch coming at almost the exact month Apple envisioned.