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What’s New With Siri in iOS 15? Here Are 9 New Improvements

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Apple’s virtual assistant, Siri, arguably received one of the most significant upgrades revealed at Apple’s WWDC 2021 event. Apple announced multiple new features that aim to improve the functioning of Siri and give it tweaks to increase overall efficiency.

Let’s take a look at the new features that Siri is getting with iOS 15.

1. Experience-Enhanced Speech Processing

Before this update, Siri had to direct everything towards the cloud to process your speech. This caused Siri to react slower than you might like, and it was pretty frustrating to wait a significant time for Siri to reply.

Many people preferred typing out queries over the slow processing, causing a dent in Siri’s popularity. Apple has fixed this with iOS 15 by using the Apple Neural Engine to introduce speech processing on your Apple device itself.

This will save you tons of time and make Siri a lot quicker and more efficient.

2. Use Siri With the Unlock With Apple Watch Feature

Apple Watch on a wrist

This feature will work for you, provided you have an Apple Watch. Earlier in 2021, Apple released a brand new feature that allowed you to unlock your iPhone with Face ID while wearing a mask.

If this feature is enabled on your iPhone and your Apple Watch is connected to it, you will now be able to use Siri without having to unlock your iPhone as well. You can ask Siri questions by saying “Hey Siri” or respond to announced calls and texts using this feature.

This feature makes Siri easier and more practical to use, especially if something like a face mask or a helmet is obstructing your face from the camera.

3. Share What’s on Your Screen

Saw a cool meme or new music you want to share with a friend? Under normal circumstances, you’d have to manually find and select them in your contacts to send a file or picture.

However, with the new upgrade, you can share onscreen items with your contacts via Siri.

Whether it is an article on Apple News, a song on Apple Music, a location from Apple Maps, or episodes on Apple Podcasts, all you have to do is say “Send this to John,” and Siri will automatically do the task for you.

If the file cannot be shared, Siri will take a screenshot and send it to the referred contact instead. Pretty cool, isn’t it?

4. Announce Notifications

Apple CarPlay

Before iOS 15, Siri was already capable of announcing calls while wearing headphones and announcing messages when you had your AirPods on. Alongside announcing, you could also instantly reply to your text messages with Siri.

The announce feature is now extending to all notifications from apps on your iPhone. You can choose and customize which apps have permission to announce notifications through Siri and which don’t.

Another relevant update is Siri announcing messages on CarPlay. Technically, Siri was already capable of doing that, but you had to tap the digital screen in your car to allow it to display and announce the notification each time.

With iOS 15, Siri will announce notifications without you having to tap on the CarPlay screen, allowing you to stay updated without having to take your eyes off the road.

On the other hand, this might prove to be challenging if you don’t want the passengers with you listening in on your private messages. Continuous notifications may also prove to be distracting when driving. Luckily, Apple has released control features that let you mute notifications or notifications of texts from particular contacts.

5. Use Siri Offline

This feature will only be compatible with the iPhone X series or later. Siri will now be able to provide specific functional features without an internet connection or mobile data.

Some of the features that you can use offline with Siri include customizing accessibility settings like brightness and Low Power Mode, as well as setting alarms and timers.

Unfortunately, you cannot use Siri offline to make phone calls, send text messages, or receive updates from any apps that require an active internet connection to work.

You can give a command to Siri to see if it can perform it offline. If it can’t, Siri will show “I can help with that when you’re connected to the internet” at the bottom of your screen.

6. Control HomeKit Timings

apple-homekit

HomeKit is a system designed by Apple that lets you control compatible items in your house from your iPhone. You can use your iPhone to control your smart AC, TV, locks, and more.

The new HomeKit features in iOS 15 will allow you to give time-sensitive commands to Siri. While Siri would respond to “Hey Siri, turn off the bedroom lights” before, it will now be able to interpret and carry out commands like “Hey Siri, turn off the bedroom lights at 10pm.”

7. Communicate With Siri While Maintaining Context

Siri is now growing smarter, and it can actually understand you without you having to give explicit, detailed commands.

For example, if you ask Siri, “How far is the nearest Starbucks?” you can then move forward with a follow-up question like “Is it currently open?” instead of having to restate your original question and location.

8. Refer to Onscreen Contacts

You could say this feature is somewhat an extension of Siri’s ability to retain context when carrying out commands.

If you have a text conversation with someone open on your screen, or if you’re looking at their contact card in the phone book, you can tell Siri to message them for you while using their pronouns instead of their names.

For example, you can ask Siri to “Message them to call me back ASAP” instead of saying, “Message Bill Holden to call me back ASAP.”

9. Personalized Siri

A feedback mechanism will allow Siri to improvise and adapt as you use your iPhone. The more your use Siri, the more it will personalize itself to suit your needs.

Siri will get an idea about your general vocabulary, what words and phrases you often use, and even which contacts you communicate with the most. This will allow you to have an efficient and personalized experience with Siri while ensuring constant improvements.

A Leap Forward for Apple’s Virtual Assistant

ith on-device speech processing, personalized controls, offline functioning, and the ability to maintain context, Siri has undoubtedly received a major boost with iOS 15.

If you’re someone who doesn’t use Siri a lot, now would be a good time to start and hop on the bandwagon. Siri is on its way to competing with other personal assistants like Alexa and Google Assistant.

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