Siri will finally process requests and even take some actions offline. […]
Apple is making a big deal of being at the forefront of data protection on the internet. So it’s surprising that Siri has needed an internet connection to function for all these years.
It handles all of your requests online, even for things that don’t have an online component like setting timers or adjusting the volume. Just say “Hey Siri” when you are not connected to the internet and you will get this:
That will finally change with iOS 15 and iPadOS 15. Siri will get a new on-device speech recognition model on all devices with an A12 Bionic processor or higher (that’s an iPhone XS / XR or higher). This is a great boon for the privacy conscious as it means your recorded voice will never, intentionally or unintentionally, leave your device. Apple has confirmed to Macworld that offline access to Siri will not be available in macOS Monterey.
Offline inquiries and speed advantages
The offline processing of inquiries not only improves the protection of privacy. You can now make all kinds of requests with Siri without an internet connection. Setting timers and alarms, opening apps, turning on the flashlight, controlling audio playback, even asking Siri to read new messages (whatever you received before you went offline) … when the information or features you need that don’t require an internet connection, chances are Siri will be happy to do it offline.
Since the internet connection is no longer required, Siri is also faster. Siri begins to listen and takes action immediately without a little pause. This will really change the way we use Siri, not just because it’ll feel so much smoother, but because it’ll become apparent a lot quicker when Siri makes a mistake.
Other new Siri features
Apple has a few other innovations for Siri in iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 up its sleeve. None of these are breakthroughs, but all offer quality of life improvements that should make using Apple’s voice assistant a little more enjoyable.
- Siri can (optionally) announce messages in CarPlay.
- If you have AirPods, Siri can announce incoming notifications that are time-sensitive (or turn on notifications from an app in Settings).
- You will be able to ask Siri to control HomeKit devices at a specific time. For example, turning off the living room lights at 10 p.m.
- Apple is also expanding Siri’s language support, with text-to-speech support in more languages and mixed support for Indian English and native language.
* Jason Cross has been a professional technology writer for over 20 years. His goal is to find out how complicated technology works and to explain it in a way that everyone can understand.