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iOS 7.1 beta 5 improves international Siri voices [u]

updated 02:39 pm EST, Tue February 4, 2014

Continues minor interface tweaks

(Updated with evasi0n hack break, samples of new voices) Apple is now seeding a fifth beta of iOS 7.1 to developers. Changes appear relatively minor, but release notes mention "new natural-sounding Siri voices" for Japanese, the UK and Australian English dialects, and Mandarin Chinese. Apple also appears to be continuing visual tweaks to the OS, for instance by adding new Shift and Caps Lock buttons (below).

Beta 5 follows about two weeks after the previous seed. When the finished v7.1 code will be launched is still unknown, but rumors from December indicated that it might not arrive until March. That scenario may be increasingly likely, since Apple would have to rush to complete the update by the end of February.

Update: Reports note that the beta also undoes the exploits used for the evasi0n jailbreak, which means that iOS 7.1 will be inaccessible to jailbreaks until more exploits are discovered. AppleInsider has posted a Soundcloud file with samples of the new voices. The British and Japanese ones, according to native speakers, are an improvement; however, the Australian accents continue to sound stilted and artificial.

by MacNN Staff



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