Apple just announced a new voice for Siri, listen to it here

The news: Included in the latest beta of iOS 15.4 is a fifth American English Siri voice, Apple confirmed to Axios.

  • Axios reports that the new voice “is less explicitly male- or female-sounding” and “was recorded by a member of the LGBTQ+ community”
  • The new voice, called Voice 5, is the most notable change included in iOS 15.4 beta 4, which released to developers and public beta testers earlier this week

Sam’s take: Inclusivity is important to me, and even though there is still a more feminine aire to Voice 5, it’s certainly more neutral than the 4 voices we have currently. It’s wild that this new voice was announced just after I spent some time talking with Jon Prosser about Siri and gendered voice options on our podcast the other day…

First voice is new, second voices are the existing options

What’s new in iOS 15.2 beta 2? Legacy contacts, updated TV app & more

The news: Apple released the second beta of iOS 15.2 to developers on Tuesday morning. Included in this update are a slew of changes…including some features that Apple had announced historically but not yet implemented. Here’s the latest.

What’s new?

  • New Macro icon in Camera when macro mode is activated (via Zollotech)
  • Communication Safety will automatically blur nudity received or sent in the Messages app if you are a child for accounts set up as families in iCloud
  • iCloud+ subscribers can now use the Hide My Email feature directly in the Mail app
  • Code found in iOS 15.2 beta 2 suggests that a fix for Face ID breaking after swapping displays (even genuine ones) on iPhone 13 models will be included in the update (via MacRumors)
  • The TV app gets new sidebar on iPadOS 15.2 and there’s a new Store tab, too
  • New “Help Return Lost Items” and “Items That Can Track Me” buttons in Find My to scan lost items near you or locate AirTags that could be following you around respectively
  • Legacy Contacts feature announced at WWDC 2021 is here and allows you to add a trusted person that can access your data when you pass away

What’s new in iOS 15 beta 6? Old Safari design returns & SharePlay delayed

The news: Apple released iOS 15 beta 6 at 10am PST on Tuesday morning as an official launch nears…this time, including some substantial changes in Safari and elsewhere.

  • TL;DR: Safari brings back the old design (as an option) and SharePlay in FaceTime has been delayed

What’s new?

  • Safari now gives you the traditional top bar option in addition to a revamped bottom bar variation; there are also various UI tweaks including a relocated download indicator and more
  • FaceTime’s SharePlay feature for sharing content over calls has been delayed until a future update to iOS 15 coming this Fall

What’s new in iOS 15 beta 5?

The news: Apple just released the fifth beta of iOS 15 to developers at 10am PST on Tuesday morning.

  • TL;DR: new Weather icon, fresh splash screens & option for bigger icons on iPad
  • The official launch of iOS 15 is nearing as September approaches, even though iOS 14.8 is currently in testing

What’s new?

  • App Store now shows if you have a TestFlight version of an app installed
  • When powering off your device, there’s a new option to enable or disable finding even when iPhone is off
  • New icon for Weather app
  • Redesigned Announce Notifications icon in Control Center
  • New splash screens when launching Home, Maps, Photos, Podcasts, Translate and TV for the first time
  • iPadOS only: New option for large icons on the Home Screen

What’s new in iOS 15 beta 3? Major Safari UI improvements, updated Music widget & more

The news: Apple released the third developer beta of iOS 15 on Wednesday morning following a medium-sized beta 2 about 3 weeks ago.

What’s new?

  • Safari UI improvements include a new reload button and the search bar now remains consistent on the bottom of your display
  • New icons in Focus settings and a new Focus Status explainer
  • New ‘Prepare for New iPhone’ section and what you see when tapped
  • Updated Music widget shows now playing colors instead of just the Music app icon colors
  • When swiping on notifications, the two options are now individual buttons
  • New ‘+’ button on the top of Find My tabs
  • New App Store splash screen

Apple releases public betas for iOS/iPadOS 15, macOS 12, watchOS 8 and tvOS 15

The news: Apple has just released public beta versions of all the software they announced at WWDC 2021.

  • Alongside an updated build of iOS 15 beta 2 for developers, Apple has released public beta version of iOS 15, iPadOS 15, macOS 12, watchOS 8 and tvOS 15
  • You can sign up for any of the public betas at beta.apple.com

Our take: If you’ve been wanting to try out some new features early, this is the best way to hop on and provide feedback before everything is solidified this Fall. From my experience, iOS 15 is absolutely stable enough to be on your daily driver, but proceed with caution as bugs will be there, some of your favorite apps may be glitchy or not work, and battery life won’t be as good as what you see now on iOS 14.

iOS 15 beta 2 features and changes: what’s new?

The news: Just over two weeks following the release of iOS 15 beta 1 at WWDC, Apple has issued the second beta update to developers for testing, alongside second betas for macOS, watchOS and tvOS, too.

Here’s what’s new!

  • Quick Note on iPadOS 15 now works by swiping your finger up from the bottom right hand corner of the display
  • Weather app welcome screen (via 9to5Mac)
  • Memoji outfits are now live
  • New Maps icon
  • SharePlay for FaceTime is now enabled
  • Thumbnail for specific Focus mode home screens

iOS/iPadOS 14.6 beta 3 released to developers

The news: The third beta of iOS 14.6 has been released to developers.

  • Code in iOS 14.6 has indicated that Apple is working on a HiFi version of Apple Music and preliminarily supports Apple Card Family
  • 9to5Mac discovered that iOS 14.6 beta 3 now allows you to use an email Adress instead of phone number for AirTag recovery

Our take: Considering there is almost 0 forward-facing changes so far in iOS 14.6, it definitely feels like Apple is holding a lot back for a larger release in the future (e.g. Apple Music HiFi hidden until publicly announced).

iOS 14.5 beta 6 released with new Siri voices & more

The news: Apple’s latest iOS 14.5 beta release makes significant changes to Siri, as first reported by TechCrunch.

  • Siri no longer defaults to female: You’ll have the ability to choose which voice you want on setup
  • There are also two fresh Siri voices that “sound pretty fantastic”
  • iOS 14.5 also includes ‘Mask ID,’ new emojis and more

What’s new?

  • Video showing the new Siri voices
  • New battery recalibration tool for iPhone (via 9to5Mac)

What’s new in iOS 14.5 beta 3?

The news: Apple just released the third beta of iOS 14.5 to developers with a number of tweaks and changes.

What’s new?

  • Find My gains a new Items tab that was previously hidden, suggesting AirTags launch is imminent
  • New bookmark button (and separate section for them) in Podcasts app (via Steve Moser)
  • Apple News newsletter feature can now include the latest issues of magazines you follow (via Steve Moser)
  • Exposure Notifications app added, but currently hidden from user view
  • Apple Card will soon be able to be shared with family members (via 9to5Mac)