Apple has stealthily updated Siri's British and Australian voices on the HomePod, apparently seeking to make them clearer and more natural-sounding.
The extent of the rollout is uncertain. Most social media anecdotes stem from the regions the accents are based on, which could mean Apple is only gradually deploying the new voices, even though the accents can be selected in any country.
Apple first began introducing more natural voices to Siri with the launch of iOS 11 in 2017. Prior to that Siri's robotic sound was sometimes the subject of jokes, even if it didn't affect functionality.
That functionality has garnered more serious criticism in the past two years. Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant are widely considered superior, with more skills and better comprehension. They're also supported on a broader number of devices, whereas Siri works only with Apple hardware.
The company is believed to be working on Siri improvements, which could be showcased at WWDC 2019 this June. There developers should catch previews of the next major versions of iOS, macOS, watchOS, and tvOS.
The updated Siri voices were first highlighted by MacRumors.