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Home / Technology / Convenient: iOS 14.5 beta 6 changes and features – new Siri voices and battery calibration [Video]

Convenient: iOS 14.5 beta 6 changes and features – new Siri voices and battery calibration [Video]



The sixth developer beta for iOS 14.5 was released earlier today, and it comes with remarkable features: two brand new, realistic American Siri voices and an updated battery tool for iPhone 11 users. Watch our hands-on video review for details, and remember to subscribe to 9to5mac on YouTube for more video content.

What’s new in iOS 14.5 beta 6?

As we get closer and closer to iOS 14.5 RC, Apple has not stopped adding new and remarkable features to what may be the final significant release in the iOS 14 lifecycle.

Two new Siri American accent voices

In iOS 1

4.5 beta 6, Siri receives a significant update – and adds two brand new US Siri voices – a man and a woman – to the mix. In previous versions of iOS, there were only two voices available for the American accent. Not only do these updated voices make their way to iPhones running iOS 14.5 beta, but I’ve also been able to test the iPad, Apple Watch and even HomePod beta with the new voice extensions.

Video: iOS 14.5 beta 6 changes and features

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Along with the updated voices, iOS 14.5 beta 6 will no longer automatically be the female voice. During iOS ‘first setup, users are prompted to select a preferred voice for Siri. For those who are doing an OTA update to iOS 14.5 beta 6, you will find the option to choose between the new voices via Settings → Siri & Search → Siri Voice.

The Variety the section (marked Accent in earlier versions of iOS) shows the different accents available for the language you have configured Siri for, while Voice heading allows you to choose between available voices within that language / variety. Just like before, selecting a new voice will download the new voice on demand, directly from the Siri & Voice preferences panel.

As mentioned by TechCrunch:

The two new voices use source talent recordings that are then run through Apple’s neural text to the speech engine, making the voices flow more organically through sentences that are actually generated on the go.

I like the new voices, and I think they sound realistic. Bends, tones and pacing sound more real than before, giving a unique sound that will appeal to a wider range of preferences. The voices still have a way to go when it comes to naturalness, as demonstrated when you ask Siri to “tell me a story.” In addition to the US English updates, iOS 14.5 beta 6 also provides upgrades to the Neural text to speech engine for Siri voices in Ireland, Italy and Russian.

Recently introduced in iOS 14.5 beta 6 is also an update of the iPhone settings for battery health. The update brings a new battery calibration tool to the table for iPhone users. The updated toolkit is currently only available for iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max users, but it makes sense to believe that wider availability will come with time.

The problem of inaccurate battery calibration

The new tool does exactly what it says, allowing users to recalibrate the iPhone’s internal battery when performance does not meet expectations. Apple has even created a brand new support article on its website, live for the public per this post, and explains details about the battery calibration method.

The Battery Calibration Tool addresses two primary areas: Maximum Battery Capacity Reporting and Peak Performance. By addressing these areas, Apple hopes to address inaccurate estimates of battery health that affect a subset of users. While Apple notes that inaccurate battery reporting does not necessarily reflect an actual battery health issue, the error may lead to unexpected battery operation or, in a small number of cases, reduced performance.

This new calibration process for the battery will take place during normal charging cycles, and it may take a few weeks to complete, as Apple notes in the support documentation. The end result of the battery calibration process is that the maximum capacity and peak performance calculations are updated to be accurately reflected in Settings → Battery → Battery Health. If recalibration fails, Apple suggests taking your iPhone to an Apple Store or other authorized service provider to replace the battery.

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iOS 14.5 was already about to be a major release before these two new features appeared. With upgrades to the Music app, the new Apple Watch unlock feature, more emoji characters and more, this latest iPhone update seems to send iOS 14 out with a bang.

What do you think of the new iOS 14.5 beta 6 changes and features? Listen to the comments with your thoughts.

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