Apple has made less progress with its personal assistant Siri with each new version of iOS, but it still looks and works almost exactly as it did when it was introduced with iOS 5.
With iOS 14 finally comes a much-needed, new interface. Here’s what you can expect from Siri when you upgrade to IOS 14 or Ipad OS 14.
Read too! This makes Airpods better with iOS 14
You get the screen for yourself
When you call Siri in iOS 13 and earlier, the assistant takes up the entire screen. You can not see what you watched before, let alone interact with it. It may have been an understandable compromise a few years ago, but it clearly feels backwards on today’s phones.
With iOS 14, we can finally continue to watch our own content, while using Siri. When Siri is activated, by voice or by holding down the home key or the side key, only a small, colorful globe is visible at the bottom of the screen.
So far, however, during the iOS 14 beta versions, the screen cannot be used with. We can see our content behind the Siri globe, but it is not possible to act with it. Apple says that it is intentionally designed that way, but they may experiment a bit with letting the user press and scroll as usual even while the globe is visible on the screen.
It’s not just the animation to show that Siri is listening that has become smaller. Many of the answers and information that Siri delivers are now also displayed as a small note at the top of the screen. Many other interactions, such as sending a message, use only an expanded note and thus avoid taking up the entire screen.
And one more thing: Siri can now also be used to send audio messages, not just dictate text messages as before.
More and better answers to your questions
Apple has expanded the number of direct responses that Siri can provide. The company says that Siri now has 20 times as many facts available compared to three years ago. We hope this is true, but it is not really a unique feature for iOS 14, but more a measure of the company’s continued work to make the service better. But Apple is still behind Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa in several ways.
If these facts are not enough, Siri can still be more useful in the future. The assistant’s ability to search the web has also improved and should provide more relevant answers, even when Siri says its classic “I found this on the web about…”.
Share “eat” and navigate by bike
Siri has been updated to work with the shared “eat” feature (estimated time of arrival) that comes with Apple Maps with iOS 14. If you navigate anywhere with Maps, you can easily ask Siri to share your “eat” with a contact.
The contact receives a notice, and can open it to get a directly updated route. If the person you are sharing with uses a system older than iOS 13.1, or an Android handset, the contact will instead receive an SMS with your estimated arrival time and automatic updates if the time changes.
Maps in iOS 14 now come with navigation instructions also for bikes (in some places), Siri can also be used to start a navigation on a bike.
Read more! How to improve Apple Maps in iOS 14
Siri becomes even more multilingual
Siri has been able to translate simple phrases for several years (and for real-time translation, there is now a brand new app in iOS 14, Translate), but language support has been limited. The list of supported languages has now expanded to more than 65 different language pairs in iOS 14.
With iOS 13, Apple introduced a new text-to-speech system that made Siri sound more natural in accents and the like, in that the system did not just match pre-recorded phonemes. It gave a more natural speech, but this only worked with American English (Swedish Siri has, however, gotten better over the years in other ways).
With iOS 14, this new text-to-speech system comes in more languages (unfortunately Swedish is missing). Now Australian, Indian, Irish, South African and British English also sound more natural, as do French, German, Spanish, Chinese and Japanese.
Translation and editing: Samuel Nyberg.