iOS 15 is bringing a number of privacy updates along with it, but among the most useful is heading to Siri. Apple confirmed today that Siri will be getting on-device speech recognition in iOS 15. Not only is this a big move for privacy as it regards Siri, but it also looks like it’s going to be a big step forward on the usability front as well.
For starters, it’s pretty clear from the name alone what on-device speech recognition means for privacy. If your voice commands are processed on-device, that means they aren’t being sent to any offsite servers for processing, which means that your Siri queries stay between you and your phone.
That’s simple enough, but one area where this is going to help is in usability as well. With voice commands being processed on-device, Siri is about to become a lot quicker. Apple took us through a demonstration of issuing Siri a number of voice commands in a row and the speed at which those commands were processed can certainly be described as fast.
While you probably won’t be in a position where you need to issue 20 different voice commands to Siri in quick succession, the end result should be an AI assistant that feels a lot more snappy, even with individual queries. On-device voice processing should mean that Siri will work without the internet as well, assuming that your queries don’t require Siri to get on the internet in the first place. Setting timers, alarms, reminders, and changing settings should all be a lot faster with Siri in iOS 15.
We’ll look forward to more demonstrations of on-device voice processing for Siri as we close in on iOS 15’s release date. For now, however, be sure to keep it here at SlashGear for more from WWDC 2021!