We are now just two weeks shy of Apple’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), which means that new product and service announcements from the Cupertino company are right around the corner. So, what can we expect out of WWDC? Some users posed that question to Siri, and surprisingly the digital assistant obliged with some interesting answers teasing what might be in store.
One of the things Siri revealed is that the digital assistant is getting a “brand new voice.” It’s not clear if that means a new voice option, as in a different accent, or more likely if Siri will simply sound different after WWDC. As useful as Siri can be, the software still sounds a little robotic. In contrast, the Duplex demonstration that Google put on at its Google I/O event was much more lifelike—so much so that it was able to trick human call recipients into thinking it was a real person.
I tried asking Siri on my iPhone 6S Plus to tell me about WWDC, as others have, but it appears the digital assistant is either no longer teasing answers, or doesn’t feel inclined to offer up the same responses on older iPhone models for some reason. It’s probably the former. However, there are several reports of Siri providing hints at what is to come at WWDC. Specifically, Siri has been doling out three responses about WWDC. They include:
- I’m gonna have a shiny new home. Well, not really shiny, more meshy and matte.
- La, la, la, Siri is getting a brand new voice.
- I don’t want to brag, but I’m getting a lot smarter. It might be all that late night studying I’ve been doing.
Unfortunately, my own queries to Siri about WWDC repeatedly bring up the same canned response, which is “You can get all the details about Apple’s 2018 Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) at Apple.com.” Gee, thanks.
The above responses, however, are more telling. In addition to a new voice, it looks like a new HomePod speaker is on tap from Apple. Interestingly enough, it was just recently rumored that Apple is coming out a less expensive HomePod model with Beats branding. As it stands, the HomePod costs $349, putting it well above the cost of an Amazon Echo speaker. The new model is said to run $199.
It will also be interesting to see how exactly Siri gets a “lot smarter,” the if the above responses are valid. Will it be on par with Duplex? We’ll have to wait and see—WWDC is scheduled to run from June 4-8.