Apple’s latest software update iOS 15 comes jam-packed with a ton of helpful new features and performance improvements. One of the overlooked features in iOS 15 is that Apple’s virtual assistant Siri can now work offline. Not only is Siri smarter, faster, and more secure in iOS 15 but offline support offers a ton of functionality for users.
Here’s how Apple’s virtual assistant Siri works offline in iOS 15
In iOS 15, Siri comes with offline support to carry out requests without an internet connection like settings alarms, making phone calls, sending messages, controlling audio playback, adjusting Settings, and launching apps. Note that any audio recorded by the virtual assistant will not leave a user’s iPhone because Apple Neural Engine ensures all communication stays on the device.
iOS 15 introduces even more privacy controls to help protect user information. With on-device speech recognition, audio of Siri requests is now processed entirely on iPhone by default, and performance improves significantly.
There are some limitations to what actions Siri can perform with offline support. Any action that requires an active internet connection like Messages, FaceTime calls, playing music, or podcasts will prompt a message at the bottom of the screen: “I can help with that when you’re connected to the Internet.” Note that the virtual assistant will not even play downloaded content when asked.
Other improvements to the virtual assistant in iOS 15 include high-quality on-device speech recognition capability, the ability to intelligently share items on screen like songs from Apple Music, photos, web pages, locations, and a new feature called Announce Notifications. Announce Notifications allows Siri to automatically read out important notifications on AirPods.
Siri’s new neural text-to-speech voices also support more languages in iOS 15: “Swedish (Sweden), Danish (Denmark), Norwegian (Norway), and Finnish (Finland).” In addition, it also supports mixed English and 9 more Indian languages: Hindi, Telugu, Kannada, Marathi, Tamil, Bengali, Gujarati, Malayalam, and Punjabi.”
iOS 15 beta 1 is currently available for developers to test out. A public beta will be made available sometime in July, while the official release will be rolling out this fall.