Siri Has Evolved with Your iPhone Running iOS 11

By Edward C. Baig, Bob LeVitus

Siri has become smarter along the way, much smarter with the move to iOS 11, in fact. She’s also gained a more mature-sounding, expressive voice.

Apple has opened up Siri to developers (through SiriKit software) to let iOS apps leverage her talents. So she might help you book a ride through Lyft, initiate a workout through Map My Run, or send and request payments through Square Cash.

And with iOS 11, Siri will even translate English phrases into Chinese, Spanish, French, German, or Italian, a feature in beta as this was being prepared. More languages were in the offing and may be available by the time you read this. Take comfort that when nature calls and you’re traveling in some foreign country, Siri — and one of the locals — will help you find the nearest public toilet.

Come to think of it, you should probably stop referring to Siri as a she, though she, um, started that way. You can now choose a male or female voice to represent Siri.

Up to now, you made all requests to Siri by speaking aloud. But a fresh iOS 11 feature lets you type instead of talk. To turn on the feature, go to Settings →General→Accessibility→Siri, and then flip the Type to Siri switch so that green is showing.

After you enable the option, you still press down on the Home button (or the side of the iPhone X) to request Siri’s help. But now instead of barking out a voice command, you type your question in the space provided, as shown here, and then press Done. Siri will deliver information as before, even with her own voice. She just won’t hear yours.

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Siri can respond to typed requests as well as your voice.

The only quibble about this new feature is that it would be great if both voice and typing options could be enabled at the same time. As of this writing, you must choose one or the other.