Following closely on the heels of the official release of iOS 8.2—an update that added support for the upcoming Apple Watch among other things—Apple unleashed a public beta of the upcoming iOS 8.3. One of the unique changes in the next version of iOS will be in the way calls are made via Siri.
Apple borrowed a page from Google’s “OK Google” voice interaction trigger and added “Hey Siri” in iOS 8. As long as the iOS device is charging or connected to power it listens for the “Hey Siri” signal. You can ask Siri to read you an incoming text message, or play your favorite music, or what the weather is like today.
Apple also lets you answer incoming calls—hands-free—by saying “Hey Siri” when the phone is being charged or plugged into power. If you use the “Hey Siri” function to place an outbound call, though, you have to manually switch it over to speakerphone. Obviously not very effective for an eyes-free, hands-free interaction.
With iOS 8.3 “Hey Siri” allows you to make calls and automatically engages the speakerphone thereby eliminating the need to manually activate it.
In addition to the “Hey Siri” enhancement Siri in iOS 8.3 will also support eight new languages, —Russian, Danish etc.—a new set of emojis, an easier Google login process, and support for wireless CarPlay.
Apple hasn’t yet revealed an official release date for iOS 8.3 but the public beta has rolled out so it shouldn’t be too long. Meanwhile, Apple is already working on development plans for iOS 8.4 and iOS 9.
What updates, improvements, or new features would you like to see in future versions of iOS? Share your thoughts in the comments below.