Siri: New features in iOS 8

iOS 8 - Siri features

Siri was first introduced with the iPhone 4s in 2011 with iOS 5, and since then Apple has made significant improvements to the virtual assistant, making it more intelligent and functional.

With iOS 8, Apple added a number of new features in Siri, which we list below:

“Hey Siri” Hands-free activation

Google Now on Android has supported hands-free activation since quite some time. Apple added this to Siri in iOS 8. You can now say “Hey Siri” and Siri will activate and start listening for your command. The catch is that this feature works only when the iPhone is connected to a power source. It’s great for times when you’re driving, and want to ask Siri for something, but don’t want to take your eyes off the road.

➤ Read more: How to activate Siri without pressing the Home button

Streaming Voice Recognition/Live dictation

Another awesome feature Google Now has is your voice being converted into text, as you speak. Until iOS 7, you had to speak your entire voice command, and the conversion would happen only after that. iOS 8 adds streaming voice recognition, where you see the speech-to-text engine working as you speak.

“What song is this”

You’ve likely used Shazam or Soundhound to identify what song is playing by letting the app record a portion of the song. This functionality is now built into Siri. You can simply ask Siri “What song is this” and it starts listening to get a sample of the song. Once the song is recognised, Siri shows a link to buy the song, and a button to open the Shazam app for more info.

Improved Language Support

Siri in iOS 8 adds support for 22 new dictation languages:

Croatian, Catalan, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Greek, Hungarian, Indonesian, Malay, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese (Brazil), Portuguese (Portugal), Romanian, Russian, Slovakian, Swedish, Thai, Turkish, Ukrainian, Vietnamese

Did you try Siri on iOS 8? Let us know what you think in the comments below.