Thursday, April 9, 2015

Apple launches iOS 8.3 and Siri learns to speak Portuguese

After several years of waiting, portuguese users will finally be able to use Siri without having to speak in english. Apple's iOS 8.3 is out, and among several other improvements, Siri multilingual capabilities are certainly the thing most international users will care about.

English in a few select countries have been able to use Siri for years now, but for many more Siri has been nothing but something to try out occasionally - as it didn't understand our native language. Now, iOS8 greatly expands that, adding portuguese, russian, danish, dutch, thai, swedish, and turkish to the languages it can speak and understand.

There's just a tiny catch... Siri doesn't actually speak "portuguese" from Portugal, with Apple opting (understandably - 200 million people vs 10 million) for portuguese from Brasil (aka "brazilian"). Yes, it's technically portuguese, and we all can perfectly understand each other, but make no mistake it's not the same thing. Besides the accent there's lots of expressions that are completely different. Anyway... it's better than nothing.

Other than Siri, we get lot's of fixes and improvements, like performance improvements, expanded emoji (with racial diversity), better WiFi, wireless CarPlay, reporting iMessages as junk, WiFi Calling (for supported networks), enhanced turn-by-turn voice navigation, screen rotation bugs, etc. iCloud Photo Library also gets out of beta, which was expected as we also get OS X 10.10.3 which - among bug fixes - also comes with Photos for OS X.

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