Apple’s digital assistant Siri will process audio on-device by default in iOS 15, meaning you will be able to use the feature without an active internet connection. Apple says the upgrade will also make Siri faster.
Processing audio on-device will make using Siri more private, says Apple. This follows the company’s well-established preference for implementing machine learning features on-device, rather than sending data away to the cloud to be processed.
“This addresses one of the biggest privacy concerns for voice assistants, which is unwanted audio recording,” said Apple in a press statement.
Obviously, if you don’t have an internet connection, then you won’t be able to carry out certain Siri functions like searching the web. But you can use Apple’s digital assistant for simple navigational tasks, like controlling your music, opening apps, setting timers and so on. Making these functions accessible offline is a great move for accessibility, too.
However, the feature will only be available on iPhones and iPads with its A12 Bionic chip or later. That means the iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR; iPhone 11, 11 Pro, 11 Pro Max, and iPhone SE (second generation); iPhone 12, 12 Mini, 12 Pro, and 12 Pro Max; iPad Mini (fifth generation); iPad Air (third and fourth generations); and iPad (eighth generation). And zero Apple Watch availability.