“In what is certainly a feature created with the HomePod in mind, Apple has enhanced Siri in iOS 11.2.5 beta with the ability to instantly stream a news podcast when asked about the news,” Zac Hall reports for TechCrunch. “The feature defaults to a daily news recap podcast by The Washington Post and lets you switch to Fox News, NPR, or CNN shows upon request.”

“The feature only appears to work on iOS 11.2.5 beta and not earlier versions of iOS including iOS 11.2.1 which is the latest public version,” Hall reports. “The response is also limited to situations where Siri assumes you may not see a display like when invoking Siri with the ‘Hey Siri’ hot phrase when using headphones or when using CarPlay.”

“Apple clearly designed this feature for HomePod which should ship between now and April after missing the holiday quarter, but iOS 11.2.5 beta users can benefit from it now on iPhone and iPad,” Hall reports. “No podcast app for Apple Watch, so no support there yet unfortunately.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Great. We could hardly wait for HomePod last fall. Now that all momentum has been destroyed, we’re seriously considering Echo Dots and Sonos speakers instead. We grow tired of waiting for Siri not to suck and for Apple to not look like they’re sitting around having on-campus beer bashes and free concerts while not accomplishing work that should have been completed literally years ago. Yes, the optics are bad, ye tone-deaf Cupertino denizens.

That a company the size of Apple, with all of their money and resources, still doesn’t have a way to play podcasts via Apple Watch (cellular or not), much less having the actual HomePod on the market in time for Christmas, is criminal mismanagement. When you’re being overpaid to the tune of $20 million to $100+ million per year, you should at least attempt to look like you’re earning it.

Lazy, Apple. Lazy, lazy, lazy and unfocused to boot.

Apple CEO Tim Cook paid close to $102 million for fiscal 2017 – December 28, 2017
Apple’s Phil Schiller: We feel bad about the HomePod delay – December 8, 2017
Echo Dot was Amazon’s Black Friday – Cyber Monday bestseller as Apple’s delayed HomePod waits for 2018 release date – November 28, 2017
Apple’s late, delayed, limited HomePod is looking more and more like something I don’t want – November 27, 2017
Why Apple’s HomePod is three years behind Amazon’s Echo – November 21, 2017
Under ‘operations genius’ Tim Cook, product delays and other problems are no longer unusual for Apple – November 20, 2017
Apple delays HomePod release to early 2018 – November 17, 2017
Apple CEO Tim Cook: The ‘operations genius’ who never has enough products to sell at launch – October 23, 2017
Apple reveals HomePod smart home music speaker – June 5, 2017
Apple’s desperate Mac Pro damage control message hints at a confused, divided company – April 6, 2017
Apple is misplaying the hand Steve Jobs left them – November 30, 2016
Apple delays AirPod rollout – October 26, 2016
Apple delays release of watchOS 2 due to bug – September 16, 2015
Apple delays HomeKit launch until autumn – May 14, 2015
Apple delays production of 12.9-inch ‘iPad Pro’ in face of overwhelming iPhone 6/Plus demand – October 9, 2014
Tim Cook’s mea culpa: iMac launch should have been postponed – April 24, 2013