Apple preps Siri for the HomePod, now streams a news podcast when asked for ‘news’

“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.

SEE ALSO:
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

18 Comments

  1. Hang on isn’t this the same MDN who kept telling us that Siri has been progressively improving over the past year and to give it a go? But apparently now it sucks. Clearly MDN is not a reliable source one can rely upon for consistency or even truth it seems.

    1. Siri can have shown improvement and still suck. The two conditions can both exist at the same time. Clearly Spyintheskyuk is not a reliable source one can rely upon for basic logic that any random five-year-old can grasp.

  2. Damn, talk about brutal truth. It’s right there in MDN’s Take. I can’t help but agree 100%. It’s sad when management gets fat, unfocused, and lazy.

  3. Not seeing the great value in this. Requesting a podcast be streamed on demand can be done from your iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, and Apple Watch right now- same for most Macs. Apple TV gives you access to this and more.

    By the way- “Fox News” is a brand and “Fair and Balanced” is a slogan- neither are a statement of fact. “Not necessarily the news” would be a more apt title. And I am not a fan of National Petroleum Radio, either.

    1. For ‘news’ I would have expected Siri in HomePods to know ‘where’ you were and offer up ‘local’ news. Or have an option to personalize your news source similar to how you can tell Siri what to call you.

    1. The Apple Watch desperately needs standalone podcast playback, especially with the LTE-equipped Series 3, which was designed specifically for exercising without an iPhone.

      Believe me, I’ve tried. But limitations in watchOS 4 make it impossible to deliver standalone podcast playback with the basic functionality and quality that people expect.

      https://marco.org/2017/09/24/what-watch-podcast-apps-need

      Apple advertises Apple Watch as a standalone product. I do not want to tote my iPhone along on runs. That’s why I bought an AW Series 3 with GPS + cellular. From Apple.com:

      Freedom calls.
      Answer a call from your surfboard. Ask Siri to send a message. Stream your favorite songs on your run. And do it all while leaving your phone behind. Introducing Apple Watch Series 3 with cellular. Now you have the freedom to go with just your watch.

      1. I have an LTE equipped Apple Watch and it can stream any podcast on your iPhone by asking it to “Play the latest ___ podcast”. So, if you are subscribed to a podcast you can simply request it be played through Siri.

        Is it elegant or the best solution? No.
        But you can make it happen.

        1. copypasta, since I’m certain @Nope has his palm stuck to his forehead:

          “Apple advertises Apple Watch as a standalone product. I do not want to tote my iPhone along on runs. That’s why I bought an AW Series 3 with GPS + cellular. “

  4. Another disappointment will be that it doesn’t support third party apps… So no Pandora, TuneIn Radio, IHeartRadio, Spotify, etc… Jeez, even the Sonos One supports the above apps AND it supports Apple Music. Unbelievable !! Hope this isn’t the result of all those BEATS guys stock vesting and they’re about to check out….

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