While iOS 11.2.5 was still in beta, and ahead of the public launch of the HomePod, it was discovered that Siri was learning a new trick: The ability to play podcast content centered around the news of the day.
That feature actually rolled out with iOS 11.2.2 earlier this year, giving Siri users the ability to ask the digital personal assistant about the news and get a brief rundown about the day’s events via sources like CNN, NPR, and others. The content was not strictly about politics, but it would typically lean that way, so if you wanted sports news, it was generally left out of the mix.
Now, as confirmed by 9to5Mac, this particular podcast feature now covers more topics. If you want to ask Siri for a brief rundown of what happened in the sports world, you can do that, with content in the United States aggregated from ESPN (this can be switched to NBC). Or, if you want to catch up on business-specific news, you can get content from CNBC (or switch to Bloomberg). If you want music-specific news, you can ask Siri for that, too, with content pulled from Apple Music with Zane Lowe.
Apple apparently broadened the feature along with the public release of iOS 11.2.5 earlier today. It should make a nice addition for future HomePod owners, once the smart speaker goes on sale on February 9.
Siri has been one of Apple’s best features to date, but there’s no denying that it has started to feel a bit dated against the leading competition in Google’s Assistant and even Amazon’s Alexa. Still, Siri is one of the biggest selling points for Apple, thanks to its feature set without demanding too much of a user’s data/information. And now that there is a smart speaker that practically solely relies on the digital assistant, it will be interesting to see what happens next for Siri.