Along the lines of Amazon’s Alexa flash briefing feature, Apple’s Siri virtual assistant has a new skill to help users keep up with current events. (Apple’s own Echo competitor, the HomePod speaker, arrives next month.) In response to the command, “Hey, Siri, give me the news,” the software plays the latest newscast from National Public Radio. If you prefer another news source you can tell Siri to switch to Fox News, CNN or an audio update from The Washington Post.
If you have news shows in your iPhone’s Podcasts app, you can also order the software to start playing a show by name, as in “Hey, Siri, play ‘The Daily.’” If the program does not respond to the sound of your voice saying “Hey, Siri,” check your settings to make sure the hands-free control is enabled. Tap the Settings icon on the home screen, select Siri & Search and turn on the button next to the “Listen for ‘Hey Siri’” option.
The iPhone 6s or later (or at least an iPad Pro) does not need to be connected to power to use the “Hey, Siri” command, but older models must be plugged in to a charger or USB jack. Alternative ways of summoning Siri include pressing the Home or side buttons, depending on your model — but are not the safest way of interacting with the phone while driving.
The Google Assistant app for Android and iOS can also handle the request when you say something like, “O.K. Google, I want to listen to the news.” Other third-party apps that stream news shows are available in the App Store.