Ask Siri To Play the News

A new feature of Siri in iOS 11.2.5 is the ability to listen to short news podcasts with a simple command. You can use "play" or "tell" to trigger these podcasts even if you don't subscribe to them. You can also get business and sports news. This feature should come to the Mac soon, and is most likely being added now in preparation for the release of the HomePod.
Video Transcript / Captions
Closed captioning for this video is available on YouTube: Ask Siri To Play the News.

So one of the areas where Siri has been lacking is the ability to read news to you. Alexa has had this from the start where you can get this flash new briefing very easily. Now with the Home Pod coming out this is very important because when you have a Home Pod sitting on a bookshelf you're going to want to ask things like, you know, read me the news.

So you can do this now on Siri. It was just added last week.
The way to do this is a little tricky. If you've been using Alexa for this you may not figure out how to get Siri to do it because just asking Siri for the news is just going to bring up something on the screen.

The key words to use are either PLAY or TELL. So, for instance, you can do something very simple like Play the news and you could hear what is going on. If you want to stop it you need to use the Control Center there and it stops it. Basically what it's doing is playing a podcast. There are several podcasts that it can play. There's the NPR one, there's CNN, there's Fox News, and there's Washington Post.

You can use the switch command to switch your primary news source. So, for instance, you can do this. Switch to Washington Post. So now when I say Play the news it's going to go to the Washington Post rather than NPR. You can easily switch back and it's really easy just to ask for the one that you want like Play the news from CNN.

Then you can also do Play the business news and Play the sports news. You'll get CNBC, I think, is the default for business news and ESPN for sports news. But for business news you can also switch to Bloomberg. So you can say Play the news from Bloomberg.

I'm sure Apple is going to add more in the future. This is just the start. These are just podcasts that have always been there and been produced by these news organizations and Siri is just creating a simple link into it. It's really handy if you're driving and you have some time to fill but you don't want to fiddle around with your phone and you can't, obviously, look at your phone so you can just ask Siri to play the news and you can get caught up with things while you're driving or walking or biking. It's handy. It works on your Mac and on your phone and it would be very handy, of course, if you're going to get a Home Pod

So, right now this only works with iOS, the latest version, 11.2.5. It doesn't yet work with the current version of Mac OS though I would expect in the next update for this to appear. I also expect it to be there, from day 1, with the Home Pod.

Comments: 4 Responses to “Ask Siri To Play the News”

    1 year ago

    Not sure why but it does not work for me

    1 year ago

    Mike: Are you at iOS 11.2.5? USA? Saying “play” or “tell” instead of “read” or something else?

    Carl Geis
    1 year ago

    This is a great tip, Gary. Thanks for the work you do.

    Tony LoBue
    1 year ago

    This is something I have been waiting for, a word to Siri and the news is read while I drive on!

Comments Closed.