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Siri can now read you the news on your iPhone

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Siri just gained an important new ability: reading the news.

Apple’s latest iOS update, rolling out now to iPhone and iPads in the iOS beta program, adds support for Siri’s new news-reading powers. 

The update, which comes just a few weeks ahead of the HomePod’s official launch date, is similar to the daily news briefings you can get via Google Assistant on Google Home speakers.

Saying “hey Siri, give me the news,” will start an audio news briefing going over some of the day’s top headlines and news stories. The feature uses The Washington Post as a default, according to 9to5Mac, but you can switch over to streams from NPR, CNN and Fox News as well.

Previously, Siri could surface headlines from Apple News or search results, but this marks the first time Apple’s assistant is able to deliver audio briefings. 

The update is meant to coincide with the upcoming launch of Apple’s Siri-enabled HomePod speaker. HomePod owners can use the same “Hey Siri, give me the news,” command to get the briefings via the speaker.

News and podcasts are standard features for home speakers, but adding news-reading abilities to Siri on iOS devices is a nice benefit for those who don’t want to shell out $349 for a HomePod just yet.

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