Siri's "Give me the news" feature is out of beta indicating an upcoming launch of the Apple HomePod

A recent feature that allows Apple's virtual assistant Siri to respond to a request to "Give me the news" with a few minutes of top stories, is now out of beta. In the states, the default newscast comes from NPR's News Now podcast, which is also where Amazon's Alexa has been getting her news from. It is interesting that Apple is now adding some Alexa-style capabilities to Siri in anticipation of the company's release of its HomePod smart speaker. After all, Alexa became popular thanks to its placement on Amazon's top selling Echo smart speaker product.

A screenshot from an Apple iPhone shows that eventually Apple plans on allowing both those on the left and those on the right to switch to CNN and Fox News, respectively. There also will be an option to get news from The Washington Post.

Apple missed the entire holiday shopping season, which turned out (as we expected) to be a very strong one for smart speakers. The Apple HomePod, a more upscale version of the device priced at $349, was supposed to be released in December, starring Siri as the personal assistant. Apparently, Apple did not feel that the product was ready for prime time and pushed back the launch until early this year.

With the "Give me the news" feature out of beta, this is the strongest sign yet that the Apple HomePod will soon be ready for launch.

source: ArsTechnica

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