I don't mean to brag, but I consider myself an iPhone expert. 😉 Being a fan of Apple and a user of their computers from about 1986 until today, it's rare for a useful feature to get past me. But, I can't claim to know it all and in one of those "how did I not know about this?" moments, I'm happy to share a cool feature that's been out since iOS 14: A personalized daily update by Siri.
Since the early days of the Amazon Echo, there's been a cool feature called the "Daily Briefing". This was a series of information snippets strung together to give you a good overview of what your day would look like. You'd get the current time, weather forecast, commute (if you set your home and work addresses up in the app), calendar events, and then it would play the latest NPR update. I've always wished Siri could do this too. Meanwhile, it can! Here's the scoop, courtesy of Jason Cross at Macworld.
Using the new Siri daily briefing is really easy. Just say, “Hey Siri, what’s my update?” or “read my daily update” or something similar.
Siri will give you the weather forecast for the day, tell you about any appointments on your calendar, traffic to any of the places Siri knows you’re going today, and then a news briefing from reputable sources, delivered via the Podcasts app.
On HomePod, this feature uses the Personal Requests function to access your calendar information from your iPhone, so make sure your iPhone is connected to the same network as your HomePod. This also means that it works with multiple users.Macworld
Sure enough, if you have any iOS device this works great. If you have a HomePod or HomePod Mini you get it all in audio form and the news too. Also just like with Alexa, you can customize the news source. In fact, the first time I tried this I was prompted about this customization before the news played. I changed it from NPR to Apple's News Today audio program which is a cross between NPR's approach and NY Times' The Daily podcast.
While some features we get in software updates can seem lame or they're a try-once-and-never-again thing, it's nice to see something useful come to the surface.
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