How to Get Siri to Read You the News You Want

Fa Last week launched their new podcast called “subnet”. The idea is simple, a quick 2 to 3 minute long tech news podcast to give you a quick simple update. These types of podcast are becoming increasingly popular and not just with tech news. In fact, one of the new siri skills in the US and UK is to “tell me the news” and siri will start a country specific quick news update.

However, what if you live in a country that isn’t supported, what if you want a news channel that Apple doesn’t promote, or what if you want an industry specific news? Well you can create your own morning roundup to play on your iPhone, iPad or HomePod (if you have one).

1. Creating an Apple Podcast station

The way to do this is to set up an Apple Podcast Station. Admittedly, You could set up a playlist in Pocketcasts or Overcast, but you can’t use siri to activate them (At the time of writing. We can all hope that Apple will extend Siri’s controls into other podcast apps). Here’s an example for Tara Mann who first mentioned the idea

2. Find some short podcast

Next you need to add some short podcast to your podcast app. You can find some suggestions from the podcast app in the “browse” tab (the featured providers often have some news channels). Here are a couple of suggestions.

Tech news

Global News


For more ideas, check out this list of five minute podcasts.

3. Make a station and add your podcasts

Next you need to set up a station with an easy name. The suggestion from Tamara on twitter was “Morning News”, Federico Viticci said he has set his up as “Tech News”. However, the issues with some names is the Siri syntax you have to use. Then best trigger phrase is…

4. Ask siri to play your podcast

“Hey Siri, Play my (name of station) podcast station”

this should help Siri to understand that it should look in your podcast app for a station and not look for either music with a similar name, or a podcast with the same name.

Listen, enjoy, edit

Now you can sit back, listen and enjoy. If you discover that an episode isn’t to your liking, you can always swap it out for another one.

The Search for the Perfect Weather App

Full disclosure up front. The weather app I chose might not be right for you, it’s a very personal Choice but I thought I’d share my process and results. You may well go through the same or similar process and end up with a different answer.

My issue

For a long time I used the standard built in weather apps within my smartphone and before that our various websites. While I had noticed some inaccuracies, especially in long term forecasts. They were generally usable. However, in the last couple of years I had encountered more issues.

Since moving to Poland, I had noticed that the built in weren’t reliable. They would get the temperature wildly off and fairly to report any risk of rain (when it poorer). I had found that the bbc website wasn’t accurate enough for me in Spain, but I still had other options. But in Poland, nothing seemed to work.

In addition, since I got an Apple Watch, I found I wanted weather data more and noticed it’s inaccuracies more.

So I set out to find an app that was useful.

Dark sky

I had picked up Dark Sky during a summer stay in the UK after hearing it was great for local weather data including rain warnings. It worked as promised and I thought I had found the perfect weather app. Unfortunately it didn’t last.

When I returned to Poland I discovered that Dark Sky didn’t have any of the power features, like rain warnings, in Poland and its data was highly inaccurate. This was a failure on the first point of what is vital for a weather app. However, I stuck with Dark Sky as it seemed fairly accurate (at least, as accurate as the default apps), and I knew it would be great in the UK.

The app was not found in the store. 🙁

Enter the Apple Watch

When I got an Apple Watch, I knew that I wanted to see my weather information on one of my watch faces. It made sense to me as this is pretty useful information. It was this which highlighted how inaccurate the weather data was and made me crave a more accurate app. At the same time, I valued the Apple Watch integrations which lead to one of my unfortunately requirements for my perfect weather app.

My Requirements for my perfect weather app

  • runs on iOS
  • has an Apple Watch app
  • Has accurate weather data

Finding an accurate weather source.

So I started downloading different weather apps that used different weather sources. I quickly realised that many of the good weather apps I had heard recommended used “Dark Sky” as their weather source. At this point I want to repeat that I believe Dark Sky is brilliant in certain situations, it just seemed it wasn’t in my own.

I quickly came across weather underground, one of the apps that I had heard used a different weather data source. It turned out that this was not only a highly accurate system for my location, but also showed local weather stations that were collecting data. This meant my first criterion was met.

Finding the right app that used Weather underground

For some reason, I couldn’t see a Watch complication for weather underground when I first downloaded the app, and that was a deal breaker for me. In addition I had downloaded a different app already which I knew had a great weather complication on the Apple Watch. And that app is Carrot weather.

CARROT Weather
CARROT Weather
Developer: Grailr LLC
Price: 5,49 €+

Why I Picked Carrot Weather

I had heard people sing the praises of the sassy carrot weather before but frankly didn’t see the point in spending so much money on a weather app. However, it was the only app that ticked all my criteria…When you purchases an Ultra premium subscription.

Yes that;s correct, to get the Apple Watch complication on Carrot weather, you need to have a premium subscription…but to get weather underground as your weather source, you need to get an ultra premium subscription.

Your search?

Have you searched for the perfect weather app for yourself? Which did you end up with and why?

Apple Plans Upgrades to Popular AirPods Headphones – Bloomberg

The idea for the water-resistant model is for the headphones to survive splashes of water and rain, the people said. They likely won’t be designed to be submerged in water

This feature interests me more than the potential “Hey Siri” detection. I recently picked up some BeatsX just to not worry about sweat damage to my AirPods while working out. Now, the details here are sparse and “water-resistant” doesn’t specify if they will be sweat resistant, but these still sound like positive steps forward. I wonder if the wireless charging airpods case will come out before these new airpods or if they’ll come at the same time.