The ‘best’ podcast listening app just got better

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Pocket Casts
Pocket Casts gets a big user experience update.
Photo: Pocket Casts

Pocket Casts, the paid app with more than half a million podcasts, is retooling its listening experience. An update to the popular app adds Siri Shortcuts support, improved search and discovery features, and a browse-and-play option without having to subscribe to a show.

How to use the Siri news podcast feature

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siri
Siri can now play news podcasts for you, just like olden-day radio.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Thanks to an iOS upgrade, a simple question — “Hey, Siri, what’s the news today?” — will now play you an NPR podcast. It’s just like turning on the radio in the morning to catch up on events, only you don’t have to use sucky radio. Here’s how to use Siri News.

Barbra Streisand calls Tim Cook to fix her biggest gripe with Siri

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Barbra Streisand
Singer Barbra Streisand and husband James Brolin.
Photo: Wikicommons

Getting iPhone bugs fixed is apparently super-easy if you’re a world-famous diva.

Barbra Streisand says she recently had a huge bone to pick with Apple over the way Siri pronounces her last name. So the singer did what only Barbra Streisand could do: She dialed Tim Cook’s personal phone number.

Tim Cook: Apple isn’t interested in sharing your data

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Cook
Tim Cook is a privacy advocate.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Tim Cook participated in a recent interview with NPR’s Robert Siegel, in which he reiterates Apple’s stance on user privacy, discusses what it would take for Apple to bring its overseas cash pile back into the U.S. — and comically avoids talking about the Apple Car.

You can listen to it below.

iTunes Radio adds ESPN and local NPR stations

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espnradio

Sports fans are finally getting more love from the nerds at the mothership, just in time for the World Cup.

Starting today, iTunes Radio users will be able to stream live broadcasts of ESPN’s acclaimed radio shows for free as well local snoozcasts newscasts from the fine folks at your local NPR station.

NPR Channel Brings News To iTunes Radio

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nprnews

When iTunes Radio launched last spring, music streaming services like Pandora and Spotify took cover from the impending Apple invasion, but radio streaming apps like TuneIn Radio might be in Apple’s sights now as well.

Starting today iTunes Radio will feature National Public Radio as its first news channel for the audio streaming service. NPR’s channel will feature a 24-hour live stream with news, along with pre-recorded shows, but it won’t be the only news channel in the iTune Radio lineup.