iOS 13 beta and HomePod lets you ask Siri to play radio

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iPhone FM radio chips
"Hey Siri, play BBC Radio One."
Photo: Alan Levine/Flickr CC

The ability to use Siri to listen to live radio stations is up and running for HomePod users, along with people running the latest iOS 13 beta.

Apple announced the feature at this year’s Worldwide Developers Conference, boasting support for iHeartRadio, TuneIn and Radio.com streaming radio. That means users can access more than 100,000 different stations using Apple’s AI assistant.

Netflix’s next big original? A comedy radio station

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Netflix Is A Joke Radio
Tune in on April 15.
Photo: Netflix

Netflix has confirmed plans to launch its first comedy radio station.

Netflix Is A Joke Radio, which is being launched in partnership with radio streaming service SiriusXM, will go live on April 15. It will feature “highlights from top Netflix talent,” including Adam Sandler, Chris Rock, Dave Chappelle, and Ricky Gervais.

How to listen to the radio on your iPhone

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Radio is still remarkably rad.
Radio is still remarkably rad.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Yes, the radio.

Some phones, and some old iPods — the clip-on Nano, for example — have real radio receivers built in. They can pick up over-the-air AM and FM waves, and play them, just like you were in a car from the olden days. The iPhone and iPad, though, have never had working radio tuners. But thanks to internet streaming, it doesn’t matter. You can listen to live radio anywhere, using an app.

Today we’ll see one super-simple app that works a lot like an old radio, and another app that I don’t really like, but that does pretty much anything you could want in a radio-streaming app.

Apple eyes stake in struggling U.S. radio group iHeartMedia

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iHeartMedia
A deal could bring Beats 1 to broadcast radio.
Photo: iHeartMedia

Apple is in talks over acquiring a stake in iHeartMedia, according to a new report.

Sources say the company could invest millions of dollars to help save the struggling U.S. radio group, which filed for bankruptcy back in March. However, negotiations are at an early stage for now and no deal has been agreed yet.

Apple under pressure to activate iPhone feature it denies

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iPhone FM radio chips
iPhone has FM radio chips, but Apple won't use them.
Photo: Alan Levine/Flickr CC

Apple is under pressure to activate an iPhone feature that it claims does not exist.

The National Association of Broadcasters is calling for the company to enable dormant FM chips that would allow users to tune into radio stations. It comes less then a month after the Federal Communications Commission asked for the same.

Apple busts out new betas of iOS 11.1 and other platforms

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iphone 8
iOS 11.1 beta 3 is ready for your iPhone.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Developers received a fresh new batch of beta updates today, just one week after Apple seeded the last set.

iOS 11.1 beta 3 is the biggest of the updates, bringing a bunch of new emojis to the iPhone and iPad along with some other refinements and improvements. Apple also released the third beta builds for watchOS 4.1 and tvOS 11.1.

Apple claims Beats 1 is world’s ‘biggest radio station’

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It's not just you, Beats 1 Radio is down
Beats 1 is pretty darn big, according to Apple.
Photo: Apple

Beats 1 is the “biggest radio station in the world,” claims Apple Music’s head of content Larry Jackson.

“There’s no way you’re going to find another station that has as many concurrent listeners and audience-wise as Beats 1, period,” Jackson said in a new interview with various Apple Music execs.

Apple has a plan to revolutionize the Walkie Talkie

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apple-store-union-square
Apple's two-way radios would be perfect for store employees.
Photo: Milo Kahney/Cult of Mac

Walkie Talkies could be getting a big upgrade thanks to a new Apple patent that reveals the company has been thinking about more than just iPhones when it comes to two-way voice conversations.

Apple’s new patent describes a revamped wireless communication device that connects to a receiver module via Lightning or standard headphone jack, only instead of broadcasting to other devices using cellular it uses point-to-point ad hoc networking.

How Beats 1 DJ takes Friday nights to new heights

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anna-lunoe
DJ Anna Lunoe goes from the stage to the Beats 1 studio.
Photo: swimfinfan/Flickr CC

Beats 1 DJ Anna Lunoe revealed some details about how she got picked for her weekly gig before Apple Music had even been announced. Zane Lowe was apparently so impressed with her earlier work that he gave her complete freedom over what she wanted to do for the show.

Known for her house and electronic mixes, Lunoe aptly plays an eclectic collection of dance music during her slot every Friday night at 9 p.m. Pacific time or 12 a.m. Saturday Eastern time.