Apple confirms it bought Shazam

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Shazam has been an essential iPhone app for years.
Shazam has been an essential iPhone app for years.
Photo: Shazam

Apple is allegedly in talks to buy Shazam

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Shazam has been an essential iPhone app for years.
Shazam has been an essential iPhone app for years.
Photo: Shazam

Apple is adding another key weapon to its war chest in the battle against Spotify, based on a new report that claims the company plans to acquire the app Shazam.

The popular app helps users identify any song, TV show or movie in seconds just by listening to it via a smartphone’s microphone. iOS integrated Siri with Shazam a few years ago, but it appears that Apple’s looking to bring the entire operation in-house.

Apple earnings call live blog: How high can AAPL fly?

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Apple earnings
Apple's Q4 2017 earnings are expected to be hot.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple is set to unveil its last earnings report of 2017, and it’s expected to be one of the company’s biggest Q4 results ever.

Wall Street analysts are eager to see how many iPhones Apple sold during the quarter, which included a few days of iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus sales at the end. Apple CEO Tim Cook and CFO Luca Maestri will be hopping on the call with investors at 2 p.m. Pacific today. Naturally, we’ll be here live-blogging all the action.

Come join the fun:

Leaked HomePod sounds are absolutely delightful

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Apple's new HomePod smart speaker is ready to rock your house.
HomePod will launch in December, but supplies will be constrained.
Photo: Apple

Apple’s latest firmware for the unreleased HomePod revealed a new set of sounds that the smart speaker will use to indicate various user interactions.

The new tones for the Siri-powered speaker sound different from the ones leaked in a previous firmware build. They also serve different purposes. While the sounds are simple, they are quite lovely — and worthy of a $350 speaker.

Take a listen:

How to teach Siri to pronounce a name correctly

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siri pronounce
Siri will teach you how to teach her.
Photo: Cult of Mac

Siri is great for setting reminders and timers, but in recent times Apple’s AI assistant has gotten a lot better at other things, too. For instance, sending iMessages to folks via your EarPods or AirPods, with your iPhone still in your pocket, works well enough that you can use it reliably all the time.

However, if Siri can’t pronounce the names of your contacts, then it’ll drive you crazy. Luckily, you can teach Siri to say these names correctly.

Apple’s biggest wireless keyboard could be set for a refresh

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Magic Keyboard with Numeric Keypad
Apple's extended wireless keyboard is only four months old.
Photo: Apple

Apple’s Magic Keyboard with Numeric Keypad could be about to get a refresh.

Shipping estimates for the existing model, which launched just four months ago, have slipped to a surprising six to seven weeks. A new model could arrive alongside the exciting iMac Pro this December.

Simple Android app lets AirPods activate Google Assistant

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AirPods in ear
AirPods now work even better on Android.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

AirPods can be paired with any smartphone, just like other Bluetooth headphones. But you don’t get full functionality on third-party platforms. On Android, however, they just became a lot more useful.

You can now use AirPods to activate the Google Assistant — thanks to one simple app.