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.

Today in Apple history: iPhone 4s opens for Siri-ous preorders

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iPhone 4s
The iPhone 4s was the last iPhone Steve Jobs directly worked on.
Photo: Apple

October 7: Today in Apple history October 7, 2011: Two days after the death of Steve Jobs, Apple opens preorders for its next-gen iPhone 4s.

The last iPhone that Jobs worked on directly, the 4s boasts a speedier A5 chip, improved 8-megapixel camera with 1080p HD video recording, and — most significantly — Apple’s new AI virtual assistant, Siri.

Sonos speakers will support AirPlay 2 next year

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Sonos supports AirPlay2
The Sonos One smart speaker will support Apple's AirPlay2.
Photo: Sonos

Sonos’ new voice-activated Sonos One smart speaker will work with Amazon’s Alexa assistant when it ships later this month, and will add support for Apple’s new AirPlay 2 streaming protocol next year.

The new smart speaker, which will ship Oct. 24, places an emphasis on high-end audio. With its $199 price point and promised compatibility with multiple platforms, it should put pressure on Apple’s upcoming HomePod, which costs nearly twice as much.