Apple’s subscription-based news aggregation service Apple News Plus will soon be able to read stories to you.
Hidden within the iOS 13.5.5 beta, currently available to developers, is an Apple News Plus Audio feature, which will dictate a selection of articles.
The new feature was discovered within the new beta by 9to5Mac and will have its own dedicated tab within the News app. The playback menu enables listeners to choose playback speed, rewind 15 seconds or swipe to the next story. Overall, the interface looks a lot like the Apple Podcasts app.
Users will be able to play all new stories or select specific stories to listen to. At the moment it doesn’t appear as if all stories will have audio options. Interestingly, users will be able to ask for the audio news from Siri and hear it via HomePod, or iOS devices.
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The site also points out that the audio feature is only available to Apple News Plus subscribers, so those not paying a monthly fee for premium access to a massive range of news and magazine content won’t be able to listen to audio content.
Despite being hidden, the feature is fully operational right now, so it’s likely the update will come with the public release of iOS 13.5.5 in the next few weeks.
Just yesterday Apple launched iOS 13.5.1 with a patch for a rare jailbreak of the operating system, which enabled unauthorised apps to be installed.
Jailbreaks have become increasingly rare in recent years and the hackers behind this one claimed it worked on versions from iOS 11 all the way up to the most recent iOS 13.5 release (via Wired). The app was reportedly based on a zero-day flaw within iOS that enabled the hackers to overthrow the iOS safeguards.
At the time it was estimated that it would take Apple 2-3 weeks to come up with a patch, but the firm has delivered the update just eight days after the original report.