AWT News Update: October 22, 2015

A lot of news for what was a slow news day:

  • Chrome web browser for iOS has been updated to support Split View and other multitasking features
  • iMovie for iOS also received an update today, bringing 4K video editing to the iPad Air 2
  • Comcast is rumored to be looking at a wireless phone product, using a combo of its own Wi-Fi hotspots and Verizon's network
  • iOS 9 adoption rate numbers from Mixpanel show the new OS at well over 60% adoption
  • AAA says that even Siri can be distracting

The text of the podcast is below, and if you'd like to watch today's video, it's here

Text Version

Hi, I’m Steve Sande from Apple World Today, and this is the AWT News Update for October 22, 2015.

It took a little while, but the Chrome web browser has been updated on iOS 9 supporting all of the great features that run on the latest models of iPad. That means that Chrome now runs in Split View next to other apps that have also been updated to add that functionality, it now works in Slide Over so you can pop up a narrow browser page next to any app, and it also supports Picture in Picture video so you can watch videos playing in the browser in a mini window anywhere on the iPad screen. These features work on the iPad Pro, which is still on track for release next month, the iPad Air 2, and the iPad mini 4. One interesting thing you can now do is have Safari and Chrome running side by side in Split View. Cool, huh?

In other app update news, iMovie for iOS has been updated to version 2.2.1 today. The new version finally brings 4K editing to the iPad Air 2 as long as it is running iOS 9.1, which of course was released yesterday. That means that until you get your iPad Pro next month, you can shoot 4K video on your iPhone 6s or 6s Plus, then edit it on the iPad Air 2. Apple fixed some other issues, including a problem with importing and removing projects from iCloud Drive.

In case Comcast isn’t getting enough of your money already, just wait — it appears that the company is planning on launching its own wireless phone system sometime next year. The service would rely on Comcast’s millions of Wi-Fi hotspots — yes, those boxes in your home — and Verizon’s wireless network. This makes sense now that phone subsidies are dying out, meaning more unlocked handsets that can jump onto the cable giant’s proposed network.

Since today is a really slow news day and I’m grasping at straws for anything even remotely news-related, I went out to check Mixpanel’s latest numbers on iOS 9 adoption and found much to my surprise that the numbers are up to 66.58% for the new operating system. iOS 8 is now only on 26.99% of all iOS devices, while older operating system versions make up about 6.43% of the total.

The American Automobile Association — otherwise known as AAA — published a study today on the mental distraction to drivers using voice commands on the road. The organization found that mental distractions occurred even when drivers had their eyes on the road and hands on the steering wheel, using a built-in automotive voice control system or a system like Siri. The study considers anything over a rank of 2 out of 5 to be potentially dangerous, and none of the systems ranked below a 2.4. That was the system in a Chevy Equinox. Google Now was the least distracting mobile voice control system at 3.0, Siri came in at 3.4, and Microsoft’s Cortana was the most distracting at 3.8. In case you’re wondering, the most distracting voice control system of them all is the one that’s built into the Mazda 6 with a 4.6 rating.

I’ll be back tomorrow afternoon with another edition of the AWT News Update.