AWT News Update: May 4, 2015

May the Fourth Be With You! There's some futuristic Jedi mind control of your home devices coming soon. For that and other news of Apple, check out today's podcast.

  • YouTube disappeared from second-generation Apple TVs last night
  • Facebook may become your go-to source for content from news providers in the near future
  • General Electric announces a HomeKit-compatible color-changing LED light bulb
  • Belkin updates its WeMo app to give the LED light bulbs it sells full IFTTT compatibility

The full text version of the podcast script is available below.

Text Version

Steve Sande here from Apple World Today, and you’re listening to the AWT News Update for May 4, 2015. Many thanks to our sponsor this week, Rage Software, developers of EverWeb — a powerful website development tool for Mac. Take advantage of a 20% off special offer for Apple World Today readers by clicking the Everweb banner on the website.

YouTube fans with older second-generation Apple TV units were shocked to find that the YouTube app has disappeared. Both the home screen icon and references to YouTube in Settings were removed sometime overnight. The app still works on third-generation Apple TVs. The issue is due to a change in the YouTube Data API. The company updated that API last month and announced that the second-generation Apple TV wouldn’t be supported. There are persistent rumors that a fourth-generation Apple TV device with Siri, an App Store, more internal storage, and possible 4K video support may be announced at next month’s Worldwide Developers Conference.

If you’re a fan of getting your daily fill of content from well-known sources like The New York Times, National Geographic, and BuzzFeed, you may soon be able to get it from one source — Facebook. The social networking site is about to add Instant Articles, which are hosted natively on Facebook and designed to load faster than shared links on mobile devices. Facebook is reportedly making changes to its revenue-sharing model to make it attractive for publishers to host their content on Facebook.

General Electric today announced a new color-changing LED light bulb that will ship later this year and offer full support for Apple’s HomeKit framework. The bulb uses GE’s Align technology to provide automated lighting cycles that adjust throughout the day, offering bluer light in the morning hours to help people wake up and turning more amber in the evening hours. HomeKit compatibility adds the ability to control the bulbs individually or as a group through apps and Siri voice commands. No pricing or release date information is forthcoming at this time.

In other home automation news, Belkin announced an update to its WeMo app today that brings support for If This Then That (otherwise known as IFTTT) to its line of LED lightbulbs. This means that it’s now possible to have lights turn on when you pull into the driveway or flash the light bulbs when you receive a tweet. WeMo is also offering support for WeMo-enabled OSRAM Lightify bulbs, with integrated temperature and color-changing support. Belkin also announced that they’ve dropped pricing on the WeMo LED bulbs to reduce barriers to entry.

We’ll be back tomorrow with another AWT News Update.