AWT News Update: July 14, 2015

Photo illustration ©2015, Steven Sande.

Photo illustration ©2015, Steven Sande.

Today's Apple news in less than five minutes; that's the AWT News Update!

  • Betas of OS X Yosemite, iOS 8.4 appear in the Apple Developer Center
  • Apple's being sued by an Irish firm over its alleged misuse of the "iWatch" trademark in the EU
  • The New York Post says negotiations are moving along nicely now for Apple's planned streaming TV service for cable cutters

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Text Version

Hi, I’m Steve Sande from Apple World Today, and this is the AWT News Update for July 14, 2015.

Another day, another set of betas. This time it’s the betas for OS X Yosemite 10.10.5 and iOS 8.4.1. It appears that the new version of OS X won’t feature any new features, but should have the bug fixes and performance enhancements that are usually part and parcel of the updates. It’s expected that iOS 8.4.1 is similar, with no new features after the addition of the new Music app in iOS 8.4 but squashing bugs and tuning performance as well. Both are available to developers in the Apple Developer Center.

When you have a lot of cash on hand, everybody wants a piece of it, and they usually try through the courts. In this new case, an Irish software and network services company called Probendi has filed a lawsuit in an Italian court complaining that Apple is improperly using Google ads to send searches for “iWatch” to an Apple page describing the Apple Watch. Well, Probendi owns the rights to the iWatch trademark in the European Union, hence the lawsuit. Probendi’s seeking $97 million for trademark infringement, and an initial hearing in the case is scheduled for November 11.

Apple has been trying to get networks in line for a planned "cable-killer TV app" that would run on any Apple platform for some time now. According to an article in yesterday's New York Post, it appears that things are moving along nicely, with "talks with all four networks rapidly gaining momentum." One of the major stumbling blocks had been with local affiliates of ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox in the USA. Apple wants to show local live TV feeds on the service, but networks don't control the feeds from their local affiliates. Apparently, Apple has been able to ask the networks to obtain local streaming rights from the affiliates, and the NY Post's sources say that the "strategy is paying off."

Apple's negotiations for the bundled service, which is rumored to cost anywhere from $10 to $40 a month, have been stymied by the company's insistence on the standard App Store 30% royalty. TV partners are likely to want more of a cut than just 70%. Other cable channels are probably willing to go with Apple's terms just to be part of the streaming service. Cable channels such as Discovery are likely to be part of the service, and rumors have it that ESPN (part of the Disney empire along with ABC) will be included as well.

The NY Post article noted that Apple CEO Tim Cook and media chief Eddy Cue were at a "mogulfest" last week, seen chatting with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and the owner of the New England Patriots -- Bob Kraft. That set off speculation that Apple could be negotiating a football package, although an unnamed executive joked that it "could have been staging to give TV executives the shivers."

There's still no solid word on when -- or if -- the service will make it to potential cable-cutters.

We’ll be back tomorrow afternoon for another edition of the AWT News Update.