AWT News Update: July 30, 2015

Apple Campus 2 Visitor's Center, image via Silicon Valley Business Journal

Apple Campus 2 Visitor's Center, image via Silicon Valley Business Journal

We have an extra goodie in the AWT News Update today. Not only do you have today's news, but Apple World Today accessibility editor Alex Jurgensen provided us with a tip for Think Different Thursday:

  • Apple is leasing space in San Francisco's SoMa neighborhood
  • The "Spaceship" headquarters building being constructed in Cupertino right now will have a visitor's center
  • USB Type-C is on its way to being more widely accepted
  • Think Different Thursday: Mono Audio

The written version of the news can be found below!

Text Version

Hi, I’m Steve Sande from Apple World Today, and this is the AWT News Update for July 30, 2015. As noted earlier in the week, there will probably NOT be a podcast tomorrow…

We recently mentioned how Apple is leasing space in San Jose, California and Seattle, Washington — well, now the company is signing a deal to lease 76,000 square feet of space in San Franciscos SoMa (or South of Market) neighborhood. Most of the space is currently occupied by CBS Interactive, which is subleasing the space to Apple. The space could hold as many as 500 workers, and is expected to be quite expensive since rents in the area are about $66 per square foot. The purpose of the space is unknown, but could be a better way to accommodate its San Francisco workforce. About 14 percent of its employees live in the city, and currently commute or rise Apple buses to the existing south Bay offices.

For Apple fans, there’s nothing cooler than going to the Cupertino headquarters and having a chance to go into the store at the site to pick up Apple swag. Well, it turns out that the new spaceship-like campus will feature a visitors’s center complete with a store and a rooftop observation deck. There will be a 2,386-square-foot cafe and a 10,114-square-foot store, and elevators and stairs will take visitors up 23 feet to the roof level. I can’t wait to check it out.

Although the 12-inch Macbook with Retina display is currently one of the few devices on the planet that uses a USB Type-C port for data input and charging, it appears that the rest of the industry is expecting to follow suit with the adoption of the new style port. Intel’s upcoming Skylake processors will have built in support for the second generation of USB 3.1, which uses the Type-C port, with up to 10Gbps data transfer.

And now a Think Different Thursday feature from Apple World Today accessibility editor Alex Jurgensen.

Today on Think Different Thursday, Mono Audio!

Mono audio, a feature used primarily by people who are deaf in one ear, can help anyone with a pair of headphones that only half works to get better audio.

Normally, modern audio devices are set up to provide audio in stereo, that is, they send different parts of the audio to the right speaker than they do to the left. Because headphones are just wearable speakers, the same principles apply. This is why, when one headphone breaks, audio can sound distorted.

Indeed, the experience is similar to that of headphone users who are deaf in one ear.

To improve the listening experience, you can set the iPhone to send both the left and right channel audio through both headphones. This will ensure that you get a complete soundscape out of the working side of your headphones.

To do so: Open Settings, followed by General, followed by Accessibility and turn on "Mono Audio".

Voila, you should now be able to use your sigularly working headphone to listen to your favourite tunes. Just remember to turn off Mono Audio when you return to a fully working set of headphones for the best experience.

Please note that the AWT News Update may or may not be available every day this week due to some personal things that are going on. I’ll attempt to get you the news, but be forewarned that I may miss a couple of days. We’ll get back to a regular schedule next week.