AWT News Update: January 12, 2016

Today's Apple news bits include some app announcements, crazy Wall Street analysts, and a Microsoft spokesperson just being...a Microsoft spokesperson:

  • Shares in Apple given a "Buy" rating today by one major investment firm
  • Skype is adding free group video calling to the iPhone and iPad apps soon
  • Microsoft spokesperson Dan Laycock disses the iPad Pro
  • You'll now be able to watch Periscope streams -- like the one we do most days while recording the podcast -- right in your Twitter stream
  • VLC is now in the Apple TV App Store

Text version of this podcast is located below, and video can be viewed here.

Text Version

Hi, I’m Steve Sande from Apple World Today, and this is the AWT News Update for January 12, 2016.

Those crazy Wall Street analysts. First they were telling everybody to sell their Apple stock based on supply chain rumors, now they’re starting to backtrack. Bank of America Merrill Lynch upgraded AAPL from Neutral to Buy today, suggesting that those supply chain worries are already part of current share prices. One thing listeners might want to remember is that brokerage firms only make money when they get buy or sell orders from their clients, so throwing a lot of uncertainty into their advice is a great way to generate income when the market is slow.

A lot of times when we’re asked to be on podcasts, they’re video podcasts and the connection is made via Skype. While that generally works well, there’s a problem if you want to do group video chats from anything other than a Mac because there’s no way to do them on the iPhone or iPad. Skype announced today that they’re finally bringing free group video calling to the iPhone and iPad in the next few weeks. If you want to pre-register to be notified and be one of the first people to chat with co-workers or friends from your iOS device, head on out to the URL in the show notes and sign up today.

Speaking of Skype’s parent company — Microsoft — a spokesperson for the company made a nasty comment about the iPad Pro this week. Dan Laycock told TrustedReviews that “Microsoft really wants you to only carry one device for tablet and PC use, whereas the iPad Pro is always going to be a companion device.” Laycock pointed out that “professional desktop apps” don’t run on iOS, while the company’s Surface line runs Windows 10 and can run “full apps”. To top it off, Laycock brought up Steve Jobs’s famous comment against styluses, saying “At one point in time, Apple declared that if there’s a stylus, that’s failure. We’re a huge believer in the pen, we know our customers love it.” Someone needs to point out to Laycock that there are a number of iOS apps — including his company’s Microsoft Office suite — that make the iPad Pro just as productive as the Surface line of tablet/laptop hybrids.

There are a number of people who wait for the announcement from Periscope, Twitter’s streaming service, to watch the recording of this podcast. Starting today, if you are using the official Twitter app on iOS, you’ll be able to watch the broadcast without leaving the Twitter app. The Periscope videos will appear right in your timeline, and with a single tap you can watch them in full-screen on your iPhone or iPad. You won’t be able to see comments or look at the hearts that you or others are sending to show your appreciation for the video version of the AWT News Update, but you’ll still have the Periscope app for that functionality.

And finally, if you own the 4th-generation Apple TV, you probably heard the news a few weeks ago that VLC was going to be available for that device. VLC is a wonderful media player that can play almost any video or audio file type, and it is available now on the Apple TV App Store. VLC’s developer, VideoLAN, is going to add support from cloud services like Dropbox, OneDrive and Box soon.

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