AWT News Update: January 13, 2016

Apple's rethinking the ad business and more Apple news for this Wednesday:

  • Apple's iAd sales team is reportedly getting the axe and the platform will go programmatic soon
  • iOS 9.3 beta has a plethora of 3D Touch shortcuts
  • Rumors abound that the second-generation Apple Watch will go into trial production later this month

The text version is below, and you can watch video here

Text Version

Hi, I’m Steve Sande from Apple World Today, and this is the AWT News Update for January 13, 2016.

Six years ago, Steve Jobs announced iAd, which was the company’s idea to serve interactive ads inside iOS apps. Well, sadly the ad platform never took off and BuzzFeed’s John Paczkowski today reported that the company is getting out of the ad sales business to move to a more automated platform. Apple will phase out its iAd sales force and then update the platform so publishers can sell ads directly, keeping 100% of all revenue generated. Those sales team members will reportedly be getting buyouts as soon as this week.

After looking at the iOS 9.3 beta, developers have been sending out screenshots of some of the new features in action. One nice update for owners of the iPhone 6s or 6s Plus is that more of the built-in apps now have 3D Touch shortcuts. The App Store app, for example, now brings up Search, Redeem, Update All and Purchased when given the 3D Touch treatment. I’m going to use the heck out of the Update All shortcut, thank you very much. The Health app is getting new shortcuts, including Show Medical ID and Show Dashboard. The Compass app now has Start Level and Start Compass shortcuts — I tend to use the level in the Compass app way too often when hanging pictures. The iTunes Store app will gain View Downloads and Purchased shortcuts, while Settings will provide Set Wallpaper, Battery, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth shortcuts. Weather? Now you can 3D Touch the Weather app icon to see the weather card for your current location or other saved cities, or add a new city to the app. Finally, Stocks will bring up a Search feature so you can find out how your favorite stock is doing. iOS 9.3 is in early beta, so don’t expect to see the update until at least March or April at the earliest.

In case you were wondering about when the second-generation Apple Watch would be launched, a rumor today says that the new device will go into trial production with manufacturer Quanta later this month. Taiwan’s Commercial Times says that other manufacturers such as Foxconn, Inventec and Wistron may get into the production of the devices to boost capacity later on. Quanta’s chairman noted back in November that he felt the second-generation Watch would launch by the end of the second quarter of 2016. Some pundits are expecting it to show up as soon as April and to be announced at a March press event rumored to be in the works.

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