AWT News Update: February 2, 2016

Happy Groundhog Day! We have a new sponsor this week (Winning WordPress) and plenty of fun news and rumors for the day.

Happy Groundhog Day! We have a new sponsor this week (Winning WordPress) and plenty of fun news and rumors for the day.

(see what I did there?)

  • MacRumors has word that the iPhone 7 will lose the camera bump of the iPhone 6 and 6s, as well as a few of the antenna bands that stretch across the back of the existing phones
  • A veteran Mac app developer updates a Mac CAD program that's been getting new features and updates since 1988
  • Everybody's favorite Apple analyst, Gene Munster, thinks the Apple Watch might get a hardware upgrade in March
  • A new Safe Harbor agreement is in place for data transfers between the US and EU

Text version is below, video is here (strangely foggy for some reason). 

Text Version

Hi, I’m Steve Sande from Apple World Today, and this is the AWT News Update for February 2, 2016. Our sponsor this week is [Winning WordPress], a fantastic resource for everyone who runs a WordPress site or is thinking about it. Check it out on the AWT website today, or click the link found in today’s show notes.

We’re now only six or seven months away from the launch of the iPhone 7, and today Eric Slivka at MacRumors reported that the body of the new phone will look quite similar to the iPhone 6 and 6s, but the camera will sit flush with the rear casing thanks to a thinner camera module. The existing camera protrudes slightly, which has been a point of annoyance to many design purists. The other change is quite interesting, with the company removing antenna bands that stretch all the way across the rear of the iPhone 6 and 6s. The bands will remain at the top and bottom edges, although there’s a possibility that they may be disguised to give the new iPhone a much more seamless look.

It’s always a surprise and a delight to see a veteran Mac developer come out with an update to an app, and this one caught me by surprise as I wasn’t even aware of the fact that the company was still around. Ashlar-Vellum started up in 1988 and has announced Graphite 10, which is the latest version of their 2D/3D CAD wireframe drafting package. The application now supports OS X El Capitan and significant enhancements have been made to its PDF import and export capabilities.

The date of Apple’s next keynote seems to be getting more well defined, with many thinking that it will happen on March 15. Apple analyst Gene Munster of Piper Jaffray today said that he thinks the Apple Watch may get a slight hardware upgrade this spring with a better processor and battery life as well as new internal components and new band styles. Munster doesn’t believe this iteration will have a built-in cellular radio which would allow standalone operation without an iPhone. He’s referring to the version as an “S” version, retaining the form factor of the original Watch but with improved internals.

A new Safe Harbor pact for data transfers between the United States and the European Union has apparently been agreed upon. The original pact was in place for about 15 years until it was ruled invalid by the European Court of Justice which was concerned about U.S. intelligence agency snooping on the continent, including mass surveillance by the National Security Agency on European businesses and even tapping German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s cellphone. The new pact means that companies like Apple and Facebook will have no worries about continued operation in Europe and no limits on how data is handled. The US will reportedly appoint a data ombudsperson in the State Department to address complaints, and other measures including an annual review of data transfers by the European Commission and US Department of Commerce and cooperation between European privacy agencies and the US Federal Trade Commission. In addition, the US Office of the Director of National Intelligence is providing written commitments to assure European countries that data transfers won’t be subject to mass surveillance. Individual businesses may face sanctions or be excluded from the new agreement if they fail to follow rules.

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