AWT News Update: February 24, 2016

Windows 10 Lock Screen Ad screenshot courtesy of Twitter user @jeffgerstmann

Windows 10 Lock Screen Ad screenshot courtesy of Twitter user @jeffgerstmann

A Netflix update, advertisements in an operating system, and a firmware update for an accessory:

  • Netflix made a lot of changes to the iOS app today, adding features for owners of the iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, and iPad Pro
  • Aren't you glad you don't get ads on OS X?
  • The iPad Pro's Smart Keyboard gets a firmware update!

The text version of the News Update is below.

Text Version

Hi, I’m Steve Sande from Apple World Today, and this is the AWT News Update for February 24, 2016.

Netflix released a much-improved version of its iOS app today, with features to make owners of the iPhone 6s, 6s Plus, and iPad Pro happy. First, the app has gained 3D Touch support for the iPhones, adding peek-and-pop gestures that let users see a synopsis of a film or TV show without opening that item’s page. Those previews can also launch a video or add and remove content from playlists. For iPad Pro owners, there’s a new layout that properly scales things to the big screen of the monster iPad. If you’ll recall, YouTube did the same thing to its app yesterday. Netflix also revised the Kids interface on iPads, and added the Post-Play feature to the iPhone. Post-Play queues up the next episode of a TV series automatically and also makes recommendations on things to watch later. It’s a free update and is available now.

Here’s yet another reason to be thankful you’re not a Windows 10 user…or a reason to switch to OS X if you are a Windows 10 user. Microsoft has begun running advertisements on the lock screens of Windows 10 PCs and tablets. The ads started in January when the Windows 10 lock screen showed characters from the Minions movie in a rowboat making their way across New York City’s East River. For good measure, they threw in links so you could buy the movie. The latest came this week with Lara Croft showing up on the screen, an ad for “Rise of the Tomb Raider” that’s available in the Windows Store. Fortunately, there’s a way to remove the ads easily, but it’s ridiculous that people are even getting ads. Apparently Microsoft thinks it might be able to gain some revenue that they’re missing by offering Windows 10 for free to Windows 7 and 8 users. At least Apple has been making free desktop and laptop operating system upgrades since OS X 10.9 Mavericks and hasn’t stooped to dropping ads on your screensaver or lock screen.

One quick little piece to end today’s News Update. If you own an iPad Pro Smart Keyboard, there’s a new over-the-air firmware update available for the accessory. Apple didn’t say exactly what the firmware update accomplishes, although MacRumors said that it apparently improves the connection stability between the Smart Keyboard and iPad Pro and also fixes a wake-up issue that users have seen lately. When iOS 9.3 appears soon, it will be able to deliver updates for more than just Apple accessories that use the Smart Connector on the iPad Pro.

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