AWT News Update: March 23, 2016

In the midst of a nice spring blizzard in Colorado, AWT publisher/editor Steve Sande brings you three fun stories from the world of Apple:

  • An early entrant in the smartwatch market is laying off 25% of its staff
  • A number of car manufacturers at the 2016 New York International Auto Show announce the latest models that will be equipped with Apple's CarPlay
  • There's something new and different you can do with an iPad equipped with iOS 9.3. Hint - it's really loud and very impressive!

The text version can be found below.

Text Version

Hi, I’m Steve Sande from Apple World Today, and this is the AWT News Update for March 23, 2016, recorded in the middle of a blizzard in Colorado.

Things are tough in the smartwatch business…if you’re not Apple, that is. Pebble was the king of the smartwatch world until the Apple Watch appeared, and now word comes that the company is going to lay off one-quarter of its staff this week. The company isn’t blaming Apple, though. Instead, CEO Eric Migicovsky said that the company is having issues raising funds and investors are being cautious. In the future, the company will be focusing on health and fitness tracking, recently launching a service called Pebble Health for activity and sleep tracking. Other business moves include beginning to sell its products in Indiz next month in cooperation with Amazon, and recent price cuts to the Pebble Time and Pebble Time Round.

A number of car manufacturers announced more vehicles supporting Apple’s CarPlay at the New York International Auto Show this week. This fall, GM’s Chevrolet division will offer CarPlay in the 2017 Sonic subcompact and the 2017 Trax SUV, with the Sonic being one of the first truly affordable cars to offer the option. Hyundai is bringing CarPlay to the 2017 Ioniq, which will be available in hybrid, plug-in hybrid and pure electric models. Hyundai’s Kia subsidiary is adding CarPlay to the 2017 Cadenza sedan that will ship later this year. Honda will also be dabbling with CarPlay in more affordable models with the 2017 Civic Hatchback, while on the high end, California buyers of the $60,000 Clarity Fuel Cell hydrogen-powered sedan will also get CarPlay. Volkswagen is adding the platform to its 2017 Golf Alltrack, and Subaru has tapped the 2017 Impreza for CarPlay.

Those who have updated their iPads to iOS 9.3 and who have Dolby Digital 7.1 home theater equipment can now enjoy the eight channels of sound when playing movies from the iPad. Dolby Digital Plus support has been added to iOS 9.3, meaning that your iPad can now pump out that surround sound to front left and right, center, subwoofer, and four rear speakers. You’ll need Apple’s Lightning Digital AV adapter, which provides HDMI output at up to 1080p, as well as a 7.1-capable home theater receiver and all of those lovely speakers. Don’t blame us or Apple if you blow out a few windows watching those blockbuster superhero movies with all of the explosions.

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