AWT News Update: April 14, 2016

New Apple VP Cynthia Hogan

New Apple VP Cynthia Hogan

Some of today's top Apple news stories, all delivered to your ears (and eyes if you're checking us out online) in less than 4 minutes:

  • Apple hires a political insider to run it's DC lobbying headquarters
  • The usually incorrect Digitimes says that Apple has signed component orders for a second-generation Apple Watch
  • Apple's Siri Remote can now search CBS content
  • WebRTC will soon be included in Apple's Safari web browser, making a huge variety of video and audio sharing capabilities as easy as opening a web page

Text Version

Hi, I’m Steve Sande from Apple World Today, and this is the AWT News Update for April 14, 2016.

Politico today broke the story that Apple has hired Washington DC insider Cynthia Hogan as its vice president for public policy and government affairs for the Americas, While this position oversees the company’s operations in Canada and Latin America, it’s primary purpose is as a lobbyist for Apple. Hogan is no stranger to DC, working with the NFL for the past few years and working as a top aide to US Vice President Joe Biden before that. While Apple may think it’s a savvy move, several political news sites report that Hogan has been ineffective in any of the NFL’s issues — including concussions and head injuries with players, “Deflategate” and the controversy of the name of the Washington DC NFL team. Likewise, Biden has been a bit of a footnote to history, but it’s obvious that Hogan has friends in high places. We’ll have to wait and see if she can have any impact on Apple’s fortunes with the US government.

Although the source is the totally unreliable Digitimes, a rather interesting rumor is circulating that says that Apple has started placing component orders for the second generation of the Apple Watch. Usually, orders like this are an indication that mass production will begin in two to three months. Alleged partners with Apple include Advanced Semiconductor Engineering, which will most likely produce the S2 chip for the new Watch, processor fabrication and NAND storage from Samsung, and other secondary production will come from Amkor, Kinsus Interconnect Technology and STATS ChipPAC. It’s widely expected that the second-generation device will just be a performance upgrade and not a whole new design.

Have a fourth-generation Apple TV? Apple has recently added more content sources to the universal search capability of the device. Last week, Siri started providing answers about Starz content. This week, users who have installed CBS’s tvOS app can search such shows as Supergirl, NCIS, and Big Bang Theory. tvOS can now search for movies and TV shows on iTunes as well as seventeen other content providers in the US.

Apple has finally made a move that will soon make it possible to watch live audio and video in Safari without needing to download plugins or install apps. WebRTC is a technology that provides this capability, allowing users to make phone calls directly from a browser, share documents and data securely, and even do screen sharing easily. Well, Apple has agreed to put WebRTC into WebKit, which is the engine that powers Safari. WebRTC has now been officially supported by Google, Mozilla, Microsoft and Apple, which means that cross-platform and cross-browser uses that take advantage of the technology will soon be a reality.

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