AWT News Update: April 18, 2016

A short update today with news from the world of Apple:

  • Apple has disabled code signing with iOS 9.3 firmware, meaning that downgrades from 9.3.1 to 9.3 are no longer possible.
  • Seattle is the latest beneficiary of Apple Maps transit directions
  • A really impressive "smart band" for Apple Watch -- Reserve Strap -- won't ship since Apple disabled functionality with watchOS 2.0.1

The text version of the podcast can be found below.

Text Version

Hi, I’m Steve Sande from Apple World Today, and this is the AWT News Update for April 18, 2016.

Do you have regrets about upgrading to iOS 9.3.1 on your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch? Well, it’s now too late to think about downgrading your device via iTunes, since Apple pulled the signing plug on iOS 9.3 firmware and it’s no longer possible to downgrade. iOS 9.3.2 is in beta now, so if you’re unhappy with some part of 9.3.1, you’ll be seeing an upgrade soon. How soon? Only Apple knows.

Over the past few weeks we’ve announced the addition of new cities to Apple Maps transit directions. Today, Seattle was added, so you can now use your iPhone to get directions that point you to light rail, commuter rail and bus lines that can get you where you’re going.

A while back there was a crowdfunding program for a device called Reserve Strap, which was designed to add battery life to your Apple Watch. It was a smart watchband that connected to the Apple Watch diagnostic port, and a lot of people were excited about the possibilities. Well, today the Reserve Strap team told customers that nobody will get their Reserve Straps because Apple updated its accessory port policy. Here’s a quote from the Reserve Strap team: Beginning with watchOS 2.0.1 an unexpected change to the Apple External Accessory Protocol disabled the functionality of Reserve Strap. Until this change, Reserve Strap functioned perfectly–extending the battery life of Apple Watch by over 150% in many cases allowing users to keep their Watch charged for up to a week. Specifically, this bug interferes with the communication between accessories and Apple Watch. For the time being, Apple has suspended use of this port until they unveil an official MFi program for Watch. In keeping with their wishes we will also be suspending shipment of all orders until Apple supports development of smartbands. Reserve Strap says that The Strap will still work on Apple Watches that have not been upgraded to watchOS 2.0.1.

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