AWT News Update: April 20, 2016

Today's news is accompanied by a healthy seasoning of rumors, which always makes for interesting conjecture about future Apple products:

  • New developer betas for all four Apple operating systems were released today
  • Apple, Daimler and BMW are apparently not collaborating on the mythical Project Titan electric car
  • Samsung is working on supplying Apple with NAND flash memory for the first time since 2012
  • The addition of powerful AMD Polaris Architecture GPU chips to upcoming Macs may make the Mac platform acceptable to Oculus Rift

Text version of this podcast is located below.

Text Version

Hi, I’m Steve Sande from Apple World Today, and this is the AWT News Update for April 20, 2016.

Unsurprisingly, Apple today released the second developer betas for iOS 9.3.2, watchOS 2.2.1, tvOS 9.2.1 and OS X 10.11.5. That means that the next step — probably tomorrow or Friday — will be for these to be made available to public beta testers. One of the big changes in iOS 9.3.2 beta 2 is that it’s once again possible to use both Low Power Mode and Night Shift at the same time.

Rumors have been pretty steady over the past year stating that Apple was looking to collaborate with German carmakers Daimler and BMW on its Project Titan electric car. A German newspaper, Handelsblatt, reports that the company has ended talks with both Daimler and BMW at this time. The discussions with BMW apparently fell apart last year, with the Daimler negotiations having fallen through more recently with disagreements on who would lead the project and which company would own data. Apple reportedly wants the car to be tied closely to its own cloud services, while the German carmakers wanted customer data protection to be a part of their future strategy. As usual with rumors of Project Titan, we won’t really know anything until Apple either ships a car or a book is published talking about the collapse of Apple’s car project.

Apple’s arch-rival Samsung is reportedly on the way back into Apple’s supply chain, this time for memory modules. Samsung will allegedly be supplying Apple with NAND flash memory chips, which are used in iOS devices, Apple TV, Apple Watch and Mac notebooks. Apple hasn’t used significant amounts of Samsung DRAM and NAND storage since late 2012, when Samsung reportedly ignored using Apple’s requested electromagnetic interference shielding. Samsung is apparently working with Protec on a sprayed-on shielding method that will reduce costs.

We reported the other day that AMD will be providing Apple with new Polaris Architecture Graphics Processing Units for Macs. One thing pointed out by website Patently Apple is that the new GPUs are insanely powerful and are designed for graphics, gaming, VR and multimedia applications on everything from desktop devices to the thinnest laptops. Well, back in March, Oculus Rift co-founder Palmer Luckey said that he wouldn’t bring his VR platform to the Mac simply because “Apple doesn’t prioritize high-end GPUs”. By the end of 2016, it’s quite likely that new Macs will have more than enough power to drive the Oculus Rift headset and apps, and we’re hoping that Luckey changes his mind about supporting Apple computers.

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