AWT News Update: April 4, 2016

The Nest Revolv hub, which will soon be a $300 (and not very attractive) brick

The Nest Revolv hub, which will soon be a $300 (and not very attractive) brick

Thank you, listeners, for a record month! Please tell your friends about the AWT News Update and keep our numbers growing. Today we bring you news from all around the world of Apple:

  • If you own a Nest Revolv home automation hub (seen above), you're not going to be a happy camper when you hear that they're totally shutting down your $300 device
  • Have you spit into the bottle for 23andMe to get genetic information? If so, you'll be able to anonymously link your genetic info to ResearchKit medical studies in the near future
  • Apple's plans to sell low-cost refurbished iPhones in India are being undermined by a lobbying group backed by local firms and Samsung

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 4, 2016.

In case you were wondering about the AWT News Update for April 1, 2016… there was no AWT News Update that day. April Fools!

Just a few years ago, there were two home automation hubs that you could buy that worked with a variety of home automation products. One was the SmartThings hub and the other was the Revolv hub. SmartThings was purchased by Samsung last year, and it’s obvious that the technology giant is doing some great things, coming out with a second version of the hub and creating a large list of compatible products. On the other hand, Revolv was purchased by Alphabet’s Nest group, and things aren’t so great over there. Rob Price at Business Insider pointed out that the company is pulling the plug on all Revolv products in May as they “can’t allocated resources to Revolv anymore”. The company isn’t just stopping support for the products; the $300 hub and associated apps will just stop working altogether. This is the latest in a series of issues associated with Nest, which was started by ex-Apple engineers in 2010. Many of its senior executives are on the way out of the company, which is described as having a toxic culture.

Customers of genetics firm 23andMe will soon be able to contribute anonymized genetic data to ResearchKit apps. Apple announced this news today, and it means that developers can now use a new software module in their research apps that can take genetic data volunteered by 23andMe customers. This can go a long way towards finding links between specific genetic traits and how they affect diseases and their cures.

Apple has been trying to make headway in India selling its devices, as it has just a two percent marketshare in the smartphone market in the country. In order to jumpstart sales in a country that has a low average income, Apple has applied with the Indian government to sell used iPhones in the country. However, that application is being fought by a lobbying organization called the Mobile and Communications Council. Guess who’s behind that group? Not just local firms Intex and Micromax, but good old Samsung — which just happens to lead the Indian market in smartphone sales. Opponents are saying that it could undermine the current prime minister’s campaign to make more technology products in India, as firms like Apple could flood the market with used imports. One seller was quoted as saying that local manufacturers are afraid that Apple’s “snob value” would lead Indian consumers to pick the iPhone over locally produced handsets. Apple is still trying to open its first Apple Stores in the country, seeking space in major cities while also trying to gain approval.

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