AWT News Update: April 5, 2016

The AWT News Update has news about News. No, really. That and some other interesting short new bits.

  • Apple opens up @applenews on Twitter, highlighting top stories on the service
  • Are you a fan of Apple Music? Check out the 2 hour, 30 minute long 40th Anniversary playlist that has been published by the company
  • French consumer watchdogs want to fine Apple €48.5 million for having carrier contracts that are "too strict"
  • WhatsApp has turned on end-to-end encryption for its services
  • The Google Play app store let the Taliban sell a propaganda app

Text edition of the podcast is located below.

Text Version

Hi, I’m Steve Sande from Apple World Today, and this is the AWT News Update for April 5, 2016.

Apple today opened up an official Apple News feed on Twitter. Follow @applenews, and you will get information about top stories on the Apple News app for iOS. Today, the account has only shared a pair of stories, mainly a Wired feature story on the Panama Papers leak and an SB Nation story about Villanova fans and their reactions to their team winning the NCAA championship. The links in the tweets will open in the Apple News app on an iOS device, but if clicked in Twitter on a Mac or PC, the story will open in the publication’s website.

On April 1st, Apple celebrated its 40th birthday. Today, the company released a new Apple Music playlist featuring songs that have either been featured in the company’s advertising at some point or are inspired by the company’s history. For example, the playlist begins and ends with Beatles-related music, and Steve Jobs was a huge fan of The Beatles. Other artists include The Rolling Stones, Eminem, Adele, Coldplay, Cream, and Bob Dylan. The 40 songs on the playlist last a combined 2 hours and 30 minutes.

The Europeans keep finding ways to punish Apple’s success. Today comes a report that France’s competition, consumer and fraud agency — the DGCCRF — has launched a court case against Apple. Why? The group says that the company has maintained unfair carrier contracts that give it too much control, and it’s asking Apple to not only remove 10 contract clauses with those carriers, but return a total of 48.5 million euros (or $55.3 million), split between carriers SFR, Orange, Free Mobile, and Bouygues Telecom. SFR stands to gain the most with 14 million euros, Orange would get 11.6 million, Free Mobile 8.2 million and Bouygues Telecom would get 6.7 million.

If you want to keep all of your messages, voice calls, and photo and video sharing completely private, you might want to start using WhatsApp. The service — which is owned by Facebook — announced that all communications are now encrypted end to end. Not even WhatsApp can see what you’re sending or receiving. WhatsApp felt that it needed to make a move to protect the privacy of its more than 1 billion users.

Developers sometimes wonder why Apple maintains such strict rules on getting apps into the App Store, while Google’s Play app store has much less lax rules. Well, Google might start paying a bit more attention after the Taliban slipped a propaganda app called Alemarah into the store. The app has been pulled, but the fact remains that the lack of screening rules allowed a radical terrorist group to put their propaganda app into Google Play.

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