AWT News Update: July 6, 2016

Neither rain, nor floods, nor lightning, nor balky cloud storage partners at Libsyn can keep this podcaster from making his appointed rounds. Today we have a nice little 4-minute blast of Apple and industry news for you:

  • Apple CEO Tim Cook joins other corporate elites at the Sun Valley retreat
  • Safari Technology Preview 8 adds internal code to support Apple Pay for Websites
  • Verizon raises rates, adds some features

The text version of the podcast can be read below. To listen to the podcast here, click the play button on the player below.

Text Version

Hi, I’m Steve Sande from Apple World Today, and this is the AWT News Update for July 6, 2016.

When we go to conferences, they’re usually fun little affairs like MacTech Pro or 360|iDev, where anybody with either the money to attend or the will to be a speaker can go and hang out with other Apple-heads. If you’re Tim Cook or one of the other corporate elites in the world, you go to the annual Sun Valley retreat. Cook was invited by the host, investment banking firm Allen & Company, along with others like Disney’s Bob Iger, Comcast’s Brian Roberts, Mary Barra from General Motors, Twitter’s Jack Dorsey, and more. Apple senior VP of internet software and services Eddy Cue is also at the event, probably working on deals with the heads of large media firms. The event began yesterday and runs through Saturday.

We’re pretty good about telling our listeners when new versions of beta software come out, but we’ve been neglectful about Safari Technology Preview. That’s the experimental version of the Safari browser that’s made for testing new functions and web technologies. Today Apple released Safari Technology Preview 8, the first version that includes some of the internal code that will be required to support Apple Pay integration with websites. The Preview is open source, and the code fragments have been moved to the open source repository. Apple Pay for websites was announced at WWDC this year, and will be a new feature in Safari 10 — part of macOS Sierra. The Safari Technology Preview also includes the usual bug fixes and updates for JavaScript, CSS, Web APIs, Web Inspector, media handling, rendering, accessibility, and security.

It’s always odd when a major mobile carrier goes in the opposite direction of other carriers, but that’s the case with Verizon. Today, the carrier announced new plans that launch tomorrow, July 7. Unlike most carriers, who seem to revel in being able to undercut prices offered by other companies, Verizon is raising rates. The Small and Medium plans are now $5 more per month, but include an extra gig of data for a cap of 2 or 4 gigabytes respectively. The Large, Extra Large, and Extra Extra Large plans have been raised by $10 each, adding two gigs of data for a cap of 8, 16, and 24 GB each. Verizon has also added Carryover Data (called rollover by AT&T and T-Mobile) to all of the plans so unused data can be carried over to the next month. The company also announced a new MyVerizon app, with a free feature for those on the XL and XXL plans - Safety Mode. If a user is about to go over their monthly data cap, they can turn on Safety Mode to avoid overage fees. Sadly, Safety Mode also throttles data speeds to 128 kilobits per second… For users on the S, M, or L plans — who are much more likely to overrun their data cap — Safety Mode is available for an extra $5 a month.

That’s all for today; We’ll be back tomorrow afternoon with another edition of the AWT News Update.