AWT News Update: September 16, 2016

Steve's not happy that his iPhone 7 Plus didn't arrive on its scheduled date, but at least he didn't get caught up in the typhoon that delayed shipment. We have some good news stories for you, though:

  • Tests of the new Beats Solo3 Wireless headphones are showing that the Apple W1 chip inside the headphones can provide ranges of up to 800 feet away from an iPhone
  • Did you know that you can now ask Siri to take a picture?
  • We tell you how to reboot an iPhone 7 (hint - the old method doesn't work anymore)
  • Apple will pay a patent licensing firm at least $22.1 million for infringing on a cellular networking patent

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

Text Version

Hi, this is Steve Sande for Apple World Today, and this is the AWT News Update for September 16, 2016. And in case anybody wonders or cares, my iPhone 7 Plus is STILL showing a delivery date of tomorrow. Yeah, it got stuck in Taiwan for a day due to a typhoon and will be late.

The Beats Solo3 Wireless headphones use the new Class 1 Bluetooth specification, and that’s a good thing. Class 1 devices are rated to work up to 300 feet away, but some users are finding that they can be 400 feet or more away from an iPhone and still get sound. One user even found that he could be about 800 feet away and still get audio, although the left ear cup had to be pointed towards the iPhone. Bluetooth 5.0 will officially support ranges of up to 800 feet, which could be really impressive. The Solo3 Wireless uses Apple’s W1 wireless chip — the same one found in AirPods — so it appears that it might also provide some Bluetooth 5.0 functionality, even with iPhones that use earlier Bluetooth specs.

iOS 10 has some subtle improvements in Siri that we’re just learning about, and one of those is that Siri can now be your photographic assistant. Just launch Siri with the home button on your iPhone or iPad or say “Hey Siri”, then say one of the following commands:

  • Take a picture
  • Take a square picture
  • Take a panoramic picture
  • Take a video
  • Take a slow motion video
  • Take a time-lapse video
  • Take a selfie
    You’ll still need to frame your photo in the viewfinder, focus, set the exposure, and tap the shutter button, but at least Siri will open the Camera app to the correct setting and also use the front-facing camera for selfies. Hopefully someday we’ll be able to get Siri to do the rest of the work as well!

If you’re getting a new iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus, you might have occasion to force reboot your phone. Previously, that was quite easy with an iPhone because you just pressed the sleep/wake button and home button simultaneously and the device rebooted. That’s not going to work with the solid-state home button on the new devices, since your phone has to be turned on and functioning in order for the home button to be able to tell that it’s being pressed. Fortunately, there’s a solution. Press the sleep/wake button and volume down button together, and you’ll force reboot the phone.

This has been a bad week for Apple in the legal sense; yesterday a federal jury ruled against Apple and for Acacia Research Corporation, which is a patent licensing firm. The company was asking for $22.1 million in damages from Apple for violating a cellular networking patent. The jury found that Apple willfully infringed on the patent, which could allow the judge in the case to multiply the damages by as much as three times.

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