AWT News Update: October 1, 2015

All sorts of news from all over the place today:

  • Apple might be thinking about wireless earphones, as hinted by some poorly hidden trademark filings
  • Amazon is apparently dropping Apple TV and Google Chromecast from its store and any marketplace sellers
  • We bid a fond adieu to Disk Utility's "Repair Disk Permissions" command

The text version is just below the audio podcast if you prefer reading to listening.

Text Version

Hi, I’m Steve Sande from Apple World Today, and this is the AWT News Update for October 1, 2015.

It could be that Apple is thinking about making wireless earpods, as MacRumors is reporting that what appears to be a shell company is making trademark applications for the name “AirPods” around the world. The Owner of the trademark is a company called “Entertainment in Flight LLC”, which is a Delaware company with no apparent operations. This is a strategy used often by Apple to hide trademark work, along with making a first trademark application in Jamaica — a country that doesn’t maintain an online trademark database so Apple can hide the filing. Apple’s shell companies also use gmail addresses based on their names, as do these filings. And finally, law firms around the world that have made filings for Apple in the past are doing the work for Airpods as well. Apple’s Beats brand already sells wireless earphones and headphones, but it may be that Apple is trying to offer a wireless earphone option under the parent company brand.

It appears that Amazon is planning on dropping the Apple TV and Google Chromecast from its online store, citing incompatibilities with its Prime Video streaming service. Bloomberg reported that Amazon sent an email to marketplace sellers disallowing listings for the devices. Some set-top boxes or gaming consoles like those from Microsoft, Playstation and Roku, do have apps that provide playback of Prime Video. Whether this means that the Apple TV is banned for life or just until an app is ready for the 4th generation device is unknown. It could just be that Amazon is trying to create its own “walled garden” for its streaming video content.

Since OS X first arrived in the early 2000s, problems with the file system could usually be solved by launching the Disk Utility app, then running the options to verify or repair disk permissions. Well, you might be in for a shock if you give that a try now with OS X El Capitan, as the Disk Utility app has deleted that option. Why? Well, El Capitan automatically repairs file permissions while software is being updated or changed. You simply don’t need to run repairs manually anymore — it’s done for you. The app has been completed redesigned for the first time in many years; the remaining functions — First Aid, Partition, Erase, Unmount and Info, are all available with a single click. Disk Utility can also tell you where you may need to do some file trimming, as it creates a color chart showing where all that space is being used. OS X El Capitan’s Disk Utility isn’t a feature that most Mac users may even use, but it’s certainly one that has received a lot of work for this update.

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