AWT News Update: October 20, 2015

  There's a lot of media-related Apple news today...

  • Tim Cook reports on how many Apple Music subscribers the company now has paying for the service
  • The 4th-generation Apple TV is on the way next week, and current Apple TVs get three new channels
  • Apple Pay adds 72 more US banks and credit unions, bringing the total to over 600.
  • A 1Password file was displaying unencrypted metadata

The text version of the podcast can be viewed below, and the video version is here

Text Version

Hi, I’m Steve Sande from Apple World Today, and this is the AWT News Update for October 20, 2015.

Speaking at WSJDLive, the global technology conference sponsored by The Wall Street Journal, Apple CEO Tim Cook announced that Apple Music currently has 6.5 million paying customers and 8.5 million more customers who are on three-month trials. The number of paying customers appears to indicate that about 60% of all people who have gone through the trial perios have signed up for the service. Those numbers are small at this point compared to Spotify, which has 20 million subscribers but 75 million active users. Cook said that the most popular feature of Apple Music appears to be human curation of playlists, something that other services simply don’t offer. Cook also announced that the company will begin to accept orders for the fourth-generation Apple TV on Monday, October 26, and expects to ship the new devices at the end of next week.

Along with the report of the Apple TV’s actual ship date, the current Apple TV got three new channels today. The CBS channel offers a $6 per month subscription to CBS All Access, the new NBC channel offers a limited number of free full episodes from select TV shows, and Made to Measure (AKA M2M), which is a new and free fashion channel.

Apple Pay added support today for 72 more US banks and credit unions, bringing the total at well over 600. For me, I was thrilled to see that the credit union I’ve been a member of for 36 years has finally joined the ranks of Apple Pay providers, which might create a change in the way I pay for things. At this point, I make most purchases on a credit card that has been accepted by Apple Pay since day one; but now I might just start using Apple Pay as a debit card, keeping closer tabs on expenditures. Of course, I pay off the credit card monthly so I get a month of free float, so maybe that’s not such a good idea. It is nice to have options, though.

Many of us in the world of Apple use 1Password from developer AgileBits to keep all of our passwords synced and safe. Well, a Microsoft engineer by the name of Dale Myers found out that an AgileKeychain file was displaying unencrypted metadata. The file was associated with 1Password’s 1PasswordAnywhere service, which allows remote access without having 1Password installed, and contains the name and address of every stored item. That could reveal personal information such as visited sites, bank accounts, and purchased apps. The company is already transitioning to a new secure format called OPVault, and upgrades should happen soon. If you’re only using 1Password on iOS devices, you can choose to sync via iCloud, which will enable the OPVault format.

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