AWT News Update: May 8, 2015

Happy Friday, everyone! Today we have a short blast of Apple news for your listening pleasure:

  • Apple begins sending out notifications to the winners of 350 WWDC scholarships
  • Xcode 6.3.2 GM seed has been shipped to developers
  • Patently Apple: more Watches will be sold in the first 60 days than iPhones sold in the first year 
  • A "smart cane" for the blind is developed by students from Birmingham City University

The full text version of the podcast script is available below.

Text Version

Steve Sande here from Apple World Today, and you’re listening to the AWT News Update for May 8, 2015. Many thanks to our sponsor this week, Rage Software, developers of EverWeb — a powerful website development tool for Mac. Take advantage of a 20% off special offer for Apple World Today readers by clicking the EverWeb banner on the website.

This year, Apple provided 350 scholarships to the Worldwide Developer Conference for student developers and members of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) organizations. Today Apple started sending out notifications to the lucky attendees, who are able to attend WWDC without the $1599 ticket price. In Apple’s email to the scholarship winners, they note that the young attendees will get a special scholarship orientation where they’ll hear from Apple engineers, and the group will also provide collaborative hands-on activities so that the scholars have a chance to get to know one another. Congratulations to the young winners.

Speaking of developers, Apple has just released the Golden Master seed of Xcode 6.3.2 to developers. The new version contains bug fixes, but no further release notes are available at this time.

Patently Apple provided some fascinating insights today about the level of sales of the Apple Watch when compared with the iPhone when it was first released in 2007. In the first year of iPhone sales, Apple sold just 5.41 million of the smartphones. That’s nothing compared to the 74.5 million iPhones that the company sold in the 2014 holiday quarter. Well, it’s very possible that Apple will move more Watches in the first 60 days of the product’s sales than the total number of iPhones sold in the first full year. As the post on Patently Apple concludes, “wow, have times changed.”

Finally, here’s some Accessible Apple news from Apple World Today accessibility editor Alex Jurgensen:

Students from Birmingham City University have developed XploR, a cane for the blind that uses a camera, together with a smartphone's GPS, Bluetooth, and processing power to help the blind recognize those people around them. Incoming images are compared against a locally stored database and, upon recognition, the user is alerted via a Bluetooth earpiece.

There's no word yet on the smartphone platform being used, but with the iPhone being the most popular smartphone among the visually impaired community, it is likely to be available on iOS — if not now, then in the near future.

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