AWT News Update: July 13, 2015

PHOTO: ALAMY, via  The Telegraph

PHOTO: ALAMY, via The Telegraph

Here's what's new in the world of Apple today:

  • Apple's giving Greek iCloud users a free month of service
  • Rumors abound about the 12.9-inch iPad Pro
  • ResearchKit is finding a home in big pharmaceutical companies
  • British man arrested for plugging an iPhone in for a charge... on a train.

The all-text version of the podcast can be seen below if you'd rather not listen to my voice. :-(

Text Version

Hi, I’m Steve Sande from Apple World Today, and this is the AWT News Update for July 13, 2015.

Things haven’t exactly been a bed of roses for Greek citizens over the past month or so, but at least Apple is helping things out where it can. According to website iPhoneHellas, the Greek government is trying to prevent overseas payments and transfers to keep banks from failing, so they’ve blocked the renewal of iCloud subscriptions and the ability to pay for content from Apple’s digital storefronts. As a result, the company has offered Greek iCloud users a free month of cloud access. Once the renewal date is up, Apple will probably recommend that users clear out their iCloud storage to prevent data loss or find alternative services that can be purchased.

Although we don’t often post articles based on rumors, that doesn’t keep me from talking about them on the AWT News Update. The latest is about the rumored 12.9-inch iPad Pro, which is now said to be launching “after mid-November”. The big iPad is being ordered cautiously by Apple, a smart move since iPad sales have been declining and the overall tablet market is quite weak. Other rumors say that the pro iPad will have a flexible display with better pressure sensitivity, a built-in NFC chip, Force Touch, a USB-C port, and perhaps a pressure sensitive Bluetooth stylus. That sound you hear? It’s Steve Jobs spinning in his grave at the thought of an Apple device with a stylus.

Apple’s ResearchKit platform was originally designed to assist in non-profit medical research, but recent developments show that large pharmaceutical firms are jumping on the bandwagon to integrate ResearchKit into clinical trials. Both Purdue Pharma and GlaxoSmithKline have announced that they’ll start using ResearchKit soon. Apple made the open source framework available in April, and it has receive praise from the medical research community. Stanford University reported that it was able to gather research for a heart health study in 24 hours that would normally take over a year to compile.

If you’re riding a train in Britain and see an electrical outlet, don’t just plug your iPhone, iPad or MacBook into it for a quick charge. A 45-year-old London artist by the name of Robin Lee was approached by a police community support officer on board a train last friday and told that he was “illegally extracting electricity.” When he arrived at the Camden Road London Overground station, police officers were waiting to arrest Lee. He was told that the electrical sockets on trains are reserved for cleaning staff only. Fortunately, charges were later dropped against Lee and he was let go with a warning.

We’ll be back tomorrow afternoon for another edition of the AWT News Update.