AWT News Update: August 10, 2015

Stormy weather hit the Colorado office of AWT today, and while it was raining cats, dogs, and buffalo, some other hot news items were taking place:

  • Google now has a parent company, Alphabet. 
  • Amex corporate cards are now usable under Apple Pay
  • Did you buy MacKeeper at some point? You'll be eligible for a refund thanks to a settlement in a class action lawsuit.
  • Force Touch is apparently a feature on the upcoming (and rumored) iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus. 

Lost your headphones so you can't listen to the podcast? Read the text version below.

Text Version

Hi, I’m Steve Sande from Apple World Today, and this is the AWT News Update for August 10, 2015. If you were watching me earlier on Periscope, you’ll know we had quite a bit of rain. Shortly after I “hung up” on the Periscope stream, the National Weather Service used the mobile phone emergency alert system to scare the heck out of me. But it’s nice and cool out now, so that’s a plus.

Google just did something very weird; they reorganized the company, and there will now be a parent company called “Alphabet” which the search company will be part of. Other Alphabet ventures include Calico, a company that has a mission of curing death — yes, I did just say that — and Life Sciences, a company that is working on a glucose-sensing contact lens for diabetics. Alphabet will control Wing, the drone delivery service that Google is hoping to start. There’s no definitive word about whether Google’s Nest home automation will remain as a Google subsidiary or an Alphabet company. Sundar Pichai, who has been the acting CEO of Google for a while, is now the official CEO while Larry Page and Sergey Brin are the CEO and President, respectively, of Alphabet.

Are you one of those lucky corporate lackeys who has an American Express corporate card? If you do, well, you’ll now be able to load that card into Apple Pay.

If you’re one of the folks who bought the often-criticized security and performance app MacKeeper before July 8, 2015, you can get your money back. A class action suit filed in May of 2014 accused ZeoBit, the developer of MacKeeper, of deceptive advertising and making false claims about what the app could do. 513,330 people in the US bought the app for as much as $39.95 a copy, and they’ll be contacted via email of the proposed settlement. If you’re one of those people, you will need to file a claim by November 30th to be eligible to receive your refund.

9to5Mac is reporting that the upcoming rumored iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus will have a feature that is quite popular on the Apple Watch — Force Touch. Ideas using Force Touch for shortcuts include looking up a point of interest in the Maps app, then using Force Touch to immediately start turn-by-turn directions. That saves two taps. Other shortcuts may work after Force Touching an app icon on the Home Screen. For example, a Force Touch on the Phone app icon could take a user straight to the Voicemail tab, while the same gesture on the News app icon would take a user either to the Favorites or For You tabs. The new iPhones will most likely be announced on September 9 at an Apple press event.

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