AWT News Update: August 14, 2015

Lots of Apple news this fine Friday afternoon. Heading into the weekend, we report about:

  • Apple's looking for a secure location to test its self-driving car
  • Samsung loses an appeal in a patent infringement lawsuit to Apple
  • Apple Watch bands are now available for those with large wrists
  • Siri saves a life
  • ...and an accessibility update!

The text edition of the podcast is located below. 

Text Version

Hi, I’m Steve Sande from Apple World Today, and this is the AWT News Update for August 14, 2015.

The Guardian is reporting that Apple is indeed building a self-driving car and now looking for secure locations where the car could be tested far from the eyes, cameras, and drones of the press. In May, a group of Apple engineers working on the project discussed using GoMentum Station, which is a 2100-acre former naval base in the Bay Area being transformed into a high-security test center for self-driving vehicles. Mercedes-Benz and Honda have already performed tests on the 20 miles of highways and streets in the center, and Google and other carmakers have visited the facility. This indicates that the car, which is rumored to have the name Project Titan, is further along in development than expected.

Samsung’s appeal to a federal court to reject an award decision to Apple for patent infringement has been denied. The patent fight started in 2011, with Apple accusing Samsung of infringing on key iPhone features. The initial penalty levied against Samsung was just over $1 billion, later reduced to $290 million after court action. It’s unsure if Samsung will try to move its appeal to the US Supreme Court, or just pay up.

If you’re one of those people with well-muscled large wrists, you may have been sad about the relatively tiny bands that are available for the Apple Watch. Apple has listened to you, and today released a new Link Bracelet Kit that expands the 42mm Link Bracelet band up to a wrist circumference of 245mm. In addition, there’s a new Sport Band sizing option available, also bringing the maximum size for the sleek band up to 245mm.

A Murfreesboro, Tennessee teenager owes his life to Siri. The youth was underneath his truck when it fell on him, pinning him to the ground. Unable to move his arms, the teen was beginning to lose hope when he heard the Siri activation sound coming from his back pocket. Yes, he had butt-dialed Siri, and was able to ask the assistant to call 911 for him. A trauma team from Vanderbilt University Medical Center was sent to the scene, and the teen was saved. In 2014, a two-year-old child used Siri to call 911 after her mother became unconscious due to a nervous disorder.

And now an update from our Accessibility Editor, Alex Jurgensen. Alex notes that writing for iMore, Rene Ritchie took a look at how Apple made the iOS Camera app accessible to the visually impaired. Camera accessibility is a great example of how Apple has gone above and beyond the call of duty when it comes to implementing accessibility on its products. A link to the article can be found in the show notes for this podcast at AppleWorld.Today.

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