AWT News Update: August 25, 2015

Photo of Neil Young by Man Alive! via

Photo of Neil Young by Man Alive! via

A bit of a slow news day for Apple today... which is why we're poking fun at competing products:

  • Neil Young's Pono Player and high-quality audio seem to have a lack of resources for expansion
  • LOLZ - Samsung Galaxy Note 5 users can insert the "S pen" the wrong way and break their devices
  • Wristly finds some interesting -- and odd -- things about Apple Watch owners
  • IDC thinks a low cost iPhone 6C is a bad idea in a slowing smartphone market

Today's transcript is below the podcast player. Enjoy!

Text Version

Hi, I’m Steve Sande from Apple World Today, and this is the AWT News Update for August 25, 2015.

Remember Neil Young’s Pono project? According to Young, most digital music — including all of that sold by Apple in various forms — is horrible and of low quality. Young’s company Pono did a Kickstarter where it got 15,000 or so people to pony up the money for a $400 PonoPlayer, and they’ve allegedly bought “hundreds of thousands” of tracks online, some with quality up to 192 kHz and 24-bit. Even with that, Young says that the company doesn’t have the resources to expand to more countries. To top it off, Young’s search for a new CEO — he’s serving as interim CEO — hasn’t come to fruition. Perhaps Young should have thought about the fact that most people can’t discern the difference in sound quality Pono provides before spouting off about how much better his product was.

If the ads for Samsung’s Galaxy Note 5 smartphone have you jealous that your iPhone 6 Plus doesn’t have a pen, take heart. The new model has a preferred way of placing the S pen — that’s what it’s called, folks — so it is possible to put the pen into its slot upside down. If you do so, the S pen can become jammed in the slot and by forcing it out, you can possibly break the mechanism that’s used to tell the phone that the S pen is connected to it. Samsung’s advice? "We highly recommend our Galaxy Note 5 users follow the instructions in the user guide to ensure they do not experience such an unexpected scenario caused by reinserting the S pen in the other way around."

Wristly has published a new survey of Apple Watch users, and has some interesting information to share. First, it found that Dark Sky, Fantastical, and Overcast are the most popular Apple Watch apps by far. Dark Sky provides extremely localized weather forecasts, Fantastical is an amazing calendar and reminder app, and Overcast is a popular podcast app. Next, Wristly’s survey pointed out that media consumption isn’t big on the Watch, although the device can play back videos sent via iMessage, display photos that are synced, and play back music. And the last bit of information is somewhat odd, but 77% of all those surveyed — and they’re all Apple Watch owners, remember — also own an Apple TV.

Finally, IDC today released an updated forecast and lowered expectations for the worldwide sales of smartphones. Most of this is due to lower sales in China thanks to current economic woes in that country. IDC thinks that the iPhone will have a tough time gaining additional worldwide market share against Android phones, and even posited that a low cost iPhone 6C would fare poorly against cheap Android handsets.

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