AWT News Update: September 11, 2015

A little bit of news for our listeners and viewers on this lovely late summer Friday afternoon:

  • Apple begins taking pre-orders for the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus tomorrow morning at 12:01 AM PT/3:01 AM ET. Order early and often!
  • Activision announces three titles for the new Apple TV
  • Hey Siri is going to require a bit more training under iOS 9
  • What happens in Russia, stays in Russia... especially if it's on iCloud

Text version is below, and the nice landscape video version is also available. 

Text Version

Hi, I’m Steve Sande from Apple World Today, and this is the AWT News Update for September 11, 2015. Our sponsor this month is MacPaw, developers of CleanYourMac, Gemini, Hider 2, and Encrypto for Mac. Check out their apps on the web at

Just a reminder to all of our listeners that beginning at 12:01 AM PT/3:01 AM ET on Saturday morning, Apple will begin taking pre-orders on the new iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus. It’s recommended that you pre-enter information about your current carrier and check your eligibility for upgrade pricing before the rush; that can be done using the iOS Apple Store app. Good luck, and be sure to let us know how your pre-order experience went.

Activision announced this week that it will be writing games for the Apple TV coming later this fall. Guitar Hero Live will come with its own Bluetooth plastic guitar, allowing you to practice your riffs in front of screaming fans on the big screen. It will be joined by Skylanders SuperChargers, which comes with its requisite portal and controller, and this game will sync across all of your iOS devices. Finally, Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions Evolved will come to Apple TV and iPad Pro. That $169 set-top box is beginning to look more and more like a gaming console.

One of the features of iOS that’s quite useful is Hey Siri, which allows users to speak commands without having to touch their iPhone or iPad. At this time, Hey Siri works only when your iPad or iPhone is plugged into power, and at any time on the Apple Watch. Once the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus appear, they will also be able to listen for your command all the time. Contrary to today’s simple setup for Hey Siri — which consists of toggling it on — once iOS 9 arrives you’ll need to speak a number of commands so that Siri understand you better. First, you’ll say “Hey Siri” three times, then “Hey Siri, How’s the weather today?” followed by “Hey Siri, it’s me.” After that point, you should see Siri responding to your spoken commands with much more accuracy.

In order to stay within the bounds of a new Russian law that went into effect on September 1, Apple has begun storing iCloud data for users in that country at a Russian data center. By doing so, Apple is compliant with the law and its online services won’t be blocked in Russia. Basically, if a company refuses to host its user data within Russia, the government-run communications regulator Roskomnadzor can restrict access to websites and services for Russian users. Some companies, including Facebook, are not happy about the policy and may not comply. Apple stores Chinese users’ data on servers owned by China Telecom, so the move is not unprecedented.

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