AWT News Update: January 18, 2016

We're back after a slow news Friday that kept us away from the mic. At the top of the news of Apple for this Monday:

  • CarPlay beats six other finalists to get Autoblog's 2016 Technology of the Year award
  • Apple's not using Swift in-house very much at this point
  • Rumors of a March/April Apple product intro event seem to be false

Text version of the podcast is below, or you can view video here

Text Version

Hi, I’m Steve Sande from Apple World Today, and this is the AWT News Update for January 18, 2016.

CarPlay has received another award, this time as Autoblog’s 2016 Technology of the Year. Stephen Rouse, Autoblog’s director of Product and Technology, said that “Apple’s CarPlay represents the impact technology is having on our connected lives and brings an experience that is easy to use and enhances the lives of consumers who use this product.” The website, in its award article, noted that “consumers will appreciate the straightforward approach with which CarPlay brings their iPhones to life on the vehicle’s touchscreen. CarPlay functions almost exactly the same way the smartphone does, which makes a users’s transition into the car seamless and simple.” CarPlay beat six other finalists in the technology of the year category, those being Audi Virtual Cockpit, Ford Sync 3, Google Android Auto, Smart Cross Connect App, Volkswagen MIB II Infotainment, and Volvo Sensus Connect.

While Apple is attempting to make Swift the programming language of choice for developers, it appears that at this point, not too many of its own developers are using the language in-house. Software Engineer Ryan Olson noted in a blog post that the Calculator app in iOS 9.2 is about the only part of the operating system that includes any Swift code. It’s written almost entirely in Swift, with only two of 22 classes written in the Apple development language of choice, Objective-C. The reason behind the language’s slow adoption in-house may be that the Swift Application Binary Interface is not yet finished. That’s expected by the time Swift 3 arrives on the scene. There’s no 32-bit Swift runtime for OS X either. In December, Apple VP of software engineering Craig Federighi said that the Dock and window management of OS X El Capitan was done entirely in Swift and that the iCloud team is raring to go with the new language.

We always love it when rumors get squashed, only to be replaced with new rumors. One that had been going around that there was going to be an Apple event in March or April of this year at with a new “Apple Watch 2” would be unveiled. Well, many pundits have been checking with Apple suppliers in China and finding that there’s no evidence for any major release of an Apple product in the first half of 2016. Now the rumors are changing, saying that there might be a new smaller iPhone — like an iPhone 6c or iPhone 5e — that would use a four-inch display and iPhone 5s hardware in a new thin iPhone 6-type design. That would add Apple Pay support to a lower-end iPhone and could be aimed at developing markets. Other rumors throw out ideas about a Retina MacBook Air — I would doubt it, with my thinking being that the Retina MacBook will eventually replace the MacBook Air — and possibly updates of the 12-inch Retina MacBook and MacBook Pro models.

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