AWT News Update: November 3, 2016

It's a pretty light news day in the Apple world today, but we've got a few stories to provide you with the news you need:

  • A maker of Thunderbolt 3 accessories finds out that its products aren't compatible with the new MacBook Pro
  • August updates its Smart Lock to be totally compatible with HomeKit and Apple's Home app
  • LifeProof, a part of OtterBox, announces that its flagship Fre case is available for pre-order for iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus

The text version of the podcast can be viewed below. To listen to the podcast here, click the play button on the player below.

Text Version

Hi, this is Steve Sande for Apple World Today, and this is the AWT News Update for November 3, 2016. Congratulations to the World Series Champion Chicago Cubs!

If you own any Thunderbolt 3 devices from Plugable, you might be discouraged to hear that they probably will not work with Apple’s new MacBook Pro. It turns out that — and I quote from Plugable here — “Apple has chosen to prevent Thunderbolt 3 devices using currently available controller chips from Texas Instruments from enumerating and functioning on the 2016 MacBook Pros. All current Thunderbolt 3 peripherals which use this controller chip are incompatible with the new 2016 Thunderbolt 3 MacBooks (To our knowledge, this includes all currently available Thunderbolt 3 devices including our TBT3-DP2X and TBT3-HDMI2X graphics adapters. Our Thunderbolt 3 cables do not require this chip, and therefore are compatible.)” Plugable goes on to say that “Because of this, we’ve made the difficult decision to postpone our TBT3-UD1 Docking Station as we evaluate what is necessary to make this docking station MacBook-compatible. Our Flagship TBT3-UDV dock with Power Delivery/Charging is using the next generation controller chip from TI, and will be compatible with the 2016 Thunderbolt 3 MacBooks.”

Owners of the August Smart Lock will be happy to hear that the company has released a firmware update for the lock that adds full support for Apple’s Home app. The firmware also is designed to improve connection speed and motor operation, and the lock can now be properly controlled by the Home app. Users can also set up rules to take actions when the lock is locked or unlocked, like turning lights on or off or adjusting thermostats.

When my spouse wanted a case that could hold up to drops on the floor or into water, she picked a case from LifeProof. She’ll be happy to know that when she’s finally able to upgrade to an iPhone 7 Plus, there will be a LifeProof Fre case for the phone. The ports are drop-proof to 6.6 feet and watertight, block out dirt and snow, and have little lid over the Lightning port to keep it from getting dirty. The iPhone 7 version comes in black, blue, red, gray, teal and purple for $89.99, and two camouflage versions will come along down the road for $99.99 each. The iPhone 7 Plus version will come only in black, blue, gray, teal and purple for $89.99.

That’s all for today; We’ll be back tomorrow afternoon with another edition of the AWT News Update.