AWT News Update: December 13, 2016

Steve's back in the saddle again, which means that you'll get your AWT News Update each and every day. Today's headlines:

  • AirPods go on sale, but quickly move to back-ordered status...
  • Apple fixed a battery life issue on the new MacBook Pro by removing the "time remaining" indicator
  • Don't use third-party batteries or power adapters -- that's the word on Apple's support website as a number of unsafe counterfeits have hit the market
  • We tell you how to get a screenshot of the new MacBook Pro's Touch Bar

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 December 13, 2016.

Now that I’m back to doing the podcast every day, please be sure to tell your Apple-lovin’ friends about the show. They can listen to it on the website, in Apple News, or subscribe to it for delivery to their favorite podcast app.

This morning we reported that Apple’s AirPods were finally available for order, and a few of our eagle-eyed readers were able to order them for delivery next week. Well, apparently word got out to the world very quickly, as the delivery times are now showing that you’ll get ‘em in four weeks. Congratulations to those folks who will have their AirPods available as a Christmas present; our condolences to those who have to wait until January.

Apple made a change to the battery life indicator on the new MacBook Pro in macOS 10.12.2, which was delivered to Mac users today. Apple has advertised a 10 hour battery life on the new MacBook Pro, but some users were reporting that the battery life “time remaining” indicator was showing less than 10 hours — even when the battery was fully charged. So how did Apple fix this problem? They removed the time remaining indicator. A company spokesman said that the percentage number seen on the battery icon in the menu bar is accurate, but because of the many different ways that users utilize their MacBooks, the time remaining indicator couldn’t accurately tell how many hours and minutes of use time were left. Instead of leaving MacBook Pro owners to fret about inaccurate time estimates, Apple just got rid of that indicator. Problem solved.

Apple has updated its support website with a warning about using counterfeit batteries and power adapters, as well as third-party options for power. Many of the products are “not properly designed and could result in safety issues” according to Apple, and the company recommends that users in need of a replacement purchase its more expensive first-party power adapters. For replacement batteries, Apple directs owners to go to an Apple Store or authorized service provider. Why is Apple concerned? Underwriter Laboratories, which issues the UL rating for electrical devices, tested 400 fake Apple chargers and found 99% of them to be unsafe. Apple filed a lawsuit in October against one counterfeit vendor, Mobile Star, and accused it of violating copyrights and trademarks by posing as Apple on Amazon and Groupon. Amazon is about to crack down on counterfeits as well, creating a registry of recognized sellers that vendors will have to match against to get their inventory into the online store.

We’re always impressed with how easy Apple makes it for bloggers to get screenshots from its various devices. For years we’ve had the ability to capture the Mac screen, iPhone and iPad displays, and even the tiny screen of the Apple Watch. Now you can take a screenshot of the MacBook Pro Touch Bar. To do so, press Shift-Command-6, and the screenshot is saved to your desktop. To send it to your clipboard instead, hold down Control-Shift-Command-6.

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