AWT News Update: December 15, 2016

Thanks for coming back to the AWT News Update podcast after an almost month-long hiatus; we love seeing the listener numbers climbing back to their previous level! Today's news:

  • Finnair and Japan Air Lines are two new clients for the Apple-IBM Mobile First collaboration and will both be using iPhones and iPad Pros to improve aircraft maintanance
  • Guess how much it will cost to replace a single lost Apple AirPod? We tell you in the podcast...
  • Pebble owners - Fitbit says it will keep your watch going for at least another year, including those services that connect it to iOS
  • A new iPhone 7 ad made for Japan shows off a unique capability of the iPhone 7 models and Apple Watch Series 2 in that country

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 15, 2016.

The Mobile First collaboration between Apple and IBM keeps bearing fruit in business. Today, Japan Air Lines and Finnair announced that they’ll be using iPhones and iPad Pros with new IBM apps that are designed to improve aircraft maintenance. The new iOS apps provide JAL aircraft engineers with “access to tools and processes that allow them to expedite repairs and modifications to the aircraft.” The two new apps are called “Inspect & Turn” and “Assign Tech”, and are designed to “eliminate manual-based processes and reduce time spent on preparing and reporting technical issues.” Finnair is working with IBM’s “MobileFirst for iOS Garage”, which is a development hub for iOS enterprise apps. Finnair is also the first client to participate in IBM’s “Mobile at Scale for iOS” model for design and development, a program designed to speed development and increase iOS app efficiency, while reducing development costs and time by up to 25 percent.

Some lucky folks will be getting their Apple AirPods as soon as next Wednesday, so it’s a perfect time to let you know what you can do if you’re one of those people and you lose one of your AirPods at some point. It turns out that Apple will charge $69 to replace a lost AirPod so that you don’t have to walk around looking like Lieutenant Uhura on Star Trek with just one of those things dangling out of your ear.

Were you one of those people who couldn’t wait for Apple to come out with the Apple Watch, so you jumped on the Pebble Smartwatch instead? As you well know, Fitbit bought out the smartwatch company last week, and will no longer produce Pebble smartwatches. Should you have a Pebble, rest assured that Fitbit is “going out of its way to keep Pebble software and services running through 2017”. Pebble’s intellectual property and production smarts are expected to be used by Fitbit to create its own smartwatch to be compete with the Apple Watch.

Apple Pay has been expanding around the world, and Apple Japan has just released a new video ad for the iPhone 7 that shows just how fast Apple Pay works. In the ad, titled “Race”, two men run at top speed through a busy Japanese city, keeping in pace until they reach a subway turnstile. One man pulls out his iPhone 7 Plus, charges 3,800 yen to his Suica card via Apple Pay, and then gets onto a train…all before the other man can find his pass. Japanese iPhone 7 models are special in that they support Sony’s FeliCa mobile payment platform. FeliCa is ubiquitous in subway stations throughout Japan and many other places as well. The capability is built into the Japanese versions of the Apple Watch Series 2 as well.

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