AWT News Update: April 6, 2016

Today's Apple news covers transit, hiding apps, Google Chrome, beta versions of Apple operating systems, and Foxconn. Who says we don't get around? 

  • Apple Maps adds Montreal transit instructions, and Steve provides a tip for those who are still waiting for transit instructions for their city...
  • Code in a new beta seems to show that Apple may make it possible to remove or hide those built-in apps you're not fond of
  • Chrome appears to be close to supporting OS X native push notifications
  • A bunch of new developer betas have just been pushed out by Apple
  • Foxconn may have purchased Sharp just to make AMOLED displays for future iPhones

The text version of the podcast is just below...

Text Version

Hi, I’m Steve Sande from Apple World Today, and this is the AWT News Update for April 6, 2016.

If you’re a listener in the beautiful city of Montreal, Canada, this info is for you — the Apple Maps app now has Montreal transit data built in. Personally, I am still waiting for Apple to add transit directions to the maps for Denver, which has a large transit system that stretches over 2,340 square miles. In case you’re in the same boat I am, you can always use the excellent and free Moovit app, which does have transit directions for many more cities. Why Apple just doesn’t buy Moovit is beyond me…

Do you sometimes wish you could hide those Apple apps that you don’t use, like the Stock, GameCenter, or Tips apps? It appears that code in the latest iOS betas is showing that it might be possible to hide or delete some of the standard built-in iOS apps. A new API element called “isFirstPartyHideableApp” has appeared, which could mean that Apple’s looking at ways to hide those apps or even make them separate from the OS so that they could be more frequently updated. We’re sure to hear something about this at June’s Worldwide Developer Conference.

The Google Chrome browser is apparently about to receive support for OS X’s native push notifications. At the present time, Chrome uses it’s own notification system that sends alerts even when a person has left a web page as long as they’ve given Chrome permission. Support for the native push notifications would mean that Chrome would push those messages into Notification Center and would be able to use global system settings such as Do Not Disturb mode.

It seems like it was only last week that Apple released iOS 9.3.1. Now the company has released a beta version of iOS 9.3.2 containing the usual bug fixes and improvements. Not to be left out, OS X 10.11.5, watchOS 2.2.1 and tvOS 9.2.1 betas are also available. These are developer betas only, but we’d expect public betas to go live soon. There’s no word on what improvements and fixes have been made.

You may remember hearing that Foxconn purchased Sharp recently. Well, there are rumors that the purchase was made primarily for Sharp’s display manufacturing capabilities, which will probably be used for active-matrix organic light-emitting diode displays — otherwise known as AMOLED — that could be used in next-generation iPhones. With the purchase of Sharp, Foxconn could finally produce AMOLED displays in quantities to allow them to be used in iPhone production. There have been persistent rumors that Apple will switch to the low-power displays in 2018. Digitimes, which usually is fairly unreliable in its reports, says that Sharp will be setting up two production lines that will manufacture up to 9.85 million 5.5-inch displays per month.

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