AWT News Update: May 2, 2016

A variety of news bits for today from around the world of Apple, from Cupertino to Brazil:

  • Apple has added transit directions for Rio de Janeiro to the Maps app in anticipation of the 2016 Summer Olympic Games
  • Brazil puts Facebook's WhatsApp Messenger service on hold for 72 hours as punishment for having good encryption
  • Hulu is apparently moving forward on a live TV streaming service
  • New drone footage of Apple's Campus 2 shows construction is really moving along for the planned early 2017 opening

The text version of the podcast can be read below.

Text Version

Hi, I’m Steve Sande from Apple World Today, and this is the AWT News Update for May 2, 2016.

It is a world of Apple, and today we’ll start off with news from Brazil. To begin with, Apple just released transit maps for Rio de Janeiro, where the 2016 Summer Olympic Games are being held. The games start on August 5th, and iPhone and iPad users will now be able to use mass transit with full instructions and directions for the entire Rio metropolitan area just by pulling up the Maps app.

Also from Brazil, Facebook’s popular WhatsApp Messenger app has been blocked for 72 hours starting this afternoon. This isn’t the first time the messaging service — which has over 100 million users in the country — has been blocked in Brazil. Judge Marcel Montalvo ordered WhatsApp to hand over chat records that are related to a drug case, but the company replied that it couldn’t comply due to encryption even it cannot crack. In March, the same judge ordered the arrest of Facebook’s VP for Latin America, Diego Dzodan.

Remember all of the buzz last year about Apple’s planned live TV subscription service? The service is apparently in limbo because of disputes with content providers, many of whom want to run their own subscription services so that we’ll all have to run multiple apps on our Apple TVs to watch shows. Well, on-demand video platform Hulu is reportedly joining the internet-based live TV club, which could definitely put pressure on Apple to get its entry to market sooner. At the present time, Hulu Co-owners Disney-ABC and Fox are close to signing agreements for licensing a number of their channels, including EPSN, ABC, Disney Channel, Fox, Fox News, FX and Fox’s nation and regional sports outlets. The other major owner of Hulu — Comcast’s NBC Universal — hasn’t yet agreed to license any channels. The service will apparently cost about $40 per month and will not require an existing Hulu account. Apple’s big fight with many of the same providers is that Apple wants to bundle more channels in a “skinny” package for less than $30 per month, and some content providers don’t want to exclude some of their channels to be included in the overall bundle.

Finally, construction on Apple’s new Campus 2 is continuing towards the move to the new facility early next year. A lot more progress has been made on the underground theatre that will be used for product intros and meetings, with the structure now completely covered. Solar panels that will line the roof of the structure are now installed about 20 percent of the way around the circular building, and the Tantau Avenue R&D facility has apparently been receiving a lot of attention during the past few weeks. The parking structures at the site are almost complete at this time, and a stone facade has gone up on the exterior of the 100,000 square foot employee fitness center. Both MacRumors and 9to5Mac have competing drone footage from the construction site — just sayin’ that 9to5Mac’s video supplier shot in 4K, which looks beautiful on the 27-inch iMac.

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