AWT News Update: June 28, 2016

Get away from the bad news of the world for a while, and listen in on some rather good news from the world of Apple on today's Apple World Today News Update:

  • Apple's opening the watchOS 3 beta to its own retail employees who use wheelchairs to help test out new accessibility and Activity features
  • The COO of the biggest chip assembly and testing firm on the planet says Apple has been "conservative" with orders
  • Walgreens will now let Apple Pay users digitally clip and use coupons
  • The Amazon Kindle app for iOS gets a new feature

The text version of the podcast can be found below. To play the podcast, simply click the "play" arrow on the player found here:

Text Version

Hi, I’m Steve Sande from Apple World Today, and this is the AWT News Update for June 28, 2016. This week’s sponsor of Apple World Today is Contexts, the simpler and faster window switcher for Mac. Find out more about Contexts and how to get a 25% discount on the app on the right sidebar of the Apple World Today website.

If you watched the WWDC keynote a few weeks ago, you may remember that Apple mentioned a new watchOS 3 feature that provides Activity tracking for wheelchair users. With the Activity options, it’s possible for moving a wheelchair to contribute to daily calories goals, there are workout options that are specific to wheelchair users, and that pesky “time to stand” reminder is replaced with a “time to roll” reminder. Well, Apple has already beta tested the changes with the Lakeshore Foundation and the Challenged Athletes Foundation, and now it’s inviting its own retail employees in wheelchairs to test watchOS 3. It’s expected that this retail beta test and testing by developers will allow Apple to capture more movement data to better optimize the wheelchair exercises found in the workout app.

In case you’re wondering about Apple’s plans for the next generation iPhone, Tien Wu, the Chief Operating Officer of Advanced Semiconductor Engineering — the biggest chip assembly and testing firm on the planet — noted that Apple has been a “little more conservative” when placing orders this year. However, the executive suggested that iPhone component sales for the year should improve quarter by quarter, but refused to speculate on whether those orders would be greater or smaller than those from 2015.

Drugstore chain Walgreens has supported Apple Pay since it was first introduced, and the company later added support for loyalty card acceptance through Apple Pay. Now Walgreens is going all in with the ability to do digital coupon clipping through Apple Pay. Beginning today, if you’re looking at a product online or in the Walgreens app, Walgreens will alert users of coupons that are available. With a tap, the coupon can be digitally clipped. The coupon can be applied in Walgreen stores, online, and in the Walgreens app as well. To apply clipped coupons, users simply wave the iPhone or Apple Watch near a terminal. One more wave allows the use of an Apple Pay debit or credit card to complete the transaction.

Finally, do you use Amazon’s Kindle app on your iOS device? If so, there’s going to be an update bringing some new features to the app that will make it easier to read and browse around an ebook. The features make up Page Flip, which allows you to zoom out of a page to get a bird’s-eye view of the book to find what you’re looking for. While you’re looking, Page Flip automatically saves the page that you’re reading in a book by pinning it to the side of the screen for easy navigation. The update just showed up for me, so if you haven’t seen it yet, it should appear in the App Store app soon.

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