AWT News Update: July 20, 2016

Happy Moon Day! We have a handful of interesting news bits for you today from the world of Apple:

  • Apple buys a small cloud music provider, although nobody knows why...
  • Corning intros Gorilla Glass 5, which still breaks 20% of the time when dropped
  • A good number of iPhone owners will upgrade to the iPhone 7 even if it doesn't feature a major redesign
  • The Canva app gets an iPhone companion

The text version of the podcast can be read 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 July 20, 2016.

Apple has made a small acquisition of a cloud music provider, probably one you’ve never heard of. The company’s name is Omnifone, and the deal was worth about $10 million. Omnifone used to run a white-label service called MusicStation and partnered with Sony, Samsung, Vodafone, and Neil Young’s PonoMusic. The company had declared bankruptcy in May and laid off a number of employees while seeking a buyer. It’s puzzling why Apple would purchase Omnifone, considering that the acquisition doesn’t include Omnifone’s patent portfolio, and that Apple’s own streaming service — Apple Music — is doing quite well despite a user interface that will be changed in iOS 10 and macOS Sierra.

Most smartphone manufacturers rely on one company, Corning, for the glass that protects the displays on their smartphones and tablets. That glass is known as Gorilla Glass, and today the company unveiled Gorilla Glass 5. While it’s unknown whether it will be used in any upcoming iPhones, the new Gorilla Glass survives face-down drops better than previous versions. The company says that it will survive 80 percent of the time when dropped face-down from 5.2 feet onto a rough surface. No offense, Corning, but considering this is the 21st Century and Elon Musk is landing his rocket boosters, can’t you do better than an 80 percent success rate?

In case you’re wondering why there is so much intense scrutiny focused on the next-generation iPhone, it’s because the fortunes of Apple are going to be made or broken based on how well the so-called iPhone 7 sells. An online poll of 525 iPhone users by Quartz shows that almost 21 percent of those existing owners are expecting to upgrade this year, even if the new phone does not provide a radical redesign. In addition, respondents said that they were likely to switch to an upgrade every three years rather than every two years if Apple moves to a three-year redesign cycle.

Apple World Today uses the Canva online design platform for occasional web graphic creation, both on the web app that’s been around for three years and the iPad app that came out last year. Now Canva is available anytime, anywhere, as the developers have released an iPhone version of the app. As with the other versions, Canva for iPhone is free; some graphics and templates are free, while others are paid for with in-app purchases. Regardless of the version you use, Canva provides a great way to create good looking graphics from thousands of templates and fonts, millions of images, and and easy to use text tools. It’s definitely worth a try, and if you’re already using Canva you can now have access to all of your designs wherever you may be.

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