AWT News Update: September 30, 2016

Gresso Lux iPhone 7 Black Diamond Collection

Gresso Lux iPhone 7 Black Diamond Collection

As we bid a fond farewell to the month of September, there are some interesting, fun and even expensive stories from the world of Apple:

  • A California bill signed yesterday opens the door to self-driving cars without backup drivers or steering wheels
  • Apple wants to yank the second most popular sticker app in the Messages App Store...for looking too much like Messages
  • We have some ideas for you if you just happen to have $500,000 burning a hole in your pocket...

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 September 30, 2016.

Those of you listening who live in the State of California might want to start looking out for more self-driving cars. Governor Moonbeam, I mean Jerry Brown, yesterday signed a bill that allows companies like Google and Apple to do limited testing of self-driving cars without steering wheels or backup drivers. Now you won’t see these cruising the Pacific Coast Highway or driving around Yosemite National Park; at the present time, the rules are meant to allow two pilot projects to move forward. The first is run by the Contra Costa Transportation Authority and Momentum Station, a site that was once the Concord Naval Weapons Station. The other project site is at a business park in San Ramon. Right now, Honda and another firm by the name of Otto Motors are testing self-driving vehicles at the GoMentum site, and the CCTA has said that Apple and Google have expressed interest in testing at the location. Apple’s Project Titan may not actually result in an Apple car, by the way. Rumors say that the project may focus on self-driving systems rather than an actual car.

Well, that didn’t last long. A sticker pack that lets Messages users place fake chat stickers over real messages is going to be pulled from the App Store because “prank apps aren’t allowed in the App Store”. The app, Phoneys, climbed to the number two paid app spot in the Messages App Store in the US, and is still available for sale. Apple didn’t like the fact that Phoneys Developer Adam Howell used the San Francisco font and emulated exactly the look of Messages chat bubbles. Apple has given Howell a week to change the look and feel of the app so the text bubbles, which say such things as “The sports team I pull for sucks” and “My political views are totally wrong”, don’t look like Messages chat bubbles. He’s been told to change them to resemble “comic book cartoon bubbles”. Howell’s undecided on whether he’ll change the app, since doing so would really ruin the appeal of it.

Have $500,000 just laying around that you’d like to spend? Our suggestion is that you donate part of that money to Apple World Today, but if you’re really in the mood to spend it all in one place, iPhone modification firm Gresso has the new iPhone 7 Black Diamond collection. They take a stock iPhone 7 and AirPods, give then 18 karat gold embellishments, then encrust them in 104 karats of black diamonds. Only three of this so-called “Lux” model are going to be made, with a 256GB iPhone 7 encrusted with 1,450 black diamonds, a body crafted from grade 5 titanium, a camera frame made from 10 grams of 18 karat gold, and individualized engraving. If that’s a bit on the pricy side for you or you decide to send most of your money to support Apple World Today, you can get iPhone 7 or 7 Plus models made from some of the same materials used on the Lux model — without all of the diamonds — for only $3,000 and up. Shipping is free, and only 999 of the more affordable models will be produced. Man, we oughta look into an affiliate program with Gresso!

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