AWT News Update: October 9, 2017

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It's a slow news day in the Apple world today, but we have a few stories to educate and entertain you:

  • Be sure to check out this week's sponsor, AR Tape Measure, a free app for measuring distances, angles and areas from your iOS device. 
  • iOS 11.1 developer beta 2 shipped today, adding a host of new emoji and returning 3D Touch gestures to the user interface
  • Intel is getting out of the augmented-reality eyewear business
  • Sightings of the new iPhone X in the wild are being reported
  • Face ID is likely to come to the iPad Pro line in 2018

The text version of the podcast can be read below. To listen to the podcast here, click the play button on the player below. Apple News readers need to visit Apple World Today in order to listen to the podcast.

Text Version

This is Steve Sande for Apple World Today, and you’re listening to the AWT News Update podcast for October 9th, 2017. Our sponsor this month is It’s About Time Products, and this week we’re focusing on a free iOS app that takes advantage of Apple’s ARKit framework and iOS 11 — it’s called AR Tape Measure, and it lets you measure distances, angles and areas directly from your iOS device. Check out the sponsorship post on Apple World Today for more information.

Apple today shipped out iOS 11.1 developer beta 2, which brings something that I’m sure all our listeners are thrilled to hear about — the new emoji that are part of the new Unicode 10 standard. Apple took those new emoji, added their own artistic touches, and now they’re ready to try in the new beta. Along with the new emoji, developer beta 2 also adds a number of bug fixes and UI improvements. One improvement that I’m sure a lot of iPhone 7 users will be happy to see is the re-enabling of the 3D Touch gesture to bring up the app switcher. 

If Apple ends up shipping augmented-reality glasses or goggles in the future, at least the company will have one less major competitor. Word has it that Intel Corporation has shut down a 100-employee group that created the Recon brand augmented reality goggles for sporting and industrial applications. The company says that it will continue to work on technologies that power augmented and virtual reality. 

Those of us in the tech business are usually surprised when a new iPhone model is seen in public ahead of its public launch, and that’s why it’s quite surprising that Apple employees are openly using the new iPhone X in public in the Bay Area. Many photos are showing up on social media that show the very distinctive notch at the top of the display, the vertically aligned dual cameras on the back, as well as the polished stainless steel band around the side. So why special camouflage cases and are so many devices being seen? Well, Apple already announced the device and its capabilities to the public at the September 12 product event, so that’s no surprise. Most people know what the device will look like and Apple may actually be hoping that people see the distinctive phones in public and get excited about them. But the main reason is probably much more prosaic — Apple probably wants to get as much field testing of the devices done in the remaining few weeks before they go on pre-order and start shipping. 

And finally, it appears that the iPhone X’s Face ID feature will be coming to the 2018 iPad Pro line next year. The information came from KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, show thinks that the TrueDepth Camera system used for Face ID will be added to the high-end iOS devices. Whether that means that the iPad Pro will lose a lot of bezel next year or that it will retain the top bezel and lose the iPhone X’s notch is another question, but it’s logical that Apple would start including the technology on other devices. Several sources have pondered the possibility of the iPad Pro line using either Touch ID or Face ID sensors depending on how the device is being held. 

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