AWT News Update: November 21, 2017

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We've got all sorts of fun stories for you today...and even a few ideas for Black Friday / Cyber Monday deals:

  • Sonnet is selling the "eGFX Breakaway Box - Developer Edition" (AKA Apple External Graphics Development Kit) for $100, and you don't need to be a developer to get one
  • Quartz finds out that Android devices gather location data even with location services turned off, when apps aren't being used, and even without a SIM installed
  • Google's Fuchsia OS is being designed so that Swift apps can run on the OS
  • Gamevice announces that its controller for iPhone and iPad is now fully compatible with the DJI Spark drone

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 Tuesday, November 21st, 2017. 

If you’re a developer, especially a game developer, you probably remember the exciting announcement during WWDC 2017 about the External Graphics Development Kit, which was a way to help developers create graphics intensive apps and VR content. It included Sonnet’s eGFX graphics processing unit chassis, a Sapphire AMD RX 580 graphics cars, and a USB-C to 4-port USB-A hub. Well, Apple ran out of those kits at $599, but you can now get it direct from Sonnet as the eGFX Breakaway Box -Developer edition for $499. The only thing not included is the USB hub, but you probably have a bunch of those around anyway, right? This is a Cyber Week Sale, so you ought to jump on it now. The good thing, other than it’s $100 cheaper than the Apple deal? You don’t need to be an Apple developer to get one. Here’s the link!

Here’s another fun fact to throw at your Android-toting friends. On iOS, you are specifically asked for permission to share your location with each and every app that may use it — that’s the way Apple protects your privacy. You can also shut off location services altogether and take out the carrier SIM card in an iPhone if you’re really seeking privacy. Well, Quartz found that Android phones actively gather location data even when the devices have location services turned off, when apps aren’t being used, and have no SIM card…and they send all of that info back to Google once they’re connected to the internet. You iPhone users that are listening to this podcast should feel better already!

In another Google-related story, that company has been working on a new operating system called Fuchsia for a while. Nobody knows what the operating system will be used for, but it’s separate from the company’s Android and Chrome operating systems. Well, Fuchsia is being designed so that apps written in Apple’s open-source Swift programming language will be supported. If and when Fuchsia ever sees the light of day, this could theoretically make it easier for iOS app developers to port their apps to future Google devices. 

Folks who watch AWT TV on Tuesday nights know that I’m a fan of drones, and if you don’t want to spend a lot of money but would like to get a quality device, drone powerhouse DJI has a little iPhone or iPad controlled aircraft called the Spark. Well, the Spark has one little negative — it’s the only DJI drone that doesn’t come with a controller with joysticks, buttons, and toggles. Well, Gamevice announced today that its controller — which just snaps onto an iPhone or iPad — now provides full support of the DJI Spark when using the DJI GO 4 app. That means that you finally have a way to get control of the limited-range Spark with a real controller.  The Spark is available for $499 (or $399 from November 22-27), while the Gamevice runs $99.99. That’s only $20 less than the Spark Remote Controller you can buy from DJI, but if you’re into iOS gaming you may as well get a controller that can be used for games AND flying. 

That’s all for today; I’ll be back tomorrow afternoon with another edition of the AWT News Update and be sure to join us tonight starting at 6:30 PM PT / 9:30 PM ET on YouTube for the latest episode of AWT TV.