AWT News Update: February 2, 2017

The new Scan QR Code 3D Touch item in Google's Chrome browser for iPhone

The new Scan QR Code 3D Touch item in Google's Chrome browser for iPhone

It's Groundhog Day, and if we get stuck in this day over and over and over...as in the classic Bill Murray comedy...at least there was some good Apple News to report:

  • An official in the Indian state of Karnataka reports that Apple will be manufacturing iPhones soon in Bengaluru
  • A new update to Google's Chrome browser for iPhone has built in the capability to use 3D Touch to scan QR codes
  • Google's YouTube app also received an update that makes control of video streaming to other devices a lot more convenient
  • It appears that Taiwan will be the next country to get Apple Pay

The text version of the podcast can be viewed below. To listen to the podcast here, click the play button on the player below. Note to Apple News readers: you’ll 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 for February 2, 2017.

Several websites are saying today that it appears that Apple’s plans to manufacture iPhones in India are moving ahead, with a plant to be located in Bengaluru. That’s the place formerly known as Bangalore, and it’s also known informally as the “IT Capital of India”. Apple already has a facility in Bengaluru; a 40,000 square-foot iOS app development accelerator office. The IT minister of the state of Karnataka in which Bengaluru is situated, Priyank Kharge, told local media that Apple intends to make iPhones in Bengaluru and that “will foster cutting-edge technology ecosystem & supply chain development in the state.” It’s thought that iPhone manufacturing in India could begin as soon as April, with both Foxconn and Wistron performing the work for Apple. The manufacturing agreement should clear the way for Apple to open retail stores in the country.

QR codes are those little square bar codes that appear in an ever-growing number of places, especially on billboards and in advertisements. Scan a QR code, and you’re usually sent to a web page for more information about a product. The one problem is that you usually need to have a QR code scanner app installed on your iPhone or iPad to be able to see what a specific code is linked to, and that app really does nothing more than decipher the code and then launch your web browser. Well, you’ll be able to delete any QR code scanning app soon, as the latest update to Google’s Chrome browser for iOS will give iPhone users the ability to scan a QR code using 3D Touch on the iPhone 6s or 7. To do so with the updated app, simply tap and hold on the Chrome app icon to bring up a 3D Touch menu, at which time an option to scan a QR code appears. Select that, and Chrome turns on the rear camera of the iPhone so that it can be used to scan the QR code in a highlighted square. Almost instantly, a link to a web page is displayed. It’s a great solution for QR code scanning, and something I wish that Apple would build into a future version of Safari for iOS.

Google’s in the news today another time for its updated YouTube app for iOS, which provides much easier access to playback controls to make streaming YouTube video to TVs, Chromecasts, and similar devices much easier. When streaming a video to another device, YouTube users can access controls from the iOS lockscreen or a paired Apple Watch. This makes it simple and fast to control playback or volume from the lockscreen, perfect for using Google’s subscription YouTube Red ad-free service.

During Tuesday’s Apple earnings call, CEO Tim Cook announced that Apple Pay was now available in 13 regions around the world. A fourteenth is scheduled to be added to the list soon — Taiwan. The company has announced partnerships with seven Taiwanese banks — Cathay United Bank, CTBC Bank, E.Sun Commercial Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, Taipei Fubon Commercial Bank, Taishin International Bank, and Union Bank of Taiwan. No date has been set for the launch, which will make six territories in the Asia-Pacific region that support Apple’s contactless pay system.

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

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