AWT News Update: March 13, 2017

The week starts off with a bang in Apple news, with the sixth betas of iOS 10.3 and macOS 10.12.4 arriving and possibly pointing to...

  • A release of new iPad models that could happen as early as next week
  • Apple releases a playful new ad featuring iMessages stickers
  • As noted by Apple World Today on Saturday, Apple could be funding development of a Boeing internet satellite constellation
  • Apple updates its web page listing compatible HomeKit accessories

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 March 13th, 2017.

You know how we keep thinking that iOS 10.3 and macOS 10.12.4 are about to show up? Well, today the 6th — and hopefully final — betas of both of those operating systems showed up. There is a lot of buzz that Apple may be releasing new iPads as soon as next week, which would make it a perfect time to send out the iOS update to the entire user community. In case you missed it on Apple World Today, there’s word from Fiksu, an Apple analytics company, that new iPad model numbers are browsing the web, and MacRumors also quoted “reputable supply chain analysts” as saying that new products would hit the market next week between March 20 and 24 — with or without an event being held. Now Apple usually sends out product keynote invitations at least 10 days in advance, which means that the company would have to send those invites out by tomorrow to make a March 24 release date. However, the company has released some new products or upgrades of existing products without public product keynotes, and that may be what they’re considering for this year. It’s expected that the 12.9 inch iPad Pro will get a speed bump and the new A10X CPU as well as a 12MP camera and the Wide Color DCI-PE display found on the current 9.7-inch size. The 9.7-inch size is expected to become a “non-Pro” entry level iPad to replace the iPad Air 2, and a new 10.5-inch iPad Pro with a 326 ppi display is rumored to be ready to appear. Hopefully, we’ll see new devices next week.

Apple has released a new ad for the iPhone 7 and iOS 10 that highlights iMessage’s “sticker” feature. The ad, called “Sticker Fight”, shows a sticker applied to a recipient who isn’t too happy and responds with a “thumbs down”… and then things get really crazy, including a food sticker fight. Fortunately, the fight is resolved at the end with a much nicer sticker interaction between a couple. The one-minute long ad might be Apple’s response to complaints from developers who embraced stickers, who have said that the sticker app store seems to be the place to go if you don’t want anybody to know about your product…

We’re still not sure why no other Apple sites have picked up on a story we published on Saturday. Apple World Today received information on Saturday stating that Apple may be backing aerospace giant Boeing in development of a satellite-based internet service. The story comes via a blog post from Tim Farrar of TMF Associates, a consulting firm that provides technical and financial analysis for the telecom and satellite industries. Farrar attended last week’s Satellite 2017 conference and says that “I heard from a number of sources at Satellite 2017 that Boeing’s V-Band development work is being funded by Apple, which is clearly trying to find the next big thing and has been exploring cars, TVs and other large market opportunities.” This could lead to Apple having its own global broadband internet service, a valuable addition to the growing and lucrative services business. For more details, check out Saturday’s post here.

Apple has updated its list of compatible HomeKit accessories this month, now detailing accessories by category instead of brand. A more comprehensive listing of the accessories is available with both external links and availability listed. The categories so far include lights, switches, outlets, thermostats, windows, fans, air conditioners, sensors, security, locks, cameras, doorbells, and garage doors. For the networking end of the home automation puzzle, Apple also provides listings of several system bridges and range extenders that are available.

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