AWT News Update: March 31, 2017

Welcome to Friday, World Backup Day and the day before the dreaded April Fools' Day. We have some real news stories for you today on the podcast to offset those reports you'll see this weekend:

  • Verizon is said to be working on a streaming TV service to be introduced this summer
  • Apple's touting April as Autism Awareness Month with an app collection and specially designed Field Trips
  • Barclays analysts think that the top-end iPhone coming out later this year may include front and back "structured light" cameras with custom 3D sensors

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 31st, 2017. Be sure to keep an eye out for the April Fools articles that are sure to be popping up soon…

I’d like to personally thank all of our listeners for another record month. If you can leave a positive review of the AWT News Update podcast on iTunes, I’d really appreciate it.

While we’re all waiting for Apple to decide whether or not it really wants to get into the streaming TV service market, a second mobile carrier has announced that it is entering that market this summer. Verizon is lining up content deals, and word is that they’ll be offering a streaming service available through set top boxes, smartphones and tablets. AT&T currently offers streaming television to anyone — including people who are not AT&T customers — through DirecTV Now, and it’s unknown if viewers will need to be Verizon customers or not to use the service. In addition, there was no word in the original Bloomberg report on whether the service will provide just live streaming or on-demand content as well.

Apple’s getting set up for April, and not with April Fools jokes. Instead, the company is going to help promote April as Autism Acceptance Month by offering a new collection in the App Store and specially designed Field Trips at its retail outlets. The App Store collection includes downloads useful for autistic people and their parents, including things like Motion Math: Pizza, Boca Life: School, and the rather pricy but extremely useful Proloquo2Go app, a communications interface app. The field trips are music events that feature the Skoog, a cube-like device that lets disabled people play music in GarageBand and other music apps for the iPad. The Autism Acceptance store page also includes a number of books, podcasts and courses on iTunes U.

Analysts at Barclays have gazed into their crystal balls, talked with supply chain sources, and come up with a number of features they believe will be included in this year’s supposed iPhone 7s and iPhone 8 phones. We’ve already told you about the claim that True Tone technology, which uses ambient light sensing to change the color of the display, is expected on the new phones. Well, the other information says that Apple expects to use 3D sensing technology for facial recognition and augmented reality applications. Barclays analysts say that the iPhone 8 or whatever it will be called will have two custom 3D sensors with structured light cameras on both the front and back. Those structured light cameras are analogous to the Lytro light field cameras that have been around for five years or so; they capture information about the direction, color and intensity of light reaching the camera sensor, then translate that into photos that can be focused after shooting the picture. In other newsJP Morgan analysts said earlier this week that they believe the top end phone won’t be as curved and edge-to-edge as the one of the Samsung Galaxy S8 introduced this week.

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