AWT News Update: April 11, 2017

Tuesday brings us word of how Clips is doing in the App Store and more:

  • Clips did well in terms of downloads in its first four days, but that may not be a guarantee of success for the video editing/social sharing app
  • Apple's first Taiwan store is reportedly going in at the Taipei 101 mall
  • Google AutoDraw can make recognizable drawings out of unartistic scrawls
  • Fitbit's having problems with its planned Apple Watch competitor

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Text Version

This is Steve Sande for Apple World Today, and you’re listening to the AWT News Update for April 11th, 2017.

Apple’s new video editing and social sharing app Clips appears to be a hit…or at least people are curious about it. App Store analytics firm App Annie estimates that the app received between 500,000 and a million downloads in its first four days on the market. But that’s not all that good — the app never got above number 28 in the US App Store, and it’s already slipping in the US App Store rankings. Most users aren’t aware of the app, despite advertising in the App Store and articles on most major Apple-related websites. But what WILL have an effect on downloads of the free is people sharing their clips on social networks, which should generate a lot of interest as users figure out the app’s features and start making incredible clips. So far, the app is getting a 4-star rating and rave reviews, mostly with users who find it a much easier video editing app than iMovie for iOS. But others find Clips to be unintuitive and with a lot of buried features that are hard to find. Time will tell if Clips becomes a killer app for iPhone or just a footnote in the history of Apple.

Another Apple retail outlet is in the works, this one the first Apple Store in Taiwan at the Taipei 101 mall. That mall is in the Taipei 101 tower, which is Taiwan’s tallest skyscraper. Apple posted job listings for the retail jobs last July, but details about the facility have been sketch and there’s still no word on when the store will open.

Google’s at it again, with a new web-based tool that takes machine learning and pairs it with drawings created by talented artists to help you draw. Called AutoDraw and available for use at AutoDraw.com, anyone can use any device to doodle out images, at which time the app produces a list of icon-like drawings that represent what the system believes you’re trying to draw. Click on the one that’s the closest, and you can then use other tools to add text, create color fills, add other shapes, rotate or resize the drawings. Anyone who is graphically challenged will find AutoDraw to be useful, and kids will love it.

Fitbit is reportedly delaying the launch of its Apple Watch competitor until this fall due to design issues. The device, which may look like the Fitbit Blaze, had issues with GPS in a recent prototype that forced a redesign of hardware to ensure a good strong GPS signal. The company is also finding waterproofing of the device to be a tough feature to add, and word has it that the company may not tout waterproofness as a feature when the device ships. The Fitbit device will be able to save and play music from Pandora, will have some sort of wireless payment capability, and should run up to four days without recharging. My favorite comment? One source said that the design is “very retro-looking with the lines and stuff — definitely not sexy.”

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