AWT News Update: April 5, 2017

Today's news update is a bit longer than usual, but that's because there was a lot of fascinating Apple news to let you all know about:

  • YouTube Live debuts in five US cities, and Google will even throw in a free Chromecast to get you excited
  • AT&T is giving away free HBO subscriptions to those who are subscribers to its Unlimited Plus plan
  • Another car manufacturer will debut a CarPlay-compatible car at the NY International Auto Show next week
  • Apple has added a second manufacturer for Apple Watches
  • Some interesting patent filings point towards a more secure future for Siri

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 April 5th, 2017. Many thanks to this week’s sponsor of Apple World Today — eversign, a comprehensive digital signature platform for enterprises and individuals. Find out more about eversign by clicking the link in the show notes.

It’s like EVERYBODY is getting into the live streaming video business with the exception of Apple. Today, word came out that YouTube TV — a live streaming service from Google — is now available for use in New York City, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Chicago, and the San Francisco Bay Area. As part of the kickoff of the service, Google is offering a free Chromecast device to YouTube TV members if they pay the first month’s subscription after a 30-day free trial. That means that users can simply pull up the app, tap on a show, and beam it directly to their large screen TV. The service costs $35 for a base package that includes channels from ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox, as well as affiliated channels like EPSN, Syfy and Bravo. Other channels like BBC America and IFC have been added recently. Subscribers have access to a cloud DVR with unlimited capacity. There’s only one fly in the ointment for iOS users. The app subscription price is actually $39.99 plus tax per month instead of the $35 the rest of the world gets, the increase in price presumably to make up for Apple’s cut of App Store transactions.

Speaking of freebies, tomorrow AT&T will start including a free HBO subscription to those who are subscribers to its Unlimited Plus plan. If you’re not a subscriber to an AT&T video service, it’s possible to watch HBO through the DirecTV Now or HBO Go apps on iOS and Apple TV. For those who already have DirecTV or U-verse at home, the HBO subscription will magically become free. The Unlimited Plus plan costs $90 for a single line of $145 for two lines, with other goodies like free roaming in Canada and Mexico and 10 GB of hotspot data per person.

Another car manufacturer just announced Apple CarPlay support for an upcoming vehicle. Mitsubishi says its crossover SUV — the 2018 Outlander Sport — will support Apple’s automotive framework through a 7-inch dash interface. The vehicle will be rolled out at the 2017 New York International Auto Show next week, and is expected at Mitsubishi dealerships in the fall.

A report we covered on Apple World Today said that the Apple Watch 3 should be shipping in the second half of 2017. Apple also added a second manufacturer to its supply chain in anticipation of a strong demand for the new Watch in the 2017 holiday shopping season. In 2016, the company literally didn’t have enough available for sale, which is enough of a reason to bring in a second supplier. It’s thought that the next Apple Watch may include built-in LTE, eliminating the need for the device to be paired constantly to an iPhone for connectivity.

Patently Apple is a website that digs into Apple’s patent filings and newly granted patents, and they recently found some Siri-related patents that point to a more secure future for Apple’s AI. To quote Patently Apple, “In the future, if Siri doesn’t recognize the voice of the owner of the device, accessing Siri or the computer associated with it will be impossible.” Next, Apple’s patent filings describe something called a “lexical trigger” - in other words, instead of using “Hey, Siri” to call up your AI, you’ll be able to come up with your own phrase like “What’s up, doc?” If your voice and the custom phrase don’t match, Siri will ignore your request. Finally, it’s expected that as Siri’s responsibilities become greater, more security will be required. In the future, it may be necessary to know a passcode, use Touch ID, or be recognized by a system using face recognition before being able to use Siri.

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