AWT News Update: May 1, 2017

Mayday! Mayday! We've got some fascinating news bits for you today, the first day of May.

  • Apple TV gains three new apps as well as three other apps that support universal search
  • Siri saves three more lives, this time thanks to a waterproof iPhone 7 on a capsized boat
  • AAPL shares close today at $146.58
  • Longtime Apple writer Joe Kissell purchases the Take Control Books publishing company from Adam and Tonya Engst of TidBITS
  • Some Apple Watch apps from big players are disappearing from the small screen

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 May 1st, 2017.

The Apple TV now has three new apps that support universal search. Spike, Nickelodeon, and Nick Jr. now let you find programming for each provider without launching their apps. Press and hold the Siri button on the Apple TV remote, then tell Siri the name of the movie or show you want to watch, and that’s how universal search works. In other Apple TV news, three new apps are available. Crackle, which is owned by Sony, shows movies and TV shows at no cost, although you will pay for them by watching ads. FilmStruck is a channel providing top movies and cult classics, and Freeform is the new name and app for ABC Family.

Chalk up another three lives saved by Siri. On Saturday, three fishermen traveled about four miles from the coast of Key Biscayne when their 18-foot boat capsized in rough seas. The boaters were able to don lifejackets before the boat sank, and one of the three had an iPhone with him. According to Sgt. James Barrett of the Miami-Dade Police, “They had an iPhone 7, which I’m learning today is waterproof. However, he couldn’t touch the screen with his fingers because they were cold, but he used Siri to call 911.” After making that successful call, a United States Coast Guard helicopter located the fishermen and dropped a diver to assist them until the police were able to rescue the three.

Tomorrow’s the day that Apple will announce its second fiscal quarter results for 2017, and it’s obvious that the market is anticipating good results. Today, shares in Apple hit a new record of $146.58, resulting in a market capitalization of $769 billion. If the stock price bumps up about another dollar, the company will set a new market capitalization record.

For a few years, I was an author for Take Control Books, a company that was started up by the original Apple bloggers Adam and Tonya Engst. One of the most prolific writers for that publishing company is Joe Kissell, who today bought the business from Adam and Tonya. Basically, the business will continue to run as it has in the past, publishing amazing ebooks for the Apple world. Congratulations to Joe Kissell and his wife Morgen Jahnke, as well as to Adam and Tonya Engst.

Some big Apple Watch apps have disappeared recently, according to AppleInsider. To begin with, the recent Google Maps update dropped Apple Watch support without any word on whether or not they’d bring back the app in the future. Amazon and eBay also dropped their Watch apps. The Amazon app allowed for searching for product prices from your wrist, which was perfect for comparison shopping in stores. The eBay app was useful for tracking bids on items you were looking at buying. It’s possible that the companies involved were seeing little use of the Watch apps, so they’re dropping support. We’d prefer it if they’d just stick it out as the Apple Watch installed base grows.

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