AWT News Update: May 23, 2017

A quiet news day in the world of Apple, but some interesting stories nonetheless:

  • AgileBits announces a "travel mode" for its flagship 1Password app that keeps snooping customs and border protection officers from seeing your passwords
  • Apple has applied for a permit to test 5G cellular radio systems for use in future iPhones

Many thanks this week to our sponsor, MNML, an easy-to-use and distraction-free Mac app for Medium.com. 

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 23rd, 2017.

Do you publish your writing on Medium.com? If the answer is yes, then get yourself to the Mac App Store as soon as you can and get a copy of MNML. As the name suggests, MNML provides a clean, distraction-free interface that’s perfect for concentrating on your writing and not on the app. It’s featured on the Mac App Store right now for just $29.99 and comes from developer John Saddington, the same person who brought the world the award-winning Desk App for blogging. We’re proud to have MNML as a sponsor of the AWT News Update podcast this week and sure that you’ll love this app as much as we do.

Mac and iOS users who use 1Password to keep all of their sensitive information and passwords safe are going to love a new feature called Travel Mode. The brains at AgileBits, developers of 1Password, realized that sometimes people are asked at customs and border protection to hand over devices which are then searched for information. Well, none of us want our passwords stolen by any government, so the new Travel Mode keeps them locked away where nobody can find them. All you need to do is put items that you need for travel into a “safe for travel” vault, then turn on Travel Mode. Upon unlocking 1Password to use it, the vaults are actually removed from your device. Once you’ve made it safely past the prying eyes of those protecting our borders, you can turn off Travel Mode and the vaults appear on your device again. What’s great about this mode is that even if you’re requested to unlock 1Password at the border, there’s no way for them to see your usual vaults or even know that Travel Mode is turned on. One caveat for Travel Mode - you will need to have a 1Password sync account and cannot store your vaults on Dropbox or iCloud.

Right now, smartphones of all flavors run on 4G LTE networks, but that’s about to change. Apple has filed an application with the US Federal Communications Commission to begin testing of 5G cellular systems. The company is planning to test at two different locations in both the 28 and 39 Gigahertz bands. One test site will be in Milpitas, California, while the other will be next to Apple’s existing 1 Infinite Loop headquarters building. The company is expected to test 5G for one year, meaning that 5G technology could be in the 2018 iPhones. There are no 5G services that could take advantage of the new chipsets in the US and it’s unlikely until 2020, but trials are beginning and it’s expected that South Korea will have 5G in place for the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang. What’s impressive about 5G connectivity? The speed, which is possibly upwards of 1 gigabit per second — that’s more than most of us have over landline based connections at this time.

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