AWT News Update: May 24, 2017

AirPods, Twitter, and Thunderbolt are all in the news today. Listen to the Apple World Today News Update podcast and hear all about them:

  • Apple's AirPods received a firmware update today, although it may not be apparent that it's actually been installed
  • Twitter's Apple TV app got an update with support for live 360 video and a new Periscope Global Map
  • Intel plans to push the Thunderbolt protocol by making the specification available to manufacturers nonexclusive and royalty-free

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. Apple News readers 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 24th, 2017.

Apple today released a firmware update for the AirPods, version 3.7.2. Nobody is quite sure what’s in the patch, although it is probably just a minor bug fix or some sort of performance boost. The update is apparently installed automatically the next time a person connects AirPods to a paired iPhone or iPad, as long as they’re stored inside of a plugged-in charging case. Allegedly it’s also possible to determine the active firmware version from the iOS Settings app, General, About and AirPods, although haven’t been able to see that last screen. AirPods remain in very short supply; your best bet if you’re still looking for a pair is to purchase them from AT&T or Verizon online.

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.

Twitter’s Apple TV app also received an update today with support for some new features. For example, the app now supports live 360 video support as well as the Periscope Global Map. For the live 360 video app, users can use the Siri Remote to pan in a circular motion up or down to see what’s going on around the online video. Global Map shows Periscope streams by location by scrolling around on a 3D globe. Twitter is really pumping up its video presence, hoping that it can keep people engaged with the social network and increase the size of its user base. The update also applies to the iOS app, with some users now able to see a Settings option that lets an Apple TV discover an iPhone or iPad. Once the two devices are linked, users can see their Twitter account on a TV.

Thunderbolt 3 has had a slow start in the market despite Apple’s use of the technology in the latest MacBook Pros. But Intel said today that it plans to help kickstart large-scale adoption of Thunderbolt 3 by publishing the protocol’s specification to the consumer electronics industry next year under a nonexclusive and royalty-free license. By doing so, tech companies and accessory manufacturers should be able to make Thunderbolt products less expensively. Intel also said it will integrate Thunderbolt 3 into future CPUs, which would not only take up less space on a device’s logic board, but also reduce power consumption by getting rid of the need for a separate Thunderbolt controller.

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