AWT News Update: June 20, 2017

We have some fascinating news stories for you from the world of Apple and other tech giants today:

  • Apple security has been successful at keeping new products from being leaked
  • Uber announces the first of many changes that hopefully will help the tarnished brand
  • Are your kids already bored of summer vacation? Send 'em to Apple Camp or the Kids Hour at the local Apple Store

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 June 20th, 2017.

Apple has been very concerned about leaks of new devices, with CEO Tim Cook saying five years ago that the company was going to “double down” on security. The company has revealed that it has hired ex-NSA and other security personnel to work on making sure that no product details are leaked before its time. The company is seeing success — the number of iPhone enclosures that were stolen in 2016 was four, out of over 65 million produced. In 2014, there were 387 enclosures stolen. Former US Navy Cryptologist and NSA employee David Rice, now with Apple, noted that factory workers are offered up to a year’s worth of salary for stealing product from factories. Apple runs many of its employees through a presentation that is similar to those given to military personnel with secret clearances that tells them how to keep secrets, how to regulate conversations with a personal “relationship monitor”, and what to do when employees “blow their cover” and let people know what they do at Apple.

Uber has been receiving a lot of flak recently from both drivers and users of the ride-sharing service. The brand has been tarnished by sexual harassment suits, Uber’s app tracking user locations long after their last rides — which is contrary to Apple’s app rules — and even a twitter campaign asking people to #DeleteUber. The company has recently hired ex-APple Music executive Bozoma Saint John as its Chief Brand Officer, charged with helping Uber and customers connect. Today the company is starting to roll out a bunch of changes at the beginning of what is called the “180 days of change”. Those changes include tipping in the Uber app, shorter 2 minute cancellation window, no more unpaid wait times for drivers, all driver destination trips count toward Quest, Quest earnings are available for instant pay, expanded driver destinations, driver injury protection insurance, and a higher rate for teens. It will be interesting to see what the company has in store for riders — if anything.

If your kids are getting bored this early in the summer break, there’s good reason to be concerned. But there’s also help on the way from Apple, which today announced milt-day summer camp sessions called Apple Camp. Space is limited in these sessions, so you’ll need to get the kiddos signed up as soon as possible. Apple Camp involved three days with 90-minute sessions each day for kids from age 8 to 12. The sessions are titled Coding Games and Programming Robots; Creating Characters and Composing Music; and Stories in Motion with iMovie. On the final day of the Camp, kids participate in a show and tell where their projects are presented to parents, family and friends. Your kids can be registered for the free sessions at apple.com/retail/camp. Apple is also working on Kids Hour sessions that are part of the Today at Apple training classes. There are three of these sessions that sound pretty fun. The first is the Sphero Maze Challenge, where kids learn to program a Sphero robot to do a bunch of tasks. Next up is a class called Creating Music With GarageBand, where kids learn basic song production concepts on the iPad. Finally, Making Movies Together shows kids how to make a short movie by brainstorming ideas, shooting videos with the iPad, and then editing and producing the video in iMovie on the iPad.

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