AWT News Update: June 8, 2017

When Alexa met Siri...

When Alexa met Siri...

 🎶 It's getting beta all the time 🎶 

Today we talk about new features in tvOS 11, delve into the fees associated with using Apple Pay's upcoming person-to-person payments, an Amazon VP who wants Alexa and Siri to be BFFs, and how NFC works in iOS 11 and watchOS 4.

  • Apple TV and AirPods are now best buddies
  • Debit card transactions will be free with P2P payments, but credit cards won't
  • Amazon and Apple seem to be cooperating more, but will Apple open up to Alexa?
  • NFC pairing of iPhone and Apple Watch is now possible with the new operating systems

Our sponsor this week is Tick, providing straightforward time management software to help you improve your bottom line.

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 8th, 2017.

At the World Wide Developer Conference keynote on Monday,Apple didn’t spend a lot of time talking about tvOS 11, the newest version of the operating system that runs on the 4th-generation Apple TV. About the only thing we heard about was the Amazon Prime Video app coming to Apple TV, but that was about it. Now we’re hearing that AirPods will auto-pair with the Apple TV in tvOS 11. Early beta testers are reporting that AirPods appear as a new speaker option on Apple TV when a user with AirPods signs into their Apple ID on the Apple TV. Right now with the standard tvOS, AirPods have to be paired manually to the streaming device. Other features of tvOS 11 include auto-switching between light and dark modes based on the local time of the Apple TV, home screen syncing between multiple Apple TVs, notification support, and more.

iOS 11’s ability to make secure person-to-person money transfers that are authenticated by Apple Pay is well known, but today we found out that the service will have a fee associated with it if you choose to use a credit card instead of a debit card from your Wallet. This isn’t anything new in the person-to-person payment world; right now, Venmo and Square Cash both charge a 3% fee when used with a credit card, but transactions made with a debit card don’t have any fee associated with them. The same will be true with Apple Pay’s person-to-person transfers when the feature becomes widespread later this fall. Many Apple Pay users add both credit and debit cards to their Wallets during setup anyway; it will just be a matter of using the correct card during a transaction. Some early beta testers are reporting that the service integrates well with Siri’s new machine learning powers, suggesting amounts to send to others based on conversations in the Messages app.

One of the big issues these days is that none of the Intelligent Assistants out there — whether we’re talking about Siri, Alexa, Google Assistant, or Microsoft Cortana — talk to each other. Amazons’ senior VP of Devices, David Limp, has been talking lately about whether or not he sees Apple’s HomePod as a competitor. In an USA Today interview, Limp said that it should be possible for Siri and Alexa to talk to each other, although he wasn’t so sure that Apple would necessarily want to. Limp was quoted as saying “You should be able to tell “Alexa, ask Siri X”. If Apple or Google want to come calling, my phone number is out there, they can call…I don’t know if I can envision it but I hope that will happen on behalf of customers.”

One other new and rather unheralded feature is found in watchOS 4, the beta of which was just sent out on Monday. With iOS 11 and watchOS 4, users will be able to pair an iPhone and Apple Watch just by having them in proximity to each other. This is different from the current method, which requires the iPhone to look at a dot pattern on a Watch, but isn’t particularly easier. It’s just interesting to note that newer iPhones and the Apple Watch will be gaining better support for Near Field Communications now that Apple is opening up the protocol to developers.

Our sponsor this week is Tick, providing straightforward time management software to help you improve your bottom line. Perfect for solo freelancers or large project teams, Tick provides a way to track time against a budget, capturing that time from anywhere using iOS, Android, Apple Watch and desktop timers. Add Tick to your existing project workflows through integration with hundreds of web apps, and get instant feedback on project status at any time. There’s a 30-day free trial of Tick waiting for you today.

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