AWT News Update: July 7, 2017

Why do most people look like idiots wearing VR headsets?

Why do most people look like idiots wearing VR headsets?

We close out this week with a quick look at a few news items:

  • The Google Calendar app for iOS has added a Today Widget
  • Peripheral maker Jawbone is going out of business...but it's not totally dead yet
  • Hilton hotel group reports that lots of guests are using their iPhones and Apple Watches as room keys
  • Apple is updating many of its trademarks to cover AR and VR related products

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 July 7th, 2017.

Google’s Calendar app for iOS has added a new feature today. A “Today Widget” brings a view of calendar events from the app into the iOS search screen when you swipe to the right from the home screen. The widget shows only the next two events on your calendar, but if you want to see more, you just need to click on a “Show More” button to expose two more. The Today Widget also shows up when you use 3D Touch and a hard press on the Google Calendar app’s icon. To take advantage of the new feature, make sure that you have the latest version of Google Calendar (that’s version 2.4.0) and then tap Edit at the bottom of the search screen to find and add the widget.

Do you remember Jawbone? The company started off making Bluetooth headsets that were all the rage when the first iPhone first appeared 10 years ago. Then it went into the speaker business and making fitness trackers. Now it appears that the company is going out of business all together. In May of 2016 Jawbone stopped production of the fitness trackers and was looking for a buyer for the speaker business. At that time, the company said that it was planning to move to medical products that it would sell directly to clinical practitioners. The company is now liquidating its assets and sending notices to its creditors. The company is not entirely dead yet, though. The co-founder and CEO of Jawbone, Hosain Rahman is now involved with a new company called Jawbone Health Hub that will make “health-related hardware and software services”. The new company will help service existing Jawbone products, which could make a lot of Jawbone’s customers happy since they haven’t been able to contact Jawbone support since January.

The Hilton Hotel group has been rolling out a way for iPhone and Apple Watch users to unlock their hotel doors with their devices for the past three years. The company is reporting that the system is being used at 1,700 hotels in the US and Canada, and it’s been used 11 million times so far without a security breach. Hilton is looking at expanding its rollout to the UK next, with 100 hotels planned for keyless entry by the end of the year. 

One of the more interesting directions for Apple in the next few years is in the area of augmented and virtual reality. We all know that Apple has an interest, and is moving ahead with a developer framework for AR that’s called ARKit. Well, Apple is now updating its trademarks in several countries to add future products to the coverage of those trademarks. For example, Patently Apple — a website that covers patent and trademark law as it applies to Apple — listed that the company has recently updated its figurative trademark for iCloud to show a number of different devices. For example, the list includes “wearable digital electronic devices capable of providing access to the Internet”, “smart glasses”, “smart rings”, “connected bracelets”, “wearable peripherals for use with computers”, “head mounted displays, and much more. Hopefully we’ll see some new products in the AR and VR realm released later this year. 

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