AWT News Update: August 7, 2017

On today's Apple World Today News Update podcast - fashionably overpriced Apple Watch bands, new Intel chips that won't be used in the iMac Pro, better transit directions Down Under, and a really good deal for superannuated iPhone users:

  • Coach announces a new line of Apple Watch bands starting at $150 for the fall season
  • Intel announced a new series of desktop processors, but it's unlikely that the speedy chips are destined for the upcoming iMac Pro
  • In the Land Down Under, transit instructions in Apple Maps have now been added for Queensland and Western Australia
  • T-Mobile creates an unlimited plan for the over-55 crowd that has Steve ready to throw his walker at AT&T

The text version of the podcast can be read 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 August 7th, 2017. 

Fashion house Coach has updated its Apple Watch bands for the fall. The bands, which are made in limited quantities, are on pre-order and will be shipping on August 19th. The new straps include the Leather Strap with Tea Rose Appliqué in black multi (black with colored flowers), and Printed Leather Strap in Chalk Multi (white with a cherry print), Melon Multi (light pink with floral print) and Black Multi (black with car print). New colors include a Rexy Leather Strap in Goldenrod (that’s yellow with a T-Rex on it) and a new Snake Strap in Bordeaux (and if you don’t speak fashion, that’s red faux snakeskin). Since these are fashion accessories, the prices are correspondingly ridiculous: $195 for the Appliqué band, $150 for the Printed Leather Strap, $150 for the Rexy Leather Strap and $175 for the Snake Strap. 

Intel today introduced a new range of 12 to 18 core processors in the X-series processor family. Now these are amazing chips, with the 18-core i9-7980XE running at 2.6GHz with a boost speed of 4.2GHz. Are these the chips that will be used in the upcoming iMac Pro? Probably not. Apple made a point of stating that the processors to be used in the iMac Pro would support ECC RAM. The i9 processors use DDR4-2666 RAM, not ECC RAM. It’s thought that the iMac Pro will instead use Intel’s Purley Xeon processors. They’re server-grade CPUs that support ECC RAM and can run up to 28 cores in a single LGA3647 motherboard socket. Up to 8 sockets can work in the same computer…but that’s probably a supercomputer, not an iMac Pro.

Apple Maps transit coverage keeps adding territory, this time with train and bus service for large sections of the states of Queensland and Western Australia in Australia. Places like Perth, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Mandura and Rockingham are all included. Up to now, the only transit directions in Australia were available in places like Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney. Other changes that are being seen in Apple Maps include more detail around train stations. Marked with pink borders, a click on the train stations in some countries will show interior photos from Foursquare. It’s thought that Ireland will be the next country to get support for transit directions.

Sometimes it pays to be an old person! T-Mobile today announced its T-Mobile ONE Unlimited 55+ plan for those who are over 55 years of age…which isn’t really that old. For $60 a month, the carrier offers two lines including taxes and fees. That includes unlimited text and data roaming and low flat-rate calling in 140+ countries, no fees at all in Mexico or Canada, the ability to use the T-Mobile number on compatible phones, tablets and PCs, and use personal hotspot. This starts on Wednesday, August 9, and they will check your ID to make sure you’re old enough. I am so tempted to dump AT&T…

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