Apple World Today News Update: January 22, 2018

 It's time to Ragna Rock 'n Roll!

It's time to Ragna Rock 'n Roll!

Beat the Monday blues with a few upbeat stories on today's Apple World Today News Update podcast!

  • The new Apple Park campus is so large that the company is making 1,000 bicycles available for employees to get from place to place
  • Drone manufacturer DJI has the same problems Apple does in terms of having new products leaked
  • A developer beta of iOS 11.2.5 shows that HomePod owners will be able to disable Siri when desired
  • A glitch with Movies Anywhere made it possible for some iTunes users to get the movie "Thor:Ragnarok" one month before it's due to be released

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 podcast for Monday, January 22, 2018.  

The 175-acre Apple Park campus is so large, that the company will provide 1,000 free bicycles and have 2,000 bike parking spots to help employees get from place to place. Even at a good clip, it can take an employee up to ten minutes to walk from the onsite parking garage to an office in the ring-shaped headquarters building. Unlike Google’s bikes, which are painted in a variety of bright colors to mimic the company’s logo, the Apple bikes are free of any logos and painted a rather boring grey. The bikes are manufactured for Apple by a company called Public Bikes in Northern California. By the way, for those employees who can’t bike due to a disability or dislike of bikes, there’s an electric golf cart and a commuter shuttle bus that can take them from the parking structures to the ring.

It’s good to see that consumer electronic companies other than Apple have problems keeping new products secret before their launch. Drone manufacturer DJI has an event scheduled in New York tomorrow to unveil a new product…and today, details of the new product showed up all over the web. It appears that the new product is the Mavic Air, a new version of the flagship Mavic Pro. Like the Mavic Pro, the Mavic Air is controlled by a combination of a radio controller and a smartphone or tablet, with Apple iOS devices being preferred. No pricing is available for the new device, but it will feature a folding design like the Pro, built-in folding landing legs, a 4K 60 frame per second camera that can also take 31 megapixel still photos, and anti-collision sensors. Like other DJI products, there’s a good chance that the Mavic Air — whenever it becomes available to the public — will be sold in Apple retail stores.

Apple is usually on top of it in terms of security, and it looks like they company is paying attention to user concerns with the upcoming HomePod smart speaker. The iOS 11.2.5 developer beta shows settings for disabling Siri so the built-in microphones won’t listen in on everything you’re saying. Developer Filipe Espósito said that “HomePod will be able to create ‘scenes’ that disable Siri temporarily.” These could be used for occasions where you may have visitors, like a party, or just don’t want Siri waiting for you to say “Hey, Siri”. The HomePod doesn’t transmit any information to Apple servers until you say “Hey, Siri,” after which all of the following commands are encrypted and then sent off to the servers for anonymous processing. Over a million units of the HomePod have reportedly been produced by Apple supplier Inventec, meaning that plenty of the $349 devices should be available at launch.

Marvel Studios’ film Thor:Ragnarok isn’t scheduled for digital release until February 20th, but a glitch made it possible for some users to download the movie early into Apple iTunes. The glitch was apparently related to Movies Anywhere, a service that allows purchases made on one digital storefront to be made available on another. A user apparently had purchased the latest Thor movie on Vudu, and the Movies Anywhere link to iTunes placed the film in the iTunes digital library — a month before it was going to be released. Other users soon followed suit, until the bug was addressed. If you missed out on the accidental pre-release of Thor: Ragnarok, you can still pre-order it on iTunes

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