Apple World Today News Update: January 30, 2018

Just a short little podcast for you today, giving you the 411 on HomePod, Apple Maps, and a proposed new Apple Store in Scottsdale, Arizona:

  • The upcoming HomePod smart speaker will apparently install updates through the Home app
  • Two new American cities are getting transit directions in Apple Maps: Omaha, Nebraska and Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • Architectural renderings of a proposed Apple retail store in Scottsdale, Arizona show a stunning external design

Text Version

This is Steve Sande for Apple World Today, and you’re listening to the AWT News Update podcast for Tuesday, January 30, 2018.  

Wondering how Apple’s HomePod will receive and install updates? The device, which will be available on February 9, runs a version of iOS. That probably means that whenever iOS updates become available, we’ll also see updates for the HomePod. But those updates won’t just be automatically installed on the HomePod right away. Instead, users are likely to get alerted of the update and will be directed to the Home app to install it. HomePod will be listed as an available HomeKit device in the Home app. In the Home app will be a setting to enable automatic HomePod updates, with updates available for either a single or multiple HomePods. What’s likely to come in an update later this year are the functions that will not be available at launch next month — multi-room audio and support for pairing two or more HomePods together for stereo sound. 

Flyover country is now getting transit directions. The latest update to Apple Maps adds transit directions for Milwaukee, Wisconsin and Omaha, Nebraska to Apple Maps for iPhone, iPad, Mac and Apple Watch. Transit directions have only been around for a little over two years, and make it simple to plan a route using public transportation options. Apple has been adding transit directions to various cities around the world, and it’s nice to see that it’s not just the large urban centers that are getting the additions. Omaha has only bus transit, while Milwaukee features bus lines and will soon be adding a streetcar line.

Scottsdale, Arizona’s Fashion Square Mall will be the site of a new Apple retail location, and like many of the company’s flagship stores, this one will be an architectural stunner. The plans filed with the city of Scottsdale show a store with 15 to 17,000 square feet of floor space in a split-level configuration, a 27 foot tall glass facade, stone interior and exterior walls, granite flooring, and underground parking. As one would expect in the desert southwest, the front of the store will be anchored by palm trees, grasses and yucca plants. The store’s roof is a cantilevered trellis design that has never been used on an Apple Store before. Instead of a flat overhang, the surface is covered with a dotted pattern of circular holes that allow light to spill down onto the plaza below. There’s no word on the expected start date of construction, and the plans could change prior to the groundbreaking. 

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