Apple World Today News Update: February 19, 2018

Steve's podcasting record for February took another hit last Friday with a bad bout of stomach flu; today he's back with four news stories for you:

  • WWDC hasn't been officially announced, but rumors are pointing toward June 4 - 8, 2018 in San Jose, CA 
  • Apple's new flagship retail store in Chicago has another issue -- this time, a big crack in one of the glass panels
  • A drone crashed into Apple's new headquarters building over the weekend. The building is unscathed, but the pilot may not get the drone back (see video below!)
  • Twitter is dropping support for the Mac, discontinuing its Mac client. We have news of a deal for a replacement client for you

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, February 19, 2018.  And once again, I missed the podcast last Friday, this time because of the stomach flu. I’m just hoping that February is over soon…

Every year, the Apple development community awaits word of when the company will pick a location and timeframe for the World Wide Developer Conference. Already, rumors are flying, this time from the apt source of MacRumors. An “unnamed source” talking to the site said that the location will be the same as last year — the McEnery Convention Center in San Jose, California, a short 9 mile drive from Apple Park. The dates are apparently between June 4th and June 8th. That’s based on availability of the convention center, which is apparently booked for every week but that one.  Apple made the official announcement about WWDC 2017 last year on February 16, so this year’s announcement could be made any day now.

There’s only one problem with creating buildings  primarily out of glass, and that is that glass can occasionally crack. Apple’s new flagship store in Chicago has a crack in one of the tall, thick glass walls that make up the structure, and photos taken over a several week period show that the crack is not only growing, but moving into several different directions. Fortunately, the crack should stop when it gets to the end of the glass panel…but hopefully that won’t cause the entire section to fall out. Apple’s had other issues with this same building, which opened to the public on October 20, 2017. Judging from one of the photos, the crack appears to be on the side facing the Chicago River and is over an entrance. This store also experienced issues earlier this winter when snow and ice were falling off of the thin, MacBook Air-like roof. The roof was equipped with heating elements designed to melt snow as it falls, but a software malfunction kept it from working as designed. Apparently that issue still isn’t resolved, and has caused Apple to rope off areas of the exterior to prevent the public from being hit by snow and ice.

As a professional drone pilot, I keep waiting for Apple to file a request to make the airspace over Apple Park a permanent no-fly zone. While many pilots have successfully flown over Apple Park and performed a wonderful public service of documenting the construction of the facility, an unnamed pilot crashed what appears to be a DJI Phantom 4 Pro into the ring-shaped headquarters building — now known as One Apple Park Way, by the way — over this last weekend. One of the drone pilots who is well known for successful flights over the facility, Matthew Roberts, was contacted by the unknown pilot to help locate the drone, and it was found wedged between two rooftop solar panels. The owner has apparently contacted Apple to request that the drone be returned, but whether Apple will do that is unknown. Perhaps Apple was just testing a new anti-drone weapons system that it has developed…

Twitter announced on Friday afternoon that  it is dropping support for the Mac, removing its Mac client from the Mac App Store and discontinuing support for the app. Of course, there are many other great Twitter clients for Mac, so that’s no great loss. Twitterrific, the Mac Twitter app from Iconfactory, is taking advantage of the loss of an official app by dropping in price from $19.99 to just $7.99, so if you’re needing a new client app, go take a look at Twitterriffic.com

That’s all the news for today - join me tomorrow afternoon for another edition of the AWT News Update.