Apple World Today News Update: March 23, 2018

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Happy Friday! Today's Apple World Today News Update podcast has stories about happy developers, livestreams that aren't happening next week, possible product announcements in the education space, and using the fingers of dead people to unlock iPhones:

  • 5,000 Apple developers are probably dancing in the streets today after finding out that they're going to WWDC 2018. Another 500,000 developers are feeling suicidal after finding out they didn't win the WWDC lottery
  • Apple isn't going to livestream next week's education event from Chicago, fortunate as we won't have to watch Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel politicizing the event
  • A new, low-cost iPad with Apple Pencil support may be revealed at the Chicago event
  • Forbes reveals that law enforcement agencies now regularly use the fingers of the recently deceased in an attempt to unlock iPhones with Touch ID

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 Friday, March 23, 2018. 

For 5,000 people, today’s going to be a very happy day. Those people are developers who put their names into a lottery to have their names picked to attend WWDC 2018 - Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference. This year’s event begins on June 4th at the McEnery Convention Center in San Jose, California, and those lucky developers also get the fun of paying $1,599 each to attend. Any registered developer can watch some events online and then see all of the event sessions after the fact, but the big thing about WWDC is just being able to talk with other developers and Apple engineers. On June 4th, the conference will start with the opening keynote at which executives will unveil some nifty new features and perhaps some products. 

Speaking of events, here’s a bummer: Apple’s not going to livestream its event from Chicago next week. We will be able to watch the event after it has concluded — if you have the Events app on the Apple TV, you can watch as soon as Apple has the video uploaded. Frankly, I won’t watch it unless I hear that new product announcements have been made. So, will announcements be made? Bloomberg’s Mark Guzman says that a new low-cost iPad with Apple Pencil support is in the works, and a new and less expensive MacBook is on the way — presumably to replace the MacBook Air. The new cheap MacBook isn’t expected to be announced next week, but Apple needs to do something to combat Chromebooks in schools. 

Forbes released a report today that details how law enforcement agencies have been using the fingers of deceased suspects in an attempt to unlock their iPhones. The report features an outline of a case in 2016 where an FBI agent used the finger of a suspect who had been shot by police in an attempt to unlock his iPhone using Touch ID. It apparently didn’t work, but that was the first known case where law enforcement officials tried to unlock an iPhone using a deceased person’s finger. Forbes does say that sources from police investigations in New York and Ohio have said it’s common now for fingerprints of the deceased to be applied to the Touch ID scanner immediately after a body is found in order to gain access to an iPhone and get information that may help solve a crime. According to the article, it’s entirely legal in the US for police to use this technique as deceased persons do not “have a privacy interest in their dead body.” There’s also no requirement for search warrants to get into the iPhone of a dead victim unless it is shared with another person. 

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