Apple World Today News Update: June 19, 2018

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It's a light news day in the Apple world, so we'll give you some stories about rumored Apple Watches, the upcoming Walkie-Talkie feature of the Apple Watch, how a 6.5-inch iPhone X might be the biggest seller this fall, and a new replacement power cord for MacBooks could shed some light on dark places:

  • That Brazilian developer has done it again, this time finding references to four new Apple Watch models in the latest iOS 12 developer beta release
  • If you and a friend are both running the second developer beta of watchOS 5, you can start to use the new Walkie-Talkie function
  • Rumors from Korea and the Apple supply chain show that Apple thinks the "iPhone X Plus" will be the top seller when it arrives this fall
  • Ten One Design introduced a totally innovative replacement power cord for the MacBook/MacBook Pro. "Stella" has a plug that lights up the socket when you get near it, and other impressive features

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 Tuesday, June 19th, 2018.

We don’t know when they’ll be announced or available, but a developer has discovered references to four new Apple Watch models in the latest iOS 12 beta 2 developer release. Brazilian developer Guilhermo Rambo is known for dissecting the new beta operating systems looking for device identifiers, and he found “Watch4,1” through “Watch4,4” listed along with model numbers. These would most likely be four variants of the next model, both in 38 and 42 mm sizes and in Wi-Fi or Cellular+GPS configurations.

Speaking of the Apple Watch, the release of the second beta of watchOS 5 today also contains the first working version of the upcoming Walkie-Talkie function. Launching the Walkie-Talkie app shows a list of contacts, and with a tap the user selects a person to connect with. The person on the receiving end of the Walkie-Talkie message hears a beep on their watch, which displays a screen allowing them to approve a connection. Once the two-way connection is established, you just press and hold the talk button to chat with them. To mute a conversation, you can toggle off an “Available” icon that informs the other party that you are not available for conversations.

9to5Mac reported today that supply chain sources cited by the Korean language publication “The Bell” think the rumored 6.46-inch OLED display iPhone X coming this fall will be the most popular of the crop to be released. The Bell refers to this as the “iPhone X Plus”, and the phone will have a roughly 6.5-inch screen in the same form factor as the 5.5-inch screen iPhone 8 Plus. The Bell says that Apple has ordered more screen panels for the X Plus than any other model; 45 million 6.46-inch OLED panels are forecast, along with 25 million 5.8-inch panels for the iPhone X successor and 30 million 6.04-inch LCD screens for the new lower priced iPhone. With a device that large, I wonder if the iPad mini is on the way out…

Ten One Design introduced a replacement power cord for the MacBook and MacBook Pro, and it’s enough to make you want to get one even if your existing MacBook charger cable is fine. Named Stella, the plug on the cord actually illuminates the wall socket when it gets near it. It’s also smaller than the Apple plug, it comes with a more flexible cloth covering on the outside of the cable, and it even wraps around the AC adapter like the old ones used to. Stella ships next month in two colors for MacBook — blue or aqua, at $34.95.

Join me tomorrow afternoon for the next edition of the AWT News Update.