Apple World Today News Update: June 6, 2018

What the SWORD case and app might see... Picture via Royal Holdings

What the SWORD case and app might see... Picture via Royal Holdings

WWDC 2018 continues, and we have stories about a new Apple Watch API for monitoring Parkinson's disease, an upcoming "WWDC for investors", a couple of developer announcements and an iPhone case that purports to detect weapons and bombs:

  • Apple adds a Movement Disorder API to Apple Watch to continuously monitor symptoms of Parkinson's Disease
  • Asymco analyst Horace Dediu is holding a one-day conference in LA next week for Apple investors
  • We discuss iOS 12's ability to automatically install the latest iOS version
  • MapKit JS is going to add Apple Maps to websites
  • Royal Holdings says its upcoming SWORD smartphone case will detect guns, knives or explosive devices, and can match target photos to the people around 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 Wednesday, June 6th, 2018. This week’s podcast is sponsored by Digiarty’s new macXvideo 4K video processing and sharing app. It’s free, and you can get more information about macXvideo here.

Most Apple Watch owners and those who listen to the AWT News Update podcast are aware of the various heart-related studies that are going on as a result of the Watch’s ability to accurately and continuously measure heartbeats. At WWDC 2018, Apple announced that it’s adding a new “Movement Disorder API” that allows Apple Watch to continuously monitor symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease. Researchers can now use Apple Watch to monitor two common symptoms of Parkinson’s; tremors, which are shaking and quivering that can be detected by the watch, and dyskinesia, which is a side effect of Parkinson’s drugs that causes fidgeting and swaying motions in patients. At present, a physician would ask a patient to keep a manual diary outlining symptoms and severity over time. Apps will be able to present data for doctors and patients in a graph that can show daily, hourly and by-the-minute fluctuations of the symptoms. There’s already a Parkinson’s app that doesn’t use the Movement Disorder API — mPower is used in a study with over 10,000 participants, and is the largest Parkinson’s study in history.

WWDC is an amazing event for developers and the tech press. Next week, there’s going to be a premiere event for investors held by Horace Dediu of Asymco called “The Goose That Lays The Golden Eggs”. On June 14, the all-day event at the Chateau Marmont on Sunset Boulevard in West Hollywood will discuss the fundamentals of Apple as a business and its recurring revenue model. Dediu commented that “if you are curious about why Wall Street says “Sell” and Warren Buffett says “Buy” on Apple, you might want to spend some time with us”.

iOS 12 is bringing a new feature to the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch that will automatically install the latest iOS version as soon as it becomes available. This feature is found under Settings > General > Software Update, and could possibly allow silent updates to occur — these are updates that wouldn’t require further action on the user’s part. As of now, Apple requires users to accept terms and agreements prior to installing an iOS update. If this works like macOS’s automatic updates, things like emergency security updates, system data files, and so on are updated without notifying or bothering the user.

One other announcement out of WWDC might make Apple Maps a much bigger competitor to Google Maps on websites. As you’re probably aware, Google Maps and Microsoft Bing Maps have allowed maps to be embedded in websites for years. Through the use of MapKit JS, a website developer will be able to have the site display a defined map area, pinpoint locations that users are searching for, and provide navigational directions. Developers can also add overlays and annotations, display a street map or satellite imagery, and even force locking of the map so it cannot be moved or rotated.

Have a lot of money laying around and you’re paranoid? You’ll want to buy Royal Holdings’ SWORD smartphone case that works with the iPhone 8 Plus as a type of sonar to determine if someone within 40 feet is carrying a gun, knife or explosive device. The case has an array of 18 antennas that create an image profile based on the radio frequency waves. Although tests showed that SWORD was able to work without false positive readings, the company is using artificial intelligence and machine earning to improve the database. One other feature — the company says that SWORD can use facial recognition to match people against target photos fed into it, so known criminals, terrorists, or people on watch lists can be identified through the app. At this point, the company isn’t selling the case and doesn’t even have a working prototype, but they say they’ll start selling SWORD next year.

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