AWT News Update: October 11, 2017

AWT News Update: October 11, 2017

On today's podcast, we discuss a slightly less pricey Oculus headset, an update to Twitter for Apple TV, and how you can take notes on your Apple Watch:

  • But first, a note from our sponsor this week -- AR Tape Measure from It's About Time Products
  • Facebook's Oculus today introduced a $199 VR Headset called Go that doesn't require a powerful PC to operate
  • Tweet and watch TV at the same time with the new Apple TV Twitter app
  • Popular cross-platform notes app Bear gets an Apple Watch client for creating and appending notes right from your wrist
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AR Tape Measure 2.0 from It’s About Time Products: This week’s sponsor

AR Tape Measure 2.0 from It’s About Time Products: This week’s sponsor

Apple’s ARKit is a framework that’s part of iOS 11 that lets developers create augmented reality (AR) experiences for the iPhone and iPad. One of the first developers we knew of that created AR apps was this week’s sponsor, It’s About Time Products, and we’re happy to tell you about the free AR Tape Measure 2.0 app.

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AWT News Update: October 5, 2017

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A thunderstorm cut recording of this podcast short today, but we still have a few good stories from the world of Apple:

  • Try WordSwipe, a fun and challenging word game you play with friends via Messages. Free to try, $0.99 to buy. 
  • A security research discovers that Uber was given permission -- by Apple -- to use a special API in its app that could have been used maliciously
  • A CNN reporter tweets a photo of an iPhone 7 Plus that allegedly stopped a bullet during the Sunday night Las Vegas shooting tragedy
  • Facebook is rolling out an Apple Music chat extension for Facebook Messenger

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 October 5th, 2017. Our sponsor this month is It’s About Time Products, and this week we’re focusing on their two new products for iMessage: Color Text Bubbles and WordSwipe. WordSwipe is free to try and just $0.99 for the full version. It’a fun word game that you play by getting the best score you can in two minutes making words from a random grid of 16 characters, then send your results to a friend to challenge them to do better Check out the sponsorship post on Apple World Today for more information.

A security researcher has discovered that Uber was given use by Apple of a special API that allowed users’ iPhone user screen information to be recorded, as part of a plan to make Uber’s Apple Watch app work better. Apple rarely provides this type of access, and security researcher Will Strafach notes that no other apps on the App Store except those from Apple use the same functionality. Fortunately, the permission from Apple has been revoked, and the capability will be removed from the app. It doesn’t appear that the permission was used maliciously, but if it had been known about earlier, it could have been used to do things like steal passwords. 

A tweet by CNN reporter Jason K. Morrell shows a photo of an iPhone that apparently stopped a bullet during the Sunday night Las Vegas shooting tragedy. An unnamed woman left the scene in a taxi and found that her iPhone 7 Plus had a bullet hole in it. A taxi driver took a photo of the phone, which shows the iPhone and a protective case both with holes from a bullet. Unverified claims say that the woman was holding the iPhone in her hand when it was hit — if so, it could be that the device saved her life by deflecting a bullet. In 2015, an iPhone saved a man from a shotgun blast at close range when the pellets destroyed the phone in his pocket, but left his body unscathed. 

Facebook is rolling out a nice feature for Apple Music users. An Apple Music chat extension for the Facebook Messenger app is now available for many people. If you’re in a Messenger message, just tap the + symbol to the left of the text box, look for the Apple Music extension, and tap on it. This will let others know what tunes you’re currently listening to on Apple Music. 

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

AWT TV Episode 23: October 3, 2017

AWT TV Episode 23: October 3, 2017

Welcome to AWT TV, a weekly show featuring Steve Sande, Dennis Sellers and Marty Edwards of Apple World Today. Each week we'll discuss what's happened in the world of Apple, talk about new apps and accessories, maybe even have a demonstration or two of the latest software.  

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Isn’t it about time for more fun with iMessages? Check out apps from this week’s AWT sponsor

Isn’t it about time for more fun with iMessages? Check out apps from this week’s AWT sponsor

Indie developers are the lifeblood of the Apple app ecosystem, and one of our favorite indie companies is It’s About Time Products. The company markets a large variety of iOS, watchOS, and macOS apps that cover the gamut from photography and productivity apps and utilities for Mac to fun iMessage apps. The latter category includes Color Text Bubbles on iMessage (free with in-app purchase), an iMessage app that can turn your texts from boring to WOW and Word Swipe (free with in-app purchase), a fun iMessage word game that you can play with friends. We’re happy to say that It’s About Time Products is our sponsor for the upcoming five weeks, and today our focus in on Color Text Bubbles and Word Swipe!

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It's About Time delivers the goods for iOS 10 Messages with stickers and games

It's About Time has made a jump from creating learning tools to iOS development, starting with a collection of fun sticker packs and games for iOS 10. All of the apps are available in the new Messages App Store, which is accessed from the iOS 10 Messages with a tap on a small "A" app store button. 

Altogether, there are 4 word games that you'll find as well as tons of sticker packs to be used to add fun and emotion to your messages. All of the sticker packs are $0.99 each, or you can buy a "Mega Pack" for $1.99 with over 1,100 stickers. What stickers will you find? Here's the list!

  • Hilarious Pranks -- Fun stickers to place anywhere on your messages to bug your buddies
  • Fruits & Vegetables -- Banananana!
  • Baby Cuties -- Sweet little cartoon babies being adorable
  • 8-Bit -- Get your 80's gaming vibe going with this big collection of 8-bit pixel art stickers (awaiting approval)
  • Breakfast Foods -- Mmmm, bacon!
  • Catsters -- What says "fun with Messages" more than cartoon cats?
  • Christmas -- One of several holiday sticker packs that will liven up this year's Christmas messaging
  • Cute Animals -- Cats don't do it for you? It's About Time has a complete selection of animals to get your point across...with cuteness!
  • Halloween -- Spooky images sure to be popular next month (awaiting approval)
  • Hanukkah -- It's dreidel-riffic!
  • Famous Landmarks -- What better way to tell friends where you've been or are going to than to send a fun landmark sticker?
  • Weathersters! -- A variety of stickers that describe the weather, including the ever-popular twister
  • Sexy Adult Stickers -- With an over 17 rating, this is the one sticker pack not included in the Mega Pack. 
  • Sports -- Every sport you can imagine, and then some. 
  • Beach -- Beach scenes!
  • Bad Apples Good Apples -- This would have been useful for when my iOS 10 update went bad today...

The apps at this time are all word games, although It's About Time head honcho Saied Ghaffari showed me a few more under non-disclosure. These games include:

  • Word Ache (download for free, upgrade to Pro for $0.99): See a pattern in the letters displayed n the screen, and find it faster than the friend you send it to! 
  • Words Hanging (download for free, upgrade to Pro for $0.99): Like hangman, you have a certain number of balloons that you don't want to lose while trying to guess the word.
  • Word Swipe (download for free, upgrade to Pro for $0.99): Fans of Boggle will love Word Swipe, which challenges players to make as many words as they can in a two minute round. 
  • Words for iMessage (download for free, upgrade to Pro for $0.99): It's like Word With Friends, but includes a dictionary to give you instant validation of words you select.

Not all of the apps were available first thing this morning on my older iPhone running iOS 10 beta, but they should be out soon. Let's just say that "It's About Time" to have a lot of fun!