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Apple World Today News Update: May 1, 2018

It’s May, time to start keeping an eye out for severe weather, mow your lawn, and get ready for summer coming next month. Today’s stories:

  • The Apple Watch is credited with saving another life…but this time it wasn’t the owner’s heart that was having problems
  • Olloclip has released the Connect X Lens System for the iPhone X
  • The Lumos Smart Bike Helmet gets additional HealthKit and Apple Watch integration, and is available in Apple retail stores
  • The third betas of the latest versions of iOS, macOS, watchOS, and tvOS are now available to developers

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. (Sorry about the spacing issues seen below; we’re talking with Libsyn about this…)

Text Version

This is Steve Sande for Apple World Today, and you’re listening to the AWT News Update podcast for Tuesday, May 1st, 2018.

There’s another lifesaving story out about the Apple Watch, but this time it’s not the owner’s heart that was having problems. Florida teen Deanna Recktenwald seemed to be a healthy kid until her resting heart rate jumped up to 190 beats per minute last Sunday and she was warned of the problem by her Apple Watch. The 18-year-old didn’t report any other symptoms, other than a slight headache and shortness of breath, but her mother – a registered nurse – took her to a walk-in clinic immediately. The clinic confirmed that the heart rate reading was on the money, so Deanna was rushed to the ER at Tampa General Hospital. Doctors there found that Deanna is suffering from chronic kidney disease and had experienced kidney failure. The doctors said that her kidneys are only operating at about 20% of normal function and that Deanna will most likely require a kidney transplant. Deanna’s mother sent a thank you to Apple CEO Tim Cook, who not only responded by tweeted out the story to followers today.

The iPhone X has some pretty amazing cameras associated with it, and Olloclip today launched its lens clip-on accessory for the top-of-the-line iPhone called the Connect X lens system. It comes as a kit with a mount and stand, as well as fisheye, super-wide angle and 15X macro lenses. Ultra-wide angle and 2X telephoto lenses are sold separately. The mount doesn’t require a special case like some other lens systems, and it supports both the front and rear cameras at the same time. If you do wish to have a case on your iPhone X, it must be Olloclip’s case. One issue with the Connect X system is that it obscures the built-in iPhone X TrueDepth camera, so owners either need to log into their device with a passcode or wait until after logging in with Face ID to attach the lens mount. The Olloclip lenses cannot be used with a flash, and older Olloclip lenses aren’t compatible with the new mount. The base kit runs $99.99, the case is $29.99, the ultra-wide lens is $59.99, and the 2X telephoto lens is $79.99. That latter item seems a bit redundant since the iPhone X comes with a built-in 2X telephoto lens already. In the past, I’ve found that most iPhone accessory lenses tend to distort images around the perimeter of the image and cause a slight vignetting effect as well. We’ll try to get our hands on the Connect X system to see if it has a similar effect on iPhone X photos.

Speaking of accessories for your iPhone, here’s one that has been around for a few years but is back in the news with new Apple Watch gesture control and Apple HealthKit integration. It’s the Lumos smart bike helmet, which is pretty well surrounded with a string of LEDs that are used to alert others to your presence, act as a brake light for your bike, and signal your intention when turning. That last feature is done with your hand — do the standard hand signals to indicate a turn, and the Apple Watch senses the hand position, then shows a left or right flashing arrow. This capability comes at a price, though — while you’ll normally spend about $60 – $80 on a bike helmet, the Lumos will run you $180. Apple’s so impressed with the integration between the iPhone, Apple Watch and the Lumos smart helmet that it’s now selling them in Apple retail stores.

Beta testers: the third betas of iOS 11.4, macOS 10.13.5, watchOS 4.3.1 and tvOS 11.4 are now available to developers. If you’re a developer, get out there and get these on your test devices now via OTA updates.

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

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Steve Sande
the authorSteve Sande
Steve is the founder and former publisher of Apple World Today and has authored a number of books about Apple products. He's an avid photographer, an FAA-licensed drone pilot, and a really bad guitarist. Steve and his wife Barb love to travel everywhere!