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AWT News Update: May 30, 2017

Welcome back from that 3-day weekend! Hopefully you had good weather, a lot of fun, and some time to reflect on the meaning of Memorial Day. We have some stories from all across the spectrum of Apple and consumer electronics:

  • A North Korean iPad? Say it isn’t so! It’s obviously not made by Apple…
  • Apple Park now shows up in the Apple Maps app, complete with 3D depictions of the buildings at the new campus
  • Happy Birthday, Google Street View. We talk about the idea behind Street View and how those 360° photos will become even more prominent soon

Be sure to check out Looking FWD, the great new countdown timer app from indie developer John Mackay and our sponsor this week.

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 for May 30th, 2017. We hope you enjoyed the three-day weekend as much as we did.

Ahhh, the North Koreans. Between scaring the world with their missiles…which fortunately don’t work that well…and their refusal to stop doing nuclear weapons development, they’re not very well liked. Now a North Korean company has launched its own iPad. Yep, since North Korea doesn’t seem to think that any international laws apply to the country, Ryonghung has launched the Ryonghung iPad, which it says “is now popular among customers.” We’re doubtful that it will be as popular as Apple’s product, considering that the per capita income in the country is about $1,000. Perhaps the Dear Leader is planning on forcing all the citizens in his dictatorship to purchase one to make it a success. Apple probably won’t have any luck suing the company for trademark infringement. The Ryonghung iPad has more than 40 apps and “boasts stability in terms of operating system.” Perhaps the most important app of that group is described as “an app of the loaded can diagnose up to 1200 ailments and offer remedies, and it enjoys increasing popularity among customers.”

3…2…1! We all love countdowns, and a new iOS app from indie developer John Mackay called Looking FWD now gives you the power to set up countdown clocks for every important date in your life. Whether you’re counting down the days until a wedding, anticipating a much-needed vacation, or just want to answer the question “How many days until Christmas?”, Looking FWD is there for you. Using a bright and colorful user interface with emoji for instant identification, Looking FWD shows your countdown clocks in chronological order in both the app and Notification Center. Try the app for free and try three countdown timers, and if you’re as hooked on it as we were, you’ll want to buy the $1.99 in-app purchase to add an unlimited number of timers. Many thanks to John and Looking FWD for sponsoring the Apple World Today News Update this week.

Do you love those great drone videos of Apple Park? Now you don’t need to have drone to get a feel for the layout of the sprawling campus, just a device running Apple Maps. Type in “Apple Park, Cupertino, CA” and you’ll see an aerial view of the building while it was under construction. Even better is to just look at the map — not the satellite image — in 3D, as you can get an idea of the height of each structure and see such fun structures as the employee wellness building, the Steve Jobs theater, and even a number of old and new R&D facilities along Tantau Boulevard north of Interstate 280.

OK, this bit doesn’t have much to do with Apple, but it’s still pretty cool. Today is the 10th birthday of Google Street View. As Google points out, this all started as Larry Page’s “far-fetched idea to create a 360-degree map of the world.” You can now virtually climb mountains, visit museums throughout the world, and even see what the inside of a restaurant is going to look like before you visit it. I’m a contributor to Google Street View, and my 138 360° photos have over 7.81 million views. Expect to see more great 360° photos and video coming soon, as a huge crop of new cameras are on the way that will add to Street View. Perhaps Larry Page had the right idea after all, but it’s people like you and me that will create that 360-degree map.

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

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!