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AWT News Update: October 23, 2017

Happy Monday! We’re back with new from the world of Apple. Here’s what we have for the Apple World Today News Update podcast today:

  • Are you an iPhone Upgrade Program member who wants to order an iPhone X this Friday? You can get pre-approved for the phone now using the Apple Store app, leaving just the final push of the button early Friday morning
  • FBI Director Christopher Wray isn’t happy that the FBI hasn’t been able to get encrypted information from 6,900 mobile devices over the past 11 months
  • Facebook Messenger adds another new feature; the ability to manage your TD Ameritrade stock portfolio from the app

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 a brief AWT News Update podcast for Monday, October 23rd, 2017. 

This Friday at 12:01 AM PT, you’ll be able to pre-order an iPhone X. Those of us who are used to pre-ordering new devices from Apple know that the best way to do this is through Apple’s own Apple Store app for iOS. Effective immediately, you can gain pre-approval for the iPhone X so that you can pre-order and checkout quickly on October 27. There are five steps required for iPhone Upgrade Program members to get an iPhone X, and the Apple Store App lets you complete four of those steps ahead of time. You confirm your upgrade eligibility, then choose your preferred iPhone X, confirm your carrier, and get preapproved for the iPhone Upgrade Program loan. Then at 12:01 AM PDT or whatever time it will be in your local time zone, you use the Apple Store app to complete the upgrade process. 

FBI Director Christopher Wray isn’t happy about the encryption used on smartphones to keep personal data locked away. At an annual conference for the International Association of Chiefs of Police yesterday, Wray noted that the US Federal Bureau of Investigation could not retrieve data from 6,900 mobile devices over the past 11 months. That’s half of the total number of devices that the FBI attempted to retrieve data from, and Wray says “To put it mildly, this is a huge, huge problem. It impacts investigations across the board — narcotics, human trafficking, counterterrorism, counterintelligence, gangs, organized crime, child exploitation.”  Wray didn’t say how many of those devices were running Apple iOS, but Apple and the FBI have been at loggerheads about encryption since the December 2015 San Bernardino shootings. The FBI took Apple to court to force the company to create a version of iOS with a security back door, but Apple fought the court order and refused to help the FBI crack its encryption. Apple said in a statement at the time that “Apple believes deeply that people in the United States and around the world deserve data protection, security and privacy. Sacrificing one or the other only puts people and countries at greater risk.”

I’m always amazed at what features Facebook keeps adding to the iOS version of Facebook Messenger, and last week we talked about how you can now order food using the app. Now it’s going even further. If you’re a TD Ameritrade customer, you can manage your stock portfolio and make trades from within Facebook Messenger. Facebook also added another feature last week, allowing anyone with a PayPal account to make peer-to-peer payments with the app.

That’s all for today; I’ll be back 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!