Tech Bytes: Apple on Watch, partners in Amazon Prime and Snapchat’s woes

Apple working on next-generation Watch

The Apple rumor mill is churning especially early, with a report saying the company will hold an event in March to unveil the second-generation Apple Watch.

Tech blog 9to5Mac, citing unnamed sources, said the new watch could go on sale in April, about a year after the first Apple Watch was released.

“Apple has been working on (a) new camera, wireless, sleep tracking and health sensor technologies for the wearable device,” the report said.

Partners in Prime

Seattle-based has launched its Streaming Partners Program, an offering that lets cable channels offer programming to Prime members and get paid for it. The so-called “over-the-top streaming subscription program” gives video providers a way to reach the tens of millions of Amazon Prime members, while making Prime a more appealing service.

Showtime and Starz, for example, will each charge Prime members $8.99 a month, after a seven-day free trial. That will give customers access to each channel’s original programming, as well as movies, comedy specials and other shows.

Snapchat in the dark

Snapchat, the app that more than 100 million people turn to each day to entertain themselves, suffered a sweeping outage early Tuesday European time. And the issue remained unresolved Tuesday morning in the U.S.

Snapchat told users, the majority of whom are 24 or younger, it was working to resolve the problems. An individual familiar with the matter but not authorized to speak publicly pointed a finger at Google’s App Engine, a service that allows app developers to use the search giant’s computer infrastructure. A Google website said the issue began late Monday.

Meantime, Snapchat users across the world have experienced a range of issues. They haven’t been able to send and receive messages from friends, load “Live” videos produced by Snapchat or get updates in the app’s Discover section from media companies such as CNN and Food Network.

Wire services

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