Apple Pay is seeing impressive early adoption numbers according to a new ITG Investment Research Report on Mobile Payments (via MarketWatch), which suggests Apple’s new payment service was responsible for a total of 1 percent of digital payment dollars during the month of November.
Apple still trails industry leaders like Square and PayPal, which captured 18 and 78 percent of digital payment dollars in November, respectively, but ITG analysts suggest Apple Pay is showing strong momentum given that it’s available only to customers with the newest hardware and supported by a limited number of merchants.
According to the report, which uses data from ITG’s Investment Research consumer panel, 60 percent of new Apple Pay customers used the service on multiple days throughout November, averaging 1.4 use times per week. In comparison, only 20 percent of new PayPal customers used the service multiple times during the same time period.
Among customers who used Apple Pay, Whole Foods was the location where the service was used most, capturing 20 percent of all Apple Pay transactions. Walgreens came in second, with 19 percent of transactions, and McDonald’s was third, with 11 percent of transactions. Whole Foods was also Continue Reading
The Christmas holiday is less than a week away, and while deals have tapered off a bit this week, there are still a few discounts to be had on the iMac, MacBook Air,
Mac Pro, Retina MacBook Pro, and older iPads. There’s also one last deal on the iPad Air 2 that drops the price quite a bit.
We’ve also got discounts on some great potential gifts, including personalized iPhone cases from Casetify, wireless headphones from Jaybird, the popular Pencil stylus from FiftyThree, and more in this week’s Buyer’s Guide deals post.
iPad Air 2
If you’re in need of an iPad Air 2 and didn’t take advantage of the deals offered around Black Friday, there’s one last discount available this week. Target is offering 15 percent off the iPad Air 2 in all colors and capacities through its Cartwheel app.
That drops the price of the entry-level Wi-Fi only model to $424, down from $499. The discount will only be available on Friday and Saturday, and only in Target stores.
Actress Kate Winslet is currently in negotiations to play the lead female role in the upcoming Jobs biopic, reports Variety. Winslet, aged 39, is best known for dramatic movies like Titanic, Divergent, All the King’s Men, and Finding Neverland.
It remains unclear what role Winslet will play, but female parts in the movie are rumored to include Steve Jobs’ daughter Lisa Brennan and Katie Cotton, Apple’s well-known former PR lead.
Natalie Portman was formerly in talks to play a major female role in the film, but she pulled out of negotiations in early December. Actress Jessica Chastain, of The Help, may also be in talks for a part.
After some difficulties in casting, it seems the Job biopic is finally taking shape. Both Leonario DiCaprio and Christian Bale passed on the role of Steve Jobs, leading it to be taken by Michael Fassbender, and the role of Steve Wozniak will be played by Seth Rogen.
According to Variety, Jeff Daniels is still being considered for the role of former Apple President John Scully, and Boardwalk Empire’s Michael Stuhlbarg recently signed on to play Andy Hertzfeld, one of the Continue Reading
Earlier this year, the United States Federal Trade Commission filed a complaint against T-Mobile, accusing the carrier of “cramming” or charging customers for unauthorized SMS subscriptions that delivered information like horoscopes for prices up to $9.99 per month.
Though T-Mobile initially called the FTC’s complaint “unfounded and without merit,” it today reached a settlement [PDF] that will see it paying out more than $90 million to consumers that were affected by its practices. The carrier will also be required to inform all current and former customers who paid the illicit charges about the refund program.
In a statement, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler praised the settlement as a win for consumers and pledged to continue to fight “unjust and unreasonable business practices committed by the nation’s carriers.”
“Cramming is a significant problem. For too long, millions of consumers have been scammed billed for bogus charges on their phone bills for services they didn’t request. This is unacceptable. Today’s settlement is a win for consumers who have been victimized by cramming. It means compensation for T-Mobile customers who were fraudulently billed for third-party services that they did not want or authorize. And it goes one step further. Continue ReadingPosted by | December 19, 2014.
As noted by Dutch website iCulture and reported by iGen.fr, Apple has recently added several new European locations to its Flyover feature for Maps, including Rotterdam in the Netherlands, Malmö in Sweden, and Strasbourg, Dijon, and Turin in France. This expansion follows a similar update earlier this month that added Flyover to cities in France, Sweden and the US.
HSB Turning Torso in Malmö, Sweden
iOS and OS X users can now take advantage of the Flyover feature, which first debuted in iOS 6 and OS X Yosemite. Flyover provides a detailed 3D look at a location, allowing users to zoom in to buildings and other notable landmarks in supported locations. The feature relies heavily on the technology Apple acquired when it purchased C3 Technologies in 2011.
Flyover was limited when it launched, but Apple has been adding locations at a steady pace with support for more than 100 cities worldwide. Apple also recently introduced the new Flyover city tours feature, which provides users with a guided aerial tour of landmarks in a select cities worldwide.
Posted by | December 19, 2014.
While car manufacturers have been slower than anticipated to roll out support for Apple’s in-vehicle CarPlay system, Pioneer and Alpine have delivered aftermarket options in the form of in-dash systems with CarPlay compatibility and large touch screens.
MacRumors has had a chance to spend some time with Alpine’s iLX-007, which carries a suggested retail price of $800 but commonly sells for $600 and offers a 7-inch capacitive touch screen that dominates the unit’s front. The only other physical features come as a thin row of buttons along the bottom edge, including a pair for controlling volume, one for activating Siri, one for returning to the Alpine home screen, and another pair serving varying functions such as changing tracks, depending on the app currently in use.
The basic Alpine home screen offers access to only a handful of functions including traditional radio, any peripheral devices connected to the system’s auxiliary input including support for a rear back-up camera, and CarPlay devices. Upon connecting the unit’s Lightning cable to an iPhone, the CarPlay interface automatically launches, allowing access to the standard Phone, Music, Apps, Messages, and Now Playing apps, as well as any CarPlay-compatible third-party apps the user Continue ReadingPosted by | December 19, 2014.
The new dock will retail for $199.99, but CalDigit is offering a limited pre-order price of $169.99 that runs all the way up to the day before release, January 25. The new station keeps the same functionality of connecting multiple devices with one Thunderbolt cable, but updates it with new Thunderbolt 2 and dual eSATA 6G ports. The Thunderbolt Station 2 also allows users a vertical orientation option the original lacked.
The Thunderbolt Station 2 also comes with HDMI, three USB 3.0 ports, Gigabit Ethernet, audio in/out ports, the ability to connect high-resolution 4K displays to its HDMI port, and two Thunderbolt 2 ports.
The Thunderbolt™ Station 2 allows users to connect all their devices through a single Thunderbolt™ cable. Featuring dual Thunderbolt™ 2 ports for integrating a 4K workflow, the Thunderbolt™ Station 2 allows users to connect a high-resolution 4K monitor to the HDMI port. This is ideal for professional users who need to connect modern 4K displays to their computers.
“The power of Continue ReadingPosted by | December 19, 2014.
Apple CEO Tim Cook said he is deeply offended by allegations that Apple permits the mistreatment of workers in its supplier factories and mines, reports . Cook and Williams both stated they were “deeply offended by the suggestion that Apple would break a promise to the workers in our supply chain or mislead our customers in any way.”
“Panorama’s report implied that Apple isn’t improving working conditions,” he continued. “Let me tell you, nothing could be further from the truth.”
Williams also implied in the email that Apple provided the BBC with pertinent facts regarding the company’s commitment to its workers worldwide, but that information was not included in the documentary.
The BBC report claims that Chinese workers were forced to work long hours assembling Apple devices and denied requests for a day off, even after working 18 days in a row. The BBC also uncovered issues with off-hour work meetings, underage workers and other violations with dormitories and ID cards.
The BBC also investigated tin mines in Indonesia, where it found children mining the ore in dangerous conditions. The BBC claims this tin makes its way into Apple’s supply chain without the company’s knowledge.
<iframe width="640" height="360" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/AVaTl2kW6YU" Continue ReadingPosted by | December 18, 2014.
ABC has updated its Watch ABC Apple TV app to allow all Apple TV users to watch full episodes of ABC shows a week after they air without having to verify their TV provider. Previously, users had to sign in via their TV provider to watch any full episodes.
All Apple TV viewers can now access full episodes a week after they air. Like WATCH ABC for mobile devices and desktop, viewers can now watch such shows as Scandal, How to Get Away With Murder, Modern Family, black-ish, Once Upon A Time and Castle, among others, a week after they air. Sign in is required for ABC’s live network feed and its most current episodes
However, users are only allowed to watch the five TV show episodes prior to the most current one. Users who sign in to the app with their TV provider gain the ability to watch full episodes of the last five episodes of any TV show the day after they air and live TV.
The app was also updated with a brand new look and a continuous play mode that automatically starts the next episode for the viewer, similar to the system Netflix uses Continue ReadingPosted by | December 18, 2014.
Popular photo editing app Brushstroke has been named Apple’s App of the Week, and as a result, it is available to download for free for the first time since its March 2014 launch. Normally, the app is priced at $2.99, prior to today, it’s lowest price was $0.99.
Brushstroke, as the name implies, is designed to transform photographs into paintings using a variety of photo filters. There are dozens of different brush options that produce different paint effects, and each brush option can be customized using on-screen touch gestures to enhance the effect.
There are also various color filters to apply that will change the final look of the photo painting, and various textures like paper, canvas, wood, rock, and stone allow for even more customization. Controls for standard photo editing features like saturation, contrast, brightness, exposure, and more, are also available, and each photo work of art is finished off with a signature.
Edited photos can be shared on various social networks like Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, and the developers behind Brushstroke have partnered with CanvasPop to let users order physical prints, posters, and canvases of their edited photos at prices starting at $10. There is Continue ReadingPosted by | December 18, 2014.
As the Christmas holiday approaches, Apple Store shipping estimates for both the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus from all carriers in all colors and in 16 and 64GB capacities have now improved to just 1 business day in the United States, bringing the company close to reaching a supply/demand balance on those devices.
The larger-capacity 128GB devices remain somewhat more constrained than the lower-capacity models, and ship in 3 to 5 business days.
Shipping estimates are similarly improved in many other countries, including Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the United Kingdom, Mexico, Thailand, Philippines, and more.
Throughout the month of December, shipping estimates have been slowly improving as Apple has catches up with demand, and in early December, estimates had improved to 3 to 5 days for 16/64GB models and 7 to 10 days for 128GB models. Last week, estimates for the 16and 64GB models improved further, reaching 1 to 3 day estimates before jumping up again this week to just 1 day.
The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus have been severely constrained since their September debut, but Apple has worked hard to improve available supply, going so far as to reportedly delay Continue ReadingPosted by | December 18, 2014.
Earlier this week, BBC One announced plans to air a documentary called Apple’s Broken Promises, detailing the factory conditions of the overseas workers who are creating components and assembling the company’s iPhones.
Apple’s Broken Promises is set to air tonight, but ahead of the documentary’s launch, BBC News has published a story outlining what they discovered when they visited Pegatron factories in China and mines in Indonesia.
During the visit, the BBC found that workers at Pegatron factories were forced to put in long hours assembling Apple devices, and that there were violations with ID cards, dormitories, work meetings, and juvenile workers.
Multiple reporters went undercover at the factory as part of the documentary, and one did not receive a day off after working 18 days in a row while another was exhausted by the long hours. There were also workers who were filmed falling asleep during 12-hour shifts.
One undercover reporter, working in a factory making parts for Apple computers, had to work 18 days in a row despite repeated requests for a day off.
Another reporter, whose longest shift was 16 hours, said: “Every time I got back to the dormitories, I wouldn’t Continue ReadingPosted by | December 18, 2014.
Bank of America this week released a new advertisement promoting Apple Pay, joining a growing number of financial institutions including Chase and Wells Fargo that are advertising Apple’s recently launched mobile payments service.
The thirty-second video follows a businesswoman as she shops for her family and herself, buying a shirt, a dog bone, and some lipstick all with her iPhone. She then is seen leaving the store via an elevator, winking as the camera fades away.
Similar to previous commercials, the Bank of America ad focuses on the convenience of using Apple Pay to make payments with a Bank of America credit card. The narrator ends the ad by promoting Apple Pay as “the new, easy, secure, smart way to pay with a simple touch.”
Interest in Apple Pay is increasing as additional banks and retailers start adopting the payment option. One of the newest retailers is the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida, which is the the home of the Orlando Magic basketball team, with Apple Pay support launching at concession stands and other retail locations within the arena tomorrow. Apple recently confirmed that its Continue ReadingPosted by | December 18, 2014.
In a newly published Apple patent application credited to Dale Setlak, co-founder of AuthenTec, the company reveals its interest in enhanced security capabilities for the iPhone home button and Touch ID. The patent application describes how the Touch ID sensor could be paired with an on-screen combination lock or other secondary security feature, requiring the user to move his or her finger in certain directions to fully unlock a device.
As noted by Patently Apple, the June 2013 application shows off a few possibilities for the new technology, including a traditional combination lock-style system that has the user rotating his or her finger on the Touch ID sensor to input a security code.
Another potential implementation would require the user to swipe through a collection of circles by subtly shifting his or her finger in a specific pattern to unlock the phone. Both rely on the same technology created by AuthenTec that uses simultaneous security of a user’s unique fingerprint and secure combinations to gain access to a device. AuthenTec has of course played an important role since its acquisition by Apple back in 2012, with the company’s “Smart Sensor” technology serving as the basis Continue ReadingPosted by | December 18, 2014.
The beta, Build 12D5452a, is available immediately to registered developers as an over-the-air update and it can also be downloaded from the iOS Developer Center. Today’s update also includes Xcode 6.2 beta 3 with WatchKit.
iOS 8.2 includes the WatchKit SDK, allowing developers to create apps, Glances, and notifications for Apple’s upcoming wearable device ahead of its 2015 launch. The first iOS 8.2 beta, with WatchKit SDK and developer documentation, revealed several new details about the Apple Watch, including its heavy reliance on the iPhone and the different types of content developers can create for the device.