Apple Pay Day: Experiences with Apple’s new payment service mostly positive

Apple Pay iOS 8.1

Apple Pay, which was unveiled to the world at the launch of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, has officially launched in the U.S. today alongside iOS 8.1. Experiences with the service on its first day have been mixed, and notably, Eddy Cue this morning to acknowledged that in saying that Apple still has “a lot of work to do.” Some banks are requiring verification processes which are taking time, and some widespread credit card companies, like Discover, aren’t yet supported at all. But some experiences with Apple Pay have been seamless and it seems that, so far, the service is working as expected despite its slow roll-out. Read more

Apple to require iOS apps and updates to use iOS 8 SDK and include 64-bit support from February 2015

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Apple has today notified developers about some upcoming rules regarding App Store submission, via its developer news portal. From 1st February 2015, newly-submitted apps and updates must be built against Apple’s iOS 8 SDK. This is not particularly surprising: Apple required similar adoption of the iOS 7 SDK last year.

In addition however, Apple will also require that all apps and updates include 64-bit support from that date too. Currently, developers can choose whether to submit only 32-bit apps or universal binaries. This will no longer be an option from February. Moving all apps to 64-bit will bring big performance and memory gains for newer devices (which include A7 or A8 SoC’s) as running the 32-bit apps necessitates loading a lot of additional resources into system memory.

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Apple releases iOS 8.1 with Apple Pay, iCloud Photo Library, SMS Relay & Instant Hotspot, more

iOS 8.1Just as Apple announced at its iPad & Mac event last Thursday, iOS 8.1 is now publicly available with new features including Apple Pay, iCloud Photo Library, and additional Continuity features. Apple Pay is available for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus users for making payments for purchases with the new iPhone rather than a physical credit card in supported retail stores and apps; iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 users will be able to use Apple Pay within supported apps as well. In addition to iOS 8.1, Apple also released version 7.0.1 for third-generation Apple TV boxes.

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Chinese government apparently phishing iCloud account info with man-in-the-middle attack

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Although unconfirmed, GreatFire is reporting that Apple is now the subject of Chinese government hacking attempts. According to the report, the government is using the institutional firewall to redirect traffic directed at iCloud.com to a fake page that resembles the iCloud.com interface almost perfectly.

Like other phishing attacks, this page is pretending to be Apple’s portal but instead intercepts entered usernames and passwords for other means. Although some browsers in China are set up to warn users about these kind of man-in-the-middle attacks, many don’t and (assumedly) many citizens disregard the warnings as the site appears quite genuine otherwise.

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Apple reportedly pushing to get Beats Music prices down to $5 per month

iPhone 6 Beats Music

A new report by Re/code gives some extra details about Apple’s future plans for its streaming service, Beats Music. A few weeks ago Apple was reportedly looking to push prices down, although specifics were not known at the time.

Today, Re/code says that Apple wants to cut prices in half, from $10 a month to $5 a month. This would be part of a relaunch of the Beats Music service — exactly what a ‘relaunch’ entails is not yet known. It is possible that Apple will disassociate the Beats brand from its streaming service.

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Dropbox app updated with iPhone 6 optimizations, Touch ID unlocking

Popular file-sharing / file-syncing app Dropbox has updated its iOS app to version 3.5 today, with some nice improvements. The app now takes advantage of all available resolution on the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, rather than in a scaled iPhone 5s form. Dropbox doesn’t do anything novel with the additional space, but there is benefits to being able to see more items in a folder list at a time. The quality of file previews are also noticeably improved because of the additional screen size, with photo viewing mostly affected.

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Yosemite & iOS 8 How-to: Send and receive phone calls from your Mac and iPad

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Now that Yosemite is out, with iOS 8 running on your iPhone, you can send and receive phone calls from your Mac and your iPad (also running iOS 8). This is one of the features of Continuity, which further integrates and connects your Mac and iOS devices. Continuity also includes Handoff, Instant Hotspot, AirDrop and SMS Relay (as part of the iOS 8.1 update).

Sending and receiving phone calls from the Mac and iPad is a benefit because sometimes when your iPhone rings it’s not where you are, but instead you are on your Mac or iPad. Now you can pick up the phone call directly from the Mac or iPad and don’t have to worry about stopping what you are doing to rush and find the phone. In this how-to article I will discuss how to set up and disable Phone Relay, how to send and receive iPhone Cellular Calls.

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iCloud Photos on the web goes live leading up to iOS 8.1 release

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While iOS 8.1 isn’t officially going to be released to the public until Monday, several reports across the internet are saying that Apple’s Photos app within the web-based iCloud website has now gone live for those using the iOS 8.1 beta. The interface looks a lot like that of the Photos app on iOS, letting you view your library as organized by either Moments or Albums.

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The latest stores and apps to accept Apple Pay (Running list)

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With Apple Pay launching on Monday with iOS 8.1 for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus users, Apple CEO Tim Cook shared an update at today’s special event with additional retailers and iOS apps that will accept Apple Pay at launch or have committed to accept Apple Pay in the future. According to Apple’s microsite for Apple Pay, the company has added 16 additional retailers and venues with plans to accept Apple Pay at launch or in the future. In addition to those retailers and venues, Apple has added 12 additional apps that plan to accept Apple Pay starting on Monday or sometime after the launch date. Read more

Apple announces 27-inch iMac with Retina 5K display starting at $2499, 5120×2880 screen resolution

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Apple has just announced a brand-new Retina 27-inch iMac. Apple is spreading Retina displays across the lineup, with the iMac leading that charge. This is the highest resolution screen in the world, according to Apple, with 14.7 million pixels. This is a 5K display — more than seven times the pixels of a HDTV. The screen builds on the technology Apple built on the iPhone and iPad, but to a whole new scale.

The iMac is just 5mm at its thinnest point, maintaining the same thinness as the previous generation, despite the massive leap in pixel density.

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Apple announces new versions of Pages, Keynote and Numbers with Yosemite visual updates and other improvements (iOS too!)

As part of its keynote, Apple has officially announced new versions of its iWork suite — Pages, Keynotes and Numbers. Each of the apps have received some ‘flattening’ UI changes to match the aesthetic of OS X Yosemite.

Each of the productivity apps also have other improvements, relevant to each task. In Numbers, you can now transpose tables in one step for example. Pages adds a new sidebar, with comments and other outline views. Keynote now includes some new text effects as well. The updates will be released alongside the release of OS X Yosemite today.

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iOS 8.1 will include Apple Pay, iCloud Photo Library in public beta, more improvements

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During today’s Apple event, Apple SVP of Software Craig Federighi mentioned iOS 8.1 as well as a few changes coming with the software update to iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. With iOS 8.1, Apple will introduce Apple Pay for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. The update will also include the public beta of iCloud Photo Library for every user; currently, the feature has been available to limited users since iOS 8’s public launch. Finally, Apple says iOS 8.1 will bring back the Camera Roll for users following customer feedback. Read more