America First Credit Union announces Apple Pay support for its Visa card

America-First-Apple-Pay

Adding to the growing list of banks and card issuers adding support for Apple Pay in recent weeks, America First Credit Union today announced it’s rolling out Apple Pay support for its Visa card.

“Security and privacy is our upmost priority when it comes to offering our members the latest in technology and mobile advancements,” said Rich Syme, executive vice president at America First Credit Union. “Apple Pay will bring a new level of efficiency for members, allowing them to pay with their mobile devices in a fast, easy and secure way.”

Apple has been adding several new banks since first launching Apple Pay last month and now lists a total of 17 card issuers (not including America First Credit Union) on its support document last updated earlier this week. There is, however, a long list of banks that have already announced support will arrive soon. The list also includes information for supported card types available through the banking partners. A growing list of retailers have also added support for the service at retail locations recently.

We have a running list of banks that plan to support Apple Pay in the coming weeks and months here. We also have a running list of the latest stores and apps that accept Apple Pay here. Read more

GT Advanced creditors complain about unfair settlement as Apple commits to repurposing Mesa factory (Update)

Mesa-Arizona

In the aftermath of GT Advanced filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, the sapphire maker reached a $439 million settlement with Apple in which the supplier will repay the iPhone maker up to $290,000 per furnace sold. GT Advanced creditors aren’t happy with the proposed settlement, however, arguing that the sapphire company may have received too little in the deal. Read more

Apple reportedly bundling Beats Music with iOS next year

iPhone 6 Beats Music

According to a new report from the Financial Times, Apple is expected to bundle the Beats Music streaming service with an upcoming version of iOS next year.

Apple will bundle the subscription music service it acquired from Beats into its iOS operating system early next year, instantly making it available on hundreds of millions of iPhones and iPads – and ramping up pressure on Spotify, the market leader in music streaming.

The report comes amid rumors that Apple is planning to rebrand the Beats Music subscription service for a potential relaunch around February, although FT has added that the bundling is expected “as early as March.” Read more

App Store changes ‘Free’ button to ‘Get’, likely due to in-app purchase controversies

App Store Free Get

Apple has introduced a small but interesting tweak to the way it markets apps on the App Store. As you can see in the screenshot above, non-paid apps are now presented with the word ‘GET’ rather than ‘FREE’. While the reason for the change in how Apple is presenting non-paid apps isn’t clear, it’s likely due to the popularity of ‘freemium’ apps and in-app purchases, something that has been the source of controversy for Apple in the past… Read more

Apple’s IT provider Infosys sacks outsourcing CFO, division’s CEO ‘retires’ for overbilling Apple (Update)

Infosys

The Economic Times of India reported on Wednesday that Bangalore-based company InfoSys, which provides outsourced tech support and other services for Apple, has fired the CFO of its business process outsourcing unit Abraham Mathews for failing to comply with the company’s code of conduct. Read more

Tim Cook & Apple celebrate another 100% score on HRC’s Corporate Equality Index for 13th year running

HRC-index-apple-01

Apple CEO Tim Cook today announced via his Twitter account that Apple has received a 100% score on HRC’s Corporate Equality Index for the 13th year in a row. Apple once again makes the list put together by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation, which rates U.S. workplaces based on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality: Read more

Fitbit users can finally view their data in the Health app thanks to 99 cent sync tool

fitbit-sync

A 99 cent app finally allows owners of Fitbit activity trackers to view their data in Apple’s Health app. Sync Solver for Fitbit provides a daily sync of ten different pieces of data to the Health app built into iOS 8 – a feature the company itself said it had no plans to introduce.

The first sync needs to be performed manually, by tapping a button in the app, after which it will sync data automatically every 24 hours …  Read more

Apple Online Store frontpage redesigned ahead of Black Friday, pushing iOS devices, Macs and Beats accessories

Screen Shot 2014-11-19 at 13.42.11

For Black Friday, Apple has refreshed the frontpage of its online store with a rather-drastic redesign. Each product category now dominates the webpage, with full-bleed images of their main product lines. The new iPad updates get the top spot, but interestingly Apple TV and Beats headphones also get prime placement. In fact, the product images for Beats accessories are so large, it only takes four images to dominate the screen.

The strap-line ‘From one gift come many’ headlines the page, which also links up with Apple’s upcoming retail store holiday changes. The same tagline will soon be featured in Apple Store windows around the world, highlighting the wide scope of the iPhone and iPad, as shown below.

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Apple WatchKit third-party apps require a connected iPhone to function, ‘fully native’ apps coming later in 2015

Screen Shot 2014-11-18 at 19.15.09

Apple has just released a flood of information about how apps on Apple Watch work, through the WatchKit framework. There are three types of integrations currently possible: WatchKit apps, Glances and actionable notifications. Although they sound similar,  the development process for WatchKit apps are actually very different to that of normal iOS apps for iPhone and iPad, as much of the computation is done on the connected iPhone rather than rendered by the watch’s hardware itself.

The interface elements and interaction patterns for WatchKit apps revolve around a core set of user interface components and layouts. Arbitrary views are not supported, which is a big departure from how iOS apps are constructed.

The constraints are in place because although the Watch renders the UI, any other coding logic is actually managed by the connected iPhone through a WatchKit extension, that silently runs on the iPhone. For instance, animations are pre rendered as an image sequence on the phone GPU before being sent OTA to the watch for display. Apple has announced that fully-native Watch apps will debut later in 2015, which will likely loosen these restrictions somewhat.

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Apple releases WatchKit allowing developers to prepare for Apple Watch

Apple Watch press

Apple has officially announced the availability of WatchKit, the software tools that developers will use for creating software for the Apple Watch coming in 2015. The company revealed last month that the SDK, or software development kit, would be released sometime this month. Apple says WatchKit enables developers to “create innovative WatchKit apps, actionable notifications and Glances, for timely information accessible by an easy, quick look at Apple Watch.” Additionally, resources within WatchKit reveal the screen resolutions for both Apple Watch sizes. Read more

Apple ordered to pay $23.6 million after losing lawsuit over wireless messaging

Apple iMessage Messages iOS 8

Bloomberg reports that a federal jury has found Apple guilty of infringing on six patents related to outdated pager technology from the 1990s. The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas has ordered Apple to pay a $23.6 million settlement for violating six patents owned by plaintiff Mobile Telecommunications Technologies LLC in the case. Read more