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

iOS 8 Roundup: The best third-party keyboards to try out right now

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In iOS 8, Apple is adding support for third-party keyboards. This means that iOS users can finally replace the default stock Apple keyboard with a myriad of choices already available on the App Store.

Keyboards are tied with an app. There is not a separate ‘keyboard store’. To find a keyboard, you search in the iOS App Store like any other app. Once you have downloaded an app that contains a custom keyboard, you must then enable it in Settings. Go to Settings -> General -> Keyboards -> Add New Keyboard and select the new app. This is kind of annoying, since it forces every app to instruct you how to install their keyboard in case you are new to the concept.

With that out of the way, what are the best keyboards available for iOS 8 to download today? Read on for 9to5Mac’s comprehensive roundup.

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CES 2014: iPhone/iPad Bluetooth accessories for the home & body dominate the show

While it’s been years since Apple made an appearance at CES in any official capacity, accessories that pair with its iOS devices have for several years dominated the show floor. This year was no different with most of the big trends–  fitness and health tracking wearables, Bluetooth controllers, and home automation products–  all designed and developed with the iPhone, iPad, and Mac in mind.  Below we’ve put together a roundup of the most interesting wearables, cases, controllers and more that we found for iOS devices.  Read more

Black Friday: The best Apple deals on iPhone, iPad, Macs, & Apps all in one place

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It can be hard to keep up with all of the great Apple related deals available this Black Friday weekend, so we thought we’d make it easy for you. Here are all of the best deals available this weekend on Macs, iPhones, iPads, Apple TV, iPods, iTunes gift cards, and a ton of great apps for both iOS and Mac. As always, 9to5Toys is tracking all the best Black Friday deals on other products as well as the latest discounts as they get announced.

Mac |

Best Buy: Retina MacBook Pro up to $200 off, iMac $150 off, MacBook Air $150 off
MacMall: Black Friday Begins Now at MacMall: MacBook Airs $100 off, iPads $40 off, more
B&H: Some of the best deals on Macs if you want AppleCare included.

iPhone |

Best Buy: Best Buy offering iPhone 5s for $75 off all models on AT&T, Sprint and Verizon
Walmart: Walmart will credit YOU $30 to get an iPhone 5c on contract this Black Friday
T-Mobile: T-Mobile, regional carriers offering iPhone 5s and 5c for $0 down on Black Friday

iPad |

Apple iPad Deals: iPad Air w/ $100 Target GC $479, iPad mini $249, iPad 2 $300, more

Apple TV |

Apple TV + HDMI Cable: $72.49 shipped
Apple TV 3rd generation 1080p $85 shipped (Reg. $99)

iPod |

Black Friday iPod Discounts: iPod Touch/iPod Nano $50 off, more

Accessories |

Where to find the best Black Friday deals on iPhones, iPads, Macs, & Apple accessories

iTunes |

Discounted iTunes Gift Cards: Save up to 20% on future apps, music, movies, more. $100 gift card for $85 or $50 gift card for $40.

Apps |

Black Friday App Store sale guide: The best deals on iPhone, iPad, and Mac apps

Adobe Photoshop and Premiere Elements 12 combo: $70 shipped

Adobe launches Black Friday deals up to 60% off on Photoshop, Lightroom, and more

VMWare sitewide Black Friday sale, VMWare Fusion 6: $38.99 new or $32.49 for an upgrade

Where to find the best Black Friday deals on iPhones, iPads, Macs, & Apple accessories

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It can be hard to cut through the noise with just about every retailer online having sales for Black Friday and Cyber Monday. That’s why we’ve put together a list of the best deals available only for iPad, iPhone, iPods, and Mac. You won’t find any deals on TVs or microwaves in the list below, just the best of the best accessories for your iOS device and Mac, and we’ve only included great products from companies we trust (many of which we’ve reviewed personally). If you still need to buy a Mac, iPhone, or iPad first, you’ll also find a roundup of the best deals on Apple hardware from 9to5Toys at the bottom. As always, we’ll update as more deals are announced throughout the weekend and you can send any you might find to tips@9to5Mac.com. Read more

iPad Air reviews go live, highlight thinner & lighter form factor, battery life, and speed improvements

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During last week’s media event, Apple announced a new model of the iPad that is lighter and thinner than the previous generation. The iPad Air weighs only one pound and improved internals. The new tablet features the same 64-bit A7 processor found in the new iPhone 5s, support for MIMO Wi-Fi, and an improved FaceTime camera. All of this is packed into a 7.5mm case, a noticeable improvement over the previous 9.4mm fourth-generation iPad.

Tonight, tech writers across the web published their reviews of the iPad Air. The reviews are mostly positive, with much emphasis on the new form factor, battery life, and faster processor. You can find links and highlights for each review below.

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New iOS 7 concepts imagine Jony Ive’s ‘very flat’ iOS redesign [video]

Since we’ve posted our exclusive details on what Apple and Jony Ive has in store for iOS 7, there have been a ton of great concepts popping up that take into account the company’s new “very flat” approach to redesigning the OS. The first concept, above, comes to us from Simplyzesty.com’s  art director Philip Joyce who has imagined a flat iOS including a new look for Siri and the lock screen, a customizable home screen, and redesigned icons that all take the “flat” approach to heart.

Another new concept for iOS 7 was posted today by apfelpage.de, below, that shows off a flat look for shortcuts, a new multitasking experience, widgets, and much more: Read more

Google’s launches Android holiday lineup: LG Nexus 4, Samsung Nexus 10, $299 4G 32GB Nexus 7

Google is making some big product announcements today, despite having to cancel its event due to Hurricane Sandy. Among the announcements: a new Nexus smartphone from LG, a Samsung-built Nexus 10 tablet, and updates to Google’s 7-inch Nexus 7 lineup.

LG Nexus 4: Google is launching the much-rumored LG Nexus 4 on Nov. 13 starting at $299. Much of the specs were confirmed previously, but Google has interestingly decided to not offer an LTE-capable model of the device. It is, however, including a wireless charging dock. T-Mobile is Google’s premier launch partner for the Nexus 4. Full specs on 9to5Google.

Samsung Nexus 10: Clearly, Google’s iPad competitor, its new 10-inch offering, is a Samsung-built tablet that packs in iPad-like specs starting at $399. The Verge said its 10-inch 2,560-by-1,600-pixel resolution (same as 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro) display is “on par with the iPad’s Retina display, with sharp text, excellent color fidelity, and great viewing angles.” Full specs and more here.

Nexus 7: Google has also confirmed today that its 7-inch Nexus 7 lineup is being refreshed. Google’s iPad mini competitor will now start at $199 for 16GB, and it will offer a 32GB model for $249. Those are both Wi-Fi-only, but Google will also offer an HSPA+ 32GB model for $300, $30 less than Apple’s entry-level iPad mini. The 8GB model is gone. That 32GB HSPA+ Nexus 7 is going up the bigger iPad mini that starts at $329.

Head over to 9to5Google.com for more coverage of Google’s leaked product announcements. Oh, and Microsoft is launching Windows Phone 8 as well.