support Stories March 4

Apple launched today a new support page on its website. With “Apple for Kids,” parents and guardians can learn everything they need to know about how to manage a family group, set up a child’s device, and more.

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support Stories March 11, 2016

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I’ve never been a Family Sharing user, Apple’s feature that allows families to share iCloud account access for things like photos and music on both iOS and Mac. But I recently decided to upgrade my Apple Music account to a family plan to take advantage of the discount as I encourage family members and friends to try out the service; that required me to activate the Family Sharing feature that Apple uses to manage family plans for Apple Music.

While you can choose to ignore most of the features of Family Sharing — photos, calendars, and reminders can be accessed through shared folders in their respective apps — once it’s activated, there aren’t any granular settings for each member to disable sharing on a per-feature/app basis. But the even bigger issue is that all purchases from any Apple ID in the family go to a single credit card of the admin (or parent) of the group. In other words, I’m now paying for every app, song, book, or anything else that my family group members purchase from Apple on top of the subscription costs for Apple Music.

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support Stories January 22, 2016

Square Apple Pay

Apple has been steadily adding more banks to its list of those officially supported for Apple Pay, and today it adds yet another 50+ for users of the iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch-based payment service. The new additions include a mix of banks and credit unions across the US, but don’t bring any newly supported institutions to users internationally. Head below for the full list of new banks and credit unions.  expand full story

support Stories January 15, 2016

2017 Hyundai Elantra latest vehicle with support for Apple’s CarPlay

Hyundai today officially announced that its 2017 Elantra will be available this month and the next vehicle to receive support for Apple’s CarPlay platform:

Both smartphone integrations will be available on the 2017 Elantra’s seven-inch Display Audio touchscreen system with rearview camera and Hyundai’s eight-inch touchscreen navigation system with voice texting, access to music stored on the phone and third-party audio apps.

Apple earlier this week published a master list for the first time of car makers and the vehicles confirmed to support CarPlay, its in-dash entertainment platform that provides an iPhone-like experience in vehicles. Some of the vehicles on the list, however, have yet to actually update with full support, Hyundai’s Sonata included.

Hyundai’s press release notes that Elantra “provides an available second USB port for charging because of this wired connection.”

And as for owners of other Hyundai vehicles, the company confirms that it will provide more information on how vehicles using its Fourth-generation navigation system or Display Audio system can upgrade.

Check out Apple’s’ master list of CarPlay partners here. For more information on CarPlay, check out our coverage of what’s coming soon with the latest iOS 9.3 software update.

support Stories October 14, 2015

Apple clarifies how Wi-Fi Assist handles cellular data usage in iOS 9

Buried deep in the Cellular section of the Settings app in iOS 9 is a new networking feature called Wi-Fi Assist that lets your iPhone use cellular data over Wi-Fi during poor connectivity. Intended to remedy those times when your iPhone gets stuck trying to load data on a weak Wi-Fi connection due to range or other issues, Wi-Fi Assist raised a concern for many iPhone users on tiered data plans after iOS 9 was released.

The feature is turned on by default, so users could mistakenly eat up expensive data on a weak Wi-Fi network without realizing cellular data was being used. Addressing concerns that have been raised over iOS 9’s Wi-Fi Assist feature, Apple issued a new support document this week that details how the feature handles certain situations (via Six Colors):

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Apple is continuing to expand its presence on social media services, today launching a brand new @AppleMusicHelp Twitter account to answer queries and support questions live over Twitter related to its Apple Music service. The account is manned each day of the week from 6 AM – 8 PM Pacific Time. Apple representatives will watch the account’s mentions timeline and try to help resolve people’s problems. The service is completely free, but the account will only help with Apple Music-specific questions. The company directs customers to the normal support pages for information or help with other Apple products.

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support Stories August 15, 2015

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Apple and Best Buy have agreed to begin selling both the standard AppleCare protection plan for Macs and the more premium AppleCare+ for iPhones, iPads, and the Apple Watch through Best Buy stores, according to sources. The plans call for Best Buy to begin offering the AppleCare plans in its stores at checkout around the week of September 14th, just ahead of the iPhone 6S launch. This will mark a notable expansion of the Apple and Best Buy relationship, and Best Buy will become one of the only retailers, aside from select U.S. carriers, to offer AppleCare outside of an Apple Store.

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support Stories August 6, 2015

HBO Now for iOS gains Chromecast support, more in latest update

HBO Now debuted earlier this year exclusively on Apple TV, iPhone and iPad, but lately it has been making its way to competing platforms. Android handsets and tablets as well as some of Amazon’s Fire-branded devices got HBO Now access a few weeks ago, but now the service is coming to Chromecast via an update to the HBO Now app.

The latest version of HBO Now for iOS was released today, numbered 1.2, and features more than just Chromecast support. You’ll find that you can also now receive push notifications — assumably for new episodes of your favorite shows and the like — as well as the usual bug fixes and performance improvements.

Here’s the full change log:

What’s New in Version 1.2.0

• Push Notifications • Chromecast Support • Performance Improvements

You can grab HBO Now on the App Store for free, and an HBO Now subscription is going to run you $14.99 per month after a 30-day free trial.

support Stories May 28, 2015

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Earlier this week a bug was discovered that centered around a string of text that when received via a message would cause your iPhone Springboard to crash and the Messages app to crash continuously. At the time, Apple said it was aware of the bug and working to push an update to fix it. In the meantime however, the company tonight has published an official support document with a few suggestions on how to temporarily work around the issue.

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support Stories May 20, 2015

Facebook Messenger’s free video calling now available worldwide

After adding support for a new cross-platform video chat service through its Facebook Messenger mobile apps, Facebook has now announced that the feature is rolling out to all worldwide.

The feature first launched back in April for users on iOS and Android in Belgium, Canada, Croatia, Denmark, France, Greece, Ireland, Laos, Lithuania, Mexico, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Poland, Portugal, the UK, the US and Uruguay. Today, Facebook said the feature is now rolled out globally “with the exception of a few countries” that it’s still working on:

Quick update on video calling in Messenger: we’re happy to share we’ve now rolled out the capability globally, with the exception of a few countries we’re still working on improving quality for.

You can check out the new Facebook Messenger video calling feature through the latest versions of the iOS and Android apps.

support Stories May 15, 2015

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Apple is about to sunset support for a number of iPhones, Macs, and other products as it plans to switch several models to “Obsolete” or “Vintage” status in June, according to internal documents. expand full story

support Stories May 1, 2015

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Apple has confirmed reports of problems using the Apple Watch on tattooed wrists. The company has quietly updated a support page on the heart-rate functionality.

Permanent or temporary changes to your skin, such as some tattoos, can also impact heart rate sensor performance. The ink, pattern, and saturation of some tattoos can block light from the sensor, making it difficult to get reliable readings.

Apple Watch owners on Reddit and Twitter have been posting conflicting reports and video, some showing that the heart-rate functionality works fine with their tattoos, others showing either no reading at all or erratic readings …  expand full story

support Stories April 27, 2015

T-Mobile, Sprint, TWC make calling & texting Nepal free, waive bills to aid earthquake relief efforts

Update: Sprint and Time Warner Cable too.

Many tech companies are attempting to help victims of the devastating Nepal earthquake this week and the latest is T-Mobile. The carrier announced that it’s making calling and texting Nepal free in order to aid relief efforts:

In the wake of the devastating Nepalese earthquake, many T-Mobile customers are trying to stay in touch with their family and friends in Nepal.  T-Mobile is making this easier by waiving and crediting fees for all calls and text messages to and from Nepal from Saturday, April 25 through Saturday, May 16.  Calling and texting to and from Nepal without charges applies to all postpaid and prepaid customers of T-Mobile, MetroPCS, GoSmart Mobile and Walmart Family Mobile with international calling.

T-Mobile also notes that its customers can text to various charities to make a donation that will be charged to their mobile bill:

  • Save the Children – Text NEPAL to 20222 to donate $10 to Save the Children
  • UNICEF – Text NEPAL to 864233 to donate $10 to UNICEF
  • World Vision – Text NEPAL to 777444 to donate $10 to World Vision

Google and Apple have also launched efforts to aid people in Nepal impacted by the earthquake.

support Stories April 24, 2015

Apple-Watch-VMI-04

Apple will be doing a visual mechanical inspection of the Apple Watch, like with the rest of its products, when customers bring in a damaged device for repair. But what will be covered under your warranty exactly? And what issues will Apple be looking for to determine what is eligible for repair under or out of warranty? Head below for all the details… expand full story

support Stories April 21, 2015

Apple offers workaround for users experiencing setup issues on 12-inch MacBook

Apple today shared a support article that offers users of the new 12-inch MacBook assistance getting around a bug involving Setup Assistant. According to the article, some users have had the spinning beach ball appear during the initial setup of their MacBook.

support Stories April 2, 2015

Skype iOS app adding language support for Vietnamese, Thai, Croatian, Hindi, and 8 others

Skype is about to add support for 12 new languages to its iOS app in an update arriving over the next week.

The new languages include Croatian, Slovak, Catalan, Vietnamese, Thai, Hindi, Greek, Hungarian, Indonesian, Malay, Turkish, and Estonian.

The update follows version 5.11 released last month with language support for Czech, Romanian and Ukrainian.

The new Skype app, version 5.12, will be available on the App Store sometime in the coming week.

Skype’s Qik iPhone app is also receiving an update today:

We created 8 new effects you can use while recording your videos to make them more fun and playful. Once you open the viewfinder, you can select an effect to apply to your video. You can even switch from one to another while you’re recording to include multiple effects in one video message. Choose from favorites like mirror, x-ray and Minecraft (a staff favorite that makes you look 8-bit) or go crazy with hearts or snow.

support Stories March 29, 2015

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After hiring a new team of fashion sales and marketing experts from Yves St. Laurent, Louis Vuitton, and Burberry, Apple has developed a unique Apple Store purchasing experience just for the 18-karat gold Apple Watch Edition, according to sources briefed on the launch plans. When a customer interested in the Apple Watch Edition enters the store, he or she will be given no-wait access to a dedicated Expert, who will provide a personalized “journey” from the beginning of the appointment until the end, as much as one hour later. There will even be a new option for at-home video conferencing rather than in-store personal setup. By design, it will be more “elegant” than the budget-focused experience Apple Watch Sport customers receive…

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support Stories February 10, 2015

Legacy Support! After 14 years, the first iPod still syncs to the latest version of iTunes

What happens when you hook up the original 1st-generation iPod with the latest version of iTunes? YouTuber Matthew Pearce attempted exactly that, and surprisingly found that the current version of iTunes (12.1) works just fine with the old 2001 iPod, and even prompts to set it up as a new device.

It appears that Apple is supporting the first-gen iPod, rather than it just happening to work: iTunes shows an icon for the original iPod design after connecting the device. The setup required a Firewire 400 to 800 adapter, and for newer Macs you’d also need a Firewire 800 to Thunderbolt adapter.

Check out out the full experiment in the video below:

support Stories January 12, 2015

A series of text strings discovered within iOS 8.1.2, and included on software versions dating back to at least iOS 8.1, suggest that Siri could soon receive expanded language support on iPhone and iPad. The localized strings provide translated references to how Siri would display things like settings toggles, restaurants and reservations, and sports information in Czech, Slovak, and Polish. expand full story

support Stories December 9, 2014

Snapchat finally updated with iPhone 6/6 Plus support

While the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus were released nearly three months ago, some high-profile developers have taken incredibly long to update their apps with native resolution for the larger screens. Look no further than Snapchat, which has finally been updated with iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus support in an update released today.

The latest version of the popular ephemeral messaging app, in which users can share photos, videos and instant messages with others that disappear after a customizable length of time, also received enhancements in other areas, including improved captions, the ability to change the color of, pinch to resize and drag around special text and stacked filters.

support Stories November 24, 2014

Apple adds Commerce Bank support to Apple Pay, personal MasterCards only

Apple has been rolling out support for its new Apple Pay payments service to more and more banks in recent weeks. The latest addition was America First Credit Union making an announcement late last week, but Apple has since updated its support document over the weekend to also announce support for Commerce Bank

Commerce Bank, which serves Missouri, Kansas, Illinois, Oklahoma, Colorado and a few other locations, hasn’t yet made an official announcement, but it’s now listed as supporting personal credit cards on Apple’s support site for Apple Pay. Apple notes that currently Commerce Bank is only supporting MasterCard for the service despite the bank also offering cards from one of Apple’s other Apple Pay partners, Visa.

Commerce Bank joins America First Credit Union, American Express, Bank of America, Barclaycard, Capital One, Citi, Commerce Bank, J.P. Morgan, M&T Bank, Merrill Lynch, Navy Federal Credit Union, PNC, Regions Bank, SunTrust, U.S. Bank, U.S. Trust, USAA, and Wells Fargo.

Apple Pay has also added a number of supported retailers and apps in recent weeks with the latest additions including Sephora, tickets.com, Disney Store app, and others.

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.

support Stories October 23, 2014

List of banks that will support Apple Pay in coming weeks/months

Visa has published a list of banks and financial institutions that will support Apple Pay in the United States “in the coming weeks,” while MasterCard has its own list of supported banks arriving in the coming months. The mobile payments service officially launched on Monday, October 20th and currently supports cards issued by Bank of America, Capital One, Citi Bank, Chase and Wells Fargo Bank. A full list of banks coming soon from Visa and Mastercard below:

support Stories October 22, 2014

Amazon confirms it’s working on Apple Pay support for its Visa rewards card

Following our report yesterday that some card types are not yet supported with Apple Pay, today Amazon confirmed in a statement to GeekWire that its working to offer support for its Amazon Rewards Visa Cards.

A Chase spokesman confirmed to GeekWire that Amazon is not supporting Apple Pay initially, but did not provide a reason… But an Amazon spokesman confirmed to GeekWire this evening it is working to enable the Amazon.com Rewards Visa Card for use on Apple Pay, although declined to say when it would be available.

Yesterday we noted that some co-branded cards, as well as other card types from business cards to prepaid cards, are not yet supported on Apple Pay through certain banks. Many readers reported that Amazon’s Rewards cards for Chase were not yet working, but today is our first official word from Amazon that its indeed not yet supporting the platform. Apple lists Chase as supporting co-branded cards, but it does warn users to contact their bank for information about specific cards that are supported.

As we noted yesterday, Apple’s support document confirms that only American Express and Capital One are listed as supporting small business credit cards, for example. Capital One and J.P. Morgan, on the other hand, don’t support Co-branded cards (Airline, hotel, retail, rewards), while the other banks do. Corporate cards are also not yet supported, while several readers report problems with some card types that are listed as supported in Apple’s chart (below).

support Stories October 21, 2014

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Update: Apple has removed support for prepaid cards from American Express. It also added a column for corporate cards, hinting that support for those cards might be on the way.

With Apple’s launch of its new Apple Pay payments service in the US yesterday, it has now published a support document detailing supported card types from each of its initial banking partners. We already knew that MasterCard, Visa, and American Express cards would be supported initially through a growing list of banking partners, but the support document shows certain types of cards, like business and corporate cards, aren’t yet supported through some banks. expand full story

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