Apple Pay launches in China with UnionPay support

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, February 18th, 2016, 08:48
Category: News

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The rumors were true.

Apple Pay launched in China on February 18th.

Apple Pay has gone live in China, making it the fifth country where Apple Pay is officially available. Implemented through a partnership with UnionPay, China’s state-run interbank network, Apple Pay in China can be used by iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch owners with an eligible China UnionPay debit or credit card.

With the launch, Apple has inked deals with 19 of the biggest lenders in China, which will see 80 percent of credit and debit cards in China eligible for use with Apple Pay.

In retail locations in China, Apple Pay is available on the iPhone 6 and later and the Apple Watch at any location that has a UnionPay-compatible point-of-sale system. Within apps, Apple Pay purchases can be made using an iPhone or iPad that supports NFC, which includes the iPhone 6 and later and the iPad Air 2, iPad mini 3, iPad mini 4, and iPad Pro.

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Apple ships out replacement USB-C charging cables for select registered 12-inch Retina MacBook

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, February 17th, 2016, 08:52
Category: Hardware, MacBook, News, USB-C

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With any luck, your replacement USB-C charging cable is en route.

Less than a week after starting a program to replace faulty USB-C charging cables, users are reporting receiving their replacement until in the mail.

As promised, Apple is proactively sending out free replacement USB-C cables to 12-inch Retina MacBook owners who submitted a mailing address when they purchased or registered their notebook.

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Federal judge orders Apple to help FBI unlock San Bernadino shooter’s iPhone 5c

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, February 17th, 2016, 08:19
Category: iOS, Legal, News, security, Software

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A few months after the San Bernadino shootings, Apple was ordered by a U.S. federal judge on Tuesday to help the FBI unlock the iPhone 5c used by shooter Syed Farook. According to court papers, Apple “declined to provide [assistance] voluntarily.”

The judge ruled Tuesday that Apple had to provide “reasonable technical assistance” to the government in recovering data from the iPhone 5c, including bypassing the auto-erase function and allowing investigators to submit an unlimited number of passwords in their attempts to unlock the phone. Apple has five days to respond to the court if it believes that compliance would be “unreasonably burdensome.”

Prosecutors have argued that the “government was unable to complete the search because it cannot access the iPhone’s encrypted content.” The FBI argued that Apple has the “technical means” to assist the government and, in a statement, U.S. attorney Eileen M. Decker said that the order was a “potentially important step” in finding out “everything we possibly can” about the San Bernardino attack.

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ICBC confirms February 18th launch for Apple Pay in China

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, February 16th, 2016, 08:27
Category: Apple Pay, Finance, News

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You can’t land a much bigger whale than the Chinese financial marketplace.

And it looks like Apple is headed there with Apple Pay.

Industrial and Commercial Bank of China has confirmed earlier reports that Apple Pay would launch in China this week, its social media posts stating that its service will go live on Thursday, February 18th. A further 18 lenders are signed up to the service, China Guangfa Bank Co and China Construction Bank Corp, will launch on the same day as ICBC.

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Rumor: Next-gen Apple Watch could feature “action camera”, be released in March/April

Posted by:
Date: Monday, February 15th, 2016, 09:07
Category: Uncategorized

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It’s unknown as to what the exact specs of the next-gen Apple Watch will be, but there’s some interesting speculation out there.

A piece over on Seeking Alpha offers the following take on it:

Apple’s revision of the Apple Watch will probably include a faster processor and addition of a FaceTime camera.

The addition of FaceTime video calling enhances the Watch’s communications functions.

The cameras in future Watch versions could allow it to take on the role of “action camera.”

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Rumor: iPad Air 3, iPhone 5se to go on sale on Friday, March 18th

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Date: Monday, February 15th, 2016, 07:29
Category: Hardware, iPad, iPhone, Rumor

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It’s a rumor, but there’s a target that Apple’s apparently hit and it’s thought that the 4-inch iPhone (also known as the “iPhone 5se”) and a new iPad Air could surface at an event on Tuesday, March 15th, with the products up for sale online and in retail stores as early as Friday, March 18th, according to sources. Apple is unlikely to offer pre-orders for the new devices, according to sources who stated that the plans could still change.

This pattern of an introduction and a launch so soon afterwards while not offering pre-orders could be a new strategy for Apple. In the past, Apple has released new iPhone models one or two weeks following the introduction events and an online pre-order period. A similar strategy has been followed for many new iPad releases, but the iPad Pro hardware actually went on sale over two months following the device’s initial introduction. Manufacturing of the new 4-inch iPhone began ramping up in January, sources say.

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Apple launches USB-C charging cable replacement program, cites “design issue”

Posted by:
Date: Monday, February 15th, 2016, 04:42
Category: Hardware, MacBook, News, USB-C

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When in doubt, offer a replacement program.

Apple on Friday announced that it will now offer free replacements for MacBook charging cables that use the USB Type-C specification because some of them have not been working correctly.

The company offered the following quote on the matter:

“A limited number of Apple USB-C charge cables that were included with MacBook computers through June 2015 may fail due to a design issue. As a result, your MacBook may not charge or only charge intermittently when it’s connected to a power adapter with an affected cable.”

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Apple, Dr. Dre working on scripted television series

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Date: Friday, February 12th, 2016, 04:09
Category: Apple Music, News

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Apple and the mighty Dr. Dre are creating an original television show.

It’s been discovered that the company and Dr. Dre (real name Andre Young), who works as one of its executives, will have Dr. Dre starring and executive producing his own six-episode vehicle, dubbed Vital Signs, and the production is being bankrolled by Apple. The series likely will be distributed via Apple Music, the company’s subscription streaming site, but it’s not clear if Apple TV, the iTunes store or other Apple platforms (or even a traditional television distributor) will be involved. Apple and a rep for Dre declined to comment.

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Apple’s Eddy Cue and Craig Federighi discuss Apple Music, iCloud subscription numbers

Posted by:
Date: Friday, February 12th, 2016, 04:21
Category: App Store, Apple Music, Apple TV, iCloud, iTunes, News

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Apple’s Eddy Cue and Craig Federighi sat down and discussed subscriptions numbers to some of its services.

The execs claimed that there are currently more than 11 million paying Apple Music subscribers, and 782 million iCloud users. That’s on over one billion Apple devices, too.

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Proposed bipartisan bill would prevent individual states from mandating backdoor access to encryption protocols

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, February 11th, 2016, 09:42
Category: iOS, iPhone, Legal, News, security, Software

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The plot may yet become even more intricate when it comes to states require backdoors into encryption.

A bipartisan bill introduced to the U.S. House of Represenatives on Wednesday would bar individual states and localities from requiring backdoors in encryption, something often demanded by law enforcement officials and intelligence agencies.

The ENCRYPT Act, sponsored Democrat Ted Lieu and Republican Blake Farenthold, was crafted in direct response to proposed rules in New York and California that would require companies to be able to decrypt smartphones.

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“It is completely technologically unworkable for individual states to mandate different encryption standards in consumer products,” said Lieu. “Apple can’t make a different smartphone for California and New York and the rest of the country.”

Support for the bill has been said to have originated from FBI Director James Comey, who has regularly stated that encryption could interfere with investigations and police observation. On Tuesday, Comey appeared in front of a Senate panel, where he said that investigators were still unable to access the contents of a phone belonging to one of the shooters responsible for the Dec. 2 massacre in San Bernardino, Calif.

Companies like Apple have put their own pressure on U.S. politicians, arguing that leaving holes in encryption would simply make intrusion easier for malicious hackers and/or government surveillance.

The encryption in iOS 8 and iOS 9 is so stringent that even when served with a warrant, Apple claims it can’t crack a passcode-protected device. Later versions of Google’s Android OS support similar levels of encryption, though it may sometimes have to be enabled manually.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Via AppleInsider and Reuters