Apple’s NFC chips in the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus will be restricted to use of the company’s Apple Pay mobile payment system. The information was reportedly confirmed in an email from an Apple spokeswoman to Cult of Mac. While most smartphones with NFC chips allow the use of NFC for a number of possibilities — including easy pairing of Bluetooth devices — that won’t be the case in the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. Apple will keep the NFC restricted from developers “at least for its first year,” according to the report.
Two major U.S. hospitals are preparing to launch trials with Apple’s new HealthKit framework, Reuters reports. The trials will involve diabetics and chronic disease patients, and are expected to provide some insight into how HealthKit will work on iPhones in actual practice. Doctors at Stanford University Hospital indicated that they are working with Apple to facilitate tracking of blood sugar levels for children with diabetes. Young patients with Type 1 diabetes will be sent home with iPod touches that will be used to monitor blood sugar levels between doctor visits, using a glucose monitor made by DexCom that will measure levels using a tiny sensor inserted under the skin of the abdomen. Information will be sent via a hand-held receiver to a mobile app on the iPod touch. Another trial is being conducted at Duke University, where a pilot program is under development to track blood pressure, weight and other data for patients with cancer or heart disease.
Both trials are expected to focus primarily on improving the accuracy and speed of reporting data—a process normally done mostly by phone and fax—allowing doctors to be in a better position to warn patients of potential problems. Apple is said to be in talks with other U.S. hospitals for additional trials, although Stanford and Duke are among the furthest along. Both pilot programs are expected to roll out over the coming weeks.
Apple’s iLife and iWork iOS apps will come pre-installed on the 64GB and 128GB iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, 9to5Mac has discovered. The apps include iMovie, GarageBand, Keynote, Pages, Numbers, and iTunes U. iPhoto isn’t included, as Apple is getting rid of it — the app won’t even load on iOS 8 devices. New 16GB iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus units won’t come with the apps, but they can be downloaded from the App Store for free, as usual. It’s unclear whether users will be able to delete the pre-installed apps if they do not want them.
Each transaction made with Apple Pay earns Apple 0.15 percent of the purchase, according to the Financial Times. This means that 15 cents of a $100 purchase would go to Apple, multiplying for higher-priced purchases. The article calls the deal “unprecedented,” noting that Google and other competitors do not earn such a share. Banking executives raved about Apple Pay — the banks are willing to give up revenue to Apple in “the hope that Apple Pay will become ubiquitous,” the report notes. Increased Apple Pay transactions will lead to higher revenue and should lead to fewer losses due to fraud, as well. Banks are also apparently excited about Apple Pay’s online shopping abilities, hoping that the quickness and ease of the transactions will lead to more spending.
Apple has announced that its newest iPhones — iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus — received more than four million pre-orders in the first 24 hours of availability. According to Apple, that’s a record number of pre-orders, though there have been numerous reports of customers ordering each of the new iPhone sizes intending to return the one they don’t want. In any case, the company notes that demand has exceeded the pre-order supply, “and while a significant amount will be delivered to customers beginning on Friday and throughout September, many iPhone pre-orders are scheduled to be delivered in October.” More units will be available at 8 a.m. this Friday, Sept. 19 as the devices go on sale in Apple’s retail stores. “iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are better in every way, and we are thrilled customers love them as much as we do,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said in a statement. “Pre-orders for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus set a new record for Apple, and we can’t wait to get our best iPhones yet into the hands of customers starting this Friday.”
New information found on Apple’s page on iOS 8 Continuity suggests that the company may be delaying the activation of the iOS 8 SMS Continuity feature until some time in October, possibly to coincide with the expected release of OS X Yosemite. Originally announced and demonstrated at Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference in June, SMS Continuity will allow users with an iPhone and other iOS or OS X device to send and receive traditional SMS text messages from their iPad or Mac. While the feature seems to have worked reasonably well with earlier iOS 8 and Yosemite betas, iLounge readers and editors have noted that the feature no longer seems to function in the iOS 8 GM, and Apple’s iOS 8 Preview Page now shows it as “Coming in October”; a discussion thread at Macrumors reveals several other users having similar problems, with suggestions that the feature may in fact have been disabled on Apple’s servers sometime in the past couple of days.
Apple is planning to bring its new Apple Pay mobile payment service to China, MarketWatch reports. The company will be working in conjunction with China’s UnionPay to bring the service to the country. UnionPay, a state-backed bank card association, has agreed to let Apple use its cards in Apple Pay, the report claims. Apple Pay will be available this October in the U.S., but it’s unknown when the service will launch in China.
Attempting to pre-order Apple’s new iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus this morning was an exercise in frustration for many customers, as Apple’s online store, which was scheduled to open at 12:01 a.m. PT today, didn’t actually open for more than two hours after the announced time. By then, many customers had started pre-ordering the new iPhones on the Apple Store app — also a hit-or-miss proposition for some. Inventory seemed to change suddenly, if accessible at all. Carrier websites seemed to have similar issues. Some customers received notifications that an iPhone was reserved, complete with a reservation number, but Apple said it would email back later with instructions on how to complete the order.
When Apple’s online store did come back up some time after 2:00 a.m. PT, the iPhone 6 was available, but all capacities, colors, and carriers for the iPhone 6 Plus were showing shipping times of 7-10 days. As of this writing, there appears to be no shortage of iPhone 6 units in Apple’s online store, while the iPhone 6 Plus now won’t be available to ship for 3-4 weeks. It was expected that there could be a supply shortage for the iPhone 6 Plus.
Apple is reportedly changing the way it runs its in-store launch system for the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. Stores will be moving on from the old paper card system in favor of a new digital queue system called Reservation Pass, 9to5Mac reports. The system will sync with inventory information to ensure Apple hands out the proper amount of product reservations — reservation cards will be sent to customers via email or SMS. Notably, receiving a reservation will allow customers to return at any time during the day to make the purchase.
Apple has informed Chinese mobile providers that it won’t release the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus in the country on the expected date of Sept. 19, The New York Times reports. The company offered no explanation for the delay, but it’s reported that the phones may have not yet been approved for sale by Chinese regulators. A manager at China Telecom was apparently told by an Apple rep that some details were not ready. “Apple completely let us down without prior notice,” said the manager. As of now, it’s unclear when the new release date in China will be. Apple’s Chinese website only claims the date will be updated.
Following past precedent, Apple also announced today that iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus pre-orders will begin on the Apple.com web site at 12:01AM PT Friday. Past online pre-orders have often been marred by problems with Apple’s web site, sometimes attributed to issues with cellular carrier systems, so it will be interesting to see whether the iPhone 6 process has been improved from prior years.
Update: It appears Apple will give pre-order customers the option of picking up the new iPhones in store, instead of having the devices shipped. A representative told 9to5Mac the option will exist for most stores “while supplies last.”
Apple has introduced three new features for iOS Developers allowing them to more easily distribute, test, and promote their apps on the App Store. App Store Bundles will allow developers to bundle up to 10 of their apps into a single-priced bundle that users can purchase together at a reduced price. App Bundles can be purchased with a single tap, and all of the apps will appear individually on the customer’s device. A “Complete My Bundle” feature will also be available that will credit customers for any apps they’ve already purchased, allowing them to purchase the bundle and pay only the price for the remaining apps.
With the introduction of App Previews, developers can now include a video preview to demonstrate the features and user interface of the app that users can watch right on the App Store page. Previews can be between 15 and 30 seconds long and will be displayed as the first image on the product page, followed by the standard app screenshots. Developers will also be able to capture real-time app footage directly from their iOS device using iOS 8 and Yosemite.
Following Apple’s acquisition of TestFlight earlier this year, the company has now incorporated TestFlight Beta Testing into its own tools for iOS developers, and will allow up to 25 internal testers to access beta builds on up to 10 devices each. External beta tester access is said to be coming soon which will allow up to 1,000 users to be invited to beta test an app using only their e-mail addresses.
Apple has also posted a set of developer documents covering building apps for the new iPhone models and iOS 8 features, including programming guides for Touch ID, PhotoKit, HealthKit, HomeKit, CloudKit, Handoff, and more.
Apple has released its Gold Master seed of iOS 8 to registered developers. Listed as build 12A365, the GM build is normally the last to be seeded prior to the software’s official launch, expected on September 17, and as such can be used to submit iOS 8 applications to the App Store for review. It is unclear whether the iOS 8 GM seed will be made available as an over-the-air software update, as has been the case with past iOS beta releases, however Registered Developers can download the iOS 8 GM seed and the accompanying SDK from the iOS Dev Center now.
During today’s event, Apple announced the official release date for iOS 8, the next generation of the company’s mobile operating system. Originally unveiled at WWDC in June, iOS 8 adds several significant enhancements such as new Health and Home Automation frameworks, an iCloud-based Photo Library, Family Sharing, and more.
iOS 8 is compatible with the iPhone 4S and later, fifth-generation iPod, iPad 2 and later models, and all iPad mini models. It will be available for download as a free update via iTunes and OTA update on September 17th.
Renowned Minnesota-based medical group the Mayo Clinic will reportedly be “at (Apple’s) side” during today’s event, according to the Star Tribune. Mayo will demonstrate how Apple’s iOS 8 Health app can mesh with a major health center system. According to the article, Mayo and Apple “have been working together for about two years.” An August report noted Apple has discussed its HealthKit with other providers, including Mount Sinai, Cleveland Clinic, and Johns Hopkins.
Following what appeared to be a leak of a fully operational 4.7” iPhone 6 in China, a Weibo user has posted alleged results from a Geekbench 3 test on the device. The tests show a 1.4 GHz dual-core A8 chip that is “almost 20 percent more powerful” than the previous A7 chip. Reportedly, the device will continue to contain 1GB of RAM, and an 8MP camera that is said to feature an improvement in low-light image quality despite remaining at the same megapixel count as its predecessor. It’s also claimed that there will be a 128GB storage option. [via G4Games]
Both the 4.7” and 5.5” iPhone 6 models will launch on Friday, September 19, according to iGen.fr. While the base model’s date is expected, considering past Apple timelines, it’s been unclear as to what the larger iPhone’s release date might be amidst reports of manufacturing delays. A June report did note both iPhones might be released at the same time, but numerous claims as to production issues have called a simultaneous release into question. It’s still very possible that the 5.5” iPhone — perhaps named the iPhone 6 Plus — could be released in relatively limited quantities on launch day.
A new report claims that Apple will name its new iPhones the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. The 4.7” model would get the regular iPhone 6 name, while iPhone 6 Plus would be the 5.5” model, according to Macotakara. It’s also noted that the lineup will feature the same colors as the 5s, with 16GB, 32GB and 64GB options — whether there’s an 128GB model is unknown. While the report’s accuracy is unclear, we first suggested the possibility of a larger-sized iPhone being named iPhone Plus back in January 2013, as sources indicated that the “Plus” name was the correct moniker for what had previously been mistranslated as “iPhone Math.”
A number of recent iPhone 6 reports have surfaced in recent days, with little time left before Apple is set to unveil its newest smartphone tomorrow. YouTube user PhoneEvaluation posted a video review of the alleged iPhone 6: in it, a man compares the device to the iPhone 5s, and shows a number of the new phone’s well-documented design features and physical details. More short videos allegedly showing Apple’s latest phone in action have been posted on Miaopai; none is particularly interesting, but most of the virtually identical iOS 8 apps are shown on the device, including a slightly updated Passbook icon with a red credit card stripe to indicate added payment functionality. Bank Innovation has reported that Apple’s mobile payment system in the iPhone 6 and iWatch will use token technology — transactions will feature codes that can only be used once.
Developer Steven Troughton-Smith tweeted (via 9to5Mac) that some 5.5” iPhone 6 apps switch to the iPad layout when the phone is in landscape mode. Separately, another video, posted on Nowhereelse.fr, alleges to show the rumored 2915 mAh battery in the 5.5” iPhone 6. All of the details regarding these devices are expected to be officially discussed tomorrow by Apple.
Another new report has surfaced on the verge of Apple’s introduction of the iWatch and iPhone 6, this one from The New York Times. According to the report, Apple’s iWatch will have a flexible display panel covered by sapphire. The device will also utilize wireless charging. On the new iPhones, the Times reports that a one-handed mode will be available. That mode — which can be switched on or off — will make it easier to use the larger devices with one hand. As noted in a number of other reports, the devices will use NFC for mobile payments. Apple has reportedly teamed up with Visa, American Express, and MasterCard for the system.