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Battery impact of Samsung vs TSMC A9 chips overestimated? (Update: Apple response)

Figures the Samsung chip consumer more battery juice—surely it was some sort of ‘accident’ on their part ;-)

Posted by benjitek on October 8, 2015 at 4:37 PM (CDT)

Apple using new AAE sidecar format for iOS 8 photos?


Posted by Kit Ellis on October 6, 2015 at 6:33 AM (CDT)

Apple releases Apple Watch Hermès collection

Thanks for the insightful reply, Jesse.  Really excellent point.  It doesn’t sound ludicrous at all.  And Apple won’t just see higher sales in French fashion houses.  The publicity will increase their sales of sub-$1000 Watches among bottom 99-percenters who read Vogue and the like or are influenced by the fashion choices of Beyonce and others who’ve been photographed wearing Apple Watches.

Posted by RC on October 5, 2015 at 4:33 PM (CDT)

Apple releases Apple Watch Hermès collection

I see the Hermès pricing in the same vein as the gold Edition Apple Watch. While I’m sure just like the Edition, people will buy the Hermès, I’m not sure how much Apple cares whether they sell a lot of them or not.
You see, somewhere along the way, Apple decided that they wanted the Apple Watch to be a fashion accessory, and not just another geek gadget. I attribute this to Ahrendts influence, since she was the one who brought the Burberry mentality into Apple, and is in the process of turning Apple Retail Stores into “boutique” stores in the process. Regardless, however, the bottom line is that if you want to be covered by magazines like Vogue and sell your stuff in French fashion houses, you need to ensure that you’re selling something that will be taken seriously by the fashion industry. As ludicrous as it sounds, the Edition (and now the Hermès) exist to impress that segment of the industry and get Apple more coverage and credibility in that space.
To put it another way, if there were no Apple Watch Edition announced last year, do you really think the device in any version would have been making the cover of Vogue, GQ, Flair, Self and others?

Posted by Jesse Hollington on October 5, 2015 at 4:08 PM (CDT)

Apple releases Apple Watch Hermès collection

The Hermes bands effectively cost $550 or more (the difference between the Hermes Watch starting price and the stainless Apple Watch starting price).  The Watch hardware is exactly the same, right?  The Hermes band and matching Watch face are very handsome, but still that’s a lot to spend for just a band.
Also, if I understand correctly (and forgive me if I don’t), you can’t buy the Hermes bands without the stainless Watch.  So, someone who previously bought a stainless Watch and wants a Hermes band will have to buy a second Watch.
I’ve always defended Apple’s high prices in debates with friends who buy much cheaper Android phones and Windows computers with similar feature sets as their Apple counterparts.  A reasonable person could argue that the consistently excellent build quality, elegant and intuitive user experience, and customer support that accompany iPhones and Macbooks make them worth the premium prices.
I don’t think I can defend Hermes pricing, though.  Apple is targeting very high-income consumers.  Good for them (the consumers) that they can drop $550 or more on a band for a Watch that’s going to be obsolete in a year.  But most of us in the real world will likely pass on this one.

Posted by RC on October 5, 2015 at 3:58 PM (CDT)

Apple Pay transaction numbers still low overall

Yeah, that’s where the real problem lies, and honestly I think most of the developed world is well ahead of the curve on modern electronic payments compared to the U.S.  In fact, I think much of Europe was even ahead of Canada when it came to things like chip and PIN technology on VISA and MasterCard. We’ve had PIN in Canada for our debit cards (Interac) since they came into existence 25 years ago, but the concept has only been extended to purchases with credit cards here in the past 3-5 years. Of course, by comparison the U.S. is only now adopted swipe and PIN technology, as they can’t even get retailers to get on board with chip readers.
Apple Pay is still not officially available in Canada, and while rumours suggest it’s coming next month, it’s really the banks that have been part of the problem moreso than the retailers, and I suspect that’s the problem in most countries outside of the U.S. I’m not entirely sure how much of it is Apple and how much of it is the banks themselves in other countries. Here, at least, the big six banks seriously want to call all of the shots, so they’re more likely to try and force Apple to play by their rules, making it more difficult for Apple Pay to come here.
I found it rather ironic that Apple chose to launch Apple Pay in a country as behind on contactless payments as the U.S., but I suppose that also gave them a good opportunity to “wag the dog” and get retailers into the 21st century.

Posted by Jesse Hollington on October 5, 2015 at 3:51 PM (CDT)

Apple Pay transaction numbers still low overall

Thank you for clearing things out. Here in Poland, on the contrary, 90% of the credit card terminals have contactless payments enabled. The downside is, Apple seems not to be willing to cooperate with smaller banks from around the world, focusing only on countries like USA, UK, Australia etc.

Posted by WhiteShadow on October 5, 2015 at 3:33 PM (CDT)

Apple to open Apple TV's universal search API to more content providers

The demo, and Tim Cook’s recent statements, did suggest that universal-search worked with any API-equipped app—but that was it.  Doesn’t mean the other Siri functions can’t be part of a 3rd party app, it just wasn’t demoed—or mentioned.
In the demo, ‘what did he just say’ was shown using an iTunes-purchased episode of Modern Family, not a Netflix title.  Again, doesn’t mean Netflix won’t have the functionality—but other than universal search, the more advanced features were shown just with Apple’s stuff.

Posted by benjitek on October 5, 2015 at 3:22 PM (CDT)

Apple to open Apple TV's universal search API to more content providers

The demo suggested that it will work with any app that incorporates the appropriate API hooks. Since things like Netflix and Hulu will now technically be third-party apps, it will be up to them to implement these features, and it’s unclear whether Apple may be providing special API access for favoured apps or whether it will be open to all.
The “What did he just say” feature also appears to be at least somewhat universal based on the demo as well – I’m pretty sure they showed it working with something from Netflix in the demo. The video playback and CC APIs on the new Apple TV will likely be standard in much the same way as they are on iOS. Granted, I’m not sure every developer will need to follow them, but if they use the standard video playback APIs, the standard features should be available. Of course, I’m totally just guessing at this point….

Posted by Jesse Hollington on October 5, 2015 at 2:56 PM (CDT)

Apple to open Apple TV's universal search API to more content providers

I’m going to say probably not – at least not as a built-in feature. As I understand it, with the new Apple TV architecture, there won’t really be any “built-in” apps like Hulu, Netflix, etc. Instead, you’ll download them from the App Store in much the same way as you do on your iPhone or iPad.
The upside, however, is that this means the third-party developers of those apps should have the ability to do more than they were previously allowed to.

Posted by Jesse Hollington on October 5, 2015 at 2:54 PM (CDT)

Apple to open Apple TV's universal search API to more content providers

Does the new Apple TV include universal login too.  For example, I have DirecTV, and on the Apple TV for many of the channels I have to enter my DirecTV login info and activate each one.  It would be nice to have that userid and password stored once and not have to enter it over and over again.

Posted by EricSteel on October 5, 2015 at 1:50 PM (CDT)

Apple Pay transaction numbers still low overall

I think at the end of the day, it is up to the retailers to put in the new terminals, and many just don’t have enough incentive to do so for the costs that are involved. If customers aren’t demanding it, and banks aren’t pushing it, why spend the money replacing what already works?
To be honest, I’m still not sure why contactless payment has never really caught on in the U.S. in general – VISA PayWave and MasterCard PayPass have been normal things up here in Canada since around 2007, and we’re swimming in NFC payment terminals – I have a harder time finding a place that doesn’t take Apple Pay than one that does (small mom and pop shops and traditional sit-down restaurants are about the only places where you consistently won’t find it supported).
The same can be said of other technologies, such as chip and PIN. It wasn’t until Apple rolled out Apple Pay that I fully realized how far behind the U.S. is when it comes to electronic payments compared to the rest of the world.
At the end of the day, maybe it’s also just a factor of us having only six large banks in Canada, rather than the plethora of smaller ones found in the U.S. The banks get a lot more say up here in terms of what happens at retailers, and they usually sing from the same song sheet when it comes to security and payment methods, so if you’re a retailer and TD insists that you upgrade your terminal, you’re not going to get away with avoiding it simply by switching to another bank, so they know they can force retailers’ hands more readily.

Posted by Jesse Hollington on October 5, 2015 at 1:38 PM (CDT)

Apple Pay transaction numbers still low overall

“Double-digit” growth isn’t as impressive as it sounds when the numbers are tiny:  if people use Apple Pay in 5 transactions one month and 6 the next, that’s a 20% increase.
Every month, I see articles (on 9to5Mac) touting all the new banks that are on board with Apple Pay.  But never any articles talking about new merchants that support Apple Pay.  I love Apple Pay, but only a few stores I shop at accept it:  Panera, McDonalds, Walgreens, and maybe one other.
I’m frustrated and perplexed why Apple Pay hasn’t caught on:  It’s been out for a year, and many millions of people use iPhone models (6, 6+, 6S, 6S+) that support the feature.  Plus, 5S owners who have an Apple Watch (admittedly not a huge group, most likely) can use Apple Pay.
Maybe this will change.  This month, many retailers are updating their credit card payment terminals to support the new security chip embedded in credit cards.  One hopes that many will see the wisdom of opting for terminals that also support contactless pay, including Apple Pay.

Posted by RC on October 5, 2015 at 1:26 PM (CDT)

Apple Pay transaction numbers still low overall

I’m not sure what you mean. Apple Pay does just work over standard NFC-based contactless payments – I use it all the time up here in Canada (with a U.S. debit card, for now), and it works anywhere that MasterCard PayPass or VISA PayWave are accepted.
The problem is that in the U.S., contactless payment terminals are still extremely rare, so if a retailer can’t take contactless payments at all, than obviously Apple Pay is going to also be excluded.

Posted by Jesse Hollington on October 5, 2015 at 12:46 PM (CDT)

Apple Pay transaction numbers still low overall

Unless they allow integration with traditional NFC terminals using technologies found in other phones, paying with an iPhone will never be a hit.

Posted by WhiteShadow on October 5, 2015 at 12:37 PM (CDT)

Apple to open Apple TV's universal search API to more content providers

Searching is one thing, it’ll be interesting to see what you can actually initiate to play using Siri. Will the user be able to say ‘play season 3 of Doctor Who on Netflix’ or will that just work with video from iTunes?
Also, the ‘what did he just say’ feature. Is there an API for that, or is it something that works for iTunes rented or purchased video only?

Posted by benjitek on October 5, 2015 at 11:18 AM (CDT)

Zane Lowe unsure about future of Beats 1

This kind of misleading headline smells like over sensationalized click bait. More like this and I will stop clicking on your links. Please stop taking quotes out of context. He said it’s new, they want to make Beats 1 into something big enough that Apple Music does need it. So, they are trying to prove their worth. Far from the feeling given by the headline and summary. “When asked why Apple Music needed Beats 1, Lowe responded: “It’s a great question. I’m not sure that they do.” He said that while the station is “absolutely working right now,” it’s still “a work in progress, and overtime we’ll find out why Apple Music needs Beats 1.” He added: “I hope there’s a place for it, I feel right now there is.”

Posted by JDL on October 2, 2015 at 12:14 PM (CDT)

iPhone 6s more water-resistant than previous models

Apple probably wants to get it right before making any claims about water resistance.  They don’t want another Watergate ;-)

Posted by benjitek on October 2, 2015 at 11:08 AM (CDT)

Apple Pay coming to Canada by late October?

Yup, I’ve generally been having the same experience, although for the most part it’s worked every time as long as the terminals are working properly. I actually found using it on the Apple Watch to be more of a pain than pulling out my iPhone, as it’s trickier to play the wrist gymnastics to get it to meet up.
The only real problem I’ve had is that some merchants get a bit confused when I want to do a contactless payment over $100, since that’s the maximum for any physical card (some credit cards are even less). Picking up a prescription at Shoppers Drug Mart worked fine, but the pharmacist looked at the receipt, saw “Signature Required” and wasn’t quite sure what to do about it, so I signed it anyway. On the other hand, the LCBO was a problem as their terminals simply don’t allow contactless payment if the transaction is over $100 – it’s automatically limited to swipe/insert only – so I was stuck pulling out my card there when that happened.

Posted by Jesse Hollington on September 30, 2015 at 7:45 PM (CDT)

Apple Pay coming to Canada by late October?

Jesse, I could have written this post myself! I’ve been using my US TD card all over Canada and it works great nearly everywhere. Occasionally the first attempt fails but the second always succeeds—and it is still faster than even taking my TD card out of my wallet! It remains a mystery to me why Apple didn’t trial this in a country (preferably Canada) that has a majority of businesses with contactless payment systems than in the US, where they are still fairly rare. Maybe the banks in Canada are at fault on this one, but if Canada had gotten this first it would have pushed merchants and banks to get up to speed much more quickly. At least we were YEARS ahead on contactless and chip-and-PIN (EMV) cards.

Posted by chas_m on September 30, 2015 at 6:01 PM (CDT)

Apple Pay coming to Canada by late October?

Same here. I found it somewhat ironic that Apple Pay launched in a country where only 2% of merchants even support contactless payments, but Apple is a U.S. based company, and it was easier to get the U.S. banking system on board as well, probably—particularly compared to the Canadian system, which can be the poster-children of intransigence.
That said, I’ve been using Apple Pay up here since March with my TD Bank (U.S.) VISA Debit card (I opened a U.S. account a few years ago as part of TD’s cross-border banking program), and it’s been working great pretty much everywhere, with the only exceptions being places like Costco and No Frills, and that’s just only because they simply don’t take VISA, nothing to do with Apple Pay itself. It will be nice to see it expanded to official Canadian use, and I hope Interac Flash is on board out of the gate as well.

Posted by Jesse Hollington on September 30, 2015 at 2:50 PM (CDT)

Apple Pay coming to Canada by late October?

I’m so excited! I’m looking forward to it. It will be so convenient. It kinda sucks that Canada is always behind the US and it sucks that we had to wait more than one year for a selling feature Apple promoted in which Canadians could not even use.

Posted by Dale on September 30, 2015 at 2:28 PM (CDT)

A note on our iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus case reviews

We already have many, many iPhone 6 case reviews in our database. Most new cases coming out now will be marketed as 6/6s cases or 6s cases.
In fact, in many instances, you’ll find companies simply adding “6s” to iPhone 6 cases which have already been released. We’re seeing that already. (We won’t be going back to check and see if all of these older cases now fit the iPhone 6s properly.)
There’s more concern about new cases fitting the larger “s” phones at this point than fitting the smaller iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus (which should be easier to accommodate).

Posted by Phil Dzikiy on September 30, 2015 at 1:28 PM (CDT)

A note on our iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus case reviews

Since there are considerably more iPhone 6 owners than 6s, and many of us do not plan to upgrade until iPhone 7, this does limit the usefulness of future case reviews on iLounge…

Posted by jib2 on September 30, 2015 at 1:00 PM (CDT)

A note on our iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus case reviews

For what it’s worth, the Incipio NGP case for the 6+ (a personal favorite) fits my new 6S+ with a couple of exceptions:
Volume buttons aren’t as responsive.  The cutouts on the bottom do fully expose the ports, speaker/microphone—but they don’t line up as centered as the same case on the 6+
Oddly enough, when is on the 6+, the mute-switch cutout was slighter off-center (still fully functional) but on the 6S+ its centered…
I noticed Incipio has labeled all their 6 cases as 6/6S.

Posted by benjitek on September 30, 2015 at 11:19 AM (CDT)

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