Release Dates

Barclays confirms Apple Pay support

Barclays to support Apple PayBarclays has today confirmed that they will support Apple Pay imminently, following the launch of Apple Pay in the UK at over 250,000 locations.

It seems as though all the major banks have suddenly realised today that Apple Pay is actually taking off and are now rushing to create a platform to support the new technology whereas more “modern” banks such as Santander and Natwest seem to have spent the previous 8 months developing the technology and where ready for Apple Pay upon launch.

Apple has also now updated its list of participating banks by moving HSBC and First Direct to the Coming Soon list along with TSB, RBS, Halifax and others.

Apple Pay officially launched in the UK

Apple Pay CardsApple pay has today been officially launched for use in the UK and will be accepted at any store which currently accepts contactless payments.

The technology is currently only available on iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 plus however owners of older models can use their iWatch (Apple Watch) to enable NFC payments along with touch ID.

According to apple pay’s UK website the service currently is only available to customers of AMEX, MBNA, Nationwide, Natwest, RBS, Santander and Ulster Bank however other banks on the Coming Soon list include Halifax, First Direct, HSBC, Lloyds, TSB, M&S Bank and Bank of Scotland.

Apple is also apparently trying to encourage merchants to accept and promote Apple Pay by enabling user feedback on the apple website, with a few refrences and links saying things such as “if you have trouble using Apple Pay in store, let us know”

Have you used Apple Pay yet? Did the cashier get confused when you tried to slap your phone or watch on her PDQ terminal? Let us know in the comments!

UPDATE: As of Tuesday 28th July Apple Pay now also supports First Direct and HSBC with Barclays reporting that support is “Imminent”

Santander is first UK bank to offer Apple Pay

Santander with Apple Pay (iWatch)

Santander is getting ready for the launch of Apple Pay as customers can register their bank cards with the Apple Pay service in preparation for its launch in the UK later this month.

The current process is a bit of a workaround as it requires the user to set their country to US, add the card and then return to UK at which point the card will remain in the users passbook and is available for use at any contactless terminal.

It has not yet been announced when Apple Pay will be available in the UK however at WWDC apple did say that it would be available during July 2015.

Update: One Santander customer who activated his card for use with Apple Pay was able to use it at a McDonald’s to make a purchase.

Update 2: Santander has emailed customers who were able to add their cards letting them know the Apple Pay service is not yet available for use and removed it from their devices.

iTunes radio may be coming to the UK

Following last week’s news that iTunes Radio would be expanding to Canada within the next few months, we are hearing rumours that Apple plans expand the service to the UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand by early 2014, ahead of competitor Pandora’s own expansion. The expansion could also include Nordic countries.

itunes-radio

Apple is able to roll out its service to additional countries more quickly than Pandora because it has already signed international rights deals with Universal Music Group and other record companies. Pandora, however, relies on rights “granted by government entities” which limits its service to the U.S., Australia, and New Zealand.

Apple Inc. plans to expand iTunes Radio to English-speaking countries outside the U.S. by early 2014, beating industry leader Pandora Media Inc. to the U.K. and Canada, people with knowledge of the situation said.

ITunes Radio is also set to start early next year in Australia and New Zealand, where Pandora already operates, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the plans aren’t public. Nordic countries are also being targeted in the same time frame, the people said.

First introduced alongside iOS 7 in September, iTunes Radio is currently limited to listeners in the United States, though users in other countries can skirt restrictions with a U.S. iTunes account.

Apple’s senior vice president of Internet software and services Eddy Cue has said that launching iTunes Radio worldwide is a top priority for the company, with Apple ultimately aiming to have the service “in more than 100 countries.”

iPhone 5s to be announced on the 10th September

Our sources have told us that the iPhone 5s will be launched at a media event on the 10th September this year. It is still unclear if the iPhone 5c will be launched alongside the new iPhone 5s, or if it will feature in its own launch show on a later date.

We have seen lots of images and renderings of the new low-cost iPhone which has been called the iPhone 5c among news outlets and fans, apparently with the C standing for “Low-Cost” however this seems like a strange marketing strategy for apple, seeing as its main core feature is that of quality, cheap isn’t something i could see apple wanting associated with their products but only time will tell.

iPhone 5c

The most recent rumors suggest that the new iPhone 5s will be priced at around $490 which is £316.95, a similar price to what the iPhone 4 is currently retailing at when brought on contract with a network.

It is likely that the iPhone 5c will be released on the same date as the iPhone 5s, alongside iOS7 and possibly OSX Mavericks however traditionally this is less likely. the iPhone 5s is rumored to have NFC contact-less payment solutions, a bio-metric fingerprint scanner under the home button and a dual LED flash.

Plastic packaging for the iPhone 5c

An image has surfaced on a Chinese blog called WeiPhone which appears to show an all plastic outer shell for the new iPhone packaging, featuring the text iPhone 5c.

iPhone-5C

 

The “c” on this device is presumable referring to either the fact that the device is rumored to be available in a number of colours (iPhone 5 colour) or simply the fact it is a low cost model.

The packaging itself is a small white plastic container similar in size and shape to traditional cardboard iPhone packaging however with a rounded base. The front cover of the packaging is not visible in the image however could possibly be a see through plastic lid like you get on some iPod devices to show off the different coloured devices inside.

The website this has been leaked on has provided some reliable information before on previous product launches however as always, we really cant be 100% sure on what we will be getting until apple actually announce the launch of the new device.

Let us know your take on this new case in the comments below.

The Biggest change to iOS since the introduction of iPhone

The release of iOS 7 is going to be a major milestone for Apple, with the release of 10 new key features for the device apple is describing the update as “The Biggest change to iOS since the introduction of iPhone” and saying it involves a comprehensive end-to-end redesign of the user experience.

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Along with the new iOS 7 which is available to beta testers and developers as of today, 1500 new API’s will be made available in the iOS 7 SDK for developers and a new feature called iBeacons for Bluetooth LE Location.

The re-design of all the icons and apps shows a less “reflective” style of design and everything looks a bit flatter, a demo of all the new apps and icons is visible on the Apple iOS7 Website.

iOS 7 will be released to the public in Autumn of this year, so get ready because its only a few months away!

 

f1370889110Control Center

This is a brand new feature for iOS 7, Swipe up from the bottom of any screen on your iPhone, including the lock screen and you will be presented with a variety of quick access controls to allow you to change WiFI, Bluetooth, Screen brightness, volume, AirPlay, launch quick apps such as flashlight or camera, and obviously all the the usual iPod controls.

 

Siri

Good old Siri hasn’t missed out in this update, with new skills allowing Siri to controll your bluetooth, increase and decrease brightness and also play voicemail messages, along with new web services such as twitter, bing search and wikipedia.

 

Air Drop

Air Drop is a new feature for this vertion of iOS and is essentially Bump, air drop is “Absolutely the easiest way to share with the people that are right around you. Any app that supports a share sheet, your friends that are around you show up right there.”

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The app is based around sharing media with those around you and promises “No need to wander around the room bumping your phone” with a simple screen where you tap who you want to send content to, they accept and off it goes, just like everyone usedto back in the days when sending pictures over Bluetooth was popular.

The Air Drop system is said to be System wide for any app that supports a share sheet, peer-to-peer Wi-Fi. Supported by iPhone 5, 4th-gen iPad, iPad mini and 5th-gen iPod Touch.

 

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Activation Lock

With Activation Lock, if a thief tries to turn off Find My iPhone or wipe a device, the thief will not be able to reactivate the phone without a user’s iCloud user name. It is designed to be a theft deterrent.

 

iOS 7 In The Car

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iOS 7 has been designed to add extra functionality to in car entertainment systems such as radio’s and built in navigation systems by allowing music and actual integration within iOS to display music messages and calls on built in displays and navigation systems.

This feature will most likely be implemented into existing car hands-free kits and media systems by allowing the car controls and steering wheel controls to control the music which is being played from an iPod, similarly to the features currently available with a iPod USB cable and a compatible aftermarket Head Unit.

Currently the involved manufacturers are Chevrolet, Ferrari, Honda, Hyundi, Kia, Jaguar, Mercedes, Nissan and Volvo. These car manufacturers are aiming to have the system integrated and working by 2014.

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Other Smaller Changes

Folders on your home screen can now have multiple pages, no longer are you limited to having only 9 apps stored in a folder.

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A new gesture has also been introduced to allow you to go “back” to the previous screen, this is most likely to be a swipe from the left of your screen however you should be able to customize this in your settings.

Compass and Game Center redesigned, no more wood & green felt! – New designs will have a “sense of purpose”

Apps will update in the background over the air, adapting to how you use your phone, if you always open an app first thing in the morning such as facebook, iOS 7 will ensure the app is updated overnight ready for use the next morning.

 

ios7

iOS 7 May be running behind schedule

ios 7

During some recent conversations with developers and analysts it has been said that apple’s latest mobile operating system iOS 7 may be running behind schedule.

What I’ve heard: iOS 7 is running behind, and engineers have been pulled from OS X 10.9 to work on it.

The interview went on to discuss details such as the level of re-design that’s gone into this release and it seems as though iOS 7 will symbolise

a significant Re-Design of the Operating System and its user-interface. There is however a quote floating around from some analysts saying that the new design is making many people really happy, but will also apparently make rich-texture-loving designers sad.

[ad 1]The upgrades thought to be on the new iPhone 5s are a range of features including a Biometric scanner for payments and authorisation in apps possibly from a security firm apple recently acquired called AuthenTec last July. There is also apparently going to be a “shakeup” in the pass

book team meaning that this new biometric feature could be what Passbook has been waiting for to fulfil its potential as a contender for the likes of Google Wallet and Paypal
.

The developers who are special enough to carry around an iOS device loaded with the new iOS 7 are even said to have special privacy filters fitted to their devices to reduce the viewing angle on the screen, meaning that no-one can accidentally catch a glimpse of the new design before its released. That is until someone leaves one in a bar after a night out anyway.

Back in 2007 Apple delayed the release of OSX Leopard in order to concentrate their efforts on a version of iOS, and this sounds like the same case for iOS 7 and OSX 10.9

Currently the iPhone 5s is thought to be announced in July for an August release however this will not be confirmed until just before the date itself, if previous announcements are anything to go by think weeks before rather than months.

iPhone 5

iPhone 5s Production Begins this Quarter

The latest news is that Apple will begin manufacturing the iPhone 5s sometime this quarter in order to meet a summer release deadline.

In keeping with the rumours we have heard so far regarding the Summer launch, there will also be a new Low-Cost iPhone featuring a 4 Inch display like on the iPhone 5 and is likely to be made from plastic rather than the current glass and aluminium finish. It has also been said that the new low cost iPhone may have interchangeable cases to allow the user to change the colour of the device however as always, this has not been confirmed by Apple.

[ad 1]It would also be sensible to assume that iOS 7 will be launched alongside the iPhone 6 as is usually the case with the iOS software launches, the new iOS version would be expected to be released not long after the iPhone 5s announcement to allow users to download the update without flooding the servers on the actual iPhone launch day.

Will the iPhone 5s be coming this summer?

The latest rumours have now started surfacing about the release of the next expected generation of iPhone, the iPhone 5s which is said to be launching around June this year, followed by a low cost iPhone in September.

Many features have been rumoured to be included in this new model iPhone including a faster processor, better quality camera and a NFC chip. It has also been rumoured that the new iPhone may include some form of bio-metric security in the form of a fingerprint scanner.

[ad 1]A new iPhone launch at this time of year would fall in line with apple’s previous launches and their current timeline for production as well as with our previous article which predicted a mid 2013 launch and also the general consensus of market analysts and professionals within the industry.

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