With so much attention on iOS 8 a slew of important Apple news items slipped under the radar this week. You don't want to miss these:
Apple will improve NFC
Apple gains full voting rights and can pursue leadership positions in GlobalPlatform. This will be good for NFC on all platforms.
Apple plans loyalty scheme to boost Apple Pay
As I expected, Apple is recruiting a product manager who will take charge of "shaping the future of loyalty programs".
This is smart. All the big credit firms and retailers offer such schemes and consumers are far more likely to use mobile payment methods if they also get loyalty discounts.
Such schemes could conceivably be offered as an inducement to smaller retailers to introduce Apple Pay support, enabling them to offer their own loyalty incentives.
It's easy to install iOS 8 without deleting content
Some iOS 8 upgraders have complained it is necessary to delete content from their devices to make space to install the new OS. That's true if you upgrade in isolation, but far less of a problem if you use iTunes. If you upgrade using iTunes you still need just under 1GB of space, but if you don't you need 5GB.
How to use iTunes to upgrade:
- Upgrade iTunes to the current version
- Upgrade your apps (in iTunes)
- Connect your device using an appropriate cable
- Backup you device
- Hit the Check for Update button in iTunes
- Download and Update your device.
iOS8 stretches the Internet
Expect similar figures worldwide, but in the UK download traffic peaked at 60 percent higher following introduction of the new OS.
Apple and U2 are partners
Apple and U2 are allegedly working on a new music format, according to Time. The aim is to create a format that's so "irresistibly exciting" to music lovers that it will get them buying music ore often. A July report predicted that, by 2019, streaming will account for 71 percent of digital music revenue, with digital download revenue to drop 39 percent over the same period. I'm thinking iTunes Extras on steroids.
Blink and you'll have missed it, but the Apple Watch PR shots show the time at 10:09. That's significant, because watchmakers (eg. Rolex, TAG Heuer) typically set their watch faces to 10:10 for publicity shots.
- The links on the stainless steel band can be plucked off by pressing two buttons, no specialized jeweler’s tool required.
- Apple Watch packaging doubles as a charging stand.
Apple is more open by design
Apple recenty published its employee diversity report. The report confirmed that its easier to get a tech job if you're white and male. Apple is working on fixing this. The decision to publish the report despite it showing the company's imperfection was Tim Cook's. This is a big change at Apple, which under its new CEO will "default to open" on issues of corporate responsibility and other matters that are important to customers (human rights, privacy, the environment).
Kill switch engaged
New iPhones sold with iOS 8 will include Activation Lock as a default setting. This (in conjunction with Find My iPhone) will help make iPhones even less attractive to thieves, who will be forced to target other smartphones that don't hold the same street value.
Apple's iPads, OS X, arrive October 21
Apple's next special event takes place October 21. Expect two new iPad models and OS X Yosemite to star the show.
- How to get ready for iPhone 6 and iOS 8
- Thoughts on Apple, Tim Cook and privacy
- 12 iOS 8 features you'll want to use
- Apple Pay: What you need to know
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