It’s Apple time… Smart Chimps looks at the week’s headlines
Apple has hit the headlines heavily this week, showcasing iOS9, announcing Apple Pay is ready for its UK launch, and telling the world that the mobile payment service is doing splendidly in the US.
On iOS9, improvements include a remodelled Siri, extended battery life and improved security. The software, which will be available this autumn, will make iOS devices become more intelligent, apparently. New multitasking features designed specifically for iPad allow users to work with two apps simultaneously, side by side or with the new Picture-in-Picture feature, to keep watching a video while browsing the web, composing email or using any other app.
Also, built-in apps are set to become more powerful in iOS 9 with detailed transit information in Maps, a redesigned Notes app with new ways to capture ideas, and a new News app.
Additionally, iOS 9 will make the foundation of iOS stronger with refinements including battery optimisation that provides a typical user with an additional hour of battery life, and a low power mode to help further extend battery life.
Altogether, nothing groundbreaking in iOS9, but all very useful if it works, and let’s face it, the last time Apple tried anything really interesting in an iOS launch was its Maps feature, 3D and regular flavour, and we all know what happened. Everybody got lost.
Apple has also announced that starting in July, Apple Pay will be available to customers in the UK. At launch, over 250,000 locations will accept Apple Pay, with support from eight of the UK’s most established banks, across all of the major credit and debit card networks.
Apple Pay works anywhere there is a contactless card reader, and can also be used to pay for services and goods in apps. That means for iPhone and Apple Watch users, the mobile wallet has truly arrived.
What will be interesting to see is the level of payment limits set on Apple Pay in the UK. While low limits are reassuring from a financial security point of view, sometimes users will want to make a heftier purchase. If the system is as secure as it seems, they should be allowed to go ahead; perhaps not to the point of being able to swipe for a Bentley with their mobile, but at least the groceries.
Finally on Apple news, the company said it is expanding merchant acceptance in the US to over one million locations next month. With this addition, Apple Pay will accept credit and debit cards across all major card networks, issued by the most popular banks, representing 98% of all credit card purchase volume in the US. Success indeed.
And going delightfully into the future today, Holus, a holographic tabletop platform that when connected to a smartphone, tablet or computer, turns 2D content into a 3D hologram, has launched on Kickstarter. This rather Star Trekkie and pretty cool bit of tech creates immersive displays for gaming, learning, business applications and more. Developers can also create their own gaming and business applications to further unlock the potential of the holographic concept. Go and check out the future!