Benjamin Mayo, reporting for 9to5Mac:
If you are in London, you can now travel using Apple Pay on the Underground network without having to use Touch ID or Face ID authentication.
This means that you don’t need to hold up the queue at the turnstile when travelling the Underground. You can simply tap and go with either iPhone or Apple Watch.
Express Transit has been a feature since iOS 12.3 but it requires partnerships with the transit networks in order for the feature to work. Apple announced the new support for the London Underground today with a new web page and sending out notifications to iPhone and Apple Watch users in the United Kingdom.
One particularly interesting detail about Express Mode is that it enables a special Power Reserve state for your iPhone or Apple Watch. When your device is set up for Express Mode, and its battery is close to depletion, iOS and watchOS will automatically save a certain amount of power so you can still use your device for transit access for another five hours after Power Reserve kicks in. This will undoubtedly reduce a lot of anxiety for people who regularly deplete their battery, and would otherwise want to keep an alternate transit access method as a backup. Power Reserve is available on the iPhone XR and newer, and Apple Watch Series 4 and newer.
Even setting aside Power Reserve, the convenience of no longer needing to pre-authenticate with Express Mode is a significant user experience improvement for transit customers. The feature’s also available in my home of New York City, but only in an extremely limited rollout; I can’t wait for it to be part of my daily commute.
Following a limited preview earlier this month, Apple has today opened up applications for Apple Card to all US customers. Users can apply through the Wallet app on an iPhone running iOS 12.4 or later, and in most cases receive instant access to Apple Card if approved. Opening the Wallet app then tapping the plus button in the top-right leads to the option to add Apple Card.
Alongside Apple Card’s wide release, Apple is announcing that its Daily Cash program is getting better thanks to a new partner that supports the highest 3% Daily Cash rate which was previously exclusive to Apple purchases.
Apple Card is extending 3 percent Daily Cash to more merchants and apps. Starting today, customers will receive 3 percent Daily Cash when they use Apple Card with Apple Pay for Uber and Uber Eats. Customers can request a ride through Uber in more than 700 cities across the globe and order a meal through Uber Eats in more than 500 cities around the world. Apple Card will continue to add more popular merchants and apps in the coming months.
Apple has never before mentioned that it would be seeking additional partners to support the 3% Daily Cash rate. Initially that rate was limited to purchases from the Apple Store, Apple.com, the App Store, and other Apple services; 2% is the standard Daily Cash rate available for Apple Pay transactions, and 1% for everything else. Adding Uber and Uber Eats to the 3% pool, with “more popular merchants and apps” in the pipeline for future partnerships, makes Apple Card’s Daily Cash program more attractive than before – a welcome surprise for the card’s wide release.
Today Apple is officially launching its latest service, Apple Card, but only to a subset of users ahead of a broader rollout later this month. The new credit card is limited to US users running at least iOS 12.4, and today it will only be available to certain people who signed up on Apple’s website to be notified about Apple Card. If you’re part of that chosen group, applying for Apple Card can be done right inside the Wallet app, where the card will be added for immediate use upon credit approval; a physical credit card is also mailed out if you choose to receive one, built from titanium. For those who don’t get invited for early access, the full Apple Card launch will arrive before the end of August.
The Apple Card has been the subject of a lot of attention and speculation since it was announced at Monday’s Apple event. The US-only card won’t be out until this summer, but Matthew Panzarino, TechCrunch’s Editor-in-Chief, has details on exactly how the card will work that weren’t covered during the keynote.
Panzarino sums up the card’s benefits nicely:
Overall the Apple Card has some relatively unique and interesting takes on data transparency for users, who are getting what appears to be an information rich but easy to interpret interface that rivals the best apps (like the AMEX app) out there for consumer cards. It’s also got a solid set of security features that are missing only a couple of small improvements like per-merchant or per-transaction numbers that would make them the best offering in the industry.
The security and financial tracking the card will enable is attractive and the cash benefits are competitive, but there are limitations that may be an issue for some potential customers. For instance, the Apple Card is a single-user card, which means multiple family members cannot use the same account.
Panzarino’s piece clears up misinformation that has spread since the keynote and uncovers other tidbits that make it easier to compare the new card side-by-side with competing offerings. If what you’ve heard about the Apple Card interests you, Panzarino’s article is an excellent one-stop destination to learn more.
This morning at Apple’s special event in the Steve Jobs Theater at Apple Park, Vice President of Apple Pay Jennifer Bailey took the stage to announce Apple Card. These “Apple” name prefixes are growing tedious, but Apple Card is looking to reduce the tedium which permeates the credit card industry. Apple is championing its credit card as a new industry leader in a variety of areas, including privacy, security, transparency, lack of fees, and fair interest rates. Apple Card gives rewards in cash rather than points, and these “Daily Cash” rewards are distributed to your Apple Cash account every day. If Apple Card can deliver on its promises, it shows real potential to be a disruptor in the often exploitative credit card industry.
I recently came across a demo of AR Quick Look, an iOS 12 feature that allows apps to present 3D and AR previews for objects built using the new USDZ file format. Shopify, the popular e-commerce platform, is going to take advantage of AR Quick Look to let customers preview items in their surroundings directly from Safari, contextually to the shopping experience.
Here’s Daniel Beauchamp, writing on the Shopify AR/VR blog:
For the past three years, Shopify has been exploring how AR / VR will change the way consumers shop. Last year, we showed how Apple’s ARKit could be used to provide compelling AR commerce experiences. The main complexity was that ARKit needed to be run in an app. This meant that Shopify merchants looking to offer these experiences had to have their own unique mobile apps that customers would need to download.
With iOS 12’s AR Quick Look, 3D models of products in the usdz file format can be uploaded directly to online Shopify stores and viewed in AR right within Safari, without needing to download a separate app.
His video gives you an even better idea of the integration possible between Safari, ARKit, and Apple Pay in iOS 12:
Beauchamp argues that “the web is how AR becomes mainstream” – looking at these demos, it’s hard to disagree. Not having to install a dedicated ARKit app for every single online store we use and actually having the ability to share and preview models from Safari or Messages is going to remove a ton of friction from the current ARKit experience (as far as shopping is concerned). I can imagine that producing 3D objects at scale will be merchants’ biggest hurdle in the short term, though.
I wasn’t aware of this until I did some research, but Apple also launched an interactive AR Quick Look Gallery as part of their ARKit 2 mini-site. You can also test Shopify’s improved shopping flow featuring ARKit and Apple Pay here.
Following on the heels of last week’s video highlighting the power of Face ID as a way to unlock the iPhone X, today Apple released an ad promoting the technology’s use with its Apple Pay service. The new video follows in last week’s tongue-in-cheek footsteps.
Set to Back Pocket by Vulfpeck, the ad follows a young man as he walks through a crowded market. He sees a hat he likes, uses Face ID with Apple Pay to buy it, and the hat flies off the rack and onto his head. Next, he does the same thing with a pair of sunglasses he likes. From there, he uses Face ID and Apple Pay to try on a dizzying array of shirts, suits, and shoes. He even buys a chair as a gift that rockets away leaving a trail of flame. Like the video last week, the ad is fun and does a nice job of conveying how Apple Pay works and how easy it is to use, while also being entertaining.
Last weekend Apple issued an update to iOS 11 that fixed a bug that could cause an endless loop of crashes if certain notifications were received by a user. Version 11.2 of iOS also set the stage for the rollout of Apple Pay Cash, Apple’s peer-to-peer money transfer service that’s built into the Messages app.
Apple Pay Cash is currently a US-only service that lets users send each other cash via iMessages. An Apple Pay button will appear in the app and sticker tray of Messages on any Apple Pay-compatible iPhone or iPad. The service, which debuted at WWDC in June and was previously available only to beta testers of iOS 11.2, includes integration with Siri. Messages also automatically suggests using Apple Pay Cash if money is mentioned in a text message.
If the service is tied to a debit card, there is no fee to send money to someone. However, users who use a credit card will be charged a 3% fee. There is also a $3000 limit on individual transactions and a $10,000 limit on sending or receiving funds within a seven-day period.
Users of the latest iOS 11.2 beta release received a surprise today in their Messages app picker: the long-awaited Apple Pay iMessage app has now arrived.