Tag - Singapore
Apple Pay is being made available to more users in Singapore, courtesy of new partnerships forged with banks in the region. Following just a month after the mobile payment platform went live for American Express customers, the service has now expanded to work with cards using Visa and MasterCard for transactions, with five new banks joining the roster of financial institutions that will take credit and debit card payments via iPhones and the Apple Watch.
Following the earlier announcement that Apple, again working exclusively through American Express, had debuted Apple Pay in its sixth country with its arrival in Singapore on Tuesday, the website for Apple's US financial partners that offer credit or debit cards that work with the company's mobile wallet technology has added another 61 members, two weeks after it topped 1,153 US institutions. The update allows customers of the banks or credit unions listed below to begin adding their cards to the Wallet application on the iPhone 6 or later, as well as the Apple Watch and new iPhone SE.
Apple Pay has expanded into Singapore, bringing the mobile payment platform to its second market in Asia, but in a limited fashion. The expansion is being performed as part of a deal with American Express, which means that only owners of American Express credit cards will be able to use Apple Pay with contactless payment terminals in the country, in a similar fashion to how Apple Pay arrived in Canada and Australia.
Countries that celebrate the lunar new year (which begins on February 8 this year) will see specially-designed editions of Apple's Watch Sport and Beats Solo2 headphones as part of the company's annual observation of the major shopping holiday. Buyers in mainland China, Singapore, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Malaysia will be able to get the limited-edition items, which are also tied in with the Global Fund's PRODUCT (Red) campaign, meaning some proceeds will go to fight AIDS, HIV, and malaria in Africa and other countries.
Apple's operations in Singapore will be powered by renewable energy, following a deal with Sunseap Group. At the same time as revealing it was going to be the first company to in Singapore to run exclusively on renewable energy, sourced from solar energy farms built on top of more than 800 buildings, Apple confirmed it will be opening its first Apple Store within the city-state, though the final opening date remains unknown.
Apple is expanding the number of countries Apple Pay will operate within, via a partnership with a credit card company. Advised as part of today's earnings call, Apple Pay will be usable in Australia and Canada for American Express customers before the end of this year, with American Express users in Spain, Singapore, and Hong Kong also expected to be able to use the payment service when it becomes available next year.
Following up on our previous story, the new Beats Pill+ Bluetooth speaker is now available for ordering. The device has changed little from before Apple bought the company, but gains a Lightning port for charging as well as an included cable. The $229 speaker can be paired with another to produce a stereo sound, and will soon have an accompanying app that allows a users and friends to control the music in a "house party" style. The unit still features a USB power-out port, a line-in audio port, and a battery boasting up to 12 hours of active use.
Netflix has revealed it is bringing its video streaming service to more countries in Asia in early 2016, following its launch in Japan last month. The service will be surfacing in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, and South Korea in the future, though Netflix has not offered a specific date for each country, but they will get a curated selection of popular TV shows and movies in HD and Ultra HD when it does go live.
Apple has upgraded the iCloud.com Photos app with a couple of new features, users note. The first is a zoom slider for uploaded content. People can also more easily share photos via email, using a new pop-up window on the site. Access to Photos requires activating the iCloud Photo Library beta through iOS' Settings app, and will remove any images on a device that were synced via iTunes.
Apple's Volume Purchase Program is coming to 16 more locations in the near future, according to pages on the company's Business and Education sites. Most of the new regions are in Europe, including Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Ireland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, and Switzerland. Also joining in are Hong Kong, Mexico, Singapore, Taiwan, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates.
Now AAPL Stock: 91.79 ( -1.61 )
WhatsApp now handles over 100M calls daily
WhatsApp is celebrating that it is being used for over 100 million calls every day. In a brief notice, the Facebook-owned messaging platform advises the voice-calling feature it rolled out to its users last year now deals with an average of over 1,100 calls initiated per second. Earlier this year, it increased the security of its calls and other messages, by introducing end-to-end encryption on all platforms. http://bit.ly/292HqCX
Adele's '25' album now streaming
Recording artist Adele has "pulled a Kanye" after saying that her current album "25" would not be available for streaming. The seven-month-old record, which has yielded a number of hit singles, is now available for streaming on all the major streaming services, such as Apple Music and Spotify, as of today in most major markets, with worldwide distribution to come. Reportedly, the singer had demanded streaming be limited to paid subscribers -- a condition that has hurt some streamers with artists, who aren't paid royalties for free or trial listens . Apple pays performers its normal royalty rates during its free trial, avoiding the issue -- and having repeated success in both signing up exclusives and placing those exclusives into the top of the charts. http://ti.me/28U7NOu
SanDisk iXpand case has battery, storage
A new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s case from SanDisk appears to be the "holy grail" of accessories: a stylish and protective case that offers both extra storage as well as the option of extra battery power as well. The iXpand Memory case offers either 32GB, 64GB, or 128GB of additional storage incorporated into the case, and an optional add-on battery pack (sold separately) adds up to an extra day or more of charge. Through the associated iXpand app, camera photos and videos can be automatically stored on the extra storage, optionally password-protected, The cost for the case is (in order of storage capacity) $60, $100, and $130. The battery pack's release data has not yet been announced, but the add-on should retail for an additional $30. http://bit.ly/291epHu
Fifth Hong Kong store to open June 30
The 46th official Apple store in what the company calls the "Greater China" region will open at 10AM local time in Hong Kong's New Town Plaza in the Sha Tin district on Thursday, June 30, according to a new page on Apple's retail website. Despite slowing growth due to economic turmoil in China, the country is still Apple's fastest-growing market. The new story will be the fifth for Hong Kong, a lucrative market for Apple thanks to the high concentration of wealth there and a thriving "gray" market. Normal store hours for the new store will be 10AM to 10PM every day. http://apple.co/291diaT
Apple Music bug bites very short songs
There appears to be a reproducible bug in the current version of iTunes -- version 12.4.1, running on OS X 10.11.5, both the current non-beta versions of the respective software -- that causes a streamed song to become "stuck" in endless buffering if the streamed item just before this happened was 60 seconds or less in length. The problem appears to stem from code in iTunes that signals the next track to start downloading one minute before the currently-playing track is done, and thus songs shorter than one minute don't trigger the download. Locally-stored music is unaffected by the bug, and the problem does not appear to exist in either the macOS Sierra developer beta or versions of iTunes earlier than 12.4, and does not affect the iOS Music app at all. http://bit.ly/291cN0l
Walmart Pay expands to 15 states
Walmart, one of the key progenitors of the failed CurrentC mobile payment system that was distinguished from Apple Pay by its ability to collect and share customer financial and buying data among its participants, has expanded the soft rollout of its alternative solution "Walmart Pay" to an additional 15 US states following a pilot program in Arkansas and Texas last month. Walmart continues to resist adding Apple Pay. The system, built into the Walmart app for iOS and Android, works with a complicated system of the camera scanning a purchase code at the register, then generating a QR code which is then scanned by the register. The system is available now in Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia, and Washington, DC. http://apple.co/28SqZfu
Amazon refreshes entry-level Kindle
Amazon has added a new Kindle to its ebook reader range, one that is thinner and lighter than the previous entry-level model. Offering a six-inch 167-dpi touchscreen display, a doubled 4GB of storage, and an option for a white casing, the new model also adds in the ability to export highlights and notes to an email account as a PDF. Two versions of the all-new Kindle are available, priced at $80 including "Special Offers" and $100 without. http://amzn.to/28Q4c3R