The Pay-Footprint Edition Friday, May 27, 2016

Apple Is ‘Working Rapidly’ To Launch Apple Pay In More Countries In Asia And Europe, by Jon Russell, TechCrunch

Apple Pay may only be available in just six countries right now, but the iPhone maker is keen to extend the footprint of the digital payment service worldwide.

That’s according to Jennifer Bailey, VP of Apple Pay, who spoke to TechCrunch this week as the service expanded its presence in Singapore, where it now supports five major banks that cover over 80 percent of cards, following an initial launch in April. Apple Pay is also live in the U.S., Canada, the UK, Australia and China, but there are plans to do a lot more.

EMV Rules Ruining Apple Pay, by Evan Schuman, Computerworld

The problem here is that although POS systems know that an NFC transaction is contactless, those systems often do not know much or even anything beyond that. The POS has no idea if a biometric authentication was completed, so it needs to ask for the signature. The POS has no idea whether the shopper was shown an amount — and certainly not whether the shopper really thought about it — so it must show it again and demand a confirmation.

Dropbox In Your Kernel

Dropbox Gets All Up In Your Kernel With Project Infinite. Cue Uproar, by Gavin Clarke, The Register

Project Infinite employs kernel extensions that’ll move from it from accessing your system’s user space and into the kernel space. Tapping the kernel isn’t a new or unique idea but it is generally reserved for more mission-critical applications, such as security or antivirus.

Giving any piece of software access to the kernel is a huge step, as it gives a potential hacker unfettered access to your system’s memory and processes. Also, you’re potentially leaving yourself wide open to faults and failing in the software author’s code, as some users of certain antivirus software brands can attest to.

Apps For Your Body

This App Reminds You To Stop And De-stress, And Tells You How Well You’re Doing It, by Daniele Seiss, Washington Post

Dealing with excessive stress is an issue for a lot of people, compounded by the fact that we are not always aware when we are stressed. Wouldn’t it be great if we had our own bell of mindfulness to remind us to stop and breathe? And better yet, to show us how to breathe most effectively to reduce stress?

How You Really Can Beat Jet Lag Thanks To Apps And New Planes, by Clare Vooght, iNews

In recent months airlines including Qatar, Finnair and Singapore have been adding new planes with anti-jetlag features to their fleets – such as the A350 XWB from Airbus. The A350’s lighting mimics natural sunrises and sunsets to better regulate the body’s production of sleep hormone melatonin, and its cabin pressure is set at a more comfortable 6,000 feet (it’s usually much higher in older aircraft).

Meanwhile more and more travellers are using smartphone apps that offer tips and tailored schedules that promise to eliminate jet lag, based on scientifically proven remedies – from diet to sleeping times and light exposure.

Security Matters

Push For Encryption Law Falters Despite Apple Case Spotlight, by Dustin Volz, Mark Hosenball And Joseph Menn, Reuters

Draft legislation that Senators Richard Burr and Dianne Feinstein, the Republican and Democratic leaders of the Intelligence Committee, had circulated weeks ago likely will not be introduced this year and, even if it were, would stand no chance of advancing, the sources said.

Key among the problems was the lack of White House support for legislation in spite of a high-profile court showdown between the Justice Department and Apple Inc over the suspect iPhone, according to Congressional and Obama Administration officials and outside observers.

Buggy Updates

iTunes 12.4 Applies Song Ratings To Albums And Destroys Smart Playlists, by Kirk McElhearn

When iTunes 12.2 was released, the app changed some song ratings to album ratings. This means that if you have smart playlists that look for, say, five-star songs, iTunes will add all the tracks from the album with the five-star rating to those playlists. After iTunes 12.2 was released, this happened occasionally; but with iTunes 12.4, my entire library was changed. Every single song rating in my library got changed to an album rating.


Workflow 1.5: App Store Automation, Trello And Ulysses Actions, Audio Metadata, Safari View Controller, And More, by Federico Viticci, MacStories

Nearly two years (and an Apple Design Award) later, Workflow is reaching version 1.5 today, an important milestone towards the road to 2.0. Unsurprisingly for the Workflow team, this release adds over 20 new actions and dozens of improvements. Some of them are new app actions based on URL schemes, while others introduce brand new system integrations (such as iTunes Store, App Store, and Safari View Controller) and web actions for the popular Trello team collaboration service. Workflow 1.5 is a packed release that is going to save heavy Workflow users a lot of time.

5 Mac Apps For Coffee-shop Computing, by Matt Elliott, CNET

When I'm working in a coffee shop, I need help staying focused and productive. I also want to keep my MacBook safe and its contents private during the occasional bathroom break or trip to the counter for a refill.

QuickShift Can Help Reduce Mac Desktop Clutter, by Dennis Sellers, Apple World Today

Once you have everything set up, QuickShift allows instance access to your most used folders via the status bar, a hot key, and/or the Services menu. You drag and drop files to the tool, then move or copy them as you need. You can create folders, subfolders, and hierarchies and organize them as you wish. You can even set up folder hierarchies with one line text.

Hands On: Alfred 3 (OS X), by William Gallagher, MacNN

What makes launchers survive is that they take the way you use them to launch apps and they extend that into other features.

Unfade Is An iOS App That Scans Your Old Printed Photos And Brings Them Back To Life, by Kevin Raposo, Know Techie

Unfade is an app that scans all of your old faded printed photos and revives them back to lie in a digital format.


Google Is Making The Same Mistake Now That Microsoft Did In The 90s, by Jason Snell, Macworld

Google has insisted on using the Material Design approach when creating iOS apps. Just as Word 6 inflicted Windows conventions on Mac users, Google’s iOS apps inflict Android on iOS users. [...]

I’m not saying either design is superior. If you’re on Android, you should expect apps to look like Android apps–Apple Music for Android uses Android’s icons for sharing and offering additional options, rather than the ones you’d see on iOS. And the reverse should be true too.

Google Doesn’t Owe Oracle A Cent For Using Java In Android, Jury Finds, by Klint Finley, Wired

Google’s use of the Oracle’s Java programming language in the Android operating system is legal, a federal jury found today in a verdict that could have major implications for the future of software development. [...] The ruling is good news for programmers in general, but the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has argued that techies and the public have already lost because of the earlier decision that found that APIs are subject to copyright.

Bottom of the Page

Made my first Apple Pay payment today.


I wonder how many engineers at Apple are being assigned to make that gigantic screen in Apple Stores thinner and lighter.


Thanks for reading.