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Chase Launches Apple Pay Ad Campaign Featuring Jack Antonoff's Bleachers and Small Businesses

Following this past weekend's promotion that saw Chase customers being offered free early downloads of David Guetta's upcoming album just for adding their cards to Apple Pay, the bank has launched a new national campaign touting Apple Pay. The new campaign begins today with a 30-second ad featuring Fun front man Jack Antonoff's side project Bleachers using Apple Pay at several locations around Los Angeles as they prepare for a rooftop concert.


While much of the attention surrounding Apple Pay has been focused on the major retailers supporting (or not supporting) the mobile payment service, Chase's ad shows the potential for small businesses to also benefit from Apple Pay. Small businesses signed on with the Chase Paymentech service for payment processing can use Chase's Future Proof Terminal to accept Apple Pay payments at the register or SDK tools to accept Apple Pay in apps.

Chase tells Ad Age that Apple retained creative control over some aspects of the ad, requiring that Apple Pay usage be depicted in realistic situations, but that the company was easy to work with.
"We spent half day with them in Cupertino and they're storytellers," she said. "So are we." As guidance, the technology company took Chase through its history of marketing efforts with various partners. [...]

"Our concepts went to Phil [Schiller], our storyboards went to Phil and someone from the brand team was on the shoot, so they were involved there too," said Ms. Canavari.
The 30-second version of Chase's new ad is planned to air in a number of prominent time slots on major networks, including primetime shows, sporting events, and holiday specials. A longer 90-second version of the ad is also debuting on YouTube today.


While Apple has not directly advertised Apple Pay in any television commercials, several Apple Pay partners including MasterCard and now Chase have run significant ad campaigns focused on the service.

iPhone 6 and 6 Plus Shipments Expected to Rise to 71.5 Million Units in Q4 2014, Drop to 49.4 Million Units in Q1 2015

Shipments of Apple's iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are expected to surge to 71.5 million units in Q4 2014 before the company decreases shipments to an estimated 49.4 million units in Q1 2015, according to a new report from KGI Securities analyst Ming Chi Kuo. The analyst also estimates that the iPhone 5c and iPhone 4S will experience quarter-over-quarter growth in Q1 2015 before Apple ceases production of both phones during the year.

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Kuo also notes that he expects shipments of the iPhone 6 to outnumber shipments of the iPhone 6 Plus by a 2:1 ratio:
We attribute the shortage of iPhone 6 Plus partly to less smooth production than iPhone 6. Moreover, while iPhone 6 Plus attracted greater attention when it was launched, we think more consumers will prefer iPhone 6 as they can operate the handset with one hand. Eventually, iPhone 6 shipments will outperform those of the iPhone 6 Plus model.
Sales of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus topped ten million during the launch weekend for both devices, with the larger model seeing supply constraints. However, shipping times for the iPhone 6 Plus improved last week, with the 16GB model showing a shipping estimate of 7 to 10 days and the 64GB model showing an estimate of 2 to 3 weeks. A survey of U.S. customers done by Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP) earlier this month also noted that U.S. customers are favoring the iPhone 6 over the iPhone 6 Plus by a 3:1 ratio.

Related roundup: iPhone 6

Apple Announces World AIDS Day 2014 Campaign for (Product) RED Featuring 'Apps for (RED)' Section in App Store

Apple today announced its campaign for World AIDS Day 2014 done in collaboration with (Product) RED, noting that it will offer a special Apps for (RED) section in the App Store that will contain 25 apps with exclusive new content that will benefit the Global Fund to fight AIDS. In addition to these special apps, Apple will also donate a portion of its retail and online sales on Friday, November 28 and Monday, December 1.
“Apple is a proud supporter of (RED) because we believe the gift of life is the most important gift anyone can give,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “For eight years, our customers have been helping fight AIDS in Africa by funding life-saving treatments which are having a profoundly positive impact. This year we are launching our biggest fundraising push yet with the participation of Apple’s retail and online stores, and some of the brightest minds in the App Store are lending their talents to the effort as well.”
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The Apps for (RED) campaign in the App Store will run from Monday, November 24 to Sunday, December 7, and will include special versions of apps like Angry Birds, Clash of Clans, DJay 2, Clear, Paper, and more. On Friday, November 28, Apple's customers in the United States will receive a special (RED) iTunes gift card with the purchase of select Apple products, as the company will donate a percentage of each gift card to the Global Fund to fight AIDS. On Monday, December 1, Apple will donate a portion of every sale at its retail and online stores to the Global Fund to fight AIDS.

Apple and (Product) RED have worked together for a number of years, as the organization announced in June that Apple had contributed $75 million. Throughout the history of their partnership, Apple has released a number of (RED) devices including iPod nanos and shuffles, iPad Smart Covers, iPhone Bumpers, and iPhone cases. With every (RED) product bought, Apple donates a portion of the purchase price to the charity.

Apps for (Product) RED is live in the App Store.

A8 Chip in iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus Capable of Playing 4K Video

The dual-core A8 chip powering Apple's iPhone 6 and 6 Plus appears to be capable of handling 4K video playback, despite the fact that the two iPhones have native resolutions of 1334 x 750 and 1920 x 1080 pixels, respectively.

4K video playback on the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus was first discovered by the developers behind WALTR, a Mac app that's designed to make it easy to upload and convert any music or video file to an iPad or iPhone for native playback, and reported by TUAW.

The discovery was made by the developers of WALTR, a great Mac app that allows users to quickly upload video files to their iPhone which aren't supported by iTunes, such as FLAC and MKV files. While testing the app developers found it is possible to playback 4K videos on the iPhone 6. Even if Apple hasn't announced it, the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus are ready to play 4K videos.
With resolutions of 1334 x 750 and 1920 x 1080, the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus won't be able to reproduce the detail in a 3840 x 2160 4K video, but the A8's ability to play 4K content means 4K videos side-loaded onto one of Apple's two devices will still be watchable.

It's highly unlikely many users will load 4K videos on their iPhones due to the massive file size of 4K content and the fact that there's little practical use for it, but it has the potential to be a somewhat useful feature for some users who want to play 4K video recorded on their devices as there are apps available that advertise 4K video recording on the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus.

Related roundup: iPhone 6

OS X Yosemite Users Experiencing Issues With YouTube Videos in Safari [Updated]

The latest update to OS X Yosemite, 10.10.1, appears to be causing some users to be unable to play YouTube videos in Safari. According to threads on the Apple Support forums and Google's Product forums, some users that attempt to play YouTube videos are seeing only black screens with audio clipping or are experiencing problems loading videos.

Other users are able to play videos, but are seeing a brief error message before a video begins to play, and still other users are getting complete browser crashes when attempting to watch a video. For some users, the problems just started a few hours ago, suggesting the issue may be on YouTube's end.

youtubeerrorsafari10101
I installed Yosemite on my iMac (20-inch, Mid 2007) when it was first released and I had no issues whatsoever.

Last night I updated Yosemite to 10.10.1 and now all of a sudden Safari Version 8.0 (10600.1.25.1) won't play any YouTube videos. All I get is a black screen with a little audio clipping.

When using Firefox (v32.1.1) or Chrome (v38.0.2125.122) everything works ok.
MacRumors has confirmed the problem and has also had some trouble loading certain YouTube videos in Safari. Users on the support forums have tried various methods to fix the issue, including resetting PRAM, clearing cookies and caches, but nothing appears to work to fix the problem. One user discovered a temporary fix, going to Develop --> User Agent --> and checking Google Chrome - Mac, but the fix resets when the browser is closed.

YouTube videos appear to be playing fine in both Chrome and Firefox, so a workaround until a fix is available is to watch videos in an alternate browser.

Released to the public on Monday after two weeks of testing, OS X 10.10.1 bundled in reliability improvements to Wi-Fi, Microsoft Exchange, Mail, and Back to My Mac. Apple has already seeded a second Yosemite update, 10.10.2, to developers, but that beta has its own issues, including problems with Chrome, and user reports suggest the Safari error is present on 10.10.2 as well.

Update: Users on OS X 10.10.0 are also reporting the issue, suggesting it is indeed a YouTube problem.

Update 2: YouTube videos are once again working properly for Yosemite users.

Related roundup: OS X Yosemite

Microsoft Pits Cortana Against Siri in New Ad Showcasing Contextual Reminders, Traffic Alerts

Microsoft today launched a new video advertisement that compares its Cortana virtual assistant to Apple's own digital assistant, Siri, showcasing Cortana's contextual reminders and traffic alerts, two functions that Siri does not have.

In the ad, entitled "Siri vs. Cortana: Bigger," Cortana and Siri have a "conversation" where Cortana queries Siri about her new abilities in the iPhone 6 and Siri continually responds that she just "got bigger."

Cortana: Hi Siri, looks like you're in a new phone. Congratulations.
Siri: Yes, I got bigger.
Cortana: Oh, are you more like me now? Can you give reminders based on who calls or texts?
Siri: No, I got bigger.
Cortana: How about traffic alerts? Can you tell people to leave early based on traffic reports?
Siri: No, seriously, I just got bigger.
Cortana: That's okay. Happens to everyone this time of year.
Microsoft first announced Cortana in April of this year. The digital assistant, designed to compete with Apple's Siri, is named after the AI character in the popular Halo video game series and is voiced by actress Jen Taylor. With Cortana, Microsoft aims to emulate real personal assistants, and Cortana will ask questions and monitor user activity to learn more about its users. Cortana, available on Windows devices, can perform a few functions that Siri is not capable of, including scheduling reminders from text messages and mapping out traffic patterns to provide travel recommendations.

Siri may not have received updates specific to the iPhone 6, but the virtual assistant did gain new capabilities with the release of iOS 8, including Shazam music integration, the ability to purchase music in iTunes, streaming voice recognition, and hands-free voice activation with the command "Hey Siri."

Cortana has been starring in a series of anti-Siri advertisements since July, with the first advertisement highlighting context-aware reminders and the second showcasing Cortana's mapping capabilities.

Microsoft has a long history of targeting Apple in its advertisements, comparing its Surface line of products to Apple's iPad and iPhone. Just this week, Microsoft launched a new "Winter Wonderland" ad that pits the Surface Pro 3 against the MacBook Air, highlighting the Surface's kickstand, portability, and touchscreen.

iCloud.com Photos App Gains New Uploading Capabilities

Following two weeks of testing on the iCloud beta site for developers, the consumer-facing iCloud.com site has gained support for uploading images to iCloud Photo Library (via iFun.de [Google Translate]).

Before the addition of the new uploading tool, the standard iCloud.com site allowed users to view all of their iCloud Photo Library images, as well as download and delete them, but it did not have a tool to allow users to upload photos captured with non-Apple devices.

icloudbetasiteuploadtool
New toolbar with upload support on iCloud.com site at top, previous iCloud.com toolbar on bottom

The new uploading feature on the iCloud.com site makes it possible to upload JPGs, but as with the beta feature, other image and video formats like .PNG, .MOV, .AVI, .MP4, and more are not supported. When a file is uploaded to the site, it syncs instantly to all of a user's iOS devices, much like a photo taken on an iPhone or iPad or added to iCloud Photo Library via the iOS Photos app.

Currently in beta and introduced alongside iOS 8.1, iCloud Photo Library stores all of the photos and videos that a user takes in iCloud, making them available on all iOS devices and Macs. iCloud Photo Library images can be viewed in the Photos app on iOS or through iCloud.com on the Mac, and the upcoming Photos app that Apple is creating for Macs will also work with iCloud Photo Library.

Users should be aware that photos uploaded to iCloud Photo Library use iCloud storage space. Apple offers 5GB of storage space for free, with additional plans ranging from $0.99 for 20GB of storage space to $19.99 for 1TB of storage space.

Square Announces Plans to Begin Accepting Apple Pay in 2015

Speaking with CNN, Square founder Jack Dorsey confirmed that the payment processing service will support Apple Pay in the coming months, bringing Apple Pay to small business owners. In the interview, Dorsey reiterates his opinion that he does not view Apple Pay as a competitor and wants to add the mobile payments service as an available option for Square users.
"We're not building a credit card. We're not building a payment device. We're building a [cash] register, and this register accepts all these forms of payments," Dorsey told CNN in an interview.
While the existing Square Reader can process credit card payments via an iPad or iPhone, the hardware is not equipped to handle the wireless transactions required by Apple Pay. In order to support Apple's mobile payment technology, Square will need to introduce all new hardware with built-in NFC connectivity.

squarereader
Square is currently working on an EMV chip card Reader that it plans to introduce in the spring 2015, but that upcoming device does not support NFC, making it unclear when in 2015 an NFC-compatible Square Reader might be released.

Apple Pay launched last month alongside iOS 8.1 and is available only in U.S. with global expansion planned in the future. The payment service is supported by a number of large retailers, major banks and restaurants including the recently added Disney Store, Sephora, SunTrust Bank, and Levi's Stadium,.

Related roundup: Apple Pay

Chase Offers Apple Pay Users Free David Guetta Album as More Retailers Jump Onboard [Updated]

Credit card issuer and major bank Chase has been one of the highest profile Apple Pay partners since the service was announced in September and launched one month ago. This weekend, the bank has launched a plan to entice more Chase Visa card holders into Apple Pay with a free early-access music download.

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From November 21-23, users who add a Chase Visa card into Apple Pay will receive exclusive early access to David Guetta's new album "Listen." Apple Pay users can receive their iTunes Store redemption codes through the Chase app, which received an update today that is required for the Apple Pay promo to appear.

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The new album from Guetta officially launches on Monday, and is currently available for pre-order through the iTunes Store for $11.99.

Chase is not the first major bank to try to entice customers to try out Apple Pay, with Wells Fargo offering $10-$20 credits just for making an Apple Pay purchase on a Wells Fargo card by the end of this month.

Apple Pay has seen a number of other enhancements in recent days, including the addition of in-app Apple Pay support in the Disney Store app, another of the service's key partners mentioned alongside Apple Pay's unveiling. Apple Pay had already been accepted in Disney's retail stores, with Apple's own Eddy Cue showing off the service in a Disney Store earlier this week.Version 3.2.1 of the company's app, landing just before the holiday season rush, brings support for Apple Pay for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. Despite Apple Pay being supported available for the iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini 3, the iPad version of the Disney Store app does not yet include it.

Another of Apple's early in-app partners, Levi's Stadium, rolled out Apple Pay support earlier this week as well for visitors to the San Francisco 49ers home stadium in Santa Clara.

On the in-store front, a number of new retailers also rolled out support for Apple Pay, including several grocery store chains and just today Sephora announced (via TechCrunch) an early rollout in its Manhattan and Bay Area stores ahead of a full rollout in the near future. Sephora will initially accept Apple Pay at its Union Street and Powell Street stores in San Francisco, Valley Fair store in Santa Clara, Stanford store in Palo Alto, Burlingame store in Burlingame, and Lexington store in New York City.

With the recent release of the WatchKit SDK for Apple Watch to app developers, and Apple's promise that Apple Pay and the Apple Watch will be closely tied, the retailer and app support of Apple Pay will no doubt continue to grow.

The Chase Mobile [Direct Link], Levi's Stadium [Direct Link], and Disney Store [Direct Link] apps can all be downloaded from the App Store for free.

Update 8:41 PM: Apple has sent out emails to customers acknowledging an issue with the original redemption codes not providing the full album and including a new redemption code to obtain the remaining four tracks from the album free of charge.

Related roundup: Apple Pay

iWork for iCloud Updated with Eight New Languages, 50 Fonts and Improved Document Editing

Apple today updated iWork for iCloud with support for up to eight new languages and more than 50 new fonts. The changes were added to the cloud-based versions of Pages, Numbers and Keynote and were first reported by German blog Macerkopf.

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New iCloud languages include French, German, Spanish, Portuguese (Brazil), Chinese, Arabic (Pages only) and Hebrew (Pages only) with Pages receiving 8 new languages and Number and Keynotes now supporting six. Apple also expanded the number of available fonts, adding 50 new font types that improve the creative options available to users as well as add support for the new languages. Other changes include a revised main toolbar that now allows users to easily change the name of a document and other-app specific improvements like the ability to undo the deletion of section breaks while editing in Pages.

Apple introduced iWork for iCloud at WWDC 2013 and has been steadily improving the service with small, but regular updates. The company still maintains a desktop version of the productivity suite and recently updated its iWork apps with new features and a redesign for OS X Yosemite.

iPhone 6 Plus Shipping Times Improve Slightly, Now 7 to 10 Days for 16GB Model

As the Thanksgiving holiday approaches, Apple Store shipping estimates for the iPhone 6 Plus have improved slightly, with the 16GB iPhone 6 Plus in all colors and from all carriers now carrying a shipping estimate of 7 to 10 days in the United States. Shipping estimates for the 64GB iPhone 6 Plus in all colors and from all carriers have also seen improvement, going from 3 to 4 weeks to 2 to 3 weeks.

While shipping estimates for the 16GB and 64GB iPhone 6 Plus have improved, shipping estimates for the harder-to-find 128GB iPhone 6 Plus remain at 3 to 4 weeks, suggesting the higher-capacity model is the most constrained.

iphone6plusshippingimprovements
Apple is also seeing improved supply of the iPhone 6, and the 16GB device now has a shipping estimate of 5 to 7 days, down from 7 to 10 days. Higher-capacity 64 and 128GB iPhone 6 models continue to ship in 7 to 10 days.

Many other countries in Europe and Asia are also seeing the same improved shipping estimates from the online Apple Store, as are Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.

In store supply of the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus also appears to be improving somewhat, as many stores across the country list availability of both the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus in 16 and 64GB configurations. Apple Stores continue to receive new iPhone shipments on a regular basis, but stock can go quickly because many retail locations are still seeing lines more than two months after the phones first went on sale. Tracking tool iStockNow can be used to find where iPhone 6 and 6 Plus devices are available.

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During Apple's fourth quarter earnings call on October 20, Apple CEO Tim Cook said that demand for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus was "far outstripping" supply, and that the company was "not close" to having a balance between supply and demand at that time. Apple has, however, been working hard to improve iPhone 6 and 6 Plus supply, reportedly delaying mass production of the rumored iPad Pro in order to focus its resources on higher iPhone 6 Plus output.

Early analysis has suggested that consumers in the U.S. are favoring the iPhone 6 over the 6 Plus by 3:1, but as supply of both models remains constrained, it is impossible to determine the true ratio of iPhone 6 demand vs. iPhone 6 Plus demand at this time.

Related roundup: iPhone 6

Apple Seeds First OS X 10.10.2 Yosemite Beta to Developers [Updated]

Apple today seeded the first beta of OS X 10.10.2 Yosemite to developers, just three days after releasing OS X 10.10.1 to the public.

The new beta, build 14C68k, is available through the Software Update mechanism in the Mac App Store and should be available in the Mac Dev Center soon. The beta also includes Safari 8.0.2 and an update to the Mail app (version 8.2).

yosemite10102beta
Like OS X 10.10.1, as a minor update, OS X 10.10.2 is likely to bring bug fixes and performance improvements to the operating system. OS X 10.10.1 introduced several reliability enhancements, including improvements to Wi-Fi, but many users have still been reporting issues with Wi-Fi stability in Yosemite.

Update: It appears that OS X 10.10.2 is causing the latest version of Google's Chrome browser to crash. Retina iMac owners are also seeing display issues with the beta.

Update 2: The Chrome/10.10.2 issue is related to the trackpad, and the crashing can be circumvented by using an external mouse and disabling the trackpad while the mouse is plugged in.