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Apple Pay Now Accepted By T-Mobile, GameStop, NBA Teams and More

Apple Pay is now accepted by ten additional stores and partners in the United States, including T-Mobile retail stores, GameStop and a trio of NBA franchises in the Golden State Warriors, Orlando Magic and Phoenix Suns. The mobile payments service, compatible with iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, and soon Apple Watch, can now be used at 68 participating stores throughout the country as Apple continues to add new partners.

The full list of newly added participating stores and partners:

— ACME
— Davis Food & Drug
— Firehouse Subs
— GameStop
— Golden State Warriors
— Luby’s
— Orlando Magic
— Phoenix Suns
— Rubio’s
— T-Mobile Stores

Apple Pay is a NFC-based mobile payments service that debuted on the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus last October, enabling customers to make contactless payments by holding their smartphone up to a payments terminal at participating vendors. The service is secured by Touch ID and will also be compatible with the iPhone 5 or later when paired with an Apple Watch, which is available for pre-order April 10 and goes on sale April

Disney, Apple Arguing Over Channels to Be Included in New Streaming Television Service

Disney is one of the partners Apple is working with on its upcoming streaming television service, and according to a new report from The Street, Disney and Apple are disagreeing over how many Disney-owned channels will be available in Apple's television content bundle.

Disney is pushing Apple to include most of its channel offerings, while Apple wants to offer fewer channels in an effort to keep prices lower. Disney's channels include ESPN and Disney Channel, along with several spinoffs channels like Disney Junior, Disney XD, ESPN2, ESPN Classic, and more. Disney also owns ABC channels that Apple feels are essential, like ABC Family, so Apple may be forced to agree to offer more Disney channels to ensure negotiations go smoothly.

Disney is said to be asking for "the strongest deal it can get," according to one of The Street's sources, to avoid upsetting other cable providers and endangering existing revenue streams.
Disney likely would insist that Apple offer all of its channels to as many subscribers as possible. Many cable operators have "most favored nation" clauses in their contracts with Disney that could require ESPN to be carried as widely as possible. If Apple enabled its subscribers to pick and choose which channels to take, other cable channels could use that clause to cut back on lesser watched Disney channels.
Disney CEO Bob Iger sits on Apple's board of directors and was a longtime friend of former Apple CEO Steve Jobs, and the two companies have worked together several times over the years. Disney was the first company to partner with Apple to offer

Apple Launches Comprehensive New Siri Website With Categories, Example Requests

Apple today launched a newly updated Siri website, which gives a comprehensive look at the voice assistant built into the company's iOS devices. The site opens with a quick overview of what Siri can do, and then provides users with a list of categories featuring Siri's different abilities: At a Glance, Staying in Touch, Getting Organized, Sports, Entertainment, Out and About, Getting Answers, and Tips and Tricks.

Talk to Siri as you would to a friend and it can help you get things done -- like sending messages, placing calls, or making dinner reservations. You can ask Siri to show you the Orion constellation or to flip a coin. Siri works hands-free, so you can ask it to show you the best route home and what your ETA is while driving. And it's connected to the world, working with Wikipedia, Yelp, Rotten Tomatoes, Shazam, and other online services to get you even more answers. The more you use Siri, the more you'll realize how great it is. And just how much it can do for you.
Each category offers a look at the different commands that Siri can work with. "At a Glance" gives a quick rundown of a random assortment of questions that can be asked, like "When is the sunset in Paris?" and "What movies are playing today?" while other categories offer a more specific selection of available commands.

"Getting Organized," for example," includes commands specific to apps like Calendar and Reminders, such as "What does the rest of my day look like?" and "Remember to pick up dry cleaning next Friday." "Entertainment" includes commands like "Show me the trailer for Boyhood" and "Buy

Apple Acquired Keyboard Startup 'Dryft' in 2014

Over the last few weeks, several previously unknown Apple acquisitions have surfaced. In March, Bloomberg shared news of the company's purchase of data analytics firm Acunu, and earlier this week, TechCrunch reported that Apple had acquired search technology startup Ottocat in 2013.

TechCrunch has now shared news of another acquisition that happened in 2014 -- the purchase of Dryft, a startup that specialized in creating keyboard apps. Dryft chief technology officer Randy Marsden, who also co-founded Swype, is listed as an "iOS Keyboard Manager" that joined Apple in September of 2014, suggesting the acquisition may have occurred around that date.

Dryft's technology was a keyboard that appeared only on the screen when a user placed a finger on the display, and as described by TechCrunch, it's "essentially a keyboard for tablets that tracks your fingers' movements," meaning it appears wherever your fingers are placed on the screen.

It is not clear if Apple plans to incorporate this specific technology into iOS or if it made the purchase of Dryft to acquire the company's employees to work on other keyboard features. As of iOS 8, Apple's operating system supports keyboards created by third-party developers, but the company has continued work on its own keyboard. iOS 8 brought keyboard improvements like QuickType, which offers word predictions to speed up typing.

Apple confirmed the acquisition to TechCrunch with its standard purchase statement: "Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or

Apple Releases iOS 8.3 With Emoji Updates, Wireless CarPlay, Space Bar UI Fix

Apple today released iOS 8.3, the third major update to iOS 8. Seeded to developers in February and to public beta testers in mid-March, iOS 8.3 brings several new features and design tweaks to the operating system.

iOS 8.3 is available immediately as an over-the-air download. Xcode 6.3 is also available, as is a 7.2 update for the Apple TV and a 1.2 update for Swift, Apple's programming language.


iOS 8.3 has a heavy focus on emoji improvements, bringing an updated emoji picker that organizes emoji into categories in an easily scrollable list, new diversified emoji with expanded family options, and emoji skin tone modifiers for changing the look of people emoji. There are also several new flags and updated phone, computer, and watch emoji that now resemble the iPhone, iMac, and Apple Watch.

Other iOS 8.3 changes include wireless CarPlay, letting users connect their iPhones to their CarPlay systems sans Lightning cable, support for Google two-factor authentication that makes it possible to add Google accounts without the need for app specific passwords, and Apple Pay support for the China UnionPay network. On the iPhone 6 Plus, in landscape mode, there's now a bold/italics/underline key for formatting text. Previously, the key only allowed for bolding.

There are also minor changes to Passbook (dividing Apple Pay and Passes) and the Photos app (icon overlays for albums). Siri has gained new languages plus the ability to make calls using the iPhone's speakerphone, and in Messages, there's now an option to enable filtering to separate iMessages from friends

Many Apple Watch Models May Not Be Available for April 24 Delivery

Following the circulation of Apple Watch reviews and news this morning, German-based Apple tech site Macerkopf.de [Google Translate] discovered what appears to be the shipping dates for every line of the Apple watch in Germany.

On the German version of Apple's official website, every model in the Sport lineup features a 4/24-5/8 delivery estimate, which is up to a two week time frame after the Watch's April 24 launch. For the middle-tier Apple Watch collection, the Sport Band, Milanese Loop, and Black Classic Buckle all feature the same 4/24-5/8 estimate. Everything else in the 20-Watch collection, including the Leather Loop and Link Bracelet options, denote a 4-6 week shipping estimate.

Complete shipping estimates:

- Aluminum Case with Sport Band: "Delivers 4/24 to 5/8"
- Stainless Steel Case with Sport Band: "Delivers 4/24 to 5/8"
- Stainless Steel Case with Milanese Loop: "Delivers 4/24 to 5/8"
- Stainless Steel Case with Black Classic Buckle: "Delivers 4/24 to 5/8"
- Stainless Steel Case with Modern Buckle: "Dispatched in 4 to 6 weeks"
- Stainless Steel Case with Leather Loop: "Dispatched in 4 to 6 weeks"
- Stainless Steel Case with Link Bracelet: "Dispatched in 4 to 6 weeks"
- All Edition Models Dispatching in May

To see the shipping dates, a Watch option must first be added into a user's favorite list. The United States store has yet to showcase similar shipping dates to corroborate Germany's estimates, though the exact same match-up of band option and dates can be found on the UK store currently. Interestingly, every version of the Apple Watch

Apple Watch Fulfills Promise of All-Day Battery Life in Early Reviews

Apple lifted the embargo for large websites to publish their Apple Watch reviews this morning, providing us with detailed insight about various functions of the device. Battery life in particular has been one area of interest for several prospective Apple Watch buyers, and most early reviews found the Apple Watch to fulfill its promise of all-day battery life on a single charge.

Well-known tech journalist Joanna Stern of The Wall Street Journal offers one of the better looks at the Apple Watch's battery life in her video of using the device in day-to-day life. The video keeps track of how much battery life the Apple Watch uses while Stern goes about her daily routine in New York, with the device fully charged at 7:30 AM and having five percent remaining at just past midnight.


Apple confirmed last month that the Apple Watch will have up to 18 hours of battery life with mixed usage, and last up to 72 hours in Power Reserve mode. Early reviews find the Apple Watch generally on par with, or falling slightly short of, those numbers based on articles published by Daring Fireball, The Verge, The Wall Street Journal, Techpinions and Re/code. We've compiled those findings in the roundup below.

John Gruber, Daring Fireball:
"After more than a week of daily use, Apple Watch has more than alleviated any concerns I had about getting through a day on a single charge. I noted the remaining charge when I went to bed each night. It was usually still in the 30s or 40s. Once it was still over 50 percent charged. Once, it was down to 27. And one day — last Thursday — it was all

Apple Releases OS X Yosemite 10.10.3 With Photos for OS X App, Emoji Updates

As expected, Apple today released OS X Yosemite 10.10.3, the first significant feature-rich update the operating system has received. OS X 10.10.3 was first seeded to developers in February, and was provided to public beta testers in March.

The OS X 10.10.3 update can be downloaded through the Software Update mechanism in the Mac App Store. OS X Yosemite Recovery Update 1.0 is also available to improve the reliability of Yosemite Recovery when restoring from a time machine backup.

The OS X Yosemite 10.10.3 update includes the new Photos app and improves the stability, compatibility, and security of your Mac.

The update also includes the following improvements:
- Adds over 300 new Emoji characters
- Adds Spotlight suggestions to Look up
- Prevents Safari from saving website favicon URLs used in Private Browsing
- Improves stability and security in Safari
- Improves WiFi performance and connectivity in various usage scenarios
- Improves compatibility with captive Wi-Fi network environments
- Fixes an issue that may cause Bluetooth devices to disconnect
- Improves screen sharing reliability
Earlier Yosemite releases, including OS X 10.10.1 and 10.10.2, brought mostly under-the-hood bug fixes and reliability improvements to the operating system, but OS X 10.10.3 includes major new features, like the Photos for OS X app.

Designed to be a replacement for Aperture and iPhoto, Photos for OS X was first announced during the 2014 Worldwide Developers Conference, where Apple promised it would see an "early 2015" release. The Photos for OS X app takes on

Apple Watch Face Design Studio Showcases Detailed Photography Process

Wired earlier this morning posted an interview with Apple Human Interface Chief Alan Dye, in which Dye discusses a few lesser-known details of the Apple Watch, specifically giving Wired an inside look at the obsessive level of detail that went in to making each of the Watch's customizable faces.

An Apple designer works to capture a jellyfish for a photograph in Apple's design studio
During the interview, Dye elaborates on his team's enormous talent, but says what makes them work so well is that they "really care" about what they create. Echoing back to Steve Jobs' creative concern over every bit of minutiae within any one of Apple's products, Dye begins discussing the process of capturing a simple flower bloom for one of the Apple Watch faces.
Yet what Dye seems most fascinated by is one of the Apple Watch’s faces, called Motion, which you can set to show a flower blooming. Each time you raise your wrist, you’ll see a different color, a different flower. This is not CGI. It’s photography.

“We shot all this stuff,” Dye says, “the butterflies and the jellyfish and the flowers for the motion face, it’s all in-camera. And so the flowers were shot blooming over time. I think the longest one took us 285 hours, and over 24,000 shots.”
The same goes for the jellyfish face, which was captured by the team after building a tank within the design studio and shooting a variety of different species at 300 frames-per-second with high-end Phantom cameras. The resulting 4096 x 2304 images were shrunk down to fit the Watch screen, Dye noting “when you look at the Motion face of

Apple Watch Review Roundup: The 'World's Best Smartwatch', But 'Not For Everyone'

Apple has given members of the media several hands-on experiences with the Apple Watch following its special events, but ahead of Apple Watch pre-orders, select sites have been able to get a much closer look at the device. Apple has provided a handful of publications with Apple Watch review units, giving them a chance to spend multiple days with the watch, and they've now shared their opinions in reviews published today.

Apple Watch has received favorable reviews, but isn't for everyone (Image: CNET)
We've rounded up tidbits from several of the best reviews in order to give MacRumors readers a look at the Apple Watch from the perspective of those who have finally had a chance to use it extensively. The roundup includes reviews and opinions from Bloomberg, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Verge, Re/code, Yahoo Tech and other large publications that tested the Apple Watch.

The consensus among reviews is that the Apple Watch sets the bar for smartwatches, but has downfalls as a first-generation product and isn't for everyone. More specifically, the watch's goal of providing you with instant access to notifications of a paired iPhone can be both convenient and interruptive at times. Overall, the device is the future of the wrist and should get better after new features are added in the future.

Joshua Topolsky, Bloomberg:
"The watch is not life-changing. It is, however, excellent. Apple will sell millions of these devices, and many people will love and obsess over them. It is a wonderful component of a big ecosystem that the company has carefully built

OS X 10.10.3 With All-New Photos App Launching Later Today

OS X 10.10.3 with the all-new Photos app will be available Wednesday as a free software update for Mac users, according to The Associated Press. The news organization mentioned the release date as part of its in-depth review about the all-new Photos for OS X app, which it praised for making basic photo editing easy.
"Procrastinate no more. Apple's new Photos app for Mac computers, available Wednesday as a free software update, makes it easy to organize and edit your pictures. The app, which replaces iPhoto, bundles professional-level tools such as granular color correction into one free consumer package."
OS X 10.10.3 will be available through Software Update in the Mac App

Apple Partners With Artist 'HENSE' to Commemorate New Lincoln Road Store Opening

Apple announced today that it is collaborating with internationally acclaimed artist HENSE to commemorate the upcoming opening of its all-new Apple Store at 1021 Lincoln Road in Miami, Florida. The relocated store is set to open April 24, the same day that the Apple Watch goes on sale in the United States, and HENSE will be painting a one-of-a-kind mural live from April 8 to April 12 to celebrate the opening.

"Miami is one of the most creative places on Earth. A big part of that creativity is expressed through its incredible street art scene. So to announce the upcoming opening of the all‑new Apple Store at 1021 Lincoln Road, we’re collaborating with internationally acclaimed artist HENSE. The mural he’s painting, like the store itself, will not only be inspired by the energy of Miami, it will also be a fresh source of inspiration for the city."
Apple currently has a nearby retail store at 738 Lincoln Road that will close as the new, larger location opens down the street later this month. Apple also recently commemorated the opening of its West Lake store in Hangzhou, China with a calligraphy video, and we reported last night that the company will open a second retail store in Hangzhou on Apple Watch launch