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University of Oklahoma Becomes First School to Accept Apple Pay Across Campus

As of this week, the University of Oklahoma will begin accepting Apple Pay across its entire campus, becoming the first university to widely embrace Apple Pay. Students attending the University of Oklahoma can use Apple Pay at any of the campus's 400 point-of-service locations, including bookstores, restaurants, and more.
Starting this week, Sooners are now able to pay for items at any one of OU's 400 point-of-service locations -- everywhere from Couch Restaurants to the One University Store and the OU Bookstore. That's right: Buying textbooks, technology and food on campus has never been easier -- or more techy.
In a quirky post announcing Apple Pay, the university created a list of reasons why "having Apple Pay campus wide is so awesome," ranging from being able to pay without a wallet to the security of the transactions.

The University of Oklahoma appears to be the first college to begin accepting Apple Pay campus wide, but in the near future, more than 700 universities and colleges will adopt the payments service. Apple CEO Tim Cook made the announcement during the company's third-quarter earnings call, specifically naming the University of Oklahoma, the University of Kentucky, and Auburn University, Cook's own alma mater.

Since its October 2014 debut, Apple Pay has steadily grown in popularity. Apple Pay works with hundreds of debit and credit cards in the United States and it is accepted at more than 1 million locations across the country.

(Thanks, Joshua!)

Apple and Cisco Team Up for iOS Enterprise 'Fast Lane'

Apple today sent out a press release announcing a new partnership with Cisco, which will see the two companies teaming up to create a "fast lane" for iOS business users through the optimization of Cisco networks for iOS devices and apps. The partnership will allow iOS devices to work more efficiently in workplaces that use Cisco technology.

iOS is the world's best mobile platform, and nearly every Fortune 500 and Global 500 company today has put iOS at the center of their mobile strategy," said Tim Cook, Apple's CEO. "iPhone and iPad have become essential tools for the modern workforce and are changing the way work gets done. Together with Cisco, we believe we can give businesses the tools to maximize the potential of iOS and help employees become even more productive using the devices they already love."
Through the partnership, iOS devices and Cisco networks will be optimized to work together to enhance productivity for enterprise users. Apple and Cisco are aiming to make the iPhone a better business collaboration tool for use with Cisco's voice and video environments, "providing employees with a seamless experience between their iPhone and their desk phone."


Cisco will create "experiences" tailored to iOS devices across mobile, cloud applications, and collaboration tools like Cisco Spark, Cisco Telepresence, and Cisco WebEx to improve collaborative interactions and "reinvent the meeting

Apple Seeds Eighth Beta of OS X El Capitan to Developers, Sixth Beta to Public Testers

Apple today released the eighth beta of OS X El Capitan to developers for testing purposes, nearly two weeks after releasing the seventh El Capitan beta and more than two months after unveiling the operating system at its 2015 Worldwide Developers Conference.

Today's update, build 15A279b, is available through the software update mechanism in the Mac App Store and through the Apple Developer Center. There's also a new sixth beta for public beta testers, which is identical to the eighth developer beta.

It is not clear if this update will add any outward-facing changes to El Capitan, as many of the prior betas have focused on under-the-hood performance improvements and bug fixes to optimize the operating system ahead of its public release, but beta 7 did add some minor cosmetic updates to El Capitan.

As an update complementary to OS X Yosemite, OS X El Capitan builds on the myriad features introduced last year. Behind-the-scenes improvements in El Capitan make a number of apps and processes on the Mac faster, and the introduction of Metal makes system-level graphics rendering 40 percent more efficient.


El Capitan introduces a new system-wide font, a revamped Mission Control feature, a split-view feature for using two full-screen apps at once, deeper functionality for Spotlight, and improvements to Safari that include Pinned Sites and a universal mute button.

OS X 10.11 El Capitan is currently available to both registered developers and public beta testers. Apple plans to release El Capitan to the public in the

Android Wear Now Compatible With iPhone, iOS App Launches Today

Google announced today that Android Wear is now compatible with the iPhone 5 or later running at least iOS 8.2. An official Android Wear for iOS [Direct Link] companion app is rolling out on the App Store today worldwide.

Android Wear for iPhone has several features familiar to Android users, including third-party watch faces, fitness tracking, notifications, Google Now and voice searches. Android Wear for iPhone will also have Google apps such as Weather and Translate preinstalled, but third-party iOS apps are not supported due to Apple's restrictions.

Google has attempted to work around Apple's limitations, but Android Wear for iPhone still has some locked-down functionality compared to what is possible with a paired Android smartphone. Rich notifications, for example, are only supported for a handful of stock Google apps, while the selection of watch faces is limited due to the lack of third-party app support.

Android Wear for iOS is compatible with the new LG Watch Urbane, upcoming Huawei Watch and Asus ZenWatch 2 and all future Android Wear smartwatches out of the box. Android Wear for iOS does not officially support existing Android Wear smartwatches such as the Moto 360 or Samsung Gear, but most users find that older models do work after a factory reset.


The Verge has published an extensive hands-on of Android Wear for iPhone alongside the

The Weeknd Stars in Two-Part Apple Music Ad During MTV VMAs

Apple debuted a new two-part Apple Music ad featuring The Weeknd during the 2015 MTV VMAs on Sunday night. The one-minute spots show The Weeknd walking backstage after performing at the VMAs, getting into a limo driven by actor John Travolta and listening to Beats 1 Radio while scrolling through his artist page on Apple Music Connect.


The Weeknd then arrives at an VMAs afterparty with his single "The Hills" playing and shuffles through additional songs from an Apple Music playlist, followed by the tagline "It's all in your head. Create your own party. Unlimited music for $9.99."

The Weeknd was one of the most played artists on Beats 1 since the radio station went live on June 30, alongside Drake, Disclosure, Fetty Wap, Jamie xx, A$AP Rocky, Years & Years, Kendrick Lamar, Tame Impala and Major Lazer.


Apple launched a worldwide advertising campaign for its new streaming music service earlier this month, with billboards, posters and other signage appearing in cities including Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Tokyo, Toronto and Mexico City. Later in August, Apple released three artist-focused Apple Music ads starring James Bay and

Next-Generation Apple TV Said to Launch in October for $149 or $199

Apple's fourth-generation Apple TV will be released in October with a starting price of $149 or $199, according to 9to5Mac. The report claims that Apple will also continue selling the third-generation Apple TV for $69 as an entry-level device, although the set-top box is not expected to have support for an App Store or Siri.

The report adds that Apple's much-rumored streaming TV service will be available "as soon as next year" through a software update for both the third-generation and fourth-generation Apple TV. The web-based TV service is expected to deliver a lightweight package of about 25 channels for around $40 per month.

The new Apple TV is rumored to feature a dual-core A8 processor, an App Store with a native SDK for developers, Siri voice control, HomeKit integration, a new user interface and a redesigned remote control with motion sensors, a touchpad on the top, physical buttons on the bottom and a microphone.

Apple is expected to announce the new Apple TV at its September 9th media event.

Apple TV Said to Have Motion Sensitive Remote Control Targeted at Casual Gamers

In a report corroborating several oft-rumored features of the next-generation Apple TV, including an A8 chip and a native SDK for creating apps, TechCrunch editor-in-chief Matthew Panzarino has revealed that the set-top box will also have a motion sensitive remote control with multi-axis sensors, a touchpad on the top, physical buttons on the bottom and a microphone for Siri.

Panzarino claims the redesigned remote control will likely be targeted at casual gamers:
A game controller with a microphone, physical buttons, a touchpad and motion sensitive controls would be extremely capable. While Apple is likely going to target the broad casual gaming market, I would not be shocked to see innovative gameplay blossom from that type of input possibility. Think, for instance, of multi-player gaming with several people using voice input, or many popular genres of party games that would do far better on the TV than on an iPad or iPhone.
A new Apple TV with an App Store and easy-to-use controller could lure a significant number of casual gamers away from competing platforms such as Nintendo, in the same way that smartphones have undermined other handheld gaming devices. Coupled with on-demand movies and TV shows, home automation and a streaming TV service, the new Apple TV could dominate the living room.

Almost instantaneously, the Apple TV will no longer be Apple's "hobby" product.
If Apple did indeed ‘delay’ the Apple TV from being released at WWDC, then it probably had a reason. And, if my sources are correct, that reason could well be polish, polish, polish. The experience

Currys and PC World Gearing Up to Sell Apple Watch in UK

MacRumors has learned that British electronics retailer Currys, which co-brands some locations as Currys and PC World, has added the Apple Watch to its internal inventory system as it gears up to begin selling the wrist-worn device.

Currys and PC World has a large presence throughout the United Kingdom and Ireland, with a combined 295 superstores and 73 high street stores in both countries. It remains unclear how many of those locations will be carrying the Apple Watch.

When searching for the Apple Watch on the Currys website, a banner informs customers that the device is "currently not available at Currys and PC World" and advertises a range of smartwatches from Sony, Motorola, LG, Pebble and others.

Apple has been expanding Apple Watch availability beyond Apple Stores over the past few months. Best Buy in the U.S. began selling the Apple Watch in early August, followed by Best Buy in Canada, Harvey Norman and Myer in Australia and Fnac in France.

Intel's Skylake Processor Lineup for Retina MacBook Revealed

Following a closer look at Intel's upcoming Skylake processor lineup for the MacBook Air, CPU World has shared new details about sixth-generation Core M chips appropriate for the 12-inch Retina MacBook. Intel reportedly may brand the low-power Skylake-Y chips as Core m3, Core m5 and Core m7 based on performance.

The low-end Core m3 6Y30 has a 900 MHz dual-core processor with Turbo Boost up to 2.2 GHz. The chip has 4MB of L3 cache, HD 515 graphics, a maximum GPU frequency of 850 MHz and 4.5 watt thermal design power (TDP). This chip would likely be suited for the base model 12-inch MacBook sold for $1,299.

The mid-tier Core m5 6Y54 and Core m5 6Y57 are similar chips with 1.1 GHz dual-core processors and Turbo Boost up to 2.7 GHz and 2.8 GHz respectively, 4MB of L3 cache, HD 515 graphics, a maximum GPU frequency of 900 MHz and 4.5 watt TDP. These chips would likely be suited for the high-end stock model 12-inch MacBook sold for $1,599.

The high-end Core m5 6Y75 is a 1.2 GHz dual-core processor with Turbo Boost up to 3.1 GHz, 4MB of L3 cache, HD 515 graphics, a maximum GPU frequency of 1 GHz and 4.5 watt TDP. This chip would be suited for the top of the line 12-inch MacBook model that carries a $150 premium over systems with the high-end stock chip.

CPU World shared further details about the processor specifications, noting that Core M chips can be run at 7 watts to allow for higher CPU clock speeds. Apple boosted the 900 MHz 5Y31 chip to 1.1 GHz, 1.1 GHz 5Y51 chip to 1.2 GHz and 1.2 GHz 5Y71 chip to 1.3 GHz for the current 12-inch MacBook lineup.
All chips

iHome's iSP5 SmartPlug Is Far From Perfect, But It's a Cheap Way to Give HomeKit a Try

iHome's iSP5 SmartPlug is one of the first five HomeKit-compatible devices on the market, and it's the most affordable option for Apple users who are looking to try out the company's home automation platform. The SmartPlug is a simple device that plugs right into any outlet, transforming any appliance - from lights to fans - into an iPhone-controlled Siri-compatible smart product using WiFi.

We tested out three of iHome's SmartPlugs, simulating what it might be like to control lights and fans across multiple rooms to turn an ordinary home with ordinary outlets into a smart home with a reasonable monetary investment and a bit of time.

As with the Elgato Eve review I did earlier this summer, using the iHome SmartPlugs makes it clear that there are still a lot of issues that need to be resolved with HomeKit and Apple's HomeKit partner companies, but at the $40 price point, I can recommend the SmartPlug to anyone curious about HomeKit who has the patience to deal with bugs that can range from minor inconveniences to frustrations that make you want to toss your SmartPlug across the room in anger.

Hardware Overview


The iSP5 SmartPlug is a no-frills device that plugs into any outlet within the home to transform it into a WiFi-connected outlet. Each SmartPlug connects individually to a home's WiFi network, so a central bridge is not required. SmartPlugs are rectangular in shape and fairly compact -- small enough that two can be plugged in next to each other in a single 120v wall outlet.

Setting up the SmartPlugs is as simple as plugging them in and downloading the

Beats 1 Lead Executive Ian Rogers Leaves Apple

Apple Music senior director and former Beats Music CEO Ian Rogers has resigned from Apple nearly two months after the launch of the streaming music service, the company confirmed to the Financial Times today.

Rogers was among a group of executives that joined Apple last year when the iPhone maker acquired Beats for $3 billion. Rogers's official title was Senior Director of Apple Music, a position he held since August 2014, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Rogers, who served as Beats Music CEO between January 2013 and August 2014, departed Apple to join an undisclosed "Europe-based company in an unrelated industry" on the west coast. He is credited for hiring Beats 1 DJ Zane Lowe, who worked at BBC Radio 1 from 2002 to 2015.

Beats 1 is a 24/7 streaming radio station built into Apple Music, featuring a mix of the latest music and guest appearances from artists such as Drake, Dr. Dre, The Weeknd, Eminem, Pharrell Williams and

Apple Invites Media to September 9 Event: 'Hey Siri, Give Us a Hint'

As predicted in August, Apple is planning to hold a media event on Wednesday, September 9 at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco, California. Media invites were sent out today, with Yahoo's Alyssa Bereznak sharing the first look at the artwork and tagline for the invitations: "Hey Siri, give us a hint."

Image via The Loop
This year's iPhone-centric event is expected to see the debut of the next-generation iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, which, according to rumors, will include a reinforced body constructed from stronger 7000 Series aluminum, Force Touch, an A9 processor, 2GB RAM, and an improved camera.

Rumors have also suggested Apple will use the event to unveil the next-generation Apple TV, a major update from the existing set-top box. It will include a redesigned chassis with an A8 processor, more storage space, and a touch-based remote control, along with a new software system that includes Siri support and a full App Store.

We'll also get an update on the launch dates of iOS 9 and watchOS 2, and shortly after the event ends, we may see golden master software releases for the two software updates ahead of their final public launch.

In line with past events, the September 9 iPhone unveiling will begin at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time. Apple has not yet confirmed whether the event will be live streamed on its website and through the Apple TV, but it is likely details on a live stream will be announced a few days ahead of the event.

Update: Siri itself is also getting in on the festivities with some witty responses.

Update 2: Apple will be live