United Kingdom


'United Kingdom' Articles

O2 Mobile Network Now Offering Apple Watch Cellular Contracts to UK Customers

O2 has became the latest network carrier in the United Kingdom to offer the cellular version of the Apple Watch Series 4. iPhone users can now order the LTE-enabled smartwatch through the O2 website, which is offering several personal pay-monthly plans that let users make calls and use a data connection from their wrist, even if they're untethered from their smartphone. O2 has launched plans on its website for both Apple Watch Series 3 and Series 4 LTE models, and is offering customers six months of free airtime for the first six months if they sign up to a plan between now and Wednesday, December 18, 2019. For example, customers who take up the time-limited offer for a 40mm Apple Watch Series 4 must pay a £20 upfront fee and can then expect to pay £19.50 a month for 36 months, and when their free airtime runs out after six months, they pay £5 a month for the data contract. Apple Watch is available to O2 Pay Monthly customers with an iPhone 6 or newer. New O2 customers and customers who don't have a compatible iPhone can also buy a new iPhone from O2, then add an Apple Watch. The network's full range of plans are available on the O2 website. EE was the exclusive mobile network in the U.K. to offer a tariff for the Apple Watch when Apple debuted the first LTE-capable Apple Watch (Series 3) in September 2017. Vodafone announced its own Apple Watch LTE tariffs about a year later, and now O2 has joined the eSIM ranks. Out of the big networks in the U.K., that leaves

Apple News+ Expanding to United Kingdom and Australia in iOS 13

Apple today at WWDC 2019 announced that Apple News+ will be expanding to the United Kingdom and Australia in iOS 13. Apple News+ is currently available in the United States for $9.99 per month and in Canada for $12.99 per month. The service, based on Apple's acquisition of Texture, provides unlimited access to hundreds of digital magazines and

Powerbeats Pro Now Available to Order in UK, France, and Germany

Apple's Powerbeats Pro totally wireless earphones officially went on sale today in the United Kingdom, >France, and >Germany, as predicted. However, the fitness-focused, Beats-branded earphones are only available in black, and stock appears to be limited. As of writing, Apple's online UK store is switching between allowing customers to add the earphones to their bag, and graying out the Add to Bag button to prevent them from doing so. Delivery dates are also flipping between June 6-10 and "coming soon." If you're having trouble ordering Powerbeats Pro via Apple's online store, try the Apple Store iOS app, as it appears to be allowing more orders to go to checkout. Customers can also try their luck ordering through the Beats website, which is quoting similar delivery dates. Powerbeats Pro cost £219.95 in the UK and 249.95 euros in France and Germany. They're Apple's first totally wireless Beats earphones, featuring the same H1 chip as the second-generation AirPods for hands-free "Hey Siri" and faster connection speeds between the iPhone, Apple Watch, and other devices. They last up to nine hours per charge, with more battery life available on the go via an included charging case. Powerbeats Pro are similar to traditional earbuds, with silicone tips that nestle in the ear and an earhook to hold them firmly in place. The silicone tips come in four sizes, but the earhooks, which wrap around the ear, are one size, and make sure the Powerbeats Pro stay firmly in place during physical activity. The

Apple Pay Express Transit Coming to London 'in the Coming Months'

Apple is working closely with London's transport network (TfL) to enable Apple Pay Express Transit, a feature which allows riders to pay their fare without needing to wake or unlock their device, or authenticate with Face ID, Touch ID, or a passcode. Image credit: TfL "We are having positive discussions with Apple about enabling express transit on Apple devices on the TfL network," a TfL spokesperson said in a statement given to The Verge. "More information about timing and plans will be available at a future date." TfL's Twitter account also noted that the company is "working closely with Apple to allow the benefits of this update to be introduced on London’s transport network in the coming months." Users of London's transport network can already use Apple Pay for ride purchases at Oyster terminals and gates, but they must first authenticate with Face ID, Touch ID, or passcode. Express Transit would change all that with its tap-and-go system, speeding up entry into subway and train stations in the process. Apple Pay's Express Transit mode can be used on iPhone SE, iPhone 6s, or iPhone 6s Plus or later, and Apple Watch Series 1 and 2 or later. Owners of iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR can also use Express Transit in power reserve mode, which is available for up to five hours when an iPhone needs to be charged. Apple introduced Express Transit in iOS 12.3, which was released earlier this month. London would join a handful of cities with transit systems that support the express Apple

Apple and Other Tech Giants Condemn GCHQ Proposal to Eavesdrop on Encrypted Messages

Apple and other tech giants have joined civil society groups and security experts in condemning proposals from Britain's cybersecurity agency that would enable law enforcement to access end-to-end encrypted messages (via CNBC). British Government's Communications HQ in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire In an open letter to the U.K.'s GCHQ (Government Communications Headquarters), 47 signatories including Apple, Google and WhatsApp urged the U.K. eavesdropping agency to ditch plans for its so-called "ghost protocol," which would require encrypted messaging services to direct a message to a third recipient, at the same time as sending it to its intended user. Ian Levy, the technical director of Britain's National Cyber Security Centre, and Crispin Robinson, GCHQ's head of cryptanalysis, published details of the proposal in November 2018. In the essay, Levy and Robinson claimed the system would enable law enforcement to access the content of encrypted messages without breaking the encryption. The officials argued it would be "relatively easy for a service provider to silently add a law enforcement participant to a group chat or call," and claimed this would be "no more intrusive than the virtual crocodile clips," which are currently used in wiretaps of non-encrypted chat and call apps. Signatories of the letter opposing the plan argued that the proposal required two changes to existing communications systems that were a "serious threat" to digital security and fundamental human rights, and would undermine user trust. "First, it would require service providers to

BT Sport's iOS and Apple TV Apps to Stream Champions League Final in HDR

BT Sport has announced its first ever live mobile HDR stream will be the Champions League final in Madrid between Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool on Saturday, June 1. BT Sport subscribers will be able to watch the match in HDR via the BT Sport app for iPhone and Apple TV. HDR stands for High Dynamic Range. HDR videos provide a broader range of colors and luminance compared to sub-HDR content, and the format also supports quality video playback on a wide variety of screen sizes. Logged-in subscribers of the BT Sport app on an iPhone X, XS, XS Max, Apple TV 4K, or iPad Pro (2nd and 3rd generation) will be served with a tile on the homepage so they know the Champions League soccer final is available to them. Users without a HDR-capable device or logged-out users will see the normal tile on the homepage without any reference to HDR. To AirPlay the match, users will need a capable TV to watch in HDR. The vast majority of 4K TVs sold in the last few years also support HDR. The app will detect HDR compatibility and serve the appropriate stream. The Champions League final will also be available to non-BT Sport subscribers for free, though not in HDR. It will be shown on the mobile and large-screen apps, on BTSport.com and on YouTube. BT Sport's live coverage begins at 7pm on BT Sport 2 and BT Sport 4K UHD. Apple debuted HDR support with the "Super Retina" display in the 2017 iPhone X, which became the first HDR OLED display incorporated into one of Apple's smartphones. Apple also lists the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus,

Powerbeats Pro Orders Begin This Friday in UK, France, and Germany

Apple's totally wireless Powerbeats Pro earphones become available to pre-order in the United Kingdom on May 31, according to a social media ad posted on the official Beats By Dre U.K. Twitter account. The date was spotted in the small print at the end of the 15-second video short, which features British professional boxer Anthony Joshua and touts the nine hours of listening time offered by the fitness-focused earphones. The promotional ad originally went out on May 27. The black Powerbeats Pro have been available to pre-order since May 3 in the United States and Canada, with the first deliveries to customers arriving on May 10. However, they remain listed as "coming soon" on Apple's online U.K. store, while fine print on the Beats website for the U.K., France, and Germany simply states that the earphones will begin their rollout later in May. Extrapolating from the U.K. date in the ad, and given how late in the month we now are, it's highly likely that Powerbeats Pro will also be available to pre-order in black in France and Germany from this Friday, May 31. According to the fine print on other regional Beats websites, Powerbeats Pro will be available in Australia, Singapore, China, Japan, Hong Kong, Korea, Austria, Italy, Spain, Ireland, The Netherlands, Belgium, Russia, Switzerland, Sweden, Mexico, and Brazil in June. The earphones are initially available in black only, with ivory, moss, and navy colors set to become available this summer in the United States and Canada, and most of the countries listed

Apple Pledges to Be 'Clearer and More Upfront' With iPhone Users About Battery Health and Performance in UK

The UK's competition watchdog today announced that Apple has formally agreed to be "clearer and more upfront with iPhone users" about battery health and performance to ensure compliance with consumer law, as the BBC reports. In a pledge submitted to the Competition and Markets Authority or CMA, Apple committed to several actions it has already taken, including providing consumers with "clear and comprehensible information" about lithium-ion batteries, unexpected shutdowns, and performance management in iOS and on its website. Apple added that if a future iOS update materially changes the impact of performance management when installed on an iPhone, it will notify consumers "in a clear manner" of those changes in the release notes for the update. The CMA raised concerns with Apple last year after the iPhone slowdown controversy of late 2017, when it was discovered that Apple introduced a performance management system in iOS 10.2.1 that could slow down iPhones with aging batteries, while only mentioning bug fixes and improvements in the release notes. Apple eventually apologized over its lack of communication and took several steps to address the situation, including introducing an option to disable the performance management, temporarily lowering the price of iPhone replacement batteries, and adding a new Battery Health menu in iOS 11.3. The CMA acknowledges that, since it raised its concerns, Apple has "already started to be more up front with iPhone users," but notes that today's announcement "locks the firm into formal commitments." In the event Apple

EE to Launch 5G in the United Kingdom on May 30

Mobile network EE has announced it will launch 5G in the United Kingdom on May 30, beating rival Vodafone's 5G offering which launches in early July. At a London press event this morning, EE revealed that the new 5G service will run alongside 4G. EE also confirmed that it won't be throttling its 4G service to make the 5G look faster. Marc Allera, chief executive of EE, said its 5G radio equipment will be supplied by its partners Qualcomm, Samsung, Google, LG, One Plus, Oppo, HTC, and Huawei. EE will offer 5G to pre-order from today, with availability initially in six cities. EE says it plans to expand the rollout to 16 cities by the end of the year. EE is offering 5G plans with next-generation devices, like the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G, to pre-order from today, but iPhone users will have to wait. Apple isn't prepared to launch 5G iPhones in 2019, making 2020 is almost certainly the year 5G will come to iPhone. Last week, Vodafone said it will switch on its 5G network in the UK on July 3, making it seem at the time that it would be the first carrier to launch the next-generation cellular technology in the country.

Vodafone to Switch on UK's First 5G Network on July 3, 2019

Vodafone on Tuesday said it will switch on its 5G network in the United Kingdom on July 3, 2019, making it the first carrier to announce a firm date for the launch of the next-generation cellular technology in the country. Seven cities will get 5G coverage at launch, including Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Glasgow, Manchester, Liverpool and London. The rollout will extend by the end of the year to Birkenhead, Blackpool, Bournemouth, Guildford, Newbury, Portsmouth, Plymouth, Reading, Southampton, Stoke-on-Trent, Warrington and Wolverhampton. In a press release on its site, Vodafone said it will price 5G the same as 4G for both consumers and business customers, while a choice of 5G smartphones will be available to buy online or in Vodafone stores over the summer. They will include the Xiaomi Mi MIX 3 5G, the Samsung S10 5G and Huawei Mate 20 X (5G), and the Huawei Mate X (5G). The company will also offer a 5G router for use in the home and office to give customers without a fixed line connection high-speed broadband access. Vodafone said it will also offer 5G roaming in the UK, Germany, Italy and Spain over the summer. Vodafone UK CEO Nick Jeffery said: "We started our 5G journey more than three years ago. We led the way in setting 5G standards to ensure phones and networks work well together. We upgraded our masts to be able to take 5G without disruption. And we were the first UK company to test 5G over our all-fibre core fixed and mobile network. "This is important. It means we can today announce the largest launch of 5G in the UK and be the first to

Apple Pay Now Accepted By Some UK Online Government Services

British Government services have begun accepting Apple Pay to approve online transactions. The gov.uk website is accepting Apple's mobile payment system for four services initially, but it will roll out more widely as well as to local government, police, and the NHS later this year, ITV reports. Payments for the Global Entry Service, enabling UK citizens to get expedited entry to the US, can now be made via Apple or Google Pay. The same goes for basic online disclosure and barring service (DBS) checks, the Registered Traveller Service and the Electronic Visa Waiver Service for people in the Middle East coming to the UK. Till Wirth, lead product manager of gov.uk Pay, said: "Allowing people to pay for Government services through Apple Pay and Google Pay means they won't have to enter their credit or debit card information when making payments. "This innovation will increase the convenience and security of gov.uk Pay for users and hopefully make their experience online a lot easier."Apple Pay launched in the United Kingdom in 2015, while the UK government launched its online Pay platform in 2016. The gov.uk Pay service has since been used to make more than 2.9 million transactions using credit and debit cards, according to the

Apple to Open Retail Store in London's Knightsbridge Estate

Apple has agreed to open a new 20,000-square-foot retail store in the heart of Knightsbridge, one of London's most luxurious shopping areas, according to local media. Proposed development in Knightsbridge, London (Image via Chelsfield) Citing property sources, The Evening Standard reports that Apple has signed a deal with Chelsfield, the property asset manager overseeing a makeover of The Knightsbridge Estate, to secure retail lettings between high-end department stores Harrods and Harvey Nichols. The transformation of The Estate as a whole is expected to deliver a mix of new "world-class" retail accommodation, including six flagship stores, 66,000 square feet of Grade A offices, 35 rental apartments around an internal courtyard garden, and a rooftop restaurant. The landmark development is currently surrounded by a public artwork installation called "The Knights of Knightsbridge" to conceal construction. Apple has five retail locations in the English capital, including flagship stores Regent Street and Covent Garden, which reopened late last year following a three-month renovation. (Thanks, Tobias!)

Apple Music Now Available on Amazon's Alexa Devices in the UK and Ireland

Amazon Echo and Fire TV devices in the UK and Ireland are now compatible with Apple Music, reports Pocket-lint. In the United States, Amazon Echo models have supported Apple Music since December of last year, allowing Echo speakers to integrate directly with Apple's music service, but the functionality was not made available in other countries. Amazon Echo owners in the UK can now install the Apple Music integration using the Amazon Alexa app for iPhone or iPad and then use Alexa commands to play songs, albums, and more from the Apple Music service. As of mid-March, Apple Music is also available as an option on the Amazon Fire TV.

Channel 4's 'All 4' Streaming Service Now Integrates With Apple's TV App for UK Viewers

Late last year, United Kingdom broadcaster Channel 4 released a tvOS app for its "All 4" on-demand streaming service, allowing viewers to stream the channel's shows for free on Apple TV. This week, the All 4 app updated with integration for Apple's TV app, meaning that all of the shows that users watch in the All 4 app will sync in their Up Next queue in the TV app. All 4 shows will also appear as part of recommendations in the TV app now, making it much easier as a whole for viewers to keep track of their show binges within the TV app. The All 4 tvOS app is not available in the United States at this time. Channel 4 is the home of many well-known shows like The Great British Bake Off, the UK version of Big Brother, the original Black Mirror, Misfits, and The IT Crowd. It also hosts a few imported series like Community, 30 Rock, and The Goldbergs. To gain access to these shows and movies, all users need to do is create and sign into a free My4 account. (Thanks John!)

BBC and ITV Announce UK 'BritBox' Streaming Service to Rival Netflix

British broadcasters ITV and the BBC have announced joint plans to create "BritBox," a subscription streaming service for UK audiences to rival the likes of Netflix (via Reuters). The two companies already offer a similarly named streaming service for the U.S., but today's news was about a new video-on-demand service for British audiences, which will offer subscribers a place to watch both well-known television series and original programming, according to ITV chief executive Carolyn McCall. "This will provide an unrivaled collection of British boxsets and original series in one place," she said. "We anticipate that other partners will be added to BritBox and we will both speak to regulators and the wider industry about our proposals."The service is set to launch in the second half of 2019 and will be priced competitively, according to both broadcasters, although no further details were given. BBC iPlayer and ITV Hub already provide British viewers with free catch-up streaming services featuring a limited range of programs, but the broadcasters claim research shows viewers embrace streaming and would be willing to add another service to current subscriptions, such as Netflix, Amazon Prime and Sky. The BritBox streaming service for U.S. audiences is said to be ahead of expectations, having already broken through targets with over half a million subscribers.

Apple Begins Selling Refurbished 2018 MacBook Air and Mac Mini Starting in Europe

Apple today began selling refurbished 2018 models of the MacBook Air and Mac mini for the first time, although availability is currently limited to Europe. Listings for refurbished 2018 MacBook Air models have also gone live in the United States, but the purchase button does not work yet. In the UK, the base model MacBook Air is priced at £1,019, which is £180 off Apple's regular price of £1,199 brand new. The base model Mac mini is priced at £679, reflecting savings of £120 off £799 brand new. The refurbished MacBook Air models will start at $1,019 in the United States when they become available to order. That is a discount worth passing over, as authorized resellers such as Amazon and B&H are currently offering the 2018 MacBook Air brand new in box for $999, a savings of $200:Amazon: 1.6GHz Core i5 / 128GB SSD / 8GB RAM / Space Gray Amazon: 1.6GHz Core i5 / 128GB SSD / 8GB RAM / Silver B&H: 1.6GHz Core i5 / 128GB SSD / 8GB RAM / Space Gray B&H: 1.6GHz Core i5 / 128GB SSD / 8GB RAM / SilverMac mini deals are less common, so refurbished models could be worth considering. Orders placed today are estimated for delivery by early next week in the United Kingdom. We recommend using Refurb Tracker to monitor inventory. Apple says certified refurbished MacBook Air and Mac mini models are thoroughly inspected, tested, cleaned, and repackaged, with all manuals and cables included in the box. In our view, a refurbished Mac is virtually indistinguishable from a brand new one, and is

British Broadcaster Channel 4 Releases 'All 4' On-Demand App for Apple TV

After months of uncertainty over when it would finally drop, British broadcaster Channel 4 on Monday officially brought its All 4 on-demand service to Apple TV in the form of a dedicated tvOS app. Channel 4 is the last of the major terrestrial British broadcasters – BBC, ITV, and Channel 5 – to release dedicated apps for Apple TV. Prior to Monday's release, the only way TV viewers in the U.K. could watch the channel on Apple TV was by using the All 4 app on iPhone or iPad and streaming the feed over AirPlay. Thankfully, that's no longer the case, as the All 4 app for Apple TV includes all the free box sets and on-demand catch-up services viewers have come to expect of the iOS app. Hi Ben, good news - an #All4 app for Apple TV was released today— 4Viewers (@4Viewers) December 17, 2018 To access the service, regular viewers can log in using their existing account details, while new users will need to sign up for a free account on the Channel 4 website. After logging in, viewers can use the Home tab to discover content and continue watching shows they've started, find shows using the Search tab, and manage their account via the My4 tab. All that's missing now is TV app and universal Siri search integration, both of which are expected to come next year. The All 4 app for Apple TV is available to U.K. users for free on the tvOS App Store.

O2 and Ericsson Apologize After 4G Service Outage Affects Millions of Smartphones

Cellular network operator O2 on Friday said its data networks had been restored after millions of smartphones across the UK and Japan were taken offline yesterday (via BBC). A statement on its website said the 4G network was finally working again, after having been affected from about 05:30 GMT on Thursday. Earlier, mobile network equipment supplier Ericsson said that an expired certificate was the reason behind the outage, which also created problems in several other countries. Ericsson UK boss Marielle Lindgren said the "faulty software" that had caused the issues was being decommissioned. Both O2 and Ericsson issued a joint apology to millions of customers hit by the disruption. "I want to let our customers know how sorry I am for the impact our network data issue has had on them, and reassure them that our teams, together with Ericsson, are doing everything we can," said O2 boss Mark Evans. "We fully appreciate it's been a poor experience and we are really sorry." O2 is owned by Spain's Telefonica and has the UK's second-largest mobile network after British Telecom subsidiary EE. The company said voice calls were not affected by the problem, but some O2 customers said they could not make calls or send texts, despite having cellular reception. The outage also had knock-on effects for other services that use the O2 network, such as Transport for London's electronic timetable service at bus stops, which stopped working for most of

U.K. Court Blocks Mass Legal Action Over Google's Alleged Tracking of Safari Users

London's High Court on Monday blocked attempts to bring a collective lawsuit against Google over alleged historical snooping of millions of iPhone users in the United Kingdom (via Reuters). The lawsuit's claimants alleged that Google illegally gathered the personal data of over 4 million iPhone users in the U.K. between 2011 and 2012 by bypassing the default privacy settings on Apple's smartphones which allowed it to track the online behavior of users browsing in Safari. Original explanation of the "Safari Workaround" in 2012 WSJ article Veteran consumer rights campaigner Richard Lloyd, who led the collective 20,000-strong lawsuit, had claimed that Google's "Safari Workaround" breached the U.K. Data Protection Act by taking personal information without permission, and wanted the tech giant to pay out several hundred dollars in damages to each person affected. As a ballpark figure, a claim by 5.4 million people for £500 each would result in a £2.7 billion ($3.63 billion) payout for Google. When the case was first brought in November 2017, it was the first time a collective action has been brought in the U.K. against a leading tech company over alleged misuse of data. "Collective action" is where one person represents a group with a shared grievance, similar to a class action lawsuit in the U.S. However, Google said it was "not new" and vowed to defend itself, having defended similar cases before. "We don't believe it has any merit and we will contest it," said the tech giant at the time. On Monday, the court ruled in Google's favor. "Today's judgment is

British Airways Website and Mobile App Suffer Huge Customer Data Breach

British Airways says it is investigating the theft of customer data from its website and mobile app over a two-week period, during which 380,000 payment cards were exposed (via The Guardian). "From 22:58 BST August 21 2018 until 21:45 BST September 5 2018 inclusive, the personal and financial details of customers making bookings on our website and app were compromised," the airline revealed in a statement on its website.According to BA, travel and passport information was not accessed during the data breach, but concerned customers are being advised to get in touch with their card issuers in the first instance. The company said all customers affected by the breach had been contacted on Thursday night. "British Airways is communicating with affected customers and we advise any customers who believe they may have been affected by this incident to contact their banks or credit card providers and follow their recommended advice."The airline said it was informed of the hacking by a third party, which is why it was able to continue undetected for two weeks, but the company insists that the breach has been resolved and its website and mobile app are now working