Apple Pay Launch

There has been a lot of heated debate this morning regarding HSBC and it’s parent company First Direct (whom I bank with) not launching today with Apple Pay in the UK.

I have a couple of points.

Firstly, when Apple Pay for the UK was announced at WWDC in June, HSBC & First Direct were said to be launch partners by Jennifer Bailey (Vice President of Apple Pay). She also said that the first wave of banks adopting Apple Pay would be in July. We are only half way through July and HSBC are still on course to launch this month, as are First Direct according to their comments on Twitter.

Secondly, Apple Pay is lauded to be the most secure form of Contactless Payment. Apple is sometimes not the quickest company to launch a product or service but generally waits until everything is in place to provide a great experience for its users. I would rather my both Apple and my bank wait until everything is in place to work seamlessly and securely with Apple Pay.

While I do think that the original plan was to have all the launch banks on board from day one, I think I have the patience to wait a couple more weeks.

Apple Pay for the U.K. could be announced at WWDC

The Telegraph sources are saying that Apple Pay will be introduced to the U.K. during the summer and announced at WWDC next week.

Apple is poised to reveal that it is planning to launch Apple Pay, its contactless mobile payments service, in Britain this summer.

The Silicon Valley giant is expected to make the announcement on Monday in San Francisco at its annual jamboree for software developers, industry sources say. The service will be switched on in around two months, they said.

It will mark a major development for the payments industry. Multiple attempts by mobile operators and banks to get contactless mobile payments up and running in Britain have failed amid industry infighting and consumer indifference.

Mike Cowan, a senior executive at MasterCard, said the company was “absolutely ready” to support Apple Pay in the UK.

Source The Telegraph

Update

Apple announced yesterday that Apple Pay will be coming to the U.K. in July and available at many well known High Street retailers including John Lewis, Marks & Spencer, SubWay as well as Transport for London. Many major U.K. banks will be on board but Barclays is the one major notable omission from the initial rollout. According to their Twitter Account they are currently in constructive talks with Apple so watch this space.

H/T Dave Mark

Apple Watch and iCloud

So much has been written over the past few years that Apple’s Web Services were their weakest link most notably iCloud. I am fully invested in iCloud and the improvements particularly over the past year are worth highlighting. As an example I received my 38mm Apple Sports Watch last Friday and as I wrote after 10 hours with it I made the wrong choice for my size wrist by going with the smaller size model. An hour ago I received the 42mm version and followed Apple’s instructions on how to restore from a backup and as I am writing this everything is in sync. All my apps, glances, notifications, watch faces and most importantly for me all my activity data. The investments Apple is making in renewable data centres around the world is definitely paying off. If you ever need to get a new Apple Watch or a replacement here’s how to restore it.

1. Unpair your previous Apple Watch (this also provides an instant backup (stored locally on your iPhone)*

2. When you set up the new device it gives you the option to pick from one of the latest backups.

3. Select the backup you want to restore from and you’re good to go. This process took less than 30 minutes for me.

Here is the more detailed documentation from Apple.

* I wrongly assumed that the backup was stored in iCloud but John Gruber kindly corrected me that they are in fact stored on your iPhone.

Update

I have had some feedback as to how I was able to get hold of 2 Apple Watches so quickly and what the exchange/returns process is. Here is a brief summary: I originally ordered the 38mm Space Grey Sports Watch at 08.02 on April 10th UK time via the Apple App which arrived on the 24th much to my surprise with it seemingly being a popular model as well as the well documented supply constraints. I knew when I put it on my wrist that while it looked great and fitted me well that the touch screen was just a bit too fiddly for my liking and immediately placed an order for the 42mm White Sports version with a June dispatch date. I deliberately chose this option due to my feeling that the Space Grey could take longer to get to me and the Blue model could also be in short supply with it being offered to some developers. I then spoke to someone I have dealt with for a couple of years at Apple’s Customer Relations Department in Cork to discuss my options and a possible return process. (I have received a lot of assistance from him over the years for certain orders but am not a business customer or even a particularly high spending Apple customer). He advised me that it may be possible to process an exchange when I received the 42mm but couldn’t promise. I was willing to take a risk and if need be sell my original watch on eBay etc. Over the past week I had actually got used to the smaller 38mm model and was surprised last night to get an email from Apple that my order for the 42mm Watch had shipped and was being delivered to me today. I do feel guilty for all those people that are still waiting for their orders to be shipped and are constantly checking the Apple Order Page to see if their order has moved from Processing to Preparing for Shipment etc. I guess I was just lucky and as kind as the Apple Representative has been to me I don’t feel like I got any special treatment or that he was in a position to move my order along and push it ahead of other orders. That wouldn’t be fair to the thousands of other people who are patiently waiting and it is not how Apple operates. In summary I will be speaking to him tomorrow to arrange a return for my 38mm Watch and hope that it is in good enough condition for me to get my money back for it. I will update this post again in the next few days to let you know how the return process went.

Our Father-Tony Fadell

Interesting article in the Sunday Times today about Tony Fadell, Nest, and the Google.

“I’ve helped to change the world twice with the iPod and the iPhone. I want the chance to do it a third time,” he says.

Not sure Sir Jonny would say he has helped changed the world twice.

And on a number of sales of Nests…
“Unlike other companies that have been purchased for big, big sums, we have real revenues.” How much? “We’re not saying. But we have sold a lot more than people think.”

On Data…
“Nest data is your data and it is going to be used only to improve the products and services that you buy from us. It is not going to waltz on over to some other place without you knowing. That was very clear when we were doing this deal.” To reinforce the separation between Nest and Google, Nest is not moving into Google’s Mountain View campus.

So the data is ours and Google have no interest in it. Oh maybe I’m just cynical as Google aren’t the evil company, are they?

On the next 5-10 years…
“I don’t know what Apple is working on. When I looked at the technology we are going to need 5-10 years from now, who has that and who is building it, it is Google.”

Maybe that is because Google release everything whether it is ready or not for a long term beta (thinking creepy Broken Glass)
Apple spends years working on things before bringing it to market when it is the right time both for Apple, and it’s customers. Surely Fadell knows this from his iPod and iPhone days. Apple is not twiddling their thumbs. The magic of Apple is they release something we never knew we needed or wanted and then when they do we wonder how we could live without it let alone how we missed something so obvious.

And on the Google Acquisition
“This was not a financially driven transaction. When you marry for money, it almost never works. We both believe we have something special and we know what it takes to make it happen around the world.”

One final nugget. What smartphone does Tony Fadell use? Nexus 5, Samsung S4? Looks like he hasn’t made the switch to Google completely…

He pulls out his iPhone. “Let’s go to my home. I’ll show you,” he says, tapping the Nest app. Up come images of the thermostats in all the rooms in his home, including the one he and his wife Danielle’s one-month-old daughter sleeps in.

Am a big fan of Fadell but not on his recent marriage to Google. I want Google out of my home as much as possible not in it.

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The entire interview with Fadell is available in today’s Sunday Times or online for subscribers to the paper.