Editorial

Apple Pay review: 3 months later

Apple Pay — or Pay — launched in October of 2014 as part of iOS 8.1. It enabled the NFC-based tap-to-pay system in the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, and the online payment system in both iPhones 6 and the iPad mini 3 and iPad Air 2. While it hasn't yet rolled out internationally, Apple Pay has expanded to more banks, retailers, and apps in the U.S. We went in-store with it at launch, but how's Apple Pay doing now, some three months later?

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iOS 9 wish-list: Guest Mode

I use 1Password instead of iCloud Keychain because, even after I unlock my iPhone or iPad, anyone who wants access to my passwords or credit cards still has to unlock 1Password. Like iTunes and Apple Pay purchases, it uses Touch ID to secure it against anyone but me. So, if a crying stranger asks to borrow my iPhone to call home, if a friend asks to surf the web while they wait, if someone at a conference has a failure and asks to borrow a device, I can hand it over without worrying about passwords or credit cards. You might think I'd like Touch ID for iCloud Keychain, and you're be right. But what I'd really like is more. I'd like a Guest Mode.

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The iPad unveiling, five years later

Five years ago this week — January 27, 2010 to be precise — Steve Jobs put sneaker to stage to show off what he himself considered to be one of the most important products of his life. The Mac had been introduced decades before, the iPhone only a few years, yet on that stage, at that event, Jobs would make the case that there was room between them for a new category of device. One that, in order to exist, had to be not only better at certain key tasks, but significantly better at them.. It had to be the iPad.

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Apple's ASP and the difference between cost and value

There's an incredible difference between what something costs and how much value we derive from it. Apple's success hinges on their understanding of this — we'll pay more for something that we believe makes our lives better. Sometimes "better" is prestige or cachet, sometimes it's adrenalin or excitement, sometimes its time saved or work accomplished. Often it's a mix. Yet it's what led Apple not only to record profits this quarter, but to the record average sales prices (ASP) behind them.

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Why Apple is underestimated so insanely always

Last year, the level of stupidity surrounding Apple was best exemplified by Haunted Empire, the calamitously bad book that tried to make the "Tim Cook's company is doomed" meme mainstream. Yesterday, Apple announced the most profitable quarter in the history of the business world — of which the other four companies in the top five are oil magnates. So, beyond market manipulation and negative attention seeking, what makes otherwise rational, intelligent analysts and journalists experience such a continued, collective blindspot when it comes to Apple's prospects?

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The year of Apple Pay

Apple Pay, the Touch ID-authenticated in-store and online payment service Apple started rolling out last October, has been growing steadily in terms of bank and retailer support. During Apple's Q1 2015 conference call, CEO Tim Cook said the company was getting "extremely positive" feedback on Apple Pay from both individuals and institutions. That wasn't his biggest endorsement, however — it was calling 2015 the "year of Apple Pay".

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Never mind the Apple Watch: Where's Apple Glass?

Wearables. We hear a lot about wearables, and Apple's staged to make a big entrance in 2015 with the release of the Apple Watch. In the interim, other companies are making plays in another segment of the wearables market: glasses. Google may have gone to ground for a bit to rework its Glass product, but Microsoft is charging full speed ahead with HoloLens and Facebook last year acquired Oculus VR, makers of the Rift headset. Where's Apple in all this?

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Mac sales continue to kick the PC market's ass

Apple's report for its Q1 2015 fiscal quarter was astonishing for its iPhone numbers alone: 74.5 million units sold, its highest quarter ever. But Mac sales were also astonishing: 5.519 million units, the best Mac results for a holiday quarter ever.

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Apple growing, Samsung slowing, and doubling down on the 'great product' strategy

Apple will report its first-quarter 2015 earnings later today, and analysts are expecting a blockbuster. That's in stark contrast to rival Samsung, whose profits have been stalling on both the premium and budget ends of market. What makes this remarkable is that Apple hasn't changed their product strategy to do it — they've doubled down on it.

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Hey Instagram, can we talk about your still-missing iPad app?

I've been using Instagram for a long time. I almost always post my photos to Instagram and then share from there to Facebook and Twitter. I use it enough that I've become somewhat inured to its common limitations — its rough edges and brick walls — most people run into every day. Hearing John Gruber discuss them with Ben Thompson on The Talk Show this week, however, made them all front-of-mind for me again. As such, here are five frustrations I currently have that I'd like to see Instagram tackle this year.

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