Trending November 2023 # Watch Apple’s Tap To Pay Feature In Action At The Apple Park Visitor Center # Suggested December 2023 # Top 14 Popular

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Watch Apple’s “Tap to Pay” feature, which lets the iPhone accept contactless payments without using additional hardware, in use at Apple Park’s visitor center.

The “Tap to Pay” feature was announced in February 2023, with the company’s visitor center at the Apple Park headquarters already supporting the feature.

A video included right ahead shows a customer paying for their goods with Apple Pay simply by tapping their iPhone against a retail employee’s iPhone.

It’s not clear when support for the feature was implemented, but it would appear that Apple has begun a controlled rollout of “Tap to Pay”.

Watch “Tap to Pay” in use at the Apple Park visitor center

A developer shared on his Twitter a video showcasing the feature in action. As you can see for yourself, this new Apple Pay feature works just as you’d expect. An app on a retail employee’s phone which runs the Isaac payment system acts as a contactless NFC terminal. A customer then makes the payment by tapping the top of their iPhone gently against the other device. Apple says it created “Tap to Pay” to help small businesses and individuals accept payments on the go without having to use additional hardware such as dongles from Square. The feature effectively turns your NFC-enabled iPhone into a payment terminal.

— Michael  (@NTFTWT) May 15, 2023

Apple has said that “Tap to Pay” will be used across its retail stores, and this is the first known use of the feature in the wild. The Apple Park visitor center is a retail store located on the company’s campus. It has a cantilevered carbon fiber roof that appears to float (it’s only supported by stone-clad cores and no other extraneous columns for support). The store is open only to Apple Park visitors and neighbors.

Your iPhone is now a payment terminal

Accepting credit card payments on a phone via NFC without requiring any additional external hardware is nothing new. What’s new is Apple’s willingness to permit third-party developers to implement this feature in their apps. Previously, no apps could use contactless payments features that require NFC hardware.

“Tap to Pay” should especially cater to small businesses and individuals such as hairstylists, who will soon be able to process tap-to-pay contactless payments right out of the box. Apple announced the Tap to Pay feature earlier in 2023 but didn’t provide a firm launch date beyond a vague “later in 2023” target. But with the Apple Park visitor center now using the tech, it shouldn’t be long before the first “Tap to Pay” apps start arriving. No software update should be required to use this feature because support for “Tap to Pay” is reportedly present in iOS 15.4.

Tap to Pay requirements

“Tap to Pay” will first launch in the United States

The feature requires an iPhone XS or later and a partner-enabled app. The first non-Apple payment platforms to offer “Tap to Pay” to customers will be Stripe and Dutch payment processing company Adyen, with additional partnerships and apps arriving later this year. Read: How to fix iPhone widgets not working or updating

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Apple Park Visitor Center Adds New, One

While standard Apple retail locations around the world have been receiving new graphic panels and 3D Feature Bays for the launch of the Apple Watch Series 4, iPhone XS, and upcoming iPhone XR, Apple Park Visitor Center is a wholly unique place. Coinciding with yesterday’s product launches, the store section of the space received some new and incredibly unique displays.

Since opening briefly to press for last year’s iPhone X keynote and later to the public in November, Apple Park Visitor Center has featured several exclusive product displays known as Avenues.

Out of ten Avenue windows outlining the store, eight are found at no other store in the world. Highlighting collections like Apple Watch Hermès and spotlighting Apple Park’s architecture, these Avenues offer visitors a special experience. For Fall 2023, four of the eight Avenue windows have been completely redesigned. Special thanks to Marília Guimarães who runs the YouTube channel EntendendoiPhone for graciously providing us with photos.

Original 2023 displays.

Next is Apple Park Shot on iPhone, a photography display showcasing the iPhone’s camera and Apple Park’s design. Demo phones loaded with photos of Apple Park have been refreshed along with the graphic panel behind the phones. When the original display was installed, the main campus was only partially complete and photo selection was limited. The new photo set offers a broader perspective.

Apple Park Visitor Center offers perhaps the best selection of Hermès bands outside of a dedicated showroom. These bands were originally set against a hand-painted wood panel topped by five Apple Watches. The new window takes a dramatically different approach with a glass backdrop over bold color blocks. Text reading “WATCH HERMÈS” has been cut into the panel behind which blocks of color rotate to match the animation of the new exclusive Hermès faces on Apple Watch Series 4. A still photo cannot properly convey how mesmerizing the movement looks.

Original 2023 displays.

Wooden collection stands at Apple Park Visitor Center (via Instagram) and similar plastic stands at a typical store.

In addition to these four Avenue windows, new Apple Watch collection stands and band trays have been quietly introduced. While standard Apple stores have similar white plastic fixtures, these new fixtures are cut from the same wood as store tables. Matching grain direction helps the stands blend in with tables. Apple seems to test new retail designs at the Visitor Center, so these fixtures could potentially roll out to stores worldwide.

For those unable to make it to Apple Park, standard modern Apple stores introduced out a few new displays yesterday as well. New collection Avenues feature a refreshed selection of case colors for fall.

— Michael Steeber (@MichaelSteeber) September 21, 2023

Demo devices on store tables are now running video loops with bright graphics themed like the Apple Store app’s new store maintenance animation. A limited number of stores so far have installed narrow graphic panels featuring new Apple Watch bands.

Incoming (via Instagram) and outgoing Apple Watch graphic panels.

— Michael Steeber (@MichaelSteeber) August 29, 2023

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Opinion: Today’s Apple Promotions Cover Executive Losses, Hint At Apple’s Future

Earlier today, Apple announced some of the most wide-ranging changes it has made at the senior executive level since iOS chief Scott Forstall was ousted and replaced in late 2012. Senior VP of Operations Jeff Williams was promoted to COO (Chief Operating Officer), Johnny Srouji was elevated from VP to Senior VP of Hardware Technologies, Senior VP of Marketing Phil Schiller added App Store responsibilities, and Tor Myhren is leaving the Grey Group to be VP of Marketing Communications at Apple, replacing Hiroki Asai. Let’s take a look at what each of these changes is likely to mean…

Jeff Williams – COO:

Of all the changes announced today, Jeff Williams’ promotion is essentially a no-brainer. Since former COO Tim Cook took over for Steve Jobs as CEO in 2011, Apple has not had a de facto COO, but Williams took over the majority of operations responsibilities and then some. With Cook serving in recent years as a representative of Apple, traveling all over the globe and managing more meetings and day-to-day business tasks, Williams has picked up additional responsibilities for Apple’s entire supply chain. This promotion is simply recognizing what Williams has already done for years. It also broadens his title, which makes sense given that he took over the Apple Watch engineering team after Bob Mansfield’s 2013 role reduction and led other medical-related efforts including ResearchKit.

Williams at last night’s Warriors game (in Eddy Cue’s seat?)

Looking even further down the road, Williams is likely instrumental in the development of the Apple Car. Building a car requires an entirely new supply chain for Apple that focuses on sourcing and manufacturing automotive parts, and Williams is certainly in charge of those tasks, as well as future distribution models. Williams’ stage time at Apple events has also been growing over the past year, so it makes sense to combine that with a title upgrade. The COO title likely comes with a significant pay raise and upgraded stock bonuses program that will lock Williams into Apple for many more years to come.

Lastly, naming Williams COO makes him the obvious choice in the eyes of investors as the successor to Tim Cook should a change to the CEO position have to occur in the near future. An unnamed Apple executive was quick to tell the WSJ this morning that more than just Williams would be capable of taking over for Cook, but I still believe a (small) portion of the title change was designed to reassure investors that Apple is doing emergency CEO succession planning.

Johny Srouji – Senior VP of Hardware Technologies:

Johny Srouji has led Apple’s chip efforts since the A4 with the iPad and iPhone 4 in 2010, and he, too, became an increasingly important player in the Apple food chain after Bob Mansfield’s role reduction over the past couple of years. Srouji first gained exposure on Apple’s website as a vice president last year, and he has been increasingly visible on the executive bench at Apple events over the last year or so. With the iPad Pro’s A9X and the increasingly visible transition to ARM Macs, Srouji is also more important than ever to Apple’s future.

His elevation to Senior VP does a few things, including a significant salary raise along with an upgraded stock options program. Naturally, Srouji has led one of the world’s largest and most successful chip making groups in the entire world by running Apple’s. There are plenty of other chip making companies that would instantly throw millions of dollars and a CEO title at Srouji if given the opportunity, and a pay raise along with a title promotion helps ensure that Srouji remains at Apple for the long haul.

Next, elevating Srouji to the senior team puts two engineering managers on the Apple executive board. Hardware is perhaps the most critical element of Apple’s business, as its development (in combination with supply chain management) directly feeds Apple’s profit machine. If Srouji or Dan Riccio, Apple’s general Hardware Engineering Senior VP, left the company, the company has a natural successor in place to take both groups back into one unit. Prior to the 2012 Apple executive changes, all Apple engineering matters were under one manager: Bob Mansfield.

Phil Schiller – App Store Additions:

Schiller, head of all marketing and product management efforts, is taking on new responsibilities related to the App Stores. What’s interesting is that these responsibilities appear to be coming out of Eddy Cue’s portfolio. A check on Cue’s official biography does indeed indicate a reduction in portfolio for the long-time executive. As of yesterday:

Eddy oversees Apple’s industry-leading content stores including the iTunes Store, the revolutionary App Store and the iBooks Store, as well as Apple Pay, Siri, Maps, iAd, Apple’s innovative iCloud services, and Apple’s productivity and creativity apps. Eddy’s team has an excellent track record of building and strengthening online services to meet and exceed the high expectations of Apple’s customers.

Here it is today:

Eddy oversees Apple’s industry-leading content stores including the iTunes Store and Apple Music, as well as Apple Pay, Siri, Maps, iAd, Apple’s innovative iCloud services, and Apple’s productivity and creativity apps. Eddy’s team has an excellent track record of building and strengthening online services to meet and exceed the high expectations of Apple’s customers.

No longer listed: the App Store and the iBooks Store. Recently, many developers have publicly voiced their dissatisfaction with the App Store (long iOS review times, Mac App Store being neglected, lack of features in the Apple TV store), so it makes sense for Apple to put an executive, one already in the public eye, out in front of these issues. Schiller previously ran developer relations as well, so combining all of these together makes sense. The surprising part here is that the removal of the App Store from Cue’s bio page could indicate that the App Store technology and development team might be under Schiller’s direction as well. What about the iBooks Store — is that under Schiller too now? Or is Apple now considering iBooks to be part of its suite of productivity apps?

Given what’s been going on with Apple Music, as well as repeatedly stalled negotiations for Apple TV-related services, it looks like Eddy Cue has had too much on his plate, and moving App Store responsibilities over to Schiller could be a wise shift.

Tor Myhren – VP of Marketing Communications:

The last significant change announced today is that Grey Group’s Tor Myhren is joining Apple in 2023. Here are his responsibilities at Apple, per the press release:

This puts Myhren in charge of Apple’s visual brand: everything you see on Apple billboards, packaging, website, and stores. But glossed over in most coverage is the last sentence in Apple’s announcement:

Tor will succeed Hiroki Asai, who earlier announced plans to retire after 18 years in graphic design and marketing communications roles at Apple.

Top Screenshot via DroidLife, Schiller via DesignoMatt, Asai/Jobs image via Business Insider.

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How To Set Up & Use Apple Game Center

Apple Game Center first entered the scene in 2010, but the modern version of the platform in no way resembles its earlier form. With iOS 10, Game Center shifted from a standalone platform to one that focused more heavily on social interaction and third-party integration.

It has received a fair amount of criticism from users as a result of the change, but there are still plenty of ways to use the platform. Here is how to set up and use Apple Game Center.

Table of Contents

How To Set Up Apple Game Center

You may have set up Game Center at some point in the past, especially if you tend to play a lot of mobile games on your iPhone or iPad. However, if you haven’t set it up, open Settings and scroll down until you find the Apple Game Center icon. It is found in the same subsection as Music, TV, Photos, Camera, and Books.

Tap the Game Center icon. The next screen will show a slider. Tap the slider. On the next screen, sign in with the Apple ID you want to use for Game Center. Doing this enables your Game Center profile to follow you across all Apple devices.

After you have signed in, you’ll see a blank profile page. Here you can change your Apple Game Center profile photo and your nickname, and add friends that you can easily invite. You can also enable the option for players in the same game as you, provided they are on the same Wi-Fi network or close enough for Bluetooth, to send game invitations.

How To Add Friends On Game Center

The Friends field will remain empty unless you have added friends. Just tap Add Friends. Doing so brings up Messages. You can send an invitation to one or multiple friends at a time. 

After they accept your request, their profile names will show up in your Friends list. 

What Does Apple Game Center Do?

Game Center isn’t as versatile as it once was. It isn’t included in every game, and app developers choose whether or not to incorporate it into the games.

If a game does support Apple Game Center, it will automatically load when the game is launched. You can view leaderboards, see how your score compares against your friends, and much more. If you’re so inclined, you can even try to top the world’s high score—but it’s often better to just compete against a few friends. 

How To Find Game Center-Compatible Games

Finding a game that works with Game Center takes a bit of trial and error, but there is one set of games that do use Game Center: Apple Arcade. Apple’s $5-per-month curated selection of mobile games is one of the best options out there for someone looking to fill downtime with their phone. 

All Apple Arcade titles use Apple Game Center. You know a game does when you are greeted upon logging in with a message that pops in from the top of the screen. 

If you are looking for other games that work with Game Center, you can search the App Store with “game center” as the keyword to find other titles. There are quite a few out there. Most all that work with Game Center have leaderboards, but only some have achievements. 

The Dock In Watchos 3 Breathes New Life Into The Apple Watch

The Dock in watchOS 3 was arguably the biggest new feature to hit the Apple Watch at WWDC 2023. It’s a feature that allows you to find and switch to your most used apps. It takes the best of the Glances model from previous versions of watchOS and merges it with an updated and actionable interface.

The Dock promotes using apps in a way that no such feature on the Apple Watch has until now. In my opinion, it breathes new life into the Apple Watch, providing practical functionality that was missing in previous iterations of watchOS. Have a look at our hands-on dive into the Dock as we explore this exciting new feature.

Out with Friends, in with Dock

In versions of watchOS prior to watchOS 3, the physical Side button that rests below the Digital Crown was used for invoking the Friends carousel. In watchOS 3, the Friends carousel has been supplanted by the Dock. This is a fundamental change in the way the Apple Watch works, and is a surefire sign that Apple is willing to pivot when it comes to features on a platform that’s still fresh and malleable.

Reassigning the Side button to the Dock provides an immense improvement in overall function and practicality. I, for one, never used the Friends interface, and I felt that such a precious hardware button was wasted by using it that way. With watchOS 3, the Side button has been reassigned to a feature that’s truly worthy of a physical hardware button, and that’s speaks volumes considering that there are only two buttons on the Apple Watch.

Video walkthrough

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Upgraded Glances

In previous versions of watchOS, swiping up from the bottom of the screen while on the watch face revealed a list of Glances — cards that provided quick summaries of information pertaining to apps and system-level details.

Glances have been replaced in watchOS 3, but the overall idea of Glances hasn’t been removed; it’s been improved. And unlike Glances, which were only accessible via the watch face, the Dock can be invoked from anywhere on the watchOS interface.

Virtually everything about Glances is now achievable via the Dock, and provides a more reliable and consistent interface for gleaning quick details about apps, having access to your most recently used app, and launching apps.

The Dock isn’t perfect yet, and there are still some issues that need to be worked out with features like the Now Playing interface, but as the watchOS 3 beta progresses, it should get better over time.

Background App Refresh

All of the apps placed in the Dock are kept in a suspended state in memory and are ready to launch at a user’s request. Once the user settles in on one of the apps in the Dock, it will be automatically resumed, even while it’s still shrunk down in the Dock. In the meantime, a snapshot of its last state is displayed.

This is where the new background app refresh APIs come into play. Background app refresh APIs make it possible to update snapshots, which provide updated information to the user, even if just looking at an app in the Dock without fully switching to it. You can see examples of this with some of Apple’s stock apps. For instance, the Timer app will countdown the amount of time remaining while shrunken in the Dock.

It’s even possible for Dock snapshots to differ from the information provided once a user taps and opens the full associated app. This could be handy for presenting more “glanceable” views while perusing the dock, but providing more detailed information when a user switches to the app in question.

Invoking the Dock

To invoke the Dock in watchOS 3, simply press the Side button. The great thing about having a physical button assigned to the Dock is that it allows you to access it from anywhere: at the watch face, while inside apps, etc.

The Dock features a card interface that represents all of the apps you have stored there, along with the most recent app that you’ve used.

You can use swipe gestures or the Digital Crown to navigate through the Dock. To switch to a particular app in the Dock, tap on the app that you wish to open.

Adding apps to the Dock

The whole point of the Dock is to allow users to add and access frequently used apps. To add an app to the dock, do the following:

Step 1: Open the app that you wish to add

Step 2: Press the Side button to open the Dock

Step 3: Swipe up on the most recent app card, which should be the app you opened in step 1

Step 4: Tap Keep in Dock

Once you add an app to the dock, it will stay there until you remove it. Up to 10 apps can be added to the dock, along with the most recently used app.

Note: You can also manage Dock apps via the Watch app on your paired iPhone.

Removing apps from the Dock

To remove apps from the Dock, perform the following:

Step 1: Press the Side button to open the Dock

Step 2: Navigate to the app card you wish to remove

Step 3: Swipe up on the app card

Step 4: Tap the Remove button

Rearranging apps in the Dock Conclusion

As the watchOS 3 beta progresses, it’ll be interesting to see how the Dock is refined and improved. Apple already has an excellent start with the Dock’s initial implementation, but there is room for improvement.

I’d like to see the ability to switch to the Dock and select an app using only hardware buttons. You can already scroll through the list of apps with the Digital Crown, but you have to tap the screen to select an app from the Dock.

I’d also like to see an improved Now Playing interface, perhaps even making it a standalone app.

But even with those opportunities for improvement, the Dock is already far and away my favorite software feature of the Apple Watch. Launching, monitoring, and switching between apps now makes a lot more sense thanks to the Dock in watchOS 3.

Be sure to watch our full watchOS 3 video walkthrough for a look at many more of the new Apple Watch features shown at WWDC 2023.

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How To Use Apple’s New Conversation Boost Accessibility Feature With Airpods Pro

Follow these steps to configure iOS 15’s Conversation Boost feature on your AirPods Pro and learn how to adjust ambient noise reduction to help you hear a conversation in a noisy area.

What is Conversation Boost?

Conversation Boost is Apple’s marketing name for an ambient noise reduction feature for folks with hearing problems that’s currently restricted to a single AirPods model—AirPods Pro.

Apple says this accessibility feature can help people with mild hearing challenges stay more connected in conversations. It boosts the voice of the person speaking in front of you, and you can toggle the amount of ambient noise cancellation. Of course, you don’t need to suffer from hearing problems just to use Conversation Boost for enhancing face-to-face interactions.

How to turn on Conversation Boost

Conversation Boost is an accessibility feature that people who never visit the Accessibility section in the Settings app would have a hard time discovering on their own.

Connect your AirPods to your iPhone

Open Settings on your iPhone running iOS 15.0+

Choose Accessibility from the root list

Hit Audio/Visual underneath the heading Hearing

Touch Headphone Accommodations underneath the Audio heading

Slide the Headphone Accommodations switch to the ON position

Choose the option labeled Transparency Mode at the bottom

Switch on the Custom Transparency Mode option

Scroll down and toggle on Conversation Boost

The screenshot below illustrates where the Conversation Boost switch is located.

You won’t see this option unless the earbuds are connected to your phone.

How to add Conversation Boost control to Control Panel

With the Conversation Boost feature turned on, you’d be wise to add its button to the Control Center overlay for fast access to the feature from anywhere in iOS, including the lock screen.

Open Settings on your iPhone powered by iOS 15.0+

Choose Control Center from the main list

Hit the (+) plus sign next to Hearing to add the feature to your Control Center

You should now see the option Hearing on the Included Controls list.

And now you can boost face-to-face conversations anytime you want.

How to use Conversation Boost

With Conversation Boost turned on in your accessibility settings, use the Control Center toggle to activate Conversation Boost on your AirPods Pro when needed.

Open Control Center on your iPhone with iOS 15.0+

Select the Hearing option from your Control Center

Touch Phone & Media underneath Headphone Accommodations

On the next screen, choose Transparency Mode

You’ll return to the previous screen, now set Conversation Boost to “On” at the bottom

The Hearing control in Control Center lets you toggle Conversation Boost on the fly.

You can also adjust the amount of ambient noise reduction and other audio filters.

Adjusting ambient noise reduction and other Conversation Boost features

You can set the amount of ambient noise reduction and adjust other audio filters for Conversation Boost either through Control Center or via your accessibility settings.

Open Control Center on your iPhone with iOS 15.0+

On the Control Center overlay, touch the Hearing control

Set ambient noise reduction and other audio settings to your liking

Amplification: Amplify the audio picked by your AirPods Pro microphone

Transparency Balance: Set to left (L), right (R) or leave in the middle for neutral balance

Tone: Set the overall audio feeling between Darker and Brighter

Ambient Noise Reduction: Control the amount of noise cancelation

Alternatively, go to Settings → Accessibility → Audio/Visual → /Headphone Accommodations → Transparency Mode to set the amount of ambient noise reduction and configure other audio filters. Keep in mind that changing the values for amplification, transparency balance, tone and ambient noise reduction won’t just affect Conversation Boost but also the regular noise-canceling Transparency Mode feature on your AirPods Pro.

As we mentioned earlier, Conversation Boost isn’t strictly for folks who are a little hard of hearing. Everyone can use Conversation Boost. You may be having issues hearing the person in front of you talking. Or you may be conducting a conversation in a particularly noisy area.

Whichever the case, Conversation Boost is ready to boost your conversation.

Conversation Boost FAQ: Your questions, answered

Can I use Conversation Boost with other headphones?

Conversation Boost is currently supported on Apple’s own AirPods Pro wireless earbuds. Other models are incompatible with this feature, including the pricey AirPods Max headphones.

What are the system requirements for Conversation Boost?

Conversation Boost requires that your AirPods Pro be updated to firmware version 4A400, which launched on October 6, 2023. You’ll also need an iPhone or iPod touch with at least the iOS 15.0 software or an iPad running iPadOS 15.0 or newer.

Do I have the right AirPods firmware for Conversation Boost?

If you have older firmware, you’ll need to update your AirPods Pro. Apple doesn’t provide a specific mechanism to download and install these updates. Rather, the new firmware is installed automatically when your AirPods Pro are in their charging case.

The AirPods Pro case needs to be connected to power and within Bluetooth range of its paired iPhone to kickstart the update process. Read: How to use Live Listen on iPhone

Where do I find the version number for AirPods firmware?

Before you can set up Conversation Boost on your AirPods Pro, verify that you have the required firmware by venturing into Settings → Bluetooth, then touch the “i” next to your listed AirPods Pro. The version number of the current firmware is printed next to “Version”.

We’ll update this article if Apple adds Conversation Boost to other AirPods models.

Conversation Boost vs. Live Listen: What’s the difference?

You could argue that Conversation Boost sounds an awful lot like Live Listen, another accessibility feature from Apple, and you’d be right. While at the core both features make it easier to hear conversations in noisy situations, they’re not the same.

With Live Listen, your iPhone acts as a remote mic that sends audio wirelessly to your AirPods. As noted by a support document on the Apple website, Live Listen used to be only available for MFi-certified hearing aids. As of iOS 12, this feature can be used with your AirPods.

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