Apple Update: Digital Payments, Security and More

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Apple Pay, the Apple based digital payment system, may be coming to market sooner rather than later, marking a new era for the technology company and the role of technology in consumer lives as well.

Based on multiple sources close to Apple, the iOS 8 seeded to developers will include Apple Pay – and the expected release date could be October 20. 

Apple Pay is coming! iOS 8.1 beta 1 contained Apple Pay settings, and was the first indicator that the digital payment system would be reaching consumers soon. The technology is likely to change the way that users pay for their goods. There’s contactless payment technology in both the iPhone 6 and Apple Watch, which makes payment smooth and secure.

User financial information will be stored in a secure enclave, including credit card information. Initially, credit card companies had been skeptical about the new services and expected it to bypass them entirely. Instead, Apple Pay replaces credit card information with generic versions in Passbook.

Clues as to what’s next for Apple Pay. There are also other clues about where to company is headed in the iOS 8.1 beta software. Announcements about new iPad generations are expected in October as well, and the Apple Pay and TouchID fingerprint sensor ability in the new iOS have industry watchers taking guesses. Both technologies will make iPads more functional, but also have the potential for security problems.

Aesthetically, the iPad is expected to grow larger to 12.9 inches diagonally – which would increase the screen area by 76% more than the current iPad Air. In addition, separate sources have indicated that Apple will be trying a “multi-window” split screen function similar to the technology used on Windows 8 tablets and Samsung’s Galaxy Tab tablets.

Lots to consider. With the new tablets, users will be able to pay through their iPad using the Touch ID first introduced on the iPhone 5S. Both the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus launched in September feature the Touch ID sensor and Apple Pay. It’s not clear if the new iPads will include NFC (near field communication) functionality for in-store contactless payment. The iPhones do – but can use data plans to do so. iPads would require a Wi-Fi connection in order to fuel the NFC process.

And then there’s the smartwatch. Industry insiders see the prevalence of Touch ID and Apple Pay in iPhones and iPads as preparing the market for the launch of the Apple smartwatch. The gadget would use NFC wireless for payments, as well as connecting two devices. For example, someone with all three types of Apple products could easily sync their devices using the Touch ID.

Apple is unlikely to produce the smartwatch this year. According to people familiar with Apple’s plans, the company is still working out some kinks in production and engineering. Initially the company stated they expected a November release, but other sources say that’s too ambitious. However, Apple is keeping on its pre-determined scheduled for component supplies to ship its manufactured parts to Taiwan’s Quanta Computer Inc., where the devices are created.

Always security issues. Even though plans are going forward, NFC technology poses some potential issues for security. Apple will likely add an extra security feature in their phones and their watch that employs new security codes each time the devices are used.

Competitors Blackberry, Nokia and Google all jumped on the NFC bandwagon fairly quickly but Apple has been slower to adopt. This has caused some criticism of the company – including the opinion that Apple makes it far too easy for hackers to guess their way into secure systems. In response, Apple has promised to broaden its use of a two-factor authentication security system that will improve security without limiting usability.


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