Saturday, December 20, 2014

Apple’s New Position for ApplePay Site Reliability Engineer

The latest Apple mobile payment service was launched in October with a few official partners and has signed on around 500 new banks since the announcement of Apple Pay. It was reported that Apple has recently advertised a new position in Shanghai for an `ApplePay Site Reliability Engineer’ and the 40 hour per week role would need collaboration with the peers in the U.S as well as in Europe to what has been identified by Apple as a `follow-the-sun team’.

Since Apple Pay was debuted in the U.S, presently the NFC based contactless payment service remains only for America, though a series of new hires indicate that Apple would be planning a quick global expansion of the fledgling service. Besides the Shanghai based engineer position Apple Pay job listing of another kind for a London based intern was also reported where a core Apple Pay team for EMEIA operations had been set who are now looking out for support with more routine legal aspect of the project.

The advertisement revealed Apple’s plans to launch Apple Pay across Europe, Africa and the Middle East. The advertisement reads `specifically to support execution of multiple NDAs and contract with third party partners’. It is said that the Shanghai post would be focusing on the `front line customer experience according to Apple as well as back end integration of systems with network and banking partners.

No Indication of Time Frame on Apple Pay Launch – Outside US

The position description states that `as a member of the Apple pay SRE team, one is expected to not just find the issues, but to write code and fix them. They will be in all phases and layers of the application and have a direct impact on the experience of millions of customers’.

The requirements needed for the post is a minimum of five years’ experience on engineering in Java or any other object oriented language as well as five years with relational databases and no-SQL. Besides this the candidate should have a degree of Bachelor of Science in computer science or an equivalent industry experience.

Though the company is gearing up for an international debut of its mobile payment system behind the scene, it has not indicated any time frame on when and where Apple Pay would be launched outside the U.S.

Apple Pay Compatible with Global Systems

Most of the focus is on China where Jack Ma, the Chief Executive of Alibaba is keen on pushing in for a partnership between Apple Pay and his company’s AliPay service. Since Apple is dependent on established near field communication technology, consumers have realised that they can use the capability internationally, at some NFC terminals though they may have found out that the tap-to-pay functions found in the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus can function only if the device is set up with American credit cards.

However the fact remains that Apple Pay is compatible already with global systems highlighting the fact that the international roll-out service of mobile payments system of Apples’ is not hampered by technology or point of sale system and Apple should forge an agreement with the banks as well as credit card issuers making it compatible all across the globe.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

TAG Heuer – Plans to Bring Branded Smartwatch in Market

TAG Heuer, the Swiss luxury watch manufacturer has recently announced their plans to bring a branded smartwatch in the market with unnamed tech companies, which is a move to spur on in part with Apple Watch. It was reported how Tag Heuer had been pushing ahead to release its own smartwatch with the other Swiss watchmakers on the same track.

They had earlier dismissed the threat faced from smarwatches and have softened their stand since then. For instance, they had recently declined of planning to launch its own smartwatch though only a couple of months back, Claude Biver,LVMH’s Business Head, had informed a Swiss newspaper that the company had plans to launch a Tag Heuer smartwatch in the summer of 2015 though they could not afford to follow in the footsteps of Apple.

According to Reuters reports, during the press conference at the headquarters of TAG Heuer in La Chaux-de-Fonds, in Switzerland, Biver, had admitted that he had recently changed his mind on fielding a smartwatch after being dismissive of the `smart device’, sector. He had stated that they had started on the project four months back and had done several partnerships and would also consider acquisitions.

Smartwatch Represent a Challenge to Swiss Watch Industry 

When questioned as to whether the company had approached Google or Intel as their partners, Guy Semon, General Manager had refrained from commenting though the reports have been coming up that Intel would be supplying the microprocessor for Tag Heuer’s smartwatches. Semon’s comments clearly indicated his apprehension of losing to high tech and more user convenient smartwatches.

He further commented that `Smartwatch represent a challenge to the Swiss watch industry that is comparable to the appearance of quartz technology and that they cannot ignore this tsunami which is coming closer’. He gave no indication of any specific launch date for a Tag Heuer smartwatch though added that the company would be presenting one, only if they were `first, different and unique’.TAG did not disclose prototype design at the meeting though reports claim that the watch would be a hybrid digital/mechanical design which would be powered by an Intel processor.

Biometric Sensors to Measure Metrics of Heart Rate

Moreover, it was also reported that it had inclusion of biometric sensors to measure metrics like a user’s heart rate. Hewlett-Packard had used a similar design without the sensors in its Choronowing collaboration with designer Michael Bastion.

The present news is different from the news of September when Biver had slammed Apples’ recently unveiled Apple Watch stating that the product `had no sex appeal and that it was too feminine, looking too much like the smartwatches which are already on the market’ and later on, he reversed course.

Biver had commented saying that they want to launch a smartwatch at TAG Heuer but would not copy the Apple Watchor followthem. TAG seems to be the latest traditional watch maker to incline against a steadily growing smartwatch market which has been led by tech innovator.

Apple is ready to disrupt it with its Apple Watch probably early next year and some expectations on some high models which would be priced in the range of TAG Heuers’ present offers.

Monday, December 15, 2014

How to Manage Your iCloud Storage and Backups

iCloud Backup – Feature Designed in iOS

Apple is aware that device backups tend to be useful when the process is regular and automatic; hence the feature is designed in iOS and managed by iCloud. Prior to iCloud, the prevailing backup method in iOS device was connected to a computer and synced to iTunes and as the other cloud services and streaming music became more prevalent, the need of syncing iPhone or iPad with iTunes became obsolete.

 iCloud is a better option than syncing with iTunes since it occurs automatically when a device is charging or connected to a Wi-Fi network. The iCloud backup comprises of information regarding the content that has been purchased and not the purchased content and when it is restored from an iCloud backup, the purchased content gets automatically downloaded from the iTunes Store, iBooks Store or App Store.

However some forms of contents do not get downloaded automatically in all countries and purchases done previously may not be available if, they tend to be refunded or are not available in the store.

Warns Users when iCloud Storage Full

The iOS device tends to warn the users whenever their iCloud storage gets full though managing iCloud storage could be a little different. Guidance is provided in managing the device from getting backed up regularly; manage iCloud storage, setting apps together with how to make the most of the current space without the need of upgrading to an expensive plan. iCloud being a primarily cloud service, one can manage storage setting on an iOS device or Mac and these options may not be available on

One can navigate to the Setting app on an iOS device by scrolling down and tapping on the iCloud section. Next is the iCloud account which is associated with the device, with options for Family sharing available storage and what services can be presently synced to the iCloud account. With the use of toggle switches, one can opt to stop syncing Contacts, Calendars, Reminders etc. if other service is in use such as Exchange. To handle the iCloud space or upgrading to new plan, one can tap on the Storage heading.

Option to Delete Old Backups

Total storage is referred to the total iCloud space one has currently subscribed and if the storage available is less than 10 GB one would have difficulty in backing up the services. Apple had recently reduced the price of high capacity iCloud storage plan and to upgrade one can tap on the Change Storage plan option.

The plans are billed now on monthly basis instead of annually as earlier and the 200GB plan is appropriate if keen on having enough space to backup most of the content on the device. For the option to use iCloud Drive for increased number of documents or large content of photos, one could choose 500GB or 1TB.

The option to downgrade at any point of time is also provided if not intending in using the total storage amount. If one has upgraded recently, the iPhone or iPad, multiple iPhone or iPad backups tend to appear in iCloud’s list of backups and viewing these setting would indicate which backup file correlates to the device by showing `this iPad’ or `this iPhone’.

The user has the option to delete old backups of earlier devices to accommodate space while keeping the latest iPhone or iPad backups safe.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Redesigned YouTube App for Apple TV

Apple TV

Google recently unveiled a redesigned YouTube app for AppleTV along with a variety of new features while Apple too added four more channels including one from the popular mixed martial art league UFC to its line-up.

It is prominently a brand new YouTube app bringing the client updated with some of the various other platforms which reflects the design of other set-top box clients where the access would be easy to subscriptions as well as search functions. The YouTube app utilises the OAuth to login for security purpose instead of naïve password entry.

 However, the YouTube update would also mean that users of Apple TV would start to see ads for the first time on the platform and some of the users would be disappointed with this addition and it is impossible to opt out of the update.

The channels rolled are, for Conde Nast’s `The Scene’, `Fusion’, Dailymotion and UFC for premium subscription fighting and martial arts content. The Scene – from gather video content from Conde’s magazine and third party sites such as The Verge while Dailymotion seems to be more like a free-for-all video upload site a la YouTube.

No Subscription Essential to View Apple TV

None of these channels however, need a subscription to view on Apple TV. UFC has a pay-per-view or an annual `Fight Pass’, for a yearly subscription of $99 for mixed martial arts fans. Fusion on the other hand provides video programming for young and diverse audience with `unique mix of news, pop culture as well as satire’ and the network is a joint venture between Univision and ABCwhich is a digital news network with their focus at the millennial audience.

Dailymotion brings about most of the content from the web properties which include content from gaming network IGN to the Apple TV. The four channels and the YouTube are rolling out presently and would be appearing automatically on an Apple TV.

Apple will be highlighting the changes for the first time with a `New’ banner in the interface. Apple TV had added the new channels last in October with the addition of FYI and Feeln, which is A Beats Music app that had been added in September.

Refreshed User Interface 

Besides a refreshed user interface, the latest YouTube app also have additional functionality long missing from Apple TV incarnation and users can now subscribe to channel directly from the set-top box such as the app’s search function which uses a find-as-you-type configuration for quick searches.

With the YouTube update, Apple has now added this new content from UFC, The Scene, Fusion and Dailymotion bringing about their personalized recommendation to the latest version enabling users to browse through new content depending on their viewing history.

UFC which has been rumoured to be headed to the set-top streamer for some time now will enable viewers to access plenty of content inclusive of Pay-per-views as well as video from UFC Fight Pass. Meanwhile, The Scene brings about curated short form video content from brands which include ABC News, Epicurious, Forbes and GQ.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Apples’ – Free One Hour Coding Workshops

Hour of Code
Apple will be hosting for the second consecutive year, a free one hour coding workshops at its retail stores around the world, as part of the Hour of Code movement enabling accessible programming to children and newbies interested in building a career out of coding.

It is revealed that on Thursday 11, December, Apple will be participating in’s annual Hour of Code, conducting a free hour long coding workshops at its 446 physical locations all over the United States and though the one hour would not probably make everyone the next great app or game developer, it is aimed in helping individuals with little to zero knowledge with regards to coding enabling them to grasp the basics which could serve as a foundation for their future training, irrespective of participants opting to enrol in formal programming courses or through self-education.

This movement is the brainchild of the non-profit organisation –, as part of an initiative, encouraging girls as well as ethnic minorities to fuse some interest on the subject. According to Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services, Eddy Cue, states, ` We are proud to be part of making computer science accessible to students of all ages across the world. Education is part of Apple’s DNA and we believe this is a great way to inspire kids to discover technology’.

Courage Youngsters in Coding Careers

The hour of coding is part of’s contribution to Computer Science Education Week with their focus in encouraging youngsters to develop in coding careers and as part of the week long activities, Apple has planned to host live events at its stores all over the world from December 8 – 12.

Theodore Gray, cofounder and chief creative officer of app maker, TouchPress, will be speaking in Apple’s North Michigan Avenue store, on how he got his start in computing and what inspired him to work on premium apps, like The Elements and Disney Animated while Mengting Gao and Fabian Lucas will be sharing their coding experiences with the video receipts app – The Kitchen Stories Recipe in Kurfurstendamm, Berlin.

Hideki Ogawa and Takako Horiuchi, down in Ginza, Tokyo would be talking about their start as makers on their success in Flask iOS app. Individuals interested could register through Apple’s site or visit their Apple local retail store for enquiries related to available slots.

Several Companies Holding Individual Hour of Code Programs

The workshop being a kid friendly form, children and teenagers considering taking up computer science as their career could get a head start on their careers if not already done. Several other technology companies, which include Google, Disney Interactive and together with retailers like Best Buy and Target would be holding their own Hour of Code programs while Microsoft would also be involved in kid friendly Hour of Code workshops at the Woodfield Mall in Schaumberg, Illinois on Dec 8 at 4 pm and the Oakbrook Centre in Oak Brook, Illinois at 7 pm.Co-founder of, Hadi Partovi stated that the organisation is thrilled to be working with Apple for a second year hoping that the Hour of Code would continue to spark a creative fire which students could otherwise not discover.