Juniper Research today published new data outlining predictions for mobile payments processing over the next five years, placing Apple Pay at the forefront in the market ahead of rivals like Samsung and Google. The study looked at Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, Google Pay, and other “OEM Pay” (official equipment manufacturer) wallets.
In total, OEM Pay users will reach 450 million globally by 2020, and the researchers predict that Apple Pay will account for 1 in 2 of these OEM Pay users at that time. This growth will cause OEM Pay wallets to reach $300 billion in transactions by 2020, representing 15 percent of total contactless in-store transactions within two years.
While Juniper Research included newcomers to the mobile payments market like Fitbit Pay and Huawei Pay, they admit that these will likely not grow much and mobile wallets will continue to see leaders in Apple, Samsung, and Google.
Research author Nitin Bhas explained: “We believe that growth over the next 5 years will continue to be dominated by offerings from the major OEM players. Additionally, we now have the likes of Huawei Pay and Fitbit Pay launching in several markets; this is now included in Juniper’s contactless forecasts”.
Although mobile wallets will continue to grow, the research shared today also looked at the overall market of contactless payments, which will still see dominance from contactless card payments made using physical credit and debit cards. In-store contactless payments will reach $2 trillion by 2020, making up 15 percent of the total point of sale transactions and driven by “strong adoption” in Europe and countries in the Asia Pacific region.
Sooner than 2020, contactless payments are already set to exceed the $1 trillion mark for the first time in 2018, one year earlier than Juniper Research previously predicted. These NFC-enabled credit cards began growing in popularity in recent years, arriving at a time when major credit card companies are aiming to simplify the checkout process for customers using both physical and digital cards.
In another Apple Pay-related research note shared earlier this year, Loup Ventures estimated that Apple Pay was being used on 16 percent of active iPhones worldwide. Looking to the future, Loup Ventures also predicted that Apple’s mobile wallet will “gain widespread adoption” over the next three to five years, despite a slow few years of growth that began when Apple Pay launched in 2014.
Related Roundup: Apple Pay
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Apple is widely expected to launch a new lower-priced notebook later this year, likely with a 13-inch Retina display and a starting price below $1,000. It’s unclear if it will be branded as a MacBook, MacBook Air, or otherwise, but it’ll be a new lower-cost, lower-spec option below the MacBook Pro.
According to a translated report from Taiwanese publication Economic Daily News, the notebook will be powered by Intel’s eighth-generation Kaby Lake Refresh processors, released in the second half of 2017.
The translated report suggests that Apple’s decision to use the Kaby Lake Refresh processors, manufactured based on a 14nm process, is due to repeated delays with Intel’s transition to Cannon Lake chips, based on a 10nm process. The latest word is that Cannon Lake won’t be ready until the end of 2019.
The Kaby Lake Refresh lineup includes quad-core Core i5 and Core i7 processors with base clock speeds between 1.6GHz and 1.9GHz, and max Turbo Boost speeds between 3.4GHz and 4.2GHz. The 15W chips feature integrated Intel UHD Graphics 620, with support for up to 32GB of DDR4 or LPDDR3 RAM.
This means Apple’s lower-priced notebook would be significantly faster than the latest MacBook Air models, which is unsurprising, given they use Intel’s fifth-generation, dual-core Core i5 and Core i7 processors released in 2015. It’d also be much faster than the 12-inch MacBook, which uses ultra-low-power chips.
Kaby Lake Refresh chips are already nearly one year old, and Intel will be releasing faster Whiskey Lake processors suitable for Apple’s notebook in the second half of 2018, but they might not be ready in time, as manufacturing needs to begin over the summer for the notebook to launch in the fall.
It appears Apple will have a jam-packed September event, with a trio of new iPhones, Apple Watch Series 4 models, new AirPods, and AirPower, so the Mac and iPad Pro could see some attention at an October event.
It’s not entirely clear how Apple will shake up its notebook lineup below the MacBook Pro. The new notebook could be the first MacBook Air with a Retina display, or replace the MacBook Air entirely, or slot into the MacBook family, with price adjustments across the line, but it all remains to be seen.
Apple’s plans for the notebook have been detailed by reliable Apple sources Ming-Chi Kuo and Mark Gurman in recent months.
Beyond the mid-range notebook, an October event could see refreshes to the 12-inch MacBook lineup with Intel’s upcoming low-power Amber Lake chips, a refreshed Mac mini with Kaby Lake Refresh chips, and new standard iMac models with faster processors and a significant display-related upgrade.
Related Roundup: MacBook AirTag: Kaby LakeBuyer’s Guide: MacBook Air (Don’t Buy)
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Apple has been working with schools and colleges around the world to provide Swift curriculum to students under its “Everyone Can Code” initiative, learning Apple’s App Development with Swift curriculum.
To allow colleges and employers to confirm those skills, Certiport, a company that develops exam certifications, has worked with Apple to create an “App Development with Swift” academic certification program.
The new global certification system is available for secondary schools and higher education, and it has been built on Apple’s Everyone Can Code program, with a specific focus on the year-long App Development with Swift course developed by engineers.
The App Development with Swift course is designed to allow students who have zero programming experience to build their own apps, and with the new certification program, instructors have a third-party validation tool and a “measurable outcome” for Swift programming classes.
“Earning an App Development with Swift certification will give students the confidence they need to further their programming education or move on to a career in programming,” said Ray Murray, Vice President, Business Development, Pearson VUE. “Earning a certification endorsed by Apple shows that they have a solid grasp on the language and can apply it – today – to create innovative iOS applications. We expect this new certification to gain widespread adoption due to the popularity of the Swift programming language.”
Students will be tested on their foundational skills with Swift, Xcode, Simulator, Interface Builder, Playgrounds, and other app development tools, and students who pass will earn a digital badge that can be added to a resume or portfolio.
Certiport plans to launch the App Development with Swift Certification exam in the fall of 2018 to allow the first students to obtain Swift certification.
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Dropbox today announced that it is increasing the amount of storage space available to many of its paid subscribers for no additional charge.
Starting today, Dropbox Professional accounts get 2TB of storage space, while Business Standard teams have access to 3TB of shared storage space.
According to Dropbox, its new storage limits give customers more freedom to free up phone and hard drive space, share large files, and work with Dropbox’s Smart Syncing features.
All new Professional and Business Standard accounts include the upgraded storage today, while storage for existing accounts will be upgraded in the coming weeks.
Dropbox is not increasing storage space available for free tiers or its Plus accounts. Free storage space remains limited to 2GB, while Plus subscribers will continue to have 1TB of storage space.
Dropbox Professional is priced at $19.99 per month or $16.58 when paying yearly. Dropbox Business is priced at $15 per month per user with a minimum of three users, but pricing drops to $12.50 per user when billed yearly.
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Apple today seeded the fifth beta of an upcoming macOS Mojave update to developers for testing purposes, two weeks after releasing the fourth beta and more than a month after introducing the software at the Worldwide Developers Conference.
macOS Mojave introduces a new method of installing software updates, so after you’ve installed the first beta using the appropriate profile from the Developer Center, additional betas can be downloaded clicking on the Apple in the menu bar, choosing “About This Mac” and clicking “Software Update.” Alternatively, open System Preferences and choose the “Software Update” icon.
Apple’s macOS Mojave update introduces a systemwide Dark Mode, with Mojave users able to choose between a light theme or the new dark theme, which changes the color of the dock, menu bar, apps, and other elements. Dark Mode is accompanied by Dynamic Desktops, aka wallpapers that subtly change throughout the day. Additional wallpapers were introduced in the fourth beta.
Stacks, a new desktop organization system, keeps all of your desktop files neat and organized, while Finder has been enhanced with a Gallery View, a Sidebar, a revamped Quick Look option and Quick Actions, so you can do more in the Finder window than ever before.
Screenshots can now be edited using Markup tools and a new management options that also allow for easy screen recording, while Continuity camera, a new feature, allows you to import photos and document scans directly from an iPhone or iPad to the Mac.
The Apple News, Stocks, Home, and Voice Memos apps have been ported from iOS to macOS as part of a multiyear project Apple is working on to make it easier to bring iOS apps to Macs, and Apple has introduced several new privacy protections to keep your data safer than ever.
Apple is also making it harder for websites to track you with a range of new Safari tools, and it’s also easier to make and store secure, hard-to-guess passwords for each and every website.
Apple has added an entirely revamped Mac App Store to macOS Mojave that makes it easier to discover apps with a featured section and specific categories for games, creative apps, productivity apps, apps for developers, and more.
macOS Mojave is available to developers and public beta testers to work out bugs and other issues ahead of an upcoming fall public release.
Related Roundup: macOS Mojave
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Apple today seeded the fifth beta of a new tvOS 12 operating system to developers for testing purposes, two weeks after releasing the fourth beta and more than a month after introducing the new software at the 2018 Worldwide Developers Conference.
Designed for the fourth and fifth-generation Apple TV, the tvOS 12 developer beta can be downloaded onto the Apple TV using a profile that’s installed through the Xcode software. Subsequent betas can be downloaded via the software update mechanism on the Apple TV.
tvOS 12 introduces support for Dolby Atmos sound, which was activated in the second beta. Apple says that iTunes will be home to the largest collection of Dolby Atmos-supported movies anywhere this fall. Customers that have previously purchased movies that gain Dolby Atmos support will see free upgrades to their titles, much like the rollout of 4K support.
Building on single sign-on, a new zero sign-on feature will further simplify the cable authentication process. With zero sign-on, the Apple TV can detect a user’s broadband network and automatically sign them into supported apps they receive through their accompanying cable subscription.
Zero sign-on will be available for Charter Communications customers this fall and will expand to additional cable providers in the future.
Aerial screensavers now include location information and there are new screensavers captured in collaboration with the International Space Station.
Other improvements tvOS-related improvements include AutoFill passwords from iPhone, an Apple TV Remote automatically added to Control Center on the iPhone or iPad, and Apple TV support on Home control systems like Control4, Crestron, and Savant.
tvOS 12 is available for developers and public beta testers to work out bugs and other issues ahead of a fall public launch.
Related Roundups: Apple TV, tvOS 12Buyer’s Guide: Apple TV (Neutral)
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Apple today seeded the fifth beta of an upcoming watchOS 5 update to developers, two weeks after releasing the fourth beta and more than a month after introducing the software at the Worldwide Developers Conference.
To install the beta, you’ll need the proper configuration profile, which can be obtained through the Apple Developer Center. Once the profile is in place, the watchOS 5 beta can be downloaded using the dedicated Apple Watch app on the iPhone by going to General –> Software Update.
To update, the Apple Watch needs to have 50 percent battery, it must be placed on an Apple Watch charger, and it has to be in range of the iPhone. It’s best to install the beta on a secondary device instead of a primary device as betas often still have bugs to be worked out.
watchOS 5 is a significant update to the watchOS operating system, introducing Activity Competitions so you can compete on workouts with friends, Walkie-Talkie with push-to-talk functionality for quickly communicating with the people you talk to most, and auto workout detection to make it easier to start and stop workouts if you forget.
Other new features include an improved Siri watch face with support for third-party apps through Siri Shortcuts, a dedicated Apple Podcasts app, new Workout types that include Yoga and Hiking, new features for runners, WebKit support for viewing some web content on Apple Watch, and enhanced notifications, which will make notifications on the Apple Watch interactive.
watchOS 5 is only available to developers and will not be provided to public beta testers (because there’s no way to downgrade Apple Watch software), so non-developers will need to wait until the software is officially released in the fall to try it out.
The watchOS 5 update runs on all Series 1, Series 2, and Series 3 Apple Watch models, but it is not available for the first-generation “Series 0” Apple Watch models.
Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 4, watchOS 5Buyer’s Guide: Apple Watch (Caution)
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Apple today seeded the fifth beta of an upcoming iOS 12 update to developers for testing purposes, two weeks after seeding the fourth beta and more than a month after introducing the new software at the Worldwide Developers Conference.
Registered developers can download the new iOS 12 beta from Apple’s Developer Center or over-the-air after installing the proper certificate.
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iOS 12 introduces major updates to iOS, with Apple revamping the operating system from top to bottom to make iPhones and iPads, especially older models, faster and more responsive.
On the iPhone X, there are new Animoji characters along with “Memoji,” which are customizable, personalized Animoji that can be used both in Messages and in FaceTime. Messages and FaceTime have also gained fun new camera effects, and Group FaceTime support allows for audio/video calls with up to 32 people.
Siri is smarter in iOS 12 with a new Shortcuts feature that lets you create multi-step custom automations using first and third-party apps that can be activated with Siri. Shortcuts can be created through the Shortcuts app, available as a beta from Apple’s Developer Center.
Apple built comprehensive time management and monitoring tools into iOS 12 with Screen Time, allowing you to keep track of just how much time you’re spending on your iPhone and iPad. App limits can help you cut back on iOS device usage, and robust parental controls are included for families.
Updated Do Not Disturb options make turning off notifications and distractions easier than ever, and a new Do Not Disturb at Bedtime feature cuts down on nighttime interruptions.
Group Notifications make incoming notifications easier to view and manage, while a new Instant Tuning feature lets you tweak your notification settings right on the Lock screeen on a notification-by-notification basis.
Apple News has a new Browse feature, the Stocks app has been redesigned, iBooks has been overhauled with a new look and a new name — Apple Books — and Voice Memos has been revamped with iCloud support and an iPad app.
ARKit 2.0 introduces new capabilities like shared experiences that let two people see the same AR environment on separate devices, and persistence, which allows AR experiences to be saved across multiple sessions. There’s also a new Measure app for measuring objects using AR capabilities.
iOS 12 includes a revamped and rebuilt Maps app that uses a new Apple-designed Maps engine that will display foliage, pools, buildings, pedestrian pathways, and other map elements more accurately. The new Maps also includes significant improvements to traffic, real-time road conditions, construction, and more, plus it will enable Apple to push out changes and fixes more quickly.
The revamped Maps app is available in the Northern California area during beta testing. After iOS 12 launches, Apple will continue rolling out the new maps to additional U.S. locations across late 2018 and 2019.
Tons of other small tweaks and features have been added to iOS 12, so make sure to check out our dedicated roundup for additional detail on what’s new in iOS 12.
Early betas of new operating system updates always introduce tweaked features and new functionality, and we’ll be outlining what’s new in the fourth beta below. We also rounded up all of the changes that were introduced in the previous betas, beta 2 and beta 3, and beta 4.
iOS 12 is available for developers and public beta testers, with a public launch planned for the fall alongside new iPhones.
Update: According to Apple’s release notes, the fifth beta of iOS 12 introduces some new bugs.
– After restarting a device, paired Bluetooth accessories might not function correctly or might be displayed using the device’s address instead of name.
– Using Apple Pay Cash to send or request money might result in an error.
– When using CarPlay, Siri can’t open an app by name. Shortcuts that involve opening an app won’t work, and Shortcuts that require confirmation might not work.
– Some Shortcuts requests might not work.
– When multiple ride-sharing apps are installed, Siri might open an app instead of providing an ETA or location when asked. Apple suggests asking again as a fix.
– Users might not see custom UI when using Siri Suggestions Shortcuts with built-in intents.
Several bugs have been addressed, including error messages in the App Store when attempting to install an app, an inaccurate cellular signal bar on iPhone X while on Lock screen or Home screen, a bug that caused Wallet to crash on launch, and a failure for Screen Time usage and data settings to sync between devices. Shortcuts will also mostly work in CarPlay now, and will be restored from iCloud backups.
Related Roundup: iOS 12
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The 10-inch Lenovo Smart Display, left, and the 7-inch Amazon Echo Show.
Amazon had a full year head start, but Google and Lenovo caught up on launch day.
As great as a virtual assistant can be in your home, the lack of a display can be limiting. In a perfect world, you’d be able to speak and have your home assistant just respond and be reliable all the time, but a huge number of smart speaker owners are compelled to stare at their little boxes to confirm it heard the command and await confirmation. What these people clearly need is a more interactive experience, so the Amazon Echo Show was released to offer more than just a speaker.
In the year since that launch, Google’s Android Things initiative has been working hard on competing. The first in that line is finally here, courtesy of Lenovo, called the Smart Display.
How do these two smarter displays compare? Surprisingly, it’s pretty close on a lot of things. And that’s not good news for Amazon.
Design and specs
Amazon’s Echo Show is about as utilitarian as you can get. It’s an unassuming wedge with a speaker and a display on the front with buttons up top. This thing is designed to hide away on a kitchen counter or bookshelf and not really catch anyone’s eye unless it is being used. Even the white version of the Echo Show doesn’t really stand out much.
While the 7-inch display does have a touch interface, you’re not going to use it much. Like the Amazon Echo, this is designed to be tucked away somewhere and simply exist. Also like the Echo, the eight-microphone array is designed to act as a far-field system that can hear you more than a room away. And it works really well most of the time.
Audio quality is always a big question with these kinds of things, and to be honest there’s very little difference between the two.
Lenovo’s Smart Display is very different. It’s designed to stand out, to be the central focus of whatever surface it occupies. The white accents and curved bamboo backing make it clear you’re going to want to have this out somewhere to be used, instead of tucked away. It takes a lot more space than the Echo Show because its display sits beside the speaker instead of above it, and the unit comes in either eight or ten-inch variants. Technically the larger model can be swapped to either portrait or landscape mode, but for the moment only a single app, Google Duo, supports both orientations.
As much as Lenovo wanted to enable video chat, privacy was also an important future. A mute button like on the Echo Show is present, but so too is a physical cover for the camera. That way you can have Duo set to automatically answer a call if you really want it, but you’re not going to be surprised when you don’t want to be.
Lenovo doesn’t have a fancy name for its microphone set up on the Smart Display, but in our tests, the ability to trigger ‘OK Google’ worked in just about every situation the Echo Show worked in. There are situations where the Echo Show seemed a little more reliable, but not many.
Audio quality is always a big question with these kinds of things, with so much of what they do being streaming audio or video, and to be honest there’s very little difference between the two. Neither is going to hold up against a nice Sonos speaker or Google Home Max, but they’re about the same volume and quality as the original Amazon Echo and Google Home. Which is great, especially when you’re looking for a speaker that can fill a kitchen with sound while you have all four burners going. Just don’t expect one to be radically better than the other in this department.
Software and Experience
Amazon has been constantly updating its Alexa assistant from day one, adding support for new voice commands and accessories on an almost weekly basis. In this respect, Amazon has a tremendous lead over the competition. Developers went to the most popular platform first, so naturally, it has the most support for the most things. If you have a “smart” something, there’s a good chance it supports Alexa. If you want Alexa to give you information, chances are there’s a third-party feature you can enable to get that information.
The biggest thing separating Alexa from Google Assistant is intuitiveness. Amazon’s third-party features feel added on. You don’t say “Alexa, tell me about car parts that are on sale” but instead say “Alexa, ask PartyPicker to tell me about car parts that are on sale”. That secondary level of communication doesn’t exist on Google Assistant. When you enable a third-party tool, it is treated like something you are asking Google for. It feels like a more natural conversation and makes using the speaker for various things a lot easier because you don’t have to remember the names of every skill.
Netflix is curiously missing from the streaming video list for now.
Assistant is also much better about natively handling multiple commands in a single sentence right now. I can say “OK Google, turn the bedroom lights on and set the thermostat to 72 degrees” as a single sentence and Assistant will execute both of these commands even though they connect to separate services. It’s more natural and polished, which is important when you’re trying to get people who aren’t well-versed techies to use and enjoy your product.
Google and Lenovo have carried that level of polish to the display as well, at least in most places. The visuals for simple things like the weather are more detail-rich than on the Echo Show. You can have your Smart Display pull from Google Photos when idle to act as a digital photo frame. And you have access to way more video services through Android Things than Alexa.
The obvious ones like YouTube and news sources are available, but also HBO Now, Hulu, CBS, and several others through the Google Home app. Netflix is curiously missing from the list for now, and some of the voice instructions are a little limited, so you wind up using your phone, but it’s a serious step forward. These features make it so Lenovo Smart Display is able to act as a proper entertainment platform in rooms where you’d normally hang a small television or bring a tablet with you, and that’s a big deal.
All of that having been said, Amazon has one feature I use daily which currently has no equal on the Lenovo Smart Display. The Alexa Drop-in service allows me to have one-on-one conversations with other Echo devices on my network, and it’s fantastic. I can call the upstairs Echo and tell my kids its time for dinner, or call the Echo Show when I’m at the grocery store and have someone check in on something in the pantry.
See at Amazon
Google offers Duo and Broadcast as comparable features, and in my opinion, they aren’t competing right now. No one in my life uses Duo, and while Broadcast is cool for reaching every Google Home device at once it doesn’t have a one-on-one call mode. Which is weird, since I can use my Google Home to make actual phone calls to actual phones with no problem.
Which should you buy? Lenovo Smart Display
While Amazon is clearly the market leader right now, and the Echo Show is constantly being improved, Lenovo has made a beautiful smart display here with a decent speaker in multiple sizes to suit your needs. And it couldn’t be more clear that Google, in addition to offering YouTube and native Google Services integration, is improving the core Assistant functionality much faster than Amazon is improving Alexa. In many areas, it’s not even close, and that’s a big deal.
See at Best Buy
Let’s see why this phone is such a good daily driver.
We’re just a few short days away from the launch of the Galaxy Note 9, but until then, the Galaxy S9 and S9+ are Samsung’s most powerful and popular flagships on the market.
Plenty of our members in the AC forums have been rocking an S9/S9+ since it was released at the beginning of the year, and now in late July, this is why they still choose to use it so many months later.
07-27-2018 12:36 PM
At the time only the Pixel had me intrigued (I’m done giving LG a chance). But since I’m on T-Mo’s JOD!, the Pixel was a harder sell because of their freakin’ Verizon exclusivity. That and the fact that I have now become very much addicted to using Samsung Pay, wireless charging, and waterproofing made the S9+ choice a lot easier. Plus it looks soooo pretty! haha But Pixel camera rules.
07-27-2018 08:27 PM
Considered the Pixel 2 but the massive forehead and chin made it a non-starter.
And I’m not an XL or Plus fan. I got the regular S9 and love it.
07-27-2018 04:08 PM
HTC U11+ 6GB/128GB Dual-SIM version. Samsung’s software features are what swayed me to stay with yet another Galaxy smartphone.
07-27-2018 06:33 PM
I don’t think There is anything that can beat the S9+ as of now…I have LG 6 as a spare phone….let’s see what Note 9 offers
Now, we’d love to hear from you — If you’ve got a Galaxy S9/S9+, why did you choose to buy the phone?
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Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+
- Galaxy S9 and S9+: Everything you need to know!
- Galaxy S9 review: A great phone for the masses
- Complete Galaxy S9 and S9+ specs
- Galaxy S9 vs. Galaxy S8: Should you upgrade?
- Join our Galaxy S9 forums