HomePod and the Apple Music Japanese Metadata Mess:
Japan is one of most profitable music markets after the US market. If Apple wants to sell HomePod in Japan at some point, they’ll have to get their Apple Music Japanese metadata problem sorted out first.
(Via Ata Distance)
Read the whole article for examples of how Apple Music/iCloud Music/iTunes Match is a “hot mess”.
The Apple Pay Japan One Year Mark:
Apple Pay in Japan is all about Apple Pay Suica which we already knew. In the Suica home base area, the Kanto region, contactless payments grew from 20% of total transactions to more than 40% in the year that Apple Pay Suica has been available. My analysis is that Apple Pay Suica is responsible for driving that change. What used to be ‘some people some of the time’ is quickly transitioning to ‘most people most of the time’.
One 7-Eleven store owner summed it up nicely: “e-money (Suica) purchases have really taken off this past year.”
(Via Ata Distance)
I will not stop talking about how great Apple Pay Suica is for transit and purchasing. The rest of the world needs this.
Apple to Deprecate Many macOS Server Services:
Apple will be removing the deprecated services in a future release of macOS Server, so the writing is on the wall — it’s time to start researching alternatives.
(Via TidBITS: Apple News for the Rest of Us)
I would be more upset if the Server App was better – either more intuitive or more configurable. As it is it’s a middling neither mess. I’m a networking and security professional – getting a VPN running this this thing is absurd.
Apple is clearly getting out of the network business. It’s odd they are punting this critical technology.
Japanese Apple Pay Suica users and iPhone X users are tweeting and blogging about the Apple Pay Suica performance improvements in the iOS 11.2.5 update. So far the reports are very good. But how good is good and can it be even better?
Read the article for the dazzling details. My anecdotal experience is that watchOS/iOS is working well with Suica. None of the momentary failures and seems more spritely in paying.
Maps tell stories. A simple glance can tell us a lot: what does the map want us to see, what’s important, what’s not, what’s wrong. Let’s take a look and see what stories Apple, Google and Yahoo Japan maps are telling us.
The maps debate is, unfortunately and oddly, U.S. specific. We all know Google and Apple are based in the U.S. so the best stuff will be local to them.
Most of the world lives elsewhere.
‘MacBook Pro? No.’ ↦:
If Apple wants to make a MacBook Pro, they should quit with the design fundamentalism on a machine costing £2800 (£2800 is a ton of money for an ordinary laptop, which apart from the display, this is) and quit with what seem like cost-cutting measures in the name of power efficiency. This machine is no doubt powerful. It never struggles with software, everything runs at a decent clip (when the power is plugged in) and it’s stable, but it’s not a Pro machine — just about any decent PC laptop at not much more than half the price of my MacBook Pro will give me “Pro” functionality.
I say make it faster, make the battery bigger, make the laptop slightly thicker, make the keyboard decent (heck just make it like the Magic Keyboard), get rid of the Touch Bar, make the display a 16” 4K HDR OLED, bring back some kind of MagSafe, bring the lit Apple logo back, bring back the SD card slot, add three USB 3 slots, make the trackpad smaller, beef up the GPU so that it can handle VR and games, and make it £4000. I’ll buy it. In the meantime, drop the price on this experiment and stop calling it a Pro. It doesn’t feel any more Pro than the standard MacBook.
(Via Six Colors)
This write-up nails every issue I have with the MacBook Pros since the 2016 models were released (and to a lesser extent the MacBook). I’ll wait and see what Apple comes out with later this year before I pull the trigger on a decked out used 2015.
Just a reminder of how far ahead this combo is in Japan compared to anything in the US:
Suica and Apple Pay is a perfect martini of fast cash and slow credit with the secret dash of always online mobile technology. Apple Pay Suica recharge completely removes the cash recharge docking requirement transforming Suica into a super slick card for transit and store purchases that uses the pokey credit card for occasional financial backing.
The mobile difference that removes the Suica cash recharge docking requirement makes all the difference. Purchasing or riding anything, anywhere, anytime is simply pulling iPhone out and holding it to the reader. It quickly becomes second nature.