After several weeks of testing, Apple is expected to release iOS 8.2 next week as it puts the Apple Watch on stage one more time. We reported before the event date was announced that Apple has been targeting the second week in March for iOS 8.2 release and passed over BGR’s report that the update would be available as soon as this week (which didn’t pan out). Ahead of the update’s release, though, BGR has posted release notes for an internal release highlighting additional changes to the Health app and stability improvements and big fixes.
Beta versions of the update have added blood glucose tracking and data explanations to the built-in Health app as well as support for pairing with the upcoming Apple Watch. We also detailed the planned “Companion” app used to interface with the Apple Watch earlier this year. This app includes an extensive settings panel for managing the Apple Watch including a long list of accessibility options and an unannounced monogram watch face feature.
Health App improvements
- Adds the ability to select the unit of measurement for body temperature, weight, height, distance, and blood glucose
- Improves stability when dealing with large amounts of data
- Includes the ability to add and visualise workout sessions from 3rd-party apps
- Addresses an issue that may have prevented users from adding a photo in Medical ID
- Fixes units for vitamins and minerals
- Fixes an issue where Health data wouldn’t refresh after changes data source order
- Fixes an issue where some graphics showed no data values
- Adds a privacy setting that enables turning off tracking of steps, distance, and flights climbed
- Increases stability of Mail
- Improves stability of Flyover in Maps
- Improves stability of Music
- Improves VoiceOver reliability
- Improves connectivity with Made for iPhone Hearing Aids
- Fixes an issue in Maps that prevented navigating to some favorite locations
- Addresses an issue where the last word in a quick reply message wasn’t autocorrected
- Fixes an issue where duplicate iTunes purchased content could prevent iCloud restore from completing
- Resolves an issue where some music or playlists didn’t sync from iTunes to the Music app
- Fixes an issue where deleted audiobooks sometimes remained on the device
- Resolves an issue that could prevent call audio from routing to car speakers while using Siri Eyes Free
- Fixes a Bluetooth calling issue where no audio is heard until the call is answered
- Fixes a timezone issue where Calendar events appear in GMT
- Addresses an issue that caused certain events in a custom reoccurring meeting to drop from Exchange calendar
- Fixes an certificate error that prevented configuring an Exchange account behind a third-party gateway
- Fixes an issue that could cause an organizer’s Exchange meeting notes to be overwritten
- Resolves an issue that prevented some Calendar events from automatically showing as “busy” after accepting an invite.
Filed under: iOS Tagged: Apple watch, Companion App, Health app, iOS 8.2
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According to the website's source, who remained anonymous due to their "involvement at Apple", the company would offer an engraving option similar to that of products like the iPhone, iPad, and iPod lines.
The contact, however, remains unsure of whether the feature would be available on the Apple Watch's launch date or not. They remain "almost certain", however, that the customization option will emerge for the device eventually.
An engraving option certainly makes sense for Apple's new fashion-focused wearable, especially considering that essentially all of the company's mobile products include the personalization option, but the small footprint of the Watch does raise questions on where the actual engraving would be located.
The heart rate sensor located on the device's backside takes up nearly all of the real estate of the 38mm or 42 mm device, although drastic character count limitations could perhaps fit truncated messages around the sensor. There's also a possibility that more room could be found on the device's side opposite the digital crown, but until Apple officially announces the engraving service, it remains to be seen where the personal messages would fit onto the wearable.
Despite being announced nearly six months ago, a number of details on the Apple Watch have yet to be revealed in the lead-up to its April launch. Last week, the company sent out invites for the "Spring Forward" media event to take place Monday, March 9 and for which most evidence points towards a heavy focus on pricing and launch day details for the new wearable device.
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<p><a href="http://arstechnica.c...event/">There'san Apple event on Monday</a>, so it's time to run down our list of rumors and hunches so you know what to expect from the company.</p>
<p>Apple's tagline for the event is "spring forward," a less-than-subtle reference to the Apple Watch and a reminder that holding a product event the day after Daylight Saving Time begins is cruel. Since this event is likely to be the springboard for an all-new product line, it's probably going to crowd out most other announcements, which makes this list shorter than it normally is. That said, the timing is right for a handful of other announcements—here's what we think will share the stage on Monday.</p>
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<a href="http://cdn.arstechni...36232.jpg"><imgsrc="http://cdn.arstechnica.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/iWatch-sad-e1410299936232-640x440.jpg" srcset="http://cdn.arstechnica.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/iWatch-sad-e1410299936232-1280x880.jpg 2x"></a><div class="caption" style="font-size:0.8em">
<div class="caption-text"><a href="http://cdn.arstechni...0299936232.jpg"class="caption-link" rel="nofollow">Don't be sad, Apple Watch! It's almost your "time" to shine.</a></div> <div class="caption-credit">Megan Geuss</div>
<p>This is a gimme. The Apple Watch has already been announced, so we know what it looks like and some basic things about how it works. We know it's scheduled to launch in April, and we have some basic information about what it does. We know it requires an iPhone 5 or better and that it will support Apple Pay even when tethered to older phones. We know the price starts at $349, probably for the aluminum Apple Watch Sport model with a basic band.</p>
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While the initial report was incorrect, this new timeframe appears more plausible given Apple's upcoming "Spring Forward" media event for the Apple Watch on March 9. Apple also promised that a fix would be prepared by next week for the recently discovered "FREAK" security vulnerability affecting devices such as the iPhone, iPad and Mac. The security flaw was disclosed to Apple well in advance of the public.
The release notes for iOS 8.2 outline several improvements to Apple's stock Health app, including the ability to select units of measurement for body temperature, weight, height, distance and blood glucose. The software update also delivers stability enhancements for Mail, Flyover in Maps, Music, VoiceOver and Made for iPhone hearing aids.
Health App improvementsA number of bug fixes have been made in iOS 8.2, including a long-awaited fix for the so-called "GMT bug" causing calendar syncing issues for several iPhone and iPad users. Google quietly fixed the GMT bug on their backend early last month, but Microsoft Exchange calendar users have still been experiencing syncing issues. Other bug fixes are outlined in the full release notes shared in the MacRumors discussion forums.
Adds the ability to select the unit of measurement for body temperature, weight, height, distance, and blood glucose
Improves stability when dealing with large amounts of data
Includes the ability to add and visualise workout sessions from 3rd-party apps
Addresses an issue that may have prevented users from adding a photo in Medical ID
Fixes units for vitamins and minerals
Fixes an issue where Health data wouldn’t refresh after changes data source order
Fixes an issue where some graphics showed no data values
Adds a privacy setting that enables turning off tracking of steps, distance, and flights climbed
iOS 8.2 will also include support for the Apple Watch ahead of its launch in April.
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Ahead of likely Apple Watch and Apple Pay announcements on Monday during Apple’s ‘Spring forward’ event, Apple has spruced up the main Apple Pay site to further highlight the Watch’s compatibility with Apple Pay and clarify frequently asked questions about the service for merchants. Changes to the site include a dedicated page for finding out where to use Apple Pay, and a new FAQ support document to help merchants learn about Apple Pay and start accepting the mobile payment service.
When the Apple Watch hits the market in April, a lot more people will be suddenly able to use Apple Pay in stores than ever before. That’s because the Apple Watch will enable iPhone 5, 5c, and 5s owners to use the mobile payment service from their wrist with all merchants that accept Apple Pay. Using Apple Pay in stores currently requires upgrading to a new iPhone 6 or 6 Plus.
The new Apple Pay: Merchants FAQ answers several questions businesses may have about getting started with Apple’s form of payment. The document lists a number of payment service providers that work with Apple Pay including Global Payments, TSYS, and WorldPay. It also addresses merchants with NFC/contactless payment-cable terminals that may not be able to accept Apple Pay yet (Apple says to ask the payment service provider to enable support).
Also addressed in the FAQ is how Apple Pay handles fraud, fees, and returns, and merchants can actually call an Apple Pay support number at (800) 854-3680 to learn more about accepting the payment option.
Will I be liable for fraud on Apple Pay transactions?
Apple Pay transactions are treated in the same way as your current credit and debit transactions. You’ll have the same liability rules applied to Apple Pay transactions.
The document is important as it shows Apple is putting its money where its mouth is with working to make Apple Pay available in more places, something I’ve written about as a usability concern. Apple SVP Eddy Cue previously stated that Apple has “a lot of work to do” to fully launch Apple Pay with retailers.
For users, the refreshed Apple Pay landing placenow makes it easier to find which merchants specifically support the mobile payment service, something which new Apple Watch owners will want to know. Previously the ‘Where to use Apple Pay’ section was a smaller space on the site; it has now grown into its own page highlighting both merchants and apps.
If you’re looking to dive into using Apple Pay with your iPhone 6 or 6 Plus or future Apple Watch, you can check our latest list of banks that support Apple Pay. We’re also maintaining a running list of merchants and apps(which the iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 support) that accept Apple Pay.
Filed under: Apple Watch, iOS Devices Tagged: Apple pay, Apple watch, iPhone 5, iPhone 5C, iPhone 5s, iPhone 6, iphone 6 plus, merchants, mobile payment service
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Europe’s top court has declared that ebooks are ‘services’ rather than books, and that European countries are not allowed to give them the same favorable tax treatment as paper books. The reasoning, such as it is, is that ebooks cannot be used without a physical device, and ebooks are a service provided to those devices.
Both France and Luxembourg have applied to ebooks the same reduced rate of VAT (sales tax) enjoyed by books made from crushed trees. The WSJ reports that the EU has ruled that this is illegal.
Since 2012, France has applied a 5.5% VAT rate and Luxembourg a 3% VAT rate on e-books, the same rate as for paper books. The European Court of Justice said both countries must apply their normal VAT rate, which for France is 20% and for Luxembourg is 17%.
Europe already closed one ebook-related tax loophole: Amazon used to use its Luxembourg base as a reason to charge just 3% on ebook sales throughout Europe, but a change in the law forced it to apply the VAT rate applicable to the customer’s own country.
There is some small hope that sanity may prevail in future. The European Commission has said that there may be legal mechanisms through which countries can in future define their own policies, with an “extensive overhaul” of VAT rules to be completed next year. However, don’t be surprised if ‘harmonization’ of tax rates for paper and digital books results in higher taxes on the former to pay for lower taxes on the latter …
Apple of course had its own legal troubles around ebooks, with its pricing model found to amount to anti-competitive practices.
Filed under: Tech Industry Tagged: books, e-books, ebooks, Europe, European Commission, European Court of Justice, European Union, IBooks, iTunes
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