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How to Pair Bluetooth Headphones and Listen to Music on A...

Today, 02:02 PM

Posted By x-bot in iDevice News
Apple Watch includes 6.2 GB of storage space for adding content like apps, photos, and music, with up to 2GB of that space dedicated to storing songs. When you add a playlist, you can listen to music on it, even when your iPhone is not in range. While the process is fairly self-explanatory, there are a few steps you don't want to forget in order to play music from Apple Watch to your Bluetooth connected headphones

Adding Music to Apple Watch
In order to listen to music on Apple Watch without an iPhone in range, you must sync a playlist to it first.

  1. Open the Apple Watch app on your iPhone and tap My Watch.

  2. Select Music from the list.

  3. Tap "Synced Playlist" to access your iPhone's playlist.

  4. Select a playlist from the list (if there is no playlist visible in this list, you will need to create one on your iPhone).

  5. Place your Apple Watch on its charger to initiate the sync. This step is important. Apple Watch will not sync a playlist if it has not been connected to the charger.

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You can customize your playlist limit here. Switch between the amount of storage or number of songs to change the view. Select 100 MB, 500 MB, 1.0 GB, or 2.0 GB of storage (or 15, 50, 125 or 250 songs). When you reach your maximum playlist limit, you won't be able to add more music.

To remove all playlists from Apple Watch, select "None" at the bottom of the Playlist screen.

Pairing Bluetooth Headphones
applewatchbluetoothpairing-250x276.jpgYou may be able to listen to music directly from Apple Watch, but only through Bluetooth headphones. Without them, music will only play through the iPhone.

  1. Put your headphones in Discovery mode.

  2. Open the Settings app on Apple Watch.

  3. Tap Bluetooth.

  4. Select the headphones you wish to pair.


Listening to Music on Apple Watch
There's one more important first step to listening to music directly on Apple Watch using Bluetooth headphones, and that involves changing the source for the music.

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  1. Open the Music app on Apple Watch.

  2. Force press the display screen.

  3. Select "Source" from the options that appear.

  4. Choose Apple Watch as the music source to play from.

  5. Select a playlist and tap the Play button to begin listening to music.

You can also see how many songs are stored on your Apple Watch under the About section of the Settings app on the device.

By following the steps above, you will be able to store as much as 2 GB of music on Apple Watch and listen to playlists, even when your iPhone is not in range.mf.gif


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Great expectations: An Ars reader wishlist for iOS 9

Yesterday, 03:00 PM

Posted By x-bot in iDevice News

Last weekend we published a short wishlist of things we’d like to see in iOS 9. Some of it was fairly basic, some of it was more involved. Some wishes were new, and others have been around for years. Some things seemed like a safe bet, and others were more farfetched. But software is never done, and hey, we can dream.

Many of you had desires beyond what we asked about, and we’ve gathered some of the most interesting and frequently requested features here. Like our original list, your requests are a mix of plausible and implausible, simple and complex. But all of them would be interesting additions that would make iOS more useful.

A Spotlight API

Spotlight in iOS is a powerful search tool, and iOS 8 made it more useful by including search results from multiple external sources. But while it can search for third-party apps and show data from within first-party apps (individual notes, calendar appointments, or Mail messages, for example), Spotlight can’t pull data from within third-party apps.

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The Logic Pros: TE’s new pocket-sized synths & how to...

Today, 05:26 PM

Posted By x-bot in iDevice News

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This is a new regular series exploring all of the most interesting gadgets and software for making music on your Mac/iOS devices. If there is any gear you would like us to take a closer hands-on look at, let us know in the comments section below or shoot us an email.

Teenage Engineering, best known for its flagship synthesizer/sequencer the OP-1, recently unleashed a new line of tiny music makers on the world known as the Pocket Operators. The PO-12 Rhythm is a drum machine, the PO-14 Sub is a bass module and the PO-16 Factory is dedicated to melodies and lead lines. The appearance of the units may have some writing them off as toys, and considering they were partially inspired by pocket calculators and the Nintendo Game & Watch products, that may not be totally off base. But creativity and musical inspiration come from unexpected places sometimes.

Having gone hands on with the PO-16 model for over a week now, I have found it to be quite a playable little instrument, with its own interesting quirks, creative limitations, and boutique sound. Most examples of the little device in action appear to be freestyle techno jams, song re-creations or somewhat avant guard pieces that don’t seem to offer much in the way of real-life production applications. So I decided to run the new Factory model through its paces, putting it alongside some bigger name virtual/hardware instruments in the space to see how it would hold-up in a more typical Logic or GarageBand production.

Read on for more details on the PO-16, how to sync this bad boy up with your other hardware and to hear how it sits inside a mix with some big name software/hardware…

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First let’s take a look at the PO-16 Factory itself. It’s essentially a mini synthesizer with a built-in 16 step sequencer, 15 preset lead sounds and a 16th slot reserved for what TE calls a micro drum kit. Sound, Pattern and BPM buttons sit alongside the 2 rotary encoders (A and B), with effects, record mode and the play buttons found along the right. Through the middle of the unit you’ll see the main 4 x 4 grid (for the purposes of the piece, we will refer to this section as the “grid”), this is where most of the action takes place including sound selection, pattern sequencing and applying effects. There are a number of secondary functions in place as you can imagine, so the basic operation requires you to hold certain keys and then make the applicable note/parameter changes.

Once you have selected a sound by holding the “sound” key and choosing a patch stored on the main 4 x 4 grid in the middle of the unit, you are ready to move into write mode to create your pattern (although you can change your sound after the fact). The patches have a sort of boutique and almost 16-bit quality to them. While many them are clearly mimicking traditional sounds (FM, subtractive, physical modeling and wavetable) found on many other preset banks in your software library, my colleague suggested that some of them give him a sort of Mega Man/Nintendo type feel. I don’t find that to be a particularly bad thing if that’s what you’re after, but I’d have to agree with him. But where this tiny noise maker shines most isn’t in its patch list, but rather how playable its sequencer and on-board effects are.

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The sequencer or “pattern” mode is a basic sixteen stepper, fun to use and much more playable then some have suggested, albeit with a few interesting caveats. Once write mode is engaged (bottom right corner), you can simply tap in your sequence or pattern on the grid. Holding a note in your sequence will allow you to change the pitch with rotary encoder A (notes C3 to D5) and the length of the note with encoder B. Alternatively, you can hold the write button and play your part in real-time to create an auto-quantized pattern, as opposed to simply highlighting each of the desired steps.

Up to 16 patterns can be stored at once (Hold Pattern + Write, then hit the desired slot to store it on from the main grid). When holding the “pattern” button, you can choose to chain a series of your stored patterns together by simply tapping on them in the desired order while in play mode (1, 1, 1, 3, plays pattern 1 three times and then pattern 3 before looping back around again).

While this is, for the most part, a monotimbral instrument (one sound or patch playing at once), the micro drum track can indeed be layered on top of your main sound within a single pattern. It has its own independent 16-step sequencer and 16 sampled drum sounds. However, the effects and play styles applied to said pattern will hit the drum track as well. If you can see through the mostly arbitrary (and awesome) bird factory graphics on the display, you’ll notice a small n 1-16 appear in the upper right corner so you can tell when your editing the micro drum track.

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As TE has publicly stated previously regarding the OP-1, it likes musical limitations, believes in the creativity it brings out in musicians, and didn’t shy away from that design philosophy with its much more affordable Pocket Operators. There is no way to shorten the length of the sequence itself (other than some creative/manual BPM switching), and the Pocket Operators are locked to the key of C/A Minor/D Dorian, in other words, only the white keys on your keyboard. However, it is possible to hit that special semi-tone in your life with what is arguably the best part of these little bird factory music machines, the effects.

The effects on the unit are split into two banks of sixteen known as Effects Styles and Play Styles. The Effects Styles consist of audio effects ranging from traditional filter sweeps, delay, and bit/sample based distortion effects, to more creative stutters, pitch runs and vibrato. The Play Styles are note based effects, some of which can transpose your notes, create arpeggios or even allow you to change your single notes into chords.

You apply or perform these effects on your pattern by holding the “style” button for Effect Styles or the oddly named “keyoo” button for Play Styles, which brings each of them up on one of the main grid buttons (1. low sample rate, 2. distortion…..8. hipass filter…etc.). While your pattern is playing back and write mode is engaged, simply push the desired effect at the desired time and you’ll be stuttering and keyooing all over the place in no time. This performance-like way of applying the effects isn’t unheard of, but I found it to be one of the highlights of the machine and allowed me to come up with parts I may not have otherwise. Now while only one “Effect Style” and one “Play Style” effect can be applied at any given time, you will find the “half note up” option handy if you’re looking to hit those hard to reach black keys or integrating PO-16 parts into an existing Logic Pro X piece like I did below.

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The POs are equipped with basic syncing function so you can lock the BPM of the units together and have them playback in time with each other. The right channel of the audio output/input is for the audio itself and the left is for the sync tone. But we can also feed a basic audio click track from our DAW on Mac or iOS in order to lock our desktop/mobile sessions up with either one or all of the Pocket Operators at once.

There is no MIDI or high tech way to integrate these things into your songs, we will simply be using audio tracks inside of Logic Pro X to both record our stored patterns and bits of live performance passes with evolving parameter changes:

What you’ll need:

PO-16, and audio interface (preferably with at least 2 sets of outputs), two 1/8” audio cables and your favorite recording software:

1. Using the 1/8” cables, connect the output (the jack on the right side) of your PO to an input on your audio interface (referred to as the “input chain”). Then connect the input of the PO (the left jack) to one of the additional outputs on your interface (referred to as the “output chain”).

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2. Create a new audio instrument track (Alt + Command + N, will bring up the new track option in Logic) and quickly program quarter notes for one bar inside your Logic session/DAW. Use some kind of drum sound like a rimshot or sharp snare.

Note: We specifically do not want to use a typical “click track” that has the first of every 4 notes pitched up or louder, but rather a solid block of trigger hits. In my experience, the PO requires quite a hot (loud) signal as well.

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3. Loop this new region from bar 1 in your session until the end. In Logic, highlight your newly created region and check-off the “loop” function in the inspector window or hover over the region’s top right most edge until the contextual loop tool pops-up and drag to the right.

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4. Set the output on the track’s channel strip in Logic to correspond with the physical jack on your interface from the “output chain”.

5. On the PO, hold the keyoo button and then repeatedly press the BPM button to toggle through the various sync modes. With just one PO in your set-up, you’ll want SY2. With more than one daisy chained together, set them to SY3, SY4 and SY5, respectively down the chain.

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6. Now we will create a number of new audio tracks in Logic to record our patterns and live performances on. After setting a given audio track’s input path inside of Logic to the corresponding physical input we used for the “input chain”, we are ready to go. Push play on Logic and the PO, and your patterns will play back in whatever tempo your Logic session is set to.

And this is what it sounds like…

In the track below you’ll hear a number of riffs, melodies, layered harmonies and more sourced from the PO-16 with some additional EQ/filtering, and compression courtesy of Waves and Logic to glue them into the mix a little bit more. Additional instrumentation in the track includes sounds created with Massive, Razor and drum sampler Battery from Native Instruments, along with Logic Pro X’s EXS 24 sampler, Xfer’s Serum wavetable synth and more. If you want to hear the PO by itself, I put together a quick audio tour of the patches and some of the effects.

Outside of not being able to send MIDI performances/notes/parameter changes from Logic to the PO-16, this is more or less how we would be recording any external instrument. It is the POs interface/playability that contributed to my existing palette, not its bank of sounds. Having said that, you’ll probably spend more than $59 to find/create similar ones anyway. Providing you’re looking for a boutique, slightly bit crushed type of sound, I think the PO-16 provides more than enough creative possibilities and can easily be integrated into existing/new song projects with just about any of your current go-to soundmakers. Even if you’re not planning on making the next big hit electronic record, it might be one of the coolest alarm clocks in the sub $60 range I can find.

The Teenage Engineering Pocket Operators are available from a wide selection of retailers including Amazon, B&H, Teenage Engineering direct and more for $59. But your best bet is Guitar Center where you’ll side step any shipping fees. You can also choose to break off the clumsy hanger and slap it inside the $39 Pro case, but personally I prefer it naked.

teenage-engineering-po-16-pocket-synthsiteenage-engineering-po-16-pocket-synthsiteenage-engineering-po-16-pocket-synthsiteenage-engineering-po-16-pocket-synthsi
Filed under: How-To, Reviews Tagged: GarageBand, how to, iOS, Logic Pro X, Logic Pros, Mac, PO-12, PO-14, PO-16, Pocket Operator, Teenage Engineering 381196 381196 381196 381196 381196 381196 381196 b.gif?host=9to5mac.com&blog=22754319&pos

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Ending soon: Save 79% on the IDrive 1TB Hard Drive &...

Yesterday, 04:15 PM

Posted By x-bot in iDevice News
Save big on top selling gear and services every day at Cult of Mac Deals. Time is running out to save big on the IDrive hard drive and Cloud Backup, the Bobine flexible charging dock and more. IDrive 1TB Hard Drivemf.gif


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Best deals of the week: Save 75% on PhoneClean & more...

Today, 04:15 PM

Posted By x-bot in iDevice News
Ready to snap up Cult of Mac’s best deals of the week at huge discounts? Reclaim space on your phone, learn how to build Apple Watch apps and so much more. Read on to learn about our best deals ofmf.gif


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Review: Griffin’s WatchStand is a tall, cheap way to dual...

Yesterday, 07:18 PM

Posted By x-bot in iDevice News

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I respect any accessory developer who attempts to solve a legitimate problem, and admire developers who find smart ways to solve multiple problems simultaneously. Unlike many competing Apple Watch stands, Griffin Technology’s new WatchStand thinks past the initial challenge of mounting your watch, and also includes a place for your iPhone to rest on your nightstand. As you’ll see in my guide to the best Apple Watch stands and docks, it’s impossible to find a combination Watch and iPhone stand at a lower price: normally $30 via Amazon, WatchStand is currently on sale for only $22.49 direct from Griffin if you use discount code MEMORIALDAY at checkout.

As that low price suggests, however, WatchStand makes compromises in both materials and functionality. Built primarily from plastic with a rubber core, it’s certain not to scratch a stainless steel or gold Apple Watch. But would you actually want to use it with one of Apple’s more expensive timepieces? That’s another question…

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Key Details:

  • 4.2″ square by 7″ tall stand holds an Apple Watch 6″ up, plus any iPhone resting on its side
  • You self-supply the Apple Watch Magnetic Charging Cable (and iPhone-ready Lightning Cable)
  • Substantially plastic parts with a rubber cord-managing core
  • Slightly tricky one-time assembly
  • Affordable by dock standards

 

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WatchStand arrives as a set of five mostly plastic parts: a heavily weighted black glossy plastic base that looks like a flattened Apple TV with a hole in the center, a matching glossy pipe, a rubber cable-managing core for the pipe, a glossy cap for the core, and an optional semi-circular rubber insert. As with all Apple Watch stands released to date, you need to self-supply one of Apple’s official Apple Watch Magnetic Charging Cables yourself. WatchStand thoughtfully accommodates either 1-meter or 2-meter cable lengths, as well as the all-plastic Sport and partially metal regular Magnetic Charging pucks.

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Installation is fairly simple: stick the Magnetic Charging Cable’s USB plug through the center of the rubber core, wind the cable around spiraling grooves on the core, leave enough cable loose to connect the plug to a self-supplied wall charger, and stick the core into the hard plastic pipe to hide the cable. The glossy plastic cap should passively snap into place inside the pipe as they come together, and the pipe then attaches to the base, without permanently locking together. If you’re using the Apple Watch Sport’s plastic charging puck, Griffin’s optional semi-circular insert won’t be necessary, but Apple’s thinner metal pucks require the insert so that they’ll stick out enough from WatchStand to make a secure magnetic connection with a Watch.

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The only challenges WatchStand presented during installation were modest, namely getting the cord to stick firmly enough in the grooves not to bunch up when I installed the outer pipe, bringing the glossy plastic cap as close as possible to the pipe, and picking the right cord length for connection to a charger. For most users, these will be one-time issues, and quickly resolved. Although the glossy Watch-holding pipe won’t detach from the base during normal use with your Watch, you can easily separate them to adjust the cable or charging puck during initial setup.

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The bigger question is whether WatchStand’s design and functionality will appeal to your personal needs and sensibilities. Unlike many of WatchStand’s rivals, any Apple Watch with a closed loop-style band will need to be mounted and charged on its side, which is a bit unusual; open bands can instead dangle behind and in front of the 30-degree-angled top surface, a more natural mounting position. On the other hand, Griffin offers greater cable management and versatility than with some other stands: four large rubber feet on WatchStand’s bottom have gaps between them to let you place the USB cable in whatever direction you prefer, which can be handy when dealing with shorter 1-meter cables or substantially wound 2-meter cables.

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WatchStand’s height and footprint may be polarizing for some people. Several readers opined that Mophie’s Watch Dock, which I reviewed yesterday, elevated the Apple Watch too much — and that was only 3.5 inches up. By comparison, the much larger 4.2″ square by 7″ tall WatchStand lifts the Apple Watch 6 full inches above your nightstand, a height that users could either find ideal or way too tall. The height appears to have been picked to provide ample room for any iPhone to lay on its side below. I’ve personally never wanted to leave my iPhone in this position, but Griffin places a secure lip on the edge to prevent it from slipping off, and you can self-supply a Lightning cable for charging. From my perspective, a side-by-side and more integrated iPhone/Apple Watch docking and charging solution would make more sense, but for $30 or less, this is the sort of solution you can expect.

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In the final analysis, the strongest feature of Griffin’s WatchStand is its aggressive pricing, which is fair at $30, and particularly appealing with Griffin’s current 25% off MEMORIALDAY discount code. That makes it nearly as affordable as Spigen’s simple metal S330 stand, and a lot less expensive than other combination iPhone/Apple Watch docking solutions. Because of its tall, plastic frame and passive approach to holding the iPhone, it will be a better fit for budget-conscious users than design obsessives, but it earns a little bonus credit for trying to kill two birds with one stone, and mostly succeeding.

Manufacturer:
Griffin TechnologyMSRP / Sale Prices:
$30 (Amazon) / $22.49 (Griffin Direct)Compatibility:
Apple Watch
Filed under: Apple Watch, Reviews Tagged: Apple watch, Apple Watch dock, Griffin, WatchStand 381106 381106 381106 381106 381106 381106 381106 b.gif?host=9to5mac.com&blog=22754319&pos

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How gadgets helped me go from dad bod to six pack

Yesterday, 06:00 PM

Posted By x-bot in iDevice News
I used to live the classic geek lifestyle, forever hunched over a MacBook, munching on comfort food. Until one day cancer forced me to take my health more seriously. Now I run marathons and lift weights for fun. But themf.gif


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Motorcyles, Star Wars and pigeons: 8 more Instagram feeds...

Yesterday, 05:00 PM

Posted By x-bot in iDevice News
This we week we got lost in the vast oasis of Instagram searching for some great photographers to recommend. We wandered down the road searching for fun feeds featuring motorcycles, adventurers, dogs and, oddly, pigeons. What we found, once again,mf.gif


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How to Set Up Apple Pay on Apple Watch [iOS Blog]

Yesterday, 02:02 PM

Posted By x-bot in iDevice News
passbookapplewatchapplepay-250x276.jpgApple restricted Apple Pay to the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus due to the need for an NFC chip that's not included in older phones, which means Apple Pay has been limited to those with newer iPhones since it debuted in October of 2014.

One of the major perks of the Apple Watch is that it enables Apple Pay for some older iPhones because it has the same NFC chip that's in the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. If you have an Apple Watch and an iPhone 5, 5c, or 5s, you can now use Apple Pay and the watch to make secure purchases in retail locations.

For those of you who haven't had a chance to use Apple Pay, we've written up a tutorial that walks through how to set it up on your watch.

Setting Up Apple Pay
How-to-Apple-Pay-on-Apple-Watch-5-250x44Even if you are already using Apple Pay on iPhone 6, you will need to add your credit and debit cards to Apple Pay for Apple Watch. You can add up to eight cards.

  1. Open the Apple Watch app on your iPhone and then select My Watch.

  2. Select Passbook and Apple Pay.

  3. Tap "Add Credit or Debit Card.

  4. Apple will automatically ask you to enter the security code of the credit card that is on file for iTunes and the App Store. If you don't want to use this card, select "Add a different credit or debit card."

  5. When the camera viewfinder appears, position your credit or debit card inside the frame. The app will scan the card for relevant information.

  6. If the card does not automatically scan, you can enter the information manually.

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Once the card is added, you will see that it is listed as "activating." When it has been activated, you will receive a notification on Apple Watch that the card is ready for Apple Pay.

Using Apple Pay
When you are ready, head out to one of the participating retail stores. At checkout, simply open Passbook and Apple Pay app on Apple Watch and select the card you wish to use.

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When prompted, you will double-click the Side button (the button normally used to access your favorite contacts list). Make sure you are close to the reader so it will register your Apple Watch via near-field communication.

Deleting Credit Cards
You can remove credit cards from Apple Pay through the app on Apple Watch. Tap to select the card, then firm press to delete it from the list. You can also remove a card using the Apple Watch app on the iPhone.

If Your Apple Watch is Lost or Stolen

Since Apple hasn't yet added Find My Apple Watch, you should probably first start by deleting your credit card information from Apple Watch

  1. Sign into your account via icloud.com.

  2. Select Settings, then My Devices.

  3. Choose Apple Watch and click Remove All.

  4. You can also put a hold on your cards by calling your bank or credit card issuer directly.


Using Passbook
applewatchusingpassbook-250x276.jpgWithin the same app, you can use your Passbook loyalty and gift cards. Set up cards on your iPhone using the Passbook App.

When you are near the location of a store that you have a card saved in Passbook for, you will receive a notification on Apple Watch. Tap the notification to open Passbook and scroll to the relevant card. When ready, show the barcode on Apple Watch to the employee that will be scanning your card.

If you rearrange or delete old cards on Passbook on your iPhone, all changes will be reflected on Apple Watch.

Apple's contactless payment service uses a security feature that creates a unique Device Account Number that is assigned to cards once they are installed in Apple Pay. These encrypted card numbers, as well as a transaction-specific dynamic security code, are used at payment kiosks instead of your actual credit card numbers. So, not only is your transaction safer from hacking issues, but your personal information is no longer transmitted to the merchant.mf.gif


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