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Apple March 2019 announcements

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They buried this part of the upgrade to Apple Pay Cash: As of yesterday, March 25th, credit cards are no longer supported in Apple Pay Cash, only debit cards. Guess you are supposed to go get the Goldman-Sachs Apple card or lump it. Bight move, Apple - makes Apple Pay Cash pretty much useless.
Apple Pay Cash is not Apple Pay. Using a credit card for Apple Pay Cash would mean you are borrowing money on credit to fill it. One of the primary 'features' Apple is trying with Apple Card is to get people to stop using so much debt, not to increase it. A cash account backed by real cash is only what it should have been if the primary goal is responsible spending (and it is probably a lower-cost transfer for the bank so they don't have to charge a fee on something else to make it up).

I'd be surprised if the Apple Card would let you borrow for cash. Apple is giving "cash" back on everything and no late fees - borrowing cash would be something that would probably not work well for them or Goldman Sachs after it scaled up. One significant way to reduce fees is to stop people from doing things in the first place that will get them into trouble later.

The "free" money to fill Apple Cash instead of pulling from the bank account via debit card would come from the cash back features. If Apple/Goldman Sachs can get people to use this as the primary card to make all purchases, that cash account will fill with a substantive amount. However, those likely will not be large purchases - e.g, $10's or $100's, not $1,000's. A large group of people transferring large amount of money they don't have is why credit cards have high interest rates and fee structures to cover the much higher risk profile that entails.

Apple Pay folks will still be able to spend way over their limit, but settling up that bill would be outside of Apple's payment system or their risk profile.
 


Thanks, Michelle (and Mike). If I get frustrated, I can always run Windows 10 and continue to use my Lightroom license. (So, be afraid, Apple... be very afraid.)
I have the same frustrations with a Mac/Lightroom combo being the most difficult thing to deal with potentially changing. Yet, equally disconcerting is looking into the future - still running Lightroom v6.x - perpetual, baby!

Frankly, computer technologies lost their shine and productivity about 9 years ago. Now it should be clearer and clearer for people to see that it's all about control - for the sake of locking down a steady income stream for all (commercial) parties involved and has zero to do with productivity. Frankly, I'm disenchanted at the state of it all.
 


Any Mac design that can't be easily opened for RAM upgrade or a hard drive swap should be abandoned. Any reasons why this can't be done are simply excuses used to justify designs that are not insanely great but just insane. Oh, one more thing: Jony Ive, you're fired.
Thank you for putting this so succinctly. This is the very reason I haven't bought any new Macs in some years. And then there's the obscene price.
 


... I am surprised that they don't offer 128 GB for the 27" models, since 32 GB SO-DIMMs exist (the ones Apple puts in Minis that are BTO with 64 GB), but maybe the SO-DIMMs used on the Mini aren't compatible with the CPUs used on the iMacs.
I don't think it is a compatibility problem as much as who is going to buy them. To take an 8GB Mini up to 64 GB, it is $1,000 at Apple's site. That is roughly $500/DIMM (two). To take a 8GB iMac 27" up to 64 GB, it is, surprise, surprise, $1,000. That is roughly $250/DIMM (four at 16GB/DIMM). If Apple were consistent and sold the 32GB DIMMs at the same price, it would be $2,000 to get to 128 GB. Quick check at iMac Pro... yep, $2K to 128 GB (never mind starting from a much higher baseline).

Personally, at triple-digit GB capacity, RAM not having ECC is hard to match up to having data that has value. It shouldn't be an 'exclusivity' option for Intel processors that grow their max capacity up into that range - AMD's Ryzen has ECC as an option at this mainstream desktop product level.
 


Oh, Apple employees definitely read MacInTouch, to the tune of thousands of accesses per month (e.g. from 17.58.103.206).
host 17.58.103.206
206.103.58.17.in-addr.arpa domain name pointer 17-58-103-206.applebot.apple.com.

Apple said:
About Applebot
Applebot is the web crawler for Apple. Products like Siri and Spotlight Suggestions use Applebot. It respects customary robots.txt rules and robots meta tags, and it originates in the 17.0.0.0 net block.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
host 17.58.103.206
206.103.58.17.in-addr.arpa domain name pointer 17-58-103-206.applebot.apple.com.
Apple said:
About Applebot
Applebot is the web crawler for Apple. Products like Siri and Spotlight Suggestions use Applebot. It respects customary robots.txt rules and robots meta tags, and it originates in the 17.0.0.0 net block.
That's really interesting, since robots.txt should be blocking Applebot, if what Apple says is true, yet it's still hitting macintouch.com tens of thousands of times....

I guess Apple won't mind if I start hitting apple.com with similar bots that we also could create?
 


Applebot is the web crawler for Apple. Products like Siri and Spotlight Suggestions use Applebot. It respects customary robots.txt rules and robots meta tags,
That's really interesting, since robots.txt should be blocking Applebot, if what Apple says is true, yet it's still hitting macintouch.com tens of thousands of times....
Which raises a question. If Apple is receiving billions from Google to place Google search in Apple's devices/software, and Siri reports Google results, and Apple's former connection of Spotlight "local" search to Bing has been replaced by connection to Google, why's Applebot knocking on Ric's door, or, for that matter, any door?
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
A "cockpit" error, but for what it's worth, I subscribed accidentally to News+ on my iPhone. I was trying not to, but I hit the home button, and that purchased the subscription without intending to.

I know it's possible to unsubscribe, but I've been hunting for the place to do that unsuccessfully for a while now.
 


Why does Target give me a 5% discount for using its store card, but Apple Card will only give 3%? And why, for Apple purchases, is it cash back after taxes and instead of a discount off the retail price?

Also, will the Apple Card exclude the typical MasterCard or Visa extra benefits, such as price protection, warranty extension, purchase assurance, auto rental insurance, travel accident insurance?

Will the only interface to the account be via the iPhone, i.e. no website? Would that mean no integration with financial portals and applications (like, Quicken)?

How do you use an Apple Card to buy your first Apple device?

Apple says you can use the physical Apple Card for merchants that don't accept Apple Pay. But I've seen just in the last week merchants whose iPhone attached credit card readers weren't working, so they were entering the credit card numbers by hand -- numbers which the physical Apple Card doesn't have. This means you'd need to carry your card and iPhone, just in case you need to show the credit card number (and hope the merchant accepts that as proof).
 


Apple's marketing show yesterday felt incomplete for such a major strategic shift.
I started yesterday to write a post with essentially the same observation as Ric's. The lack of specifics in Apple's announcement(s) reminds me of Google's recent unveiling of its Stadia streaming gaming service - few details, no definite date or price. Long on wow, short on how.

There was a time when tech journalists called out such announcements as vaporware. That's a role now being played by stock analysts:
CNBC said:
 



Ric Ford

MacInTouch
On Apple News+ I see that FourFourTwo is a good example of bad iPhone layout - it's just large, fixed pages you have to scroll around to see. A bunch of other magazines have similar awkward page presentations.

Bloomberg is $34.99/mo. on Apple News (with a 30-day free trial).

ESPN on News+ has some text problems with missing spaces between words.

A Rolling Stone story has a garbled texth%ml mess in the middle.

How much fundamental sense does Apple's model actually make, when it seems to be built on putting paper pages into an Apple app, instead of just using standard web formats that are designed for flexibility across mobile, laptop, desktop and TV screens.
 


I know it's possible to unsubscribe, but I've been hunting for the place to do that unsuccessfully for a while now.
You don't expect them to make it easy, do you? At least you apparently don't have to actually call to cancel, like some services I have had in the past.
 


David, I'd love to "do a Hackintosh", if I knew how, so any sort of link with appropriate hardware choices would be appreciated. As my apps of choices are cross-platform, the "PC" could always run Windows, and I'd manage.
It is much easier than it used to be; virtually formulaic if you stick with known hardware that others have had success with. The tools and information you need can be found at tonymacx86.com.
 


Why does Target give me a 5% discount for using its store card, but Apple Card will only give 3%? And why, for Apple purchases, is it cash back after taxes and instead of a discount off the retail price?

Also, will the Apple Card exclude the typical MasterCard or Visa extra benefits, such as price protection, warranty extension, purchase assurance, auto rental insurance, travel accident insurance?

Will the only interface to the account be via the iPhone, i.e. no website? Would that mean no integration with financial portals and applications (like, Quicken)?

How do you use an Apple Card to buy your first Apple device?

Apple says you can use the physical Apple Card for merchants that don't accept Apple Pay. But I've seen just in the last week merchants whose iPhone attached credit card readers weren't working, so they were entering the credit card numbers by hand -- numbers which the physical Apple Card doesn't have. This means you'd need to carry your card and iPhone, just in case you need to show the credit card number (and hope the merchant accepts that as proof).
Michael, thanks for providing me with all the reasons why whatever interest I might have had in the Apple Card have completely vanished. My AmEx and Southwest Visa are both useful and accessible.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
I know it's possible to unsubscribe, but I've been hunting for the place to do that unsuccessfully for a while now.
I finally found it, cleverly hidden:

News app > Following tab > scroll to bottom > Manage Subscriptions

Alternatively, running iTunes, you can:
  1. Choose Account > View my Account
  2. Sign in with your Apple ID credentials
  3. Scroll to the bottom of Account Information
  4. Find Subscriptions
  5. Click the Manage button
I also looked for subscription management in both iCloud and Apple Store Account on the web but to no avail.

I subsequently found this Apple Support article, which describes various procedures you can follow:
Apple said:
View, change, or cancel your subscriptions
Manage your subscriptions in Settings on your iOS device, iTunes on a Mac or PC, or on Apple TV.

On your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch
  1. Go to Settings > [your name] > iTunes & App Store.
  2. Tap your Apple ID at the top of the screen, then tap View Apple ID. You might need to sign in with your Apple ID.
  3. Scroll to Subscriptions, then tap it.
  4. Tap the subscription that you want to manage.
    If you're being charged for a subscription, but you don't see it in your list of subscriptions, it might be billed through someone other than Apple. Learn what to do if you still can’t view your subscription.
  5. Use the options to manage your subscription. You can choose a different subscription offering, or tap Cancel Subscription to cancel your subscription. If you cancel, your subscription will stop at the end of the current billing cycle.1
    If you don’t see an option to cancel a particular subscription, then it's already canceled and won't renew. If the subscription recently expired, you should see an expiration date. If you recently canceled the subscription, you should see the date through which you'll have access to the subscription. ...
1. If you cancel a subscription during a free trial period, you might lose access to content immediately.
 





Also, will the Apple Card exclude the typical MasterCard or Visa extra benefits, such as price protection, warranty extension, purchase assurance, auto rental insurance, travel accident insurance?
I have been wondering very much the same. Apple was very tight lipped on such. Since the Apple Card is not due until Summer we will have to wait for the details. However, I am doubtful Apple will be throwing in any "free" warranty extensions for their hardware purchased on their own credit card when they can charge you for the same.

For comparison, at Costco, assuming you can find a configuration you want, you would not only pay slightly less than the full retail price at Apple, but you would also get 2% back on your purchase with the Costco credit card and a free second year of warranty no matter how you paid.
 


Why does Target give me a 5% discount for using its store card, but Apple Card will only give 3%? And why, for Apple purchases, is it cash back after taxes and instead of a discount off the retail price?
The 5% vs 3% is simple enough, I think. Target has a crazy high profit margin, which is why they can run periodic 30%-off sales, or 20%-off-if-you-do-this-tomorrow sales, etc. Apple also has crazy high profit margins, but they intend to keep ’em! The only real discounts for Apple stuff are in the refurb section... Costco and academic discounts give you a little bit (the academic discount mainly applies to upgrades, e.g. adding software or expanding RAM), and the 2% on your credit card helps, but Apple doesn’t give much away any more.
 


In the mid-90s, Apple and CitiBank teamed up on a card. My recollection of the details is very fuzzy, but I remember that you could accumulate a percentage of purchases toward the purchase of Apple products. I took advantage of it with my own purchases, and my employers also let me buy stuff for work using the card, for which they reimbursed me. After a couple of years, I had accumulated enough to get a hefty chunk off the cost of my Power Mac 7600 and 20” MultipleScan monitor. I was disappointed when they phased out that card.
 



I'm on a desktop, so copy-pasta is easy:
Exactly, thanks. Also, for the first few weeks I was reading the site, I thought they only supported build-your-own systems. The OEM builds tend to be in the OS version build guides. For example, if you wanted to run High Sierra you'd look in:

The guide I used to install Mojave is:

It definitely takes a bit of effort to figure out the best system for your needs.
 


A "cockpit" error, but for what it's worth, I subscribed accidentally to News+ on my iPhone. I was trying not to, but I hit the home button, and that purchased the subscription without intending to. I know it's possible to unsubscribe, but I've been hunting for the place to do that unsuccessfully for a while now.
I started receiving notifications from AnandTech (Huawei). They said (many emails with two people) they have 300,000 subscribers and are unable to unsubscribe anyone. Nothing like AnandTech or Huawei appears in my Notification panels in System Preferences or Apple News (or anywhere on my Mac!). So I think Apple News must have subscribed me, so I've had to disable all notifications from Apple News.

Can you believe people capable of engineering a smartphone are incapable of engineering an unsubscribe option?
 



It just occurred to me that I do not believe anything was said during the segment of Apple's presentation regarding the Apple Card about the long-running program Apple has had with the BarclayCard. Will Apple continue with both? Will those with the BarclayCard automatically receive the new Goldman-Sachs-backed Apple Card? There are a great number of details left to be answered.
 


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