If you thought all the news from Apple was already announced, well before yesterday you’d be wrong. Apple gave us plenty of news about what’s ahead and what’s here now from the company. If you’re looking to get new Apple tech you have more choices. If you’re looking to update the Apple tech you already have, you have a lot to look forward to with the Yosemite update for your Mac.
Owners of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus will soon be able to leave their wallets at home. Apple Pay, announced last month, will be launched on Monday.
Apple Pay works with a credit card or debit card from a participating bank that you use on your iTunes account, after you authorize it. You can add additional cards by taking a picture of the card or typing in the number on your phone.
Apple Pay doesn’t store your credit/debit card number(s), what you paid, where you shopped or how much you spent. Instead, your device is assigned an encrypted account number by Apple. Each Apple Pay transaction generates a unique number for that payment.
More than 220,000 retailers will be using Apple Pay at launch, including places such as Walgreens, Macy’s, Panera Bread, Staples, Wegman’s, Bloomingdale’s and many more.
Using Apple Pay will make spending your money easier, just hold your thumb on the Touch ID Home button on your iPhone 6/6 Plus and point your phone to a pay terminal at checkout. You’ll feel your phone vibrate when the payment has been authorized.
This Vine video demonstrates Apple Pay being used in a store:
Apple Pay Apps
When Apple Pay is launched, you’ll be able to use Apple Pay with certain apps such as Starbucks, Target and Open Table. When you purchase an item on using an app, you’ll see an Apple Pay button. Tap on it to pay with your Apple Pay credit/debit card and the item will be shipped to the address you have on file.
For a full list of stores and apps where Apple Pay will be accepted, check out Wired, A List of Stores Where You Can Use Apple Pay
iPad Air 2
Apple has updated its line of larger iPads with the new and improved iPad Air 2. If you’re guessing thinner and lighter, then you’ve been paying attention to tech trends! Yes, the Air 2 with its 9.7″ screen is thinner and lighter than its predecessors, measuring 0.24 in (6.1 mm)
How thin is it? The Air 2 is so thin that Apple has eliminated the mute button on the side of the device.
This video demonstrates how your pencil now looks pudgy compared to Apple’s latest iPad…
…either that or Apple will soon be selling a high-tech whittling tool.
Weight has also been shaved off of the latest iPad with the scales tipping at a 15 ounces (425.2 g).
But thin and light doesn’t mean lethargic. The Air 2 becomes the fastest iPad ever with an A8X processor, a version of the chip that’s in the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus.
If you’ve been yearning to use your fingerprint to unlock your iPad, good news, you can do that with the Air 2. This latest iPad has Touch ID so you won’t have to type in a passcode to unlock your phone.
The iPad Air 3 gets Apple Pay (when it’s launched) to be used with compatible apps. Unlike the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus though, you won’t be able to use the Air 2 with Apple Pay in stores.
If you want to Go for the Gold you can do that with the iPad Air 2 which comes in Gold as well as Space Gray and Silver.
If you plan on taking pictures with your iPad, you’ll be happy that the camera has been upgraded from previous models. The Air 2 gets an 8 MP iSight camera and a 1.2 MP FaceTime HD front-facing camera. The rear-facing camera can capture larger panoramic photos and time-lapse videos.
The iPad Air 2 is available beginning today:
$499 16 GB
$599 64 GB
$699 128 GB
Wi-Fi + 4G:
$649 16 GB
$749 64 GB
$849 128 GB
The Air 2 will have an Apple SIM card that will work with multiple carriers, including AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile in the US and EE in the UK, with other carriers to follow. Verizon will be offering its own version of the iPad Air 2 with 4G later.
iPad Mini 3
If you like your iPads to be smaller, then you’ll appreciate the iPad Mini 3. Like its predecessor the iPad Mini 3 comes in at 7.9″ but has improved front and rear cameras. The processor and display remain the same as the Mini 2.
Like its larger sibling, the iPad Mini 3 now comes in Gold, Silver and Space Gray.
Touch ID/Apple Pay
Also like the Air 2, the Mini 3 gets Touch ID and Apple Pay that will work with compatible apps but not in stores.
The iPad Mini 3 is available today for:
$399 16 GB
$499 64 GB
$499 128 GB
Wi-Fi + 4G:
$549 16 GB
$649 64 GB
$749 128 GB
New Mac Computers
If you’ve been holding out on getting a new Mac until Apple offered you more, then your wait may be over. Apple announced a new 27″ iMac computer that is available today.
iMac with Retina
Apple is now offering a 27″ iMac with 5K Retina display. This new screen will have 7x the pixels of an HD TV and 4x that of a regular 27″ iMac. The insides are more powerful too, with advanced processors and a 1 TB Fusion drive.
New 27″ iMacs with Retina display are available now at prices beginning at $2499.
Mac OS X Yosemite
If your budget doesn’t include a new computer, you can feel as if you have one with Yosemite, the latest version of the Mac operating system. Many of Yosemite’s new features are designed to have a seamless transition between your iDevices and your Mac.
Apple’s Yosemite update adds new features connecting your Mac to your iPhone, making both your computer and phone more convenient and powerful. Many existing features have been redesigned to make them more useful and accessible.
Sidebars, toolbars and your dock have become translucent to give you a better view of your content and open windows. Icons have been redesigned for a more modern look in Yosemite.
Notification Center also becomes translucent and allows you to personalize your Today view. You can add Notification widgets from the App Store to give you more access to information such as Twitter mentions, eBay listings ending soon, Facebook messages, etc.
The Today view can show weather, stock prices, world clocks, reminders and other important information you want in your Notification Center. These notices are customizable and interactive so when you click on them you get more information and can edit the information.
Spotlight Search on your Mac will be broader with Yosemite, providing search results for your files as well as information such as contacts, calendar appointments, mail, news, movie times, weather and more.
You can start a Spotlight Search by clicking the magnifying glass in your toolbar that opens a large search box. When you begin typing your Mac will try to guess what you’re searching for to save you time.
When you search for someone in your contacts, Spotlight Search will display their contact information, emails, messages, calendar events and their Wikipedia page (if you have very famous friends).
Yosemite gives Calendar a new, modern look and shows your appointments in a side bar in Day view. Calendar displays appointment-related maps, contact information and notes to get a picture of your day at a glance.
If you’ve enjoyed using iMessage on your Mac but missed being able to communicate with your friends who don’t have iPhones, you’ll like how iMessage has been updated in Yosemite. This update gives you the ability to send and receive text messages to and from from any type of phone, including Android, Windows Phone, Blackberry and even non-smart flip phones.
Don’t Miss ➠ iMessage: Team Blue! to learn more about iMessage.
Yosemite can transform your Mac into a speakerphone so you can send and receive calls from your iPhone directly on your computer. No more having to stop what you’re doing to pull out your iPhone to answer a call. You’ll be able to see who’s calling and answer the phone without leaving your computer.
Continuity between Macs and iDevices
Apple has added a lot of features in Yosemite that will make your iDevices and your Mac new best friends. AirDrop on Yosemite lets you transfer files, photos, documents and more to and from your iDevices and your Mac.
Handoff is a new feature that lets you start working on a project on your Mac and then pick up where you left off on your iDevice. You can also do the reverse, start a project on your iDevice and then continue it on your Mac. You can also open a web page on your iDevice that you have open on your Mac and vice versa. Edits to email, iMessage and other documents appear on your computer and iDevice simultaneously in real time.
Available for the whopping price of FREE, Yosemite is now available for download. Check out the Apple website to learn whether your Mac is compatible and how to update to Yosemite: How to Update to Yosemite.
Apple also announced that iOS 8.1 will be released on Monday, adding Apple Pay and Yosemite Continuity features, as well as squashing bugs in iOS 8.
Are you excited about Apple’s latest news? Are you planning on getting a new iPad or Mac? Will you be updating to Yosemite? Will you be using Apple Pay? Let us know in the Comments section below!