Maccast 2016.02.23 - Show #561
V Opening
V Opening Music
* Music is Say Anything by Manda and the Marbles
V Sponsor: proXPN
V proXPN
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V Given Apple's recent events it's particularly timely that we talk about a service that can better protect your security and privacy.
* When you're on public wi-fi or going through your ISP there are logs of what you are doing where you're going , etc.
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* Security on open networks and also from region limiting.
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V The first is privacy
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* You should read through the terms and conditions and privacy policy of ANY VPN service
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V Ease of use
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V Great support
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V News
V Apple vs. the FBI
* I generally try to keep away from topics that can stray into politics, but this week this story is too big to avoid.
* The approach I'm going to try and take though is mainly trying to give you as much information about what's happening and try to avoid as much opinion or rhetoric as possible. You've been getting plenty of that from other outlets I'm sure
* In thinking about this I believe the best approach to present things is in a sort of timeline
V Background
* On December 2, 2015 in San Bernardino, CA 14 people were killed and 22 seriously injured.
* The shooting took place at a holiday party for San Bernardino County Department of Public Health
* The shooting was done by a married couple one of who worked as a health department employee.
* After the shooting there was a 4 hour chase and then a shootout in which both suspects were killed by police.
* After the shooting the FBI opened a counter-terrorism investigation and the president defined the shooting as an act of terrorism.
* The FBI Director James B. Comey called the couple "homegrown violent extremists" who were "inspired" by foreign terrorist groups. He also claimed that they were not directed by these groups and were not part of any terrorist cell or network.
* During investigations they recovered three cell phones used by the suspects. The personal phones owned by the husband and wife were destroyed by them prior to the shooting and the FBI could not recover any data from the. The third phone as an iPhone 5c issued to the husband by his employer, the San Bernardino County Department of Public Health.
V Apple's involvement
* The iPhone 5c was locked with a passcode and the FBI worked with Apple to try to obtain data from the device
V There were unencrypted backups of the iPhone that stopped on October 19th, 2015
* The reason is unknown as to why
V The Court Order
* Issued by a U.S. District Court in in Riverside County, CA
V Orders Apple to:
* [Apple] will bypass or disable the auto-erase function whether or not it has been enabled;
* [Apple] will enable the FBI to submit passcode to the SUBJECT DEVICE for testing electronically via the physical device port, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, or other protocol available on the SUBJECT DEVICE; and
* [Apple] will ensure that when the FBI submits passcodes to the SUBJECT DEVICE, software running on the device will not purposefully introduce any additional delay between passcode attempts beyond what is incurred by Apple hardware.
* So the basics are the FBI wants Apple to disable the built-in security controls to allow them to "brute-force" attack the iPhone in an attempt to unlock it without destroying the data on the device.
* They also would have to compensate Apple for the work and the work could be done at a location Apple chooses so long as the FBI would be given remote access to the modified device to run it's cracking software.
* The basis for granting the request was the All Writs Act. A 1789 act that requires company's to cooperate with legal requests as long as they don't cause "undue burden" to the company.
V Apple's first response
* Tim Cook posted an Customer Letter on their website
* "The United States government has demanded that Apple take an unprecedented step which threatens the security of our customers. We oppose this order, which has implications far beyond the legal case at hand."
* Reaffirmed Apple's commitment to protecting the privacy and data of their customers.
* Said they would oppose the court order.
* Reiterated that Apple provided the data they had and made employees available to help the FBI with the investigation.
* Apple sees the request to disable the security features in iOS, even for one device, as a "backdoor".
* Apple feels there is no way to maintain the control of a modified version of iOS once it exists.
V Apple had asked the FBI to make its court application under seal.
* Meaning that all the arguments would have been made in private, but the FBI did it publicly.
* Of course that means we get speculation as to the FBI's intent.
V Early reactions
* Secure Enclave would make this kind of hack Moot. No, Apple says the same methods could be applied to newer devices
V A passcode of 4-digits could be cracked in just over 30 mins. using the methods described by the FBI
* 6-digits, numeric only might take days
* An 8 digit alphanumeric passcode could take over a million years to crack
V Reports that Apple had already served 70 request to "unlock" iPhones. Not true, they extracted data from devices in which had valid warrants. Done without unlocking or breaking encryption.
* This is also what Apple did in the San Bernardino case. Providing unencrypted iCloud data from backups. The backups were only through October 19th, 2015 though.
V Reports that Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr was considering proposing a bill that would impose criminal penalties on companies that don’t comply with these types of orders.
* But later The Wall Street Journal reported that a spokesperson for the Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman said they ruled against a proposal to introduce criminal penalties for companies that do not comply with encryption-related court orders..
V The DOJ involvement
* Days after the court order went out the DOJ has asked a federal judge to compel Apple to help the FBI.
* The DOJ affidavit allowed Apple to talk more openly about the case and how they had already worked with the FBI.
V The Apple ID on the iPhone was changed less than 24 hours after the attack
* It was done by the IT for San Bernardino County Department of Public Health at the request of the FBI
* The password change was discovered by Apple after the provided a procedure that would have allowed the FBI to force an iCloud Backup of the device, allowing the ability for Apple to extract more recent data from iCloud.
* The FBI claims that even if they had not reset the password and Apple was able to deliver iCloud data from between October and the time of the attack that there may still be data on the device that they would want access to that is not in the iCloud backups. Meaning they still would be making the same request, regardless.
V FBI director responds
* James Comey, director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, posts his own Open Letter
* He claims the order is about the victims and justice and not setting precedence.
* It's the FBI's job to provided a "thorough and professional investigation under law".
* The want the opportunity to follow this lead whether or not it, "holds the clue to finding more terrorists".
V Apple's Q&A
* Apple then followed up with a Q&A on their site titled Answers to your questions about Apple and security
V Two reasons the oppose the court order
* It would be wrong to intentionally weaken their products with a government-ordered backdoor which would put both customers privacy and safety at risk.
* It set a legal precedent that would expand the powers of the government and they worry about where that may lead.
* They acknowledge that technically they could comply
V Couldn't Apple control it?
* No, they feel once it's created it will get out
* Point out that law enforcement agents around the country have already said they have hundreds of iPhones they want Apple to unlock if the FBI wins this case.
* Confirmed they have not "unlocked" devices. They have, for devices running the iPhone operating systems prior to iOS 8, extracted data when requested under a lawful court order.
* They are opposing this for their business model or marketing reasons
* We provided all the information about this phone that they possess and now the government wants them to give the FBI data that Apple does not have
V Cook Memo to Employees
* Obvious, but again states that "As individuals and as a company, we have no tolerance or sympathy for terrorists."
* Apple uses encryption to protect it's customers.
* Tim says the government should withdraw its demands under the All Writs Act and form a commission of experts on intelligence, technology and civil liberties to discuss the implications for law enforcement, national security, privacy and personal freedoms.
* “At stake is the data security of hundreds of millions of law-abiding people, and setting a dangerous precedent that threatens everyone’s civil liberties.”
V Other interesting facts or events
* Apple has until February 26th to respond to the court order.
V Edward Snowden says FBI could use chip de-capping to extract the data they want without Apple
* You only get one shot at it since you use acid and lasers to physically attack the chip.
* You would not know where to look for the data on the chip.
* John McAfee has offered his services and team to the FBI and claims they could get the data they want in about 3 weeks. Mostly using "social engineering"? WHAT?!!
V The San Bernardino county government owned Mobile Device Management software that, had it been installed on this phone, could have removed the passcode
* They have a contract with MobileIron, but each department makes their decisions
* It's really not relevant at this point though. It's a "what if" exercise by the media.
V A Pew Public Research Center survey showed that only 38 percent of Americans think Apple should NOT help the FBI
* The study surveyed 1000 respondents
* 51 percent felt Apple should "unlock" the iPhone.
V Currently the DOJ has 12 iPhones they are seeing to get court orders for to get Apple to help in accessing.
* These requests are also using the All Writs Act to try and compel Apple
* None of the other devices are known to be part of "terrorist" cases.
* Most are running iOS 7 or earlier, but 3 are iOS 8 and one, iOS 9
V My opinions
* I support Apple and their position and I'm glad they are opposing the order.
V I support them so far as they are following the law
* They have the right to appeal and if it goes to the Supreme Court and they lose then I hope they comply at that point.
V I do worry that they could ultimately lose this battle
* They'd have to be able to prove "undue burden"
* Technologically they might not be able to argue that, but they could argue that eroding the relationship with customers over security and privacy could be "burdensome" to the company moving forward.
* I sincerely hope they, really we, don't lose the war.
* This case will only further Apple's efforts to strengthen privacy and encryption in future products and services.
V Apple Pay in China
* Last week Apple launched Apple Pay in China
* It was launched through a partnership with UnionPay, China's state-run interbank network.
* Apple Pay in China can now be used by customers with China UnionPay credit and debit cards.
* Apple has deals with 19 of the biggest lenders in China, which should cover about 80 percent of credit and debit cards in China (approx. 5 billion) eligible for use with Apple Pay.
* Supporting stores are, Mannings, Lane Crawford, all days, Carrefour, Apple Store, McDonald's, Burger King, 7-Eleven, KFC, and more.
* Apple also rolled out in-app Apple Pay payment support for developers using CUP, Lian Lian, PayEase, and YeePay payment processors.
V One of the ways it looks like Apple was able to get Chinese banks on board was by severely reducing it's fees
* AppleInsider has details of a report claiming Apple agreed to halve it's fee.
* In the US it's been reported Apple gets about 0.15 percent per transaction, but in China they'll be taking only about 0.07 percent.
* The issue in China was that merchants there typically pay about 0.38 percent in transaction fees, compared to about 2 percent for US merchants. So in China adding another 0.15 percent would, as a percentage per transaction, severely increase the merchant fees.
* The fees have also been a sticking point for Apple in other regions, so I wonder if their giving in in China will weaken their ability to negotiate as they roll out to other countries?
V Not long after the roll out though there began to be complaints about the ability to register cards
* At fist the issue was thought to be a technical one. The assumption was that the system was being over loaded.
* Mashable reported that 38 million bank cards had been linked to Apple Pay by 5pm on launch day, 10M of them registered within the first hour.
* Apple responded though saying that the ability to add cards was being made available on a rolling basis throughout the day and that was why some customers could not immediately register their cards
V In addition to China Apple Pay is now available in Apple Pay in the United States, the UK, Canada, and Australia. Apple is currently working to also expand Apple Pay and hopes to launch it into Hong Kong, Singapore, and Spain later this year.
* Outside China, the UK, and the US Apple Pay is being made available through a partnership with American Express.
V 'Vital Signs' a pure Music play
* Last week we talked about the rumors of Apple producing an original TV series with Dr. Dre called 'Vital Signs'
V The show is said to be a series of six 30-minute episodes that reflect, at least in part, on the life of Dr. Dre.
* Each episode is said to focus on a specific emotion and the way Dr. Dre's character handles it.
* It's was also reported that the show will contain sexually explicit and graphically violent content.
* The show will be distributed through Apple Music and while not part of iTunes or Apple TV.
* Still some people think this is Apple dipping it's toe in on creating original TV content potentially for an upcoming subscription TV service
* Re/code ran a piece though claim they had a source that says this is all about extending Apple Music.
* The idea being to set it apart from competitive offerings.
* There were rumors over the summer of Apple producing Music videos for artists like Drake, Pharrell, and Eminem.
* Apple Music also partnered with Taylor Swift to produce her 1989 World Tour LIVE concert film.
* So, the new Dre show appears now to be the next extension of that.
* Apple also has announced plans to live stream an upcoming exclusive performance by British band "The 1975" on February 25th.
V Apple's India Expansion
* Apple has said that India is an important market for the company moving forward and they seem to be following through on focusing some efforts there
V Last week I mentioned they were opening a development office there.
* The report was that Apple will spend about $25 million to acquire 250,000 square feet of office space.
* Apple has now confirmed the facility and that they will have about 150 employees there to support maps development.
* In addition Apple also said the space will have room for "many contractors who will support our ambitious efforts locally".
V The Economic Times has also reported that Apple has stopped official sales of the iPhone 4s and 5c in India
* The move appears to be an effort to increase profits in India by bringing up the average selling price (ASP) of devices there.
* Remember that Apple lowered the price of the iPhone 5s in India to about Rs. 24,000 (US $350), but the iPhone 4s has been the most popular in India selling for about half that, around Rs. 12,000 (USD $175)
* Apple seems to be more comfortable to losing some marketshare to lower priced Samsung and Chinese smartphones if it means more profits in India.
* Last quarter Apple saw a 20 percent year over year decline in India on it's iPhone ASP.
V If you remember Apple's iPhone sales seem to be slowing and leveling off a bit, so expanding sales to other emerging markets is important for Apple
* Numbers from Gartner for the 4th quarter of 2015 showed Apple's worldwide unit sales declined 4.4 percent year over year.
* They also saw an overall loss in smartphone operating share going from 20.4 percent in 4Q14 to 17.7 percent in 4Q15.
V Apple's new iPhone Trade Up program
* Apple is working hard to counter slowing iPhone sales
* They've announced a new "Trade Up With Installments" program to get more people to trade up sooner
* Under the program users can now trade in an old iPhone, Android, or Windows Phone and put the value of that device towards a new 24-month iPhone installment plan.
V The program is for more older phone owners to trade up their devices.
* Since the trade-in values are generally lower the monthly payments need to be made for longer to get the monthly price down on the new device.
* Under the new program trading in an iPhone 4 for a 128GB iPhone 6s Plus would get you the new phone for payments of $35.37 a month.
* Of course you'll still need to pay your carrier plan and AppleCare+ is not included, so that is extra as well.
* Also this program does not allow for early upgrades like Apple's other iPhone Upgrade Program. "Trade Up With Installments" customers must pay off the device before it can be traded in for an upgrade.
V There are also reports of new employee incentive programs for selling iPhones
* Apple wants Retail employees to push harder to sell iPhones
* They are offering rewards and all-expense paid vacations to Cupertino, California to employees who sell the most iPhones in their region, according to Mark Gurman at 9to5 Mac.
V So if you're browsing the iPhones in the Apple Store expect that you may get the hard sell.
* Not sure this is a good idea for Apple.
* One of the pleasures of the Apple Store is the inviting, come hang out, style environment.
* They may end up chasing off more customers than actually selling more iPhones.
V A9 in 4-inch iPhone and iPad 3
* Bloomberg is now saying what I have believed all along.
* The next iOS products from Apple will have the current processor tech.
V The rumored 4-inch iPhone they say will sport the same A9 chips as the iPhone 6s and 6S Plus
* Meaning it will have more processor and RAM (2GB) than the mid-priced iPhone 6
* Also the M9 co-processor, which has support for "always on" Siri
V For the iPad Air 3, Bloomberg says it will have the A9X, the sam chip as in the iPad Pro
* That means dual-core with a 12 cluster GPU and 4GB of RAM, assuming it's not modified for the iPad Air 3
V Other features that have previously been noted
* Design similar to the iPad Pro
* Four speaker system
* Possibly a Smart Connector
* An LED flash
V At this point it's believed that Apple plans to hold a media event on March 15th to announce the new phone and iPad along with some new Apple Watch designs.
* It's also expected the announced products will go on sale the Friday following the event, March 18th.
V The new iPad couldn't arrive at a better time as iPad sales continue to slow for Apple
* We know sales have been on the decline, but DigiTimes Research, thinks the first quarter of 2016 might be particularly grim
* They're predicting Apple will sell just 9.8 million units which would be an almost 40 percent quarter over quarter decline and a 20 percent year over year decline
* It isn't just and Apple problem though. The overall tablet market has seen total shipments dropping 10% in 2015 over 2014.

* So a new iPad will help in the short term, but I don't think it will stop the overall decline
V KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo also believes iPad sales will continue to decline in 2016
* He expects Apple to ship between 40 and 42 million iPads in 2016, a decline of 16 percent year-over-year.
* The main issue is really tablets are so good. Users upgrade less frequently.
* I suspect soon the numbers will level off and you'll see a more consistent 2-3 year upgrade cycle for most consumers like you do currently for notebooks and desktops.
V Apple fixes Error 53 bug. Apologizes.
V On a previous show I mentioned the error 53 bug that impacted some iPhone customers that had their Touch ID sensors, and in some cases, screen repaired by a non-Apple authorized repair center or not by Apple
* The issue was that after restoring the device it would go into a boot loop and display error 53
V When the story first hit the web most speculated the issue was an intentional security feature
* Hardware pairing between the TouchID and the secure enclave
* I thought that was logical. A feature, not a bug.
* Turns out I and many others thought wrong
V Apple released a patched version of iOS 9.2.1 that fixes the bug and also restores any iPhones that had been impacted.
* Same version number different build. New one is 13D20
* You can't get it over the air, but I was prompted to update via iTunes when I connected my iPhone to the Mac.
V Apple claimed the issue was caused by a test thats was designed to check whether Touch ID worked properly before the device left the factory.
* The also apologized and said that customers who paid for an out-of-warranty replacement of their device based on this issue should contact AppleCare about a reimbursement.
V Apple Watch leads smartwatch sales
* From a new Strategy Analytics report.
* They estimate Apple sold 5.1 million Apple watches in the 4th quarter to capture a 63 percent share of the smartwatch market
* They also believe total smartwatch sales for the quarter were 8.1 million units beating Swiss watch sales of 7.9 million units. The first time that has ever happened.
V Still the numbers are not all good news for Apple.
* In the 2nd quarter Strategy Analytics said Apple Watch had a 75 percent share of the market, so their share is down 12 percent in two quarters.
* One possible reason is that the Apple Watch brought on stronger demand for smartwaches in general giving a halo effect and boosting sales for Apple's competitors.
* It's also likely why smartwatches were able to best Swiss watches for the first time.
V Apple extends MacBook Pro Repair Extension Program for Video Issues
* Apple has extended its MacBook Pro Repair Extension Program for Video Issues until December 31, 2016, or four years from its original date of sale
* So if you've been procrastinating you now have almost another year to keep holding off, but don't'.
* The program was originally set to expire in a few days, February 27, 2016, or three years from the original date of sale.
V The program covers some 15-inch and 17-inch MacBook Pro models, sold between February 2011 and February 2013, that have problems with distorted video, no video, or unexpected system restarts.
* Typically you'll see scrambled video, banding, or tearing while watching HD video or using apps that tax the video and CPU
* The issue are believed to be due to defective soldering on the AMD GPUs causing short circuiting and other problems.
* You can use the Check Coverage tool on Apple's support website to see if your system is eligible.
* You can contact Applecare, take your Mac to the Genius Bar, or to an Apple Authorized Service Provider to get repairs done free of charge.
* If you've already paid for an authorized repair you can contact Apple to arrange for a reimbursement.
V Tim Cook confirms Apple Car by denying it.
* He was asked in a recent Fortune piece about all the recent hiring they've been doing of people related to the auto industry
* What was interesting was he said he wouldn't talk about it, but in his explaining Apple's overall policy on R&D all but confirmed they were working on a car.
V Let me make the case
* He discussed how Apple explores a lot of ideas, but executes on very few.
* He explained the hirings as a way to "explore things with teams of people."
* But that it's only once things get past the exploration phase that the company begins "spending large amounts of money" and that they are "committed" to the project.
* So it all depends on your definition
V I would say hiring teams of hundreds, if not thousands, of people and buying and building facilities and buildings to house them seems like Apple is spending quite a bit.
* But still Tim says, no.
* Teams of that size didn't constitute spending "gobs of money," at least from Apple's perspective.
* At least it seems to confirm that the car project is in one of Apple's "exploratory" phases
* We did get recent reports of a hiring freeze on the project, so the question remains will Apple continue exploring or will the project start winding down?
V New OS Betas hit the streets
* Just about two weeks after the last round of betas
V iOS 9.3 beta 4
* The Night Shift icon in Control Center has been changed. Now a moon inside a sun instead of an eye.
* The rest seems to be tweaks and bug fixes.
V Earlier updates brought:
* Night Shift with a Control Center toggle
* Multi-user for Education in iPads
* Updates to the News app
* Password protected Notes
* "New" and "For You" sections in Apple Music in Car Play, and a Nearby feature in Maps on CarPlay
* Support for multiple Apple Watches with one iPhone.
* New 3D Touch Quick Actions for Weather, Settings, Compass, Health, App Store, and iTunes Store
V The Apple Pencil still appears to be disabled for anything other than drawing or writing apps
* It's has not been not clear if this is a bug or intention, but it's been disabled in the last two betas.
* Luckily an Apple spokesperson told The Verge. “We will add this functionality back in the next beta of iOS 9.3.”
V tvOS 9.2 beta 4
V New features
* A firmware update for the Apple TV Remote that adds improved motion sensor performance and support for additional sound bar and receiver hardware.
V Past features
* Bluetooth keyboard support
* App folders
* New look for the App switcher, similar look to iOS
* Support for iCloud Photo Library and Live Photos.
* Support for Dictation
* MapKit for developers
* Adds Siri support for US Spanish (in the US only) and French Canadian (in Canada only).
* Separately Apple has added universal search support for the Watch ABC, Disney XD, Disney Channel and Disney Jr. apps on the 4th generation Apple TV
V watchOS 2.2 beta 4
* No new features noted
V Past features
* Support for pairing multiple Apple Watches with a single iPhone
* New look for the Maps app with support for "Nearby"
* New buttons for quickly accessing directions to home and work.
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V Feedback, commentary, opinions
V Adobe Creative Cloud gotcha
* Developer David Barnard got quite a shock when he went to cancel the $11/mo. Adobe Creative Cloud subscription he was no longer using.
* He posted the image on Twitter.
* He'd have to pay a fee of $59.46, 50% of his remaining annual contract.
* Seems to me Adobe is being somewhat misleading.
* It does say the plans are annual with the option to pay monthly, but the Terms of Service don't really mention that you'll need to pay the remain balance if you cancel. At least not clearly
* Looking at Microsoft 365 it also says "Annual commitment pay monthly".
* Just something to be aware of.
V System Prefs power user guide
* Christian, one of the guys at, wrote up a a great piece on System preferences tricks
* I learned some cool tips and I'm going to share my favs, but you should go over and read the whole piece
V Quickly get to a pane in less clicks
* If you keep the System Preferences in the Dock, press and hold to get a pop-up menu. Select the pane you want from the list and boom.
V Use Spotlight. Command+spacebar
* System Preferences > Spotlight. Make sure 'System Preferences is checked on.
* Another one not in the article Apple Menu > System Preferences…
V Keyboard shortcuts
* Get right to the Display, Mission Control, Keyboard, or Sound panes from anywhere on your Mac.
* Option + the appropriate F key
V Which one, well the Mac keyboard icons are the clue
* F1 or F2 for displays (brightness keys)
* F3 or F4 for Mission Control (the Mission Control and Dashboard keys)
* F5 or F6 for Keyboard (keyboard backlight keys)
* F10, F11, or F12 for Sound pane (the volume keys)
* Not all combos work for all Macs or keyboards. May Apple Wi-Fi keyword didn't work to bring up the Keyboard pane, but the built-in one on my Macbook Pro did. (no backlight on the wi-fi keyboard?)
V Can also keyboard navigate inside the System Preferences
* Command+[ or Command+] will navigate forward and back
* Command+F will access the Search
* Search will Spotlight the icon for the Pane, but you can also use the arrow keys to move up and down the list of search results. Hit enter to go to the selected pane
* Click and hold the 'Show all' toolbar icon to see a list of the panes in a drop down.
V Organizing and Display
* You can hide items from the icon view by using the View > Customize. You can uncheck any items you don't want to see. They'll still be accessible from Search or the dropdown.
* Don't like how items are grouped by category? Change it View > Organize Alphabetically
V Thing of the moment: Payfinders
* I had a friend recently ask me about how to find locations that accept Apple Pay
* He wanted to know because of a scenario that i've found myself in as well. You've left the house, you're out and about, but you realize you forgot your wallet.
* Apple Pay is awesome, but only if you know where to use it.
V Apple's support in Maps is weak. There should be a "filter by Apple Pay" button.
* As it stands now you can click on a locations result to get the details and it might show an Apple Pay logo.
* Luckily I found an awesome App and service called PayFinders
* It's a free app and it gives you a map with the locations near you that accept Apple Pay
V You choose a 1, 6, or 11 mile radius.
* Unfortunately you can only search near you at the moment
V They say the data is updated hourly
* Seems to be a combination of their data and crowdsourcing
V You can submit and rate Apple Pay experiences
* Let's face it not all Apple Pay locations are the same.
* I love the nice clean design. A simple "line art" style to it.
V Closing
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