Japan

Apple’s 2017 Back to School promo launches in Australia, New Zealand & Japan

Apple today kicked off its annual Back to School promotion across Australia, New Zealand and Japan. Advertised under the “Back to Uni” tagline, these deals offer students, teachers and university staff members an Apple Store credit in exchange for a qualified iMac, Mac Pro, MacBook/Air/Pro or iPad Pro purchase made from February 7 to March 16.

The promotion is combinable with educational pricing discounts on Macs, iPads and AppleCare products. Built-to-order Mac models qualify for these deals as well, but refurbished devices and lower-cost computers like Mac mini do not.

Google Translate’s augmented reality feature, Word Lens, now works with Japanese

In addition to updating the Popular Times feature in Google Maps for iPhone and iPad with real-time data, the search giant also issued another noteworthy update, this one concerning its dedicated Translate app on App Store. Bumped to version 5.5, the free download can now translate photos of signs, menus and similar items from Japanese to English, and vice versa. That’s because its augmented reality feature, called Word Lens, has been updated to recognize Japanese content on photos and video.

Apple’s new Japanese ad shows off FeliCa support on iPhone 7

Apple today published a new commercial on its Japanese YouTube channel, titled ”Race”.

The 30-second television spot is all about iPhone 7, which in Japan comes with a special chip supporting Sony-developed FeliCa mobile payments technology.

With FeliCa support, folk in Japan can buy tickets via Apple Pay at terminals supporting Suica, QUICPay or iD. Apple Pay launched in Japan at the end of October 2016.

Apple screen supplier Japan Display could receive government bailout

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Apple supplier Japan Display could receive a bailout of around ¥75 billion ($703 million) from the government-backed fund Innovation Network Corp. of Japan (INCJ), which is its largest shareholder with a 36 percent share.

People familiar with the matter said that the display maker might receive new financing from INCJ through an issuance of subordinated bonds and may possibly get “additional support” from the fund.

Commuters struggling to register their train passes following Japan’s Apple Pay launch

Following its official launch in Japan, Apple Pay has experienced a rocky debut in the 127 million people market as commuters struggled to register their train passes onto iPhones for more than ten hours amid apparent system overload.

Many people in Japan use their rail passes that double as electronic money cards.

According to Bloomberg, the trouble started shortly after 9am in Tokyo as users began reporting issues adding their cards to Apple Pay.

Apple Pay launches in Japan

Apple Pay today launched in Japan, one of Apple’s most important markets and home to population of 127 million souls. Marking its twelfth major market, Apple Pay permits Japanese customers to make private credit and prepaid card purchases in stores, online and in apps, plus commute and pay for everyday items with Suica from JR East.

To support the service, Apple today issued the free iOS 10.1 software update which has enabled support for transit directions in Japan to help users find ride details, including fare breakdowns that automatically show Suica pricing on their device.

Apple Maps transit directions live for iOS 10.1 beta users in Japan ahead of launch

Apple is currently beta-testing the first major update to iOS 10 since its public release last month. Aside from a Portrait shooting mode for iPhone 7 Plus owners and a new toggle in Settings to allow Messages animations when Reduce Motion is enabled, the software update should bring official support for transit directions in Japan within the stock Maps application, Japanese blog Ata Distance said today.

Tim Cook says Apple wants to use AI to boost iPhone battery life

Apple’s boss Tim Cook traveled around Japan on a bullet train last week as part of his whirlwind tour of the country, his first visit since becoming CEO.

Speaking to Nikkei Asian Review, Cook expressed hope that Apple Pay will help realize a cashless society and hinted that the company’s new research and development center in Yokohama, near Tokyo, would be “very different” from its Chinese R&D center as it would explore “deep engineering”.

He then said that Apple wants to use artificial intelligence to turbo charge the iPhone battery life.

Tim Cook meets Nintendo’s games designer Shigeru Miyamoto during Japan visit

Apple’s boss Tim Cook met Nintendo’s legendary games designer Shigeru Miyamoto during a recent whirlwind tour of Japan.

As part of his itinerary, he also met with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and confirmed an upcoming technology center in Yokohama.

During the trip, Cook tweeted out a “good morning” message in Japanese and posted two images, one with Miyamoto and the other acknowledging that he had used Apple Pay to ride Japan’s famous Yamanote transit line.