UK

Tim Cook visits Downing Street, talks Brexit and more with UK Prime Minister Theresa May

Hot on the heels of his days-long European tour that saw him receive an honorary degree from the University of Glasgow after visiting various locations including Marseille, Paris, Vreden and Berlin, Apple CEO Tim Cook meet the United Kingdom’s Prime Minister Theresa May this morning at 10am local time. May and Cook discussed the company’s presence in the country in the aftermath of Brexit.

Amazon Music Unlimited expands to UK, Germany and Austria

After making its U.S. debut last month, Amazon’s $9.99 per month music-streaming service is set to expand to the United Kingdom, Germany and Austria beginning Monday, announced the online retail giant. The service was live in the United Kingdom at post time, with roll-outs in Germany and Austria following later today.

Earlier this morning, rival Google released revamped Play Music apps with machine learning-driven recommendations based on user location, activity and time of day.

Facebook halts WhatsApp data collection in UK following privacy probe

As of late-August 2016, WhatsApp has been sharing account data with Facebook in what the firm framed as an effort to improve targeted advertising on the social network. Although users can easily opt out of the WhatsApp → Facebook data sharing with just a few taps, most novice users are unaware that their WhatsApp usage data is being shared with Facebook.

In the United Kingdom, the Information Commissioner Office head Elizabeth Denham said her office had launched a probe into WhatsApp’s updated Terms of Service a few weeks ago.

The new terms previously drew ire from European privacy watchdogs who expressed “serious concerns” over the policy change. As a result of the UK government probe, WhatsApp has now suspended account data collection and sharing with Facebook.

Apple Watch banned from UK government cabinet meetings over spying concerns

British newspaper The Telegraph reported yesterday that the Apple Watch has been banned from government cabinet meetings after ministers warned wearable devices could be vulnerable to hacking by state-sponsored spies. Smartphones, too, have been barred from cabinet meetings because of similar concerns, with one source saying that “the Russians are trying to hack everything.”

UK’s carrier EE to offer free six-month Apple Music subscriptions beginning September 1

Not to be outdone by Australia’s Telstra and Germany’s Deutsche Telekom, British telecommunications operator EE (formerly Everything Everywhere) confirmed that it, too, would soon be treating its customers to six free months of music-streaming via Apple Music and Beats 1 Radio.

To promote this offer, the carrier put together a multi-million pound ad campaign featuring actor Kevin Bacon and pop singer Britney Spears.

Apple Music Festival is returning to London beginning September 18

Monday morning, Apple announced that its free annual concert series, known as Apple Music Festival, will be returning to London in September. The two-week event is scheduled to take place from September 18 to September 30 at the London Roundhouse, with residents of the United Kingdom being given a chance to win tickets to the gigs.

BBC’s iPlayer Radio hits US App Store as new BBC+ app goes live in UK

The British Broadcasting Corporation’s (BBC) iPlayer Radio mobile app, which used to be limited to customers in the United Kingdom, has expanded stateside today, TechCrunch just announced. Now customers in the United States can download iPlayer Radio from the US App Store and tune in to BBC’s high-quality radio stations and content.

Earlier in the week, BBC announced launch of a brand new personalized content portal with a new BBC+ app on the UK App Store.

Apple Store promo: sign up for Apple Pay and get $5/£5 iTunes gift card

Apple is running a new promotion in its retail stores in the United States and United Kingdom, treating anyone who’d sign up for Apple Pay this week to a free $5/£5 iTunes gift card, according to MacRumors which first caught wind of this news.

Free money is always appreciated, more so given that iTunes credit can be used for any purchase made in an Apple Store, whether purchasing an accessory, an Apple product or an iTunes/Apple Store gift card.

Pokémon Go is now available in Italy, Spain, Portugal, UK and Germany

Nintendo’s tremendously successful Pokémon Go is expanding in more countries across Europe. In addition to releasing on the App Store in Germany and the United Kingdom a few days ago, the augmented-reality game which requires people to go out hunting for pokémon is now available for download in Italy, Spain and Portugal.

Check out Euro 2016 Easter egg surprise hidden on Apple’s website

Apple hid a nice Easter egg surprise on its website for fans of soccer who are currently following the 2016 UEFA European Championship. Apple websites in the United Kingdom and elsewhere in Europe now sport an updated Choose Your Country selector with Euro 2016 country groups and schedules.

As reported on by Dutch blog iCulture, the Cupertino firm even temporarily added a few new countries that it does not have regional websites for—like Albania, Iceland, Northern Ireland, Ukraine and Wales—to ensure that the groups and bracket are filled out properly.

Barclays confirms Apple Pay rollout in late March

Barclays, a large British multinational banking and financial services company headquartered in London, has confirmed that it will be rolling out support for Apple Pay sometime in late March.

In an email dated January 12 and sent to customer Oli Foster-Burnell, a copy of which was shared on Twitter and obtained by Engadget, Barclays CEO of Personal and Corporate Banking Ashok Vaswani said they will launch Apple Pay “within the next 60 to 75 days”.

MasterCard now offering free public transit to Apple Pay users in London

As part of its Fare Free Mondays promotion, global financial services corporation MasterCard is now offering Apple Pay users free public transit in London for a limited time. The promo starts today, November 23, and is valid over the next four consecutive Mondays ending December 14, 2015.

During those Mondays, customers in London can take advantage of Apple Pay on their iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and Apple Watch to use London’s public transit network at no charge. That is, up to £27.90 in daily fares per customer is included in the form of refundable funds.

UK’s TSB and Tesco Bank now support Apple Pay

In addition to adding Canada as the third country where Apple Pay is available (limited to American Express cardholders at launch), availability of Apple’s mobile payments service in the United Kingdom, where Apple Pay launched this summer, increased today with financial institutions TSB and Tesco Bank now supporting the service. This leaves Barclays as the last UK major bank without support for Apple Pay.

Samsung tries to troll iPhone 6s launch outside Apple’s flagship London store

Here we go again…

In what could only be described as a continuation of its miserable anti-Apple advertising campaign, Samsung has hired people to wear backpack-mounted banners advertising its Galaxy smartphones to folks who queued up for iPhone 6s launch this morning outside the Apple Store in London’s Regent Street, The Inquirer reported.

The banners promote Samsung’s latest Galaxy S6 edge and S6 edge+ flagships and carry the provocative tagline “The itch to switch just got bigger.” In addition, International Business Times is reporting that Samsung even gave queued customers bright blue pillows and bottles emblazoned with the hashtag #NextIsNew.

But wait, there’s more.