Amazon Music Unlimited expands to UK, Germany and Austria

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 14, 2016

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. Read More

 

Facebook halts WhatsApp data collection in UK following privacy probe

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 8, 2016

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. Read More

 

Apple Watch banned from UK government cabinet meetings over spying concerns

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 10, 2016

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.” Read More

 

London’s iconic Battersea Power Station will be Apple’s new UK headquarters

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 28, 2016

The British newspaper Evening Standard reports that Apple will be opening a “stunning new” campus in London’s iconic Battersea Power Station. The $11.7 billion project will create a new home for 1,400 employees in the brick “cathedral of power,” which had been powering and lighting London up to 1983. Read More

 

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

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 26, 2016

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. Read More

 

Apple Music Festival is returning to London beginning September 18

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 22, 2016

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. Read More

 

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

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 21, 2016

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. Read More

 

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

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 19, 2016

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. Read More

 

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

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 15, 2016

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. Read More

 

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

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 29, 2016

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. Read More

 

Barclays confirms Apple Pay rollout in late March

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 26, 2016

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”. Read More

 

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

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 23, 2015

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. Read More

 

UK’s TSB and Tesco Bank now support Apple Pay

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 17, 2015

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. Read More

 

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

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 25, 2015

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. Read More

 

Apple Watch availability expands to UK’s John Lewis and Currys department stores

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 14, 2015

The Apple Watch world tour continues unabated with confirmation that the wearable device is slated to go on sale this week at John Lewis, the department store in the United Kingdom, Wearable reports.

Currys, another mainstream UK-based department store, also announced on its website that it would be selling the Apple Watch “soon.”

Both John Lewis and Currys will provide online support for Apple Watch sales as well. Read More

 

Apple Pay transaction limit in UK raises to £30

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 1, 2015

When Apple Pay launched in the United Kingdom in mid-July, it was limited to transactions up to £20 without entering in a PIN number or signature, a cap imposed on almost all contactless payments in the country. Tuesday, the cap rose to £30 per touchless payment without entering a PIN number or providing your signature.

As noted by The Verge, the new £30 cap is applied to all contactless payments in the United Kingdom, including those made via contactless cards that work without any other authentication. Read More

 

Gorgeous floral installation comes to life in London to promote Apple Watch

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 20, 2015

Apple Watch advertising has been amped up quite a bit with news of a remarkable eye-candy floral display which promotes the wearable device at Selfridges, a chain of high end department stores in the UK founded by Harry Gordon Selfridge.

According to design outlet Wallpaper, two dozen floral displays that wrap around Selfridges’ flagship store in London sport blooming flowers and other floral motifs directly inspired by the Motion face on the Apple Watch. Read More

 

HSBC and First Direct customers in the UK can now use Apple Pay

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 28, 2015

Two weeks after Apple Pay launched in the United Kingdom, HSBC and First Direct customers can now use the service. Both banks were originally supposed to support Apple Pay at launch, and were even mentioned in Apple’s support document listing participating banks, but were delayed due to “some issues” until late July.

Apple Pay in the UK imposes a £20 transaction limit as a security measure due to outdated POS terminals. Apple said the £20 limit will increase to £30 in September. The cap will go away once retailers roll out more modern contactless payment terminals. Read More

 

Athlete shows off Apple Watch with custom red Sport Band and folding charging plug

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 17, 2015

With such a high-profile launch of a new-category (fashionable) gadget on its hands, little wonder Apple is admittedly enlisting help of the world’s top fashion editors, celebrities and athletes in an unprecedented attempt to position the gizmo in the public’s consciousness.

The latest in celebrity Watch signings came via British professional rugby player and captain turned cyclist, Will Carling.

Earlier today, Carling on Twitter showed off his stainless steel Apple Watch sporting what appears to be a bespoke red Sport band. Read More

 

Court rules UK users can sue Google over Safari privacy breach

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 27, 2015

Things could get ugly for Google as the Internet giant lost a UK appeal in the Safari cookie tracking case, potentially opening the door to litigation from the millions of British users, BBC News reported Friday.

The case revolves around Google’s practice to continue tracking users of Apple’s Safari browser via cookies even after they had changed their browser settings to block cookies, in order to target them with advertising. Read More

 
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