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The primary media reaction to today’s news that Apple Pay is now the top U.S. mobile payments platform seems to be surprise. I don’t understand that reaction. It’s extremely weird that Starbucks — a single retailer — dominated this game for so long while smartphones contained payment services that could be used all over the place, and Apple Pay has been a fantastic experience from day one. I don’t even think Apple Card is getting me to use it more; I already used it every chance I could. It seems this is one of those areas in which tech journalists’ own usage is out of step with regular people, and that’s why they’re surprised by this news. How often do you use Apple Pay?
1. Apple Pay has surged past longtime leader Starbucks to become the most popular mobile payments platform in the U.S. We don’t know if that’s all thanks to Apple Card, but it is certainly interesting timing. Apple Pay now has 30.3 million U.S. users, or 47.3 percent of the market, compared to Starbucks’ 25.2 million, or 39.4 percent. Google Pay and Samsung Pay follow with 12.1 million and 10.8 million U.S. users, respectively. It’s pretty remarkable that a single retailer has dominated NFC mobile payments so far, but Apple Pay has now broken away from the pack. Apple Pay will be accepted by 70 percent of U.S. retailers by the end of this year. Total spending via mobile payments will reach nearly $100 billion this year, or $1,545 per user on average. That’s an increase of more than 24 percent over last year. — EMARKETER
2. Apple has dropped a pretty good hint that iOS 13.2 will be released by October 30. The new Beats Solo Pro headphones have an instant setup feature that requires iOS 13.2, and they become available to customers October 30. It’s hard to imagine Apple would ship brand new $300 headphones that don’t fully work on launch day; my theory is that it shipped iOS 13.0 solely for iPhone just so people could pair their new Series 5 Apple Watches. iOS 13.2 is a comparatively minor release, although it does contain new emoji, and iOS 13 still needs lots of fixes anyway. — CULT OF MAC
3. Lee Pace and Jared Harris will star in the Apple TV+ series Foundation, based on the novels of Isaac Asimov. Both have starred in acclaimed TV shows and movies, so this casting is a great sign for the show. Apple TV+ has a bunch (relatively speaking) of sci-fi shows, and Apple is probably right about its audience there, but judging by the source material, Foundation will be the most classic, Star Trek-y series so far. It isn’t one of the launch titles, though, so stay tuned for the release date. — VARIETY
4. Apple has shared a recap of the first year of its Entrepreneur Camp for organizations led by women. The camp offers a hands-on technology lab with one-on-one, code-level guidance from Apple employees, as well as face time with Apple leadership for mentoring and inspiration. Participants get ongoing support from the network after the camp concludes. There’s one cohort a quarter, and over 100 companies have participated so far. The next cohort runs from January 28 to February 5, and applications are open until November 15. — 9TO5MAC
5. It’s looking like there won’t be another Apple product event this year, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be any more products. Rene Ritchie tells John Gruber that he’s heard that Apple has all hands on deck for the November 1 launch of TV+, so there’s no capacity for a keynote. Apple probably wants to lowball the apology MacBook Pro, the AirPods Pro don’t need to be shown on stage, and the Mac Pro isn’t exactly a stocking stuffer, so it doesn’t need to ship in time for the holidays. In summary, expect the last goodies of 2019 to be announced by press release and embargoed reviews. — DARING FIREBALL
6. Nok Nok Labs has announced the first FIDO (Fast Identity Online) password-free authentication for smartwatches, including Apple Watch. The FIDO Alliance is working to develop industry-standard ways to securely authenticate people without relying on the privacy scourge that is the password. This SDK uses an app on the watch to confirm your identity with its servers and share that confirmation with an app on another device where you’re logging in. — THE NEXT WEB
7. It’s fair to wonder why this year’s OS rollout — which is still not over, Series 1/2 Watch and HomePod owners will remind you — has gone so badly. David Shayer, a software engineer who worked at Apple for 18 years, has explained how it probably happened, if it makes you feel any better. — TIDBITS
8. Apple continues to bleed money for its struggling supplier, Japan Display, now offering shorter payment periods. Japan Display depends on Apple for 60 percent of its revenue and is totally underwater because it basically missed the industry’s LCD to OLED screen transition. An industry consortium including Apple has tried to bail them out, but big players keep pulling out, so Apple is increasingly going it alone. — REUTERS
9. Apple is still smoking its nearest competitors in mobile CPU speed. This side-by-side comparison of Apple’s A13 Bionic and the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 Plus — a faster variant than the one in the Samsung Galaxy S10 and Google Pixel 4 — shows how Apple’s business approach to chip engineering makes it hard to compete with. — APPLEINSIDER
10. The featureless, white (and now, optionally, black) expanse of iOS introduced with iOS 7 in 2013 has improved slightly over time, but it still doesn’t have enough design affordances for real people to understand. This short story about someone thinking you could no longer save photos in iOS 13 because they didn’t know the Share menu scrolled is a frustrating (but kinda funny) case in point. — TYLER.IO
Jon Mitchell has been a tech journalist since 2010. He covered Apple, Google, and the societal effects of social media for the storied blog ReadWriteWeb (now ReadWrite). He co-hosts Internet Friends, a podcast about life online with occasional lengthy digressions into Apple news. He’s the author of In Real Life: Searching for Connection in High-Tech Times from Parallax Press. He has recently, reticently returned to Twitter at @ablaze.
Editor: Bobby Cherry (senior editor at Inside, who’s always on social media).