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A sneak preview of the stunning $17B redevelopment that will be home to Apple’s new UK campus

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We learned a few weeks ago that Apple would be opening a major new UK campus inside the iconic Battersea Power Station building. A developer video has now given us a sneak preview of how the $17B redevelopment will look once it is complete in 2021 – and it’s pretty spectacular.

As we mentioned last time, Apple will be the main tenant of the building, which will also be home to shops, leisure facilities and luxury residential apartments …



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Apple opening major new UK campus in iconic Battersea Power Station building

The four chimneys make Battersea Power Station one of the most recognizable buildings in London

London’s Evening Standard reports that Apple is to create a spectacular new UK campus in the iconic Battersea Power Station building alongside the Thames.

The iPhone and iPad maker will move 1,400 staff from eight sites around the capital into what it calls “a new Apple campus” at the Grade II listed former electricity generator.

Its employees will occupy all six floors of office space in the brick “cathedral of power”, which is being painstakingly restored after 33 years standing derelict on the banks of the Thames … 



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Brexit bites: Apple raises European prices to reflect fall in value of the pound & Euro

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While Apple is offering its doubled-capacity iPhone 7 in the U.S. for the same price as last year’s 6s, the UK and other European countries are not so fortunate. Apple has increased UK prices by between 11% and 15%, depending on the model.

It’s not just iPhone prices, either – similar increases have been made to the cost of the iPad range and various Apple accessories …



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PSA: Many UK retailers now allowing unlimited-value Apple Pay transactions

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Apple Pay is arguably more useful in the UK than in Apple’s home market of the U.S. as contactless terminals have been in widespread use for many years – at least, in the bigger cities. But the standard £30 ($44) limit on contactless transactions has so far mostly been applied to Apple Pay too.

We knew a year ago that this was going to change over time, and it seems that rollout of the upgraded payment terminals has now reached many major retailers …



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More than a billion contactless payments in UK highlight potential for Apple Pay

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If you’re frustrated by the limited number of retailers supporting Apple Pay, there’s hope from across the Atlantic. New figures reported by the Guardian show that there were more than a billion contactless payments in the UK last year, accounting for one in six of all card transactions.



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Opinion: Why Apple is likely to end up paying that estimated $8B European back-tax bill – and more

LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 22: A general view of Apples' Regent St store on Earth Day at Regent Street on April 22, 2015 in London, England. (Photo by Ben A. Pruchnie/Getty Images for Apple)

The European Union warned us this week not to expect a speedy conclusion to the long-running investigation into the legality of Apple’s tax arrangements in Europe. The delay follows a decision back in December to expand the scope of the investigation.

But while the wheels of EU tax investigations may grind exceedingly slowly, I’d be willing to wager quite large sums of money on the final outcome. It looks to me increasingly clear that Apple’s tax arrangements with the Irish government are going to be declared illegal, and that Apple is going to be faced with a significant bill for unpaid tax …



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Apple launches Boxing Week iTunes sale w/ discounted albums in Canada & UK

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As it does every year, Apple has officially kicked off its iTunes Boxing Week sale with discounts on select albums for this week only.

The sale, which both UK and Canadian users will find under a special section in the iTunes store on both iOS and Mac, will likely remain available through the end of the week. While “Boxing Day” is officially recognized in Canada and elsewhere on the 26th, retailers usually offer a Black Friday-type event for Boxing Day with most sales lasting the entire week following Dec. 25.

For Boxing Day this year, Apple is offering a long-list of popular albums, normally $9.99, starting at just $6.99 in Canada. There are other albums on offer for $7.99 as well. The deals are grouped into four sections including Hot in 2015, Essential Albums, Musique Francophone, and Discovery Artists.

On the UK iTunes store Apple doesn’t use the “Boxing Day” branding, but it is also offering popular albums from £3.99 in a special section on iTunes starting this week.

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Check out the iTunes Boxing Day sale in Canada and the UK sale now. And you might want to grab some discounted iTunes gift cards first.

Tim Cook met with UK officials this week to talk Apple Pay, regulations for tech companies

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Apple CEO Tim Cook visiting app developers in London this week

Tim Cook reportedly met with U.K. Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne this week to discuss Apple Pay and regulations in the country as the Apple CEO continues a tour to meet government officials, app developers, and students abroad.

Bloomberg reports that Osborne offered details of the discussion at a recent talk noting that the two “spoke extensively about Apple Pay” and that the UK Chancellor is “committed to ensuring that regulators don’t stifle innovation”:

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Why is Siri limited to 8 countries on Apple TV? Apple teaches movie & TV show pronunciations for each country

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While Siri voice search is a core feature of the new Apple TV, right now it’s limited to only eight countries: UK, US, Australia, Canada, Germany, France, Spain and Japan. In other regions, the Siri Remote is simply called the Apple TV Remote (not to be confused with the old Apple TV Remote) and pressing the mic button just opens the Search app.

This is despite the fact Siri on iPhone is actually available in 30 countries, so it wasn’t clear why Apple had pinpointed only a subset of those. It turns out, according to a chat with Apple by MacPrime, that there are some clever optimizations Apple makes with Apple TV Siri to improve speech recognition.



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Apple could be forced to stop completely encrypting iPhones and services under UK law

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Apple and government officials have been publicly sparring over how to handle privacy and encryption for months, and new rules expected to be proposed in the UK on Wednesday might make Apple’s position much harder to maintain.

The issue boils down to Apple allowing iPhone users to encrypt data behind a password — encryption that Apple can’t break through — and government officials wanting access in instances where de-encrypting smartphones could help law enforcement and security efforts. Services like iMessage and FaceTime are also encrypted end-to-end.

Now The Telegraph reports that the Investigatory Powers Bill being introduced on Wednesday will likely require Apple and other companies to hold a key to encrypted smartphones and services, giving access to government agencies when a warrant is issued.

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UK Apple Pay users can now spend up to £30 in one transaction

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Users of Apple Pay in the UK can now spend an extra £10 per contactless transaction, bringing the limit up to a total of £30, thanks to new contactless policy. Until today, the maximum spend on almost all Apple Pay transactions was £20. The £30 total now exceeds the average cost of a supermarket trip making it possible for UK Apple users to take advantage of Apple Pay at more places.



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Apple’s ResearchKit goes international with first UK & Hong Kong heart study app

ResearchKit iPhone

Apple’s ResearchKit system is going international for the first time since its launch earlier this year with Stanford University’s MyHeart Counts app being made available for UK and Hong Kong iPhone users.  The MyHeart Counts app was among the initial iPhone-based research study apps that debuted this year. Stanford said just after the app’s release that ResearchKit did in 24 hours what would ordinarily take 50 medical centers a year to accomplish.

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UK Apple Pay now available for HSBC and First Direct customers

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Following the launch of Apple Pay in the UK two weeks ago, Apple is continuing the rollout with the addition of two major banks, HSBC and First Direct. Customers who have credit cards or debit cards with those banks can start using Apple Pay now. As with other UK Apple Pay transactions, there is a £20 transaction limit at most retailers apart from those with upgraded payment terminals that support higher-value contactless purchases. The £20 limit is getting raised to £30 in September.



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Apple bringing its Maps vehicles to France, Sweden & more US/UK cities

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Apple has announced an expansion of its Apple Maps vehicle program, a fleet of vans equipped with advanced sensors collecting data for an improved Maps experience. Among the new locations, Apple will be bringing the vehicles to France and Sweden for the first time, while it also plans to survey a long list of new cities in the US and UK where it’s already started surveying.

We first reported on the project back in May, noting that Apple was gathering data to reduce its reliance on third-parties, including getting Google Street View-type images of storefronts and other 3D imagery.

For France, Apple lists the following areas already scheduled for surveying: Hauts-de-Seine, Paris (1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, 13th, 14th, 15th, 16th, 17th, 18th, 19th, 20th), Seine-Saint-Denis, Val-de-Marne.

For Sweden, the areas the company plans to visit include: Malmö in Skåne County, and Stockholm (Bromma, Enskede-Årsta-Vantör, Farsta, Hägersten-Liljeholmen, Hässelby-Vällingby, Kungsholmen, Norrmalm, Rinkeby-Kista, Skarpnäck, Skärholmen, Spånga-Tensta, Södermalm, Älvsjö, Östermalm).

Apple has also added a number of new areas in the UK and US that it plans to survey from August 17th to August 30th next month. The full list is on its website here along with other dates scheduled for data collection in various locations.

Apple Pay’s UK launch leading to issues, mistaken charges with the London Underground

Apple Pay London The Tube

Apple Pay went live in the UK earlier this week with its first international rollout since debuting in the US last October, but Apple’s iPhone- and Apple Watch-based mobile payment solution hasn’t been without its own launch issues across the pond. To start, Apple Pay is a bit restricted in the UK as it is limited to transactions under £20 until September when the contactless payment rules change and the limit increases slightly to £30. Aside from a low transaction limit, paying with the iPhone or Apple Watch using Apple Pay at the London Underground transportation system has caused some initial confusion for riders as there are a few things to consider when paying electronically…

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As Apple Pay goes live in UK, Barclays bank announces it will support the service after all

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Apple Pay has gone live in the UK today with over 250,000 officially blessed locations (although Apple Pay will work at any standard NFC terminal) and seven banks. In the runup to the launch, the main holdout has been Barclays bank who instead promoted their alternative ‘bPay’ service.

Now, though, they have changed their tune. Over Twitter, Barclays announced that it is actually  ‘really excited’ about Apple Pay and will add support for the service to Barclaycard debit and credit cards in future.



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UK bank Barclays delays Apple Pay as it seemingly thinks its own service can compete

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When Apple announced that Apple Pay would be coming to the UK in July, there was one major bank missing from the list: Barclays. While the company tweeted that in was in “constructive talks” with Apple, it seemed odd that all other major UK banks had managed to reach agreement while it hadn’t. We may now know the reason for this.

CNET reports that Barclays is hoping to persuade its customers to use its own bPay mobile payment service instead. Rather than embedding a virtual card in an iPhone app, the company wants people to apply a sticker to the back of their phone – or carry a keyfob or wear a wristband … 

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UK Apple Pay won’t require PIN but £20 contactless transaction limit does apply … for now

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Apple Pay is going international starting with the United Kingdom next month. The precise nature of how Apple Pay will work in the UK has been murky, with banks saying different things. Apple has now posted a FAQ to explain the situation.

Apple Pay will work with any current contactless reader. By default, it uses the same technology as other UK contactless cards. This means that performing an Apple Pay purchase will not require a PIN (as is standard with UK Chip and PIN payments). However, the usual £20 limit on contactless transactions does apply … for the time being. When Apple Pay launches in July, almost all merchants will only allow Apple Pay purchases up to £20 …



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Apple Pay comes to more US banks and credit unions ahead of UK expansion

Apple-Pay-WWDC-2015

Apple Pay is going international for the first time next month with its expansion into the UK, but for now Apple is steadily turning on support through more partnered banks and credit unions across the United States. The latest addition includes more than two dozen institutions now supporting Apple’s iPhone-, iPad-, and Apple Watch-based mobile payment service. Here are the latest banks joining Apple’s list as well as the full list of Apple Pay banks to date:

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All major banks support Apple Pay in the UK apart from Barclays, says negotiations ongoing

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UK bank Barclays is the only major holdout from the launch of Apple Pay in the UK. From next month, users with iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus or Apple Watch in the United Kingdom will be able to use the NFC mobile payments chip inside their iPhone to use Apple Pay.

Apple announced yesterday a whole swathe of partners, including Santander, HSBC and Lloyds. The notable omission from the ‘big four’ British banks is Barclays. Barclays’ Twitter support has come under fire in the aftermath from customers and has issued the following statement, which shows that all hope is not lost for Apple Pay for iPhone users who bank with Barclays.



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Apple announces international Apple Pay expansion starting w/ the UK next month

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As we’ve reported in the weeks leading up to Apple’s event today, the company has just officially unveiled its international expansion plans for the Apple Pay payments service it first launched in the US last October.

The first country outside of the US to get access to Apple Pay is the UK starting in July. The company plans to support around 70% of cardholders at launch next month. Here are the banks that will support Apple Pay in the country starting with the 8 big banks next month and the rest by the fall:

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Apple Pay for U.K. announcement could happen at WWDC, launch within 2 months

Apple Watch Apple Pay

Apple is planning to announce support for Apple Pay in the United Kingdom during its Monday Worldwide Developers Conference kickoff keynote, according to a report from The Telegraph. The report adds that the service will go live in the U.K. within two months. Mike Cowan, a Senior VP at MasterCard, told the publication that his company is “absolutely” ready to support Apple Pay abroad. We have heard this as well, including that major bank Lloyds is a planned launch partner. We have also received a tip claiming that Santander UK is gearing up for new mobile payments training in the coming weeks. The U.K. will likely mark the first international expansion of Apple Pay since its launch in the United States last fall…



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