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Cult of Mac’s day with Apple Pay

applepay

Apple Pay is finally here and now that retailers are letting us use iPhones instead of credit cards, the Cult of Mac team is heading out into the real world to put Apple’s mobile payment solution to the test.

Leander will be shopping around San Francisco. Alex is testing Apple Pay in the backwoods of Kentucky. And I plan to sputter around Phoenix in search of a burrito shop with Apple Pay.

How easy will it be to use? Do retail staff even know what is? We expect there will be some bumps along the way on the first day, but we can’t wait to be able to burn our wallets. Keep an eye on this page throughout the day as we test whether the wallet-less future of buying stuff with your iPhone is truly here.

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New iOS 8.1 features you need to know

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iOS 8.1 is now available to the public. Along with bringing Apple Pay into the wild, this major update is packed with new features that bring harmony to your iPhone and Mac workflow. Instant Hotspot and SMS Relay connect your iPhone like never before, and there are a few other sweet new features you probably haven’t heard about yet.

Here are the biggest features in iOS 8.1 you need to know:

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Everything you can buy with Apple Pay right now

Apple Pay starts replacing your wallet on October 20th. Photo: Apple

Apple Pay starts replacing your wallet on October 20th. Photo: Apple

Apple Pay is finally here, and while Eddie Cue says in-app purchases will make up most of the purchases during launch, there are tons of things that you can buy in the real world right now.

iPhone 6 and 6 Plus owners looking to toss their wallets in favor of Apple Pay can go into hundreds of stores today and purchase everything from clothes, toys, gas, or even furniture. Not all stores are supporting Apple’s mobile payments platform, so knowing which retailers accept Apple Pay will be half  the battle toward replacing your wallet. Luckily, we’ve compiled this list of everything you can buy today with Apple Pay.

Here’s what you can buy starting day:

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Get iOS 8.1 now for Apple Pay, iCloud Photo Library and more

Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Apple just released iOS 8.1, bringing Apple Pay, iCloud Photo Library and other new features to the mobile operating system.

Available now via Software Update, iOS 8.1 will let you quickly set up Apple Pay on compatible devices. Upgraders running OS X Yosemite will also notice additional Continuity features that let iOS 8 work with the latest version of the Mac operating system.

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Apple could sell record-breaking 62 million iPhones this quarter

iPhone 6 and 6 Plus Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

iPhone 6 and 6 Plus Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus may be Apple’s best-selling iPhones in history, racking up a massive 10 million+ sales in their first weekend alone, but how does this massive success translate into numbers going forward?

Ahead of today’s Apple earnings call, Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster has taken a shot at forecasting how the rest of the year may play out, in a research note to investors. His guess? All in, Apple can expect to sell between 56.7 million and 62.7 million iPhones this quarter.

If Munster’s on the money, that means unit sales of the iPhone could leap between 25 to 45% compared with the previous quarter last year. Not bad, huh?

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Apple aiming for $5 Beats Music streaming subscriptions

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Beats Music could cost as little as $5 per month. Photo: Beats/Apple

Having helped pioneer the concept of the $0.99 music track on iTunes, Apple is now trying to bring down the price of streaming music.

According to a new report published by Re/code, Apple is pushing music labels for extensive price cuts that would bring the cost of a Beats Music subscription from its current $10 price point all the way down to $5.

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What if Apple’s next router was also a smoke alarm?

Photo: Curved Labs

Photo: Curved Labs

Now that Marc Newson is one of Apple’s design bigwigs, the guys at Curved Labs wondered what sort of new products might result from the collaboration.

Their concept? An updated AirPort WiFi router that is also a smart smoke and CO2 detector, a la Nest Protect.

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How Family Guy: The Quest for Stuff keeps the laughs coming

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Exclusive behind-the-scenes sketches show Quahog destroyed by Peter’s fowl archnemesis. Photo: TinyCo/Fox

Hit TV show Family Guy followed a trajectory that’s very similar to Apple’s. The show appeared as a breath of fresh air early on, underwent a decline during which it almost vanished, then made a triumphant return.

In that way, Family Guy always seemed a perfect fit for iOS. Earlier this year, that pairing finally happened when developer TinyCo debuted Family Guy: The Quest for Stuff, a mobile game that follows Peter Griffin and the rest of the Fox TV show’s colorful supporting cast as they rebuild the town of Quahog after it’s been destroyed.

Six months down the line — and with the game currently in the middle of a haunting, courtesy of its Halloween update — Cult of Mac spoke with the developers about Seth McFarlane, making games funny, and the perils of in-app purchases.

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Tips for getting the most out of OS X Yosemite

Yosemite's "dark mode." Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

“Dark mode” is just one of OS X Yosemite’s great new features. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

OS X Yosemite packs a lot of new features inside a cleaner, flatter interface on the Mac. It’s a big upgrade, and there’s a lot to take in at first glance.

Whether you’re a Mac novice or a seasoned expert, there’s plenty to explore in the latest version of OS X. Wondering how to get started? Here are some of the best tips and tricks for getting the most out of Yosemite: 

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iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 now available to pre-order

Order your new iPad now! Photo: Apple

Order your new iPad now! Photo: Apple

Apple’s new iPads are now available to pre-order through the Apple Online Store. Prices start at $399 for the iPad mini 3 and $499 for the iPad Air 2, and both will be delivered to your door next week.

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