ANZ Eftpos Access Cards Now Support Apple Pay in Australia

Eftpos, a debit payments network in Australia, today announced that ANZ eftpos Access cards now feature support for Apple Pay.

ANZ is the first bank in Australia to make in-store eftpos mobile payments available to 1.6 million ANZ eftpos Access cardholders through Apple Pay.

Visa, American Express, and MasterCard credit and debit cards issued in Australia by participating banks already supported Apple Pay, but the addition of eftpos is notable as it's widely used in the country.
"Today marks a significant milestone for eftpos as we move from our traditional card based payment method into mobile, enabling consumers with an iPhone or Apple Watch to choose the eftpos account they wish their mobile payment to be made from, being either their eftpos CHQ/SAV account. Customers can set their account preference out of CHQ/SAV and then save themselves entering their account each time they pay. After providing trusted, secure card-based payments for 30 years, eftpos can now also be used to make mobile payments," Mr Jennings said.

"About 1.6 million ANZ eftpos Access cardholders now have the opportunity to make payments on an iPhone or Apple Watch, many of whom may not have had the opportunity to make in store mobile payments before. As Australia's most used debit card network, we are thrilled to be providing ANZ eftpos Access customers with more payment choice, with added benefits of enhanced security and comfort."
As Business Insider points out, support for eftpos reduces fees for both customers and retailers compared to other payment methods.

Support for eftpos is now listed on Apple's Australian Apple Pay website and Apple Pay is available to ANZ Access card customers in Australia immediately.

Related Roundup: Apple Pay
Tags: Australia, ANZ

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Apple’s ‘TV’ App Showing Up for Canadian and Australian Users Ahead of iOS 11 and tvOS 11 Launch

Ahead of tomorrow's launch of iOS 11 and tvOS 11, the "TV" app has begun showing up for some Canadian and Australian users on iOS devices and the fourth-generation Apple TV.

While the TV app appears to be rolling to users in Canada and Australia starting tonight, it is not yet available for all users, nor is it functional. MacRumors reader John, who is from Australia, said the TV app has shown up on his fourth-generation Apple TV but isn't loading content as of yet.


Apple last Tuesday announced that the TV app would expand to Australia and Canada "later this month," but did not specify exactly when it would be released. Presumably, the app will become functional tomorrow after iOS 11 and tvOS 11 become available to the public.

The TV app, which has been available in the United States since December of 2016, is designed to provide a centralized way to access all of the different television channels and content available through dedicated apps from major networks like HBO, CBS, NBC, FOX, and more.

The TV app allows users to play TV shows and movies with a single click, and it syncs content across devices so it's always possible to pick up a TV show or movie being watched on one device on another device. Apple has also introduced content recommendations to help users discover new TV shows and movies to watch.

More than 60 services are supported by the TV app, but with the expansion to new countries, Apple plans to add support for additional local content

Later this year, Apple plans to expand the TV app to France, Germany, Sweden, Norway, and the UK.

Related Roundups: Apple TV, tvOS 10
Tags: Australia, Canada
Buyer's Guide: Apple TV (Buy Now)

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McDonald’s Generates Buzz With Ad Showing iPhone 8 Mockup

McDonald's is generating lots of buzz today after it used an iPhone 8 mockup in an ad promoting its mymacca's mobile ordering app in Australia.

McDonald's promotional email courtesy of MacRumors reader Amir T.

The ad, emailed to many customers on Thursday, clearly shows a rendered iPhone with a nearly full front display, beyond a notch for the front-facing camera, earpiece, and sensors for expected facial recognition functionality.

Needless to say, this isn't an official iPhone 8 image. Benjamin Geskin‏ tweeted that the render is his. McDonald's poorly cropped the image, and used circles for the signal strength indicator, which Apple switched to bars in iOS 11.

However, whether it was intentional, by mistake, or simply a McDonald's graphic designer being clever, the ad has proven to be an effective publicity stunt, as several users have shared it on social platforms like Twitter, Reddit, and the MacRumors forums.


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Apple Maps Transit Directions Expand to Brisbane, Perth, and Surrounding Areas in Australia

Apple Maps has been updated with transit data in Queensland and Western Australia, enabling iPhone users to navigate with public transportation directions in large cities such as Brisbane and Perth, and surrounding areas.


In Brisbane, supported vehicles include TransLink buses and Queensland Rail trains, with routes extending to, from, and within the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast suburbs. Apple Maps also supports G:link trams in the Gold Coast.

Travel north to smaller cities like Rockhampton and Townsville and Apple Maps provides routes for Sunbus buses. Of note, long-distance train routes along the Queensland coast don't appear to be available at this time.

Many other regions of Queensland are now supported, so check the Transit tab in Apple Maps if you live somewhere else in the state.

In Western Australia, the biggest addition is Perth. Transperth buses and trains routes extend to suburbs like Mandurah and Rockingham. Long-distance Transwa train routes are also supported between several Western Australia destinations.


Apple Maps transit directions were already available in Adelaide, Melbourne, and Sydney prior to today's expansion.

Apple Maps gained a Transit tab in iOS 9. The feature lags several years behind Google Maps, but Apple's public transportation support is exhaustive, mapping all station entrances and listing departure times.

At launch, the feature was limited to Baltimore, Berlin, Boston, Chicago, London, Los Angeles, Mexico City, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Sydney, Toronto, and over 300 cities in China. Since then, Apple has been working to expand support for public transportation to other cities around the world.

Newer additions include Atlanta, Calgary, Columbus, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Honolulu, Houston, Kansas City, Las Vegas, Madrid, Manchester, Miami, Minneapolis–Saint Paul, Montréal, New Orleans, Paris, Portland, Pittsburgh, Prague, Rio de Janeiro, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, San Antonio, San Diego, Seattle, and Singapore.

For a regularly updated list of cities with Apple Maps transit, visit the iOS Feature Availability page on Apple's website.


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Changes to iCloud Put Apple on Collision Course With Governments Seeking Access to Encrypted Messages

Apple has sent its top privacy executives to Australia twice in the past month to lobby government officials over proposed new laws that would require companies to provide access to encrypted messages.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Apple privacy advocates met with attorney general George Brandis and senior staff in Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull's office on Tuesday to discuss their concerns about the legal changes, which could compel tech companies to provide decryption keys to allow access to secure communications such as that provided by WhatsApp and iMessage.

Apple has consistently argued against laws that would require tech companies to build so-called "back doors" into their software, claiming that such a move would weaken security for everyone and simply make terrorists and criminals turn to open-source encryption methods for their digital communications.

While Apple's position is clear, the Turnbull government has yet to clarify exactly what it expects tech companies to give up as part of the proposals. A source familiar with the discussions said that the government explicitly said it did not want a back door into people's phones, nor to weaken encryption.

However, given that encrypted services like WhatsApp and iMessage do not possess private keys that would enable them to decrypt messages, a back door would seem the only alternative. "If the government laid a subpoena to get iMessages, we can't provide it," CEO Tim Cook said in 2014. "It's encrypted and we don't have a key."

As it happens, Cook's comment only applies to iMessages that aren't backed up to the cloud: Apple doesn't have access to messages sent between devices because they're end-to-end encrypted, but if iCloud Backup is enabled those messages are encrypted on Apple's servers using an encryption key that the company has access to and could potentially provide to authorities.

However, Apple is moving in the same direction as WhatsApp and Telegram to make encryption keys entirely private. As announced at WWDC in June, macOS High Sierra and iOS 11 will synchronize iMessages across devices signed into the same account using iCloud and a new encryption method that ensures the keys stay out of Apple's hands.

As senior VP of software Craig Federighi noted in interview with Daring Fireball's John Gruber, even if users store information in the cloud, "it's encrypted with keys that Apple doesn't have. And so they can put things in the cloud, they can pull stuff down from the cloud, so the cloud still serves as a conduit — and even ultimately a kind of a backup for them — but only they can read it."

How this will play out in Apple's discussions with the Australian government – and indeed other governments in the "Five Eyes" intelligence sharing network seeking similar access to encrypted communications – is anything but clear. According to sources, Apple and the Turnbull government are taking a collaborative approach in the discussions, but previous statements by officials imply a tougher stance behind the scenes.

Last week, Senator Brandis said the Australian government would work with companies such as Apple to facilitate greater access to secure communications, but warned that "we'll also ensure that the appropriate legal powers, if need be, as a last resort, coercive powers of the kind that recently were introduced into the United Kingdom under the Investigatory Powers Act... are available to Australian intelligence and law enforcement authorities as well".

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.


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Australia Proposes Law That Would Compel Tech Companies to Decrypt Messages

Australia on Friday proposed new laws that would require companies like Apple to provide law enforcement authorities with access to encrypted communications (via Reuters).

Australia's proposed legislation will compel companies to help security agencies intercept and read messages sent by suspects. It appears to take cues from the U.K.'s Investigatory Powers Bill, which includes provisions that require technology companies to bypass encryption where technically feasible.
"We need to ensure the internet is not used as a dark place for bad people to hide their criminal activities from the law," Australian Prim Minister Malcolm Turnbull told reporters in Sydney.

"The reality is, however, that these encrypted messaging applications and voice applications are being used obviously by all of us, but they're also being used by people who seek to do us harm."
The proposal will be introduced when parliament resumes in August and could be adopted within months, according to lawmakers. Other nations have said they will introduce similar laws.

Apple, along with Facebook, Google, and other major tech companies, have historically opposed such law changes, which they say threaten online security protocols.

For example, Apple claimed the U.K.'s recent bill would "weaken security" for millions of law-abiding customers. "The creation of backdoors and intercept capabilities would weaken the protections built into Apple products and endanger all our customers," Apple stated in December 2015. "A key left under the doormat would not just be there for the good guys. The bad guys would find it too."

Facebook rejected the need to introduce the new Australian law, insisting it already had a system in place to work alongside security agencies, while the new legislation could not be implemented on an individual basis.

"Weakening encrypted systems for them would mean weakening it for everyone," a spokeswoman for Facebook told Reuters.

Notably, Australia has not explained how the proposed law would prevent nefarious actors from using open-source encryption tools to encrypt messages that can be transferred through conventional means such as email.

Last month it was reported that Australia attended a meeting of officials from the "Five Eyes" intelligence sharing network, where it pushed for greater international powers to thwart the use of encrypted messaging services by terrorists and criminals.


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Australian Consumer Watchdog to Question Apple Over Westpac Chat App Payments Ban

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is seeking clarification from Apple over its decision to ban an app extension that lets Westpac bank customers use social media and mobile messaging platforms to make payments.

Known as Westpac Keyboard, the feature was announced in March and let the bank's customers change the default keyboard in social messaging apps such as Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Twitter, and Snapchat, in order to make payments to friends, family, and businesses.


Apple wrote to Westpac last week to tell the bank that its three-month-old keyboard feature would no longer be allowed on iPhones, according to The Australian Financial Review. Staff were reportedly perplexed by Apple's generic explanation letter, which suggested that keyboards should not be able to send money, or that it may offend some users.

Westpac has written to its customers to let them know the keyboard app extension will be removed in July. The app extension was the first in the Asia Pacific region to enable payments, but Apple has previously approved similar apps from other institutions, including India's ICICI Bank and Spain's Banco Sabadell and CaixaBank.    

The bank has not commented on the reasons behind Apple's decision, but sources told AFR that Westpac had already addressed security concerns initially raised by Apple and had the app approved from that perspective. The ACCC consumer watchdog has now said it will be "seeking a proper explanation" from Apple to make sure it is not an anti-competitive move.

Westpac was among a group of institutions alongside Commonwealth Bank of Australia, National Australia Bank and Bendigo and Adelaide Bank, which unsuccessfully asked the ACCC to allow them to collectively bargain with Apple over access to the iPhone's NFC chip to allow their own payments services to work alongside Apple Pay.

Apple is launching its own payments service that will work over the company's iMessage chat service in iOS 11, which is set to be released in the fall. The service will be available in the U.S. first but no date has been set for its arrival in Australia.

(Thanks, Jason!)

Tag: Australia

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Australia to Push for Greater Powers on Encrypted Messaging at ‘Five eyes’ Meeting

Australia is set to push for greater international powers to thwart the use of encrypted messaging services by terrorists and criminals, according to reports on Sunday (via Reuters).

The topic will be addressed this week at a meeting of officials from the "Five Eyes" intelligence sharing network, which includes the U.S., the U.K, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.

Australia claimed the increasing use of strong encryption on smartphones and other devices was hindering law enforcement's capacity to gather and act on intelligence, and said it wants tech companies to do much more to give intelligence and law enforcement agencies access to encrypted communications.

Security experts and privacy groups regularly argue that any such methods would simply weaken overall security for everyone.
"I will raise the need to address ongoing challenges posed by terrorists and criminals using encryption," Australian Attorney General Senator Brandis said in a joint statement.

"These discussions will focus on the need to cooperate with service providers to ensure reasonable assistance is provided to law enforcement and security agencies."
The announcement followed the U.K. government's recent statement of intent to pressure technology companies to do more to put an end to the "safe spaces" that the internet offers extremists. The country has also called for measures to "regulate cyberspace", following terror attacks in the country.

In related news, a leaked draft technical paper prepared by the U.K. government states that technology companies would be required to remove encryption from private communications and provide the raw data "in an intelligible form" without "electronic protection". However, it's not clear if the Conservatives still intend to pursue these powers after recent elections left the party with a minority government and a diminished mandate.

Last year Apple refused requests from the FBI to break the security of its mobile software, following the recovery of an iPhone used by the San Bernardino shooter. Apple argued the FBI's request would set a "dangerous precedent" with serious implications for the future of smartphone encryption. The dispute ended after the government found an alternate way to access the data on the iPhone through the help of professional hackers.

Last week, the European Union published draft proposals that would enforce end-to-end encryption on all digital communications and forbid backdoors that enable law enforcement to access private message data. If ratified, the law would put it at odds with both the U.S. and U.K. intelligence communities.

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.


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Apple Music’s Three-Month Trial is No Longer Free in Australia, Spain, and Switzerland

Since launching in June 2015, Apple Music has offered a free three-month trial in the United States and over 100 other countries around the world. In some countries, such as Ireland and the Netherlands, the free trial is for one month.


According to Apple's website, however, the trial now costs 99 cents in Australia, 0,99 € in Spain, and Fr. 0.99 in Switzerland. Based on our spot check, the trial remains free in all other countries where Apple Music is available.

The reason why Apple has started charging a nominal fee for the trial in Australia, Spain, and Switzerland is unclear. The trial was still free in those countries as of May 14, according to archived versions of Apple's website.

Apple Music rival Spotify's three-month trial also costs 99 cents in Australia, 0,99 € in Spain, and Fr. 0.99 in Switzerland.

(Thanks, Alex!)


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Apple Maps Transit Directions Now Available in Adelaide, Australia

Apple Maps has been updated with comprehensive transit data in Adelaide, Australia, enabling iPhone users in the city to navigate with public transportation, primarily including Adelaide Metro buses and commuter trains.


Apple Maps gained a Transit tab in iOS 9. The feature lags several years behind Google Maps, but Apple's public transportation support is exhaustive, mapping all station entrances and listing departure times.

At launch, the feature was limited to Baltimore, Berlin, Boston, Chicago, London, Los Angeles, Mexico City, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Sydney, Toronto, and over 300 cities in China. Since then, Apple has been working to expand support for public transportation to other cities around the world.

Newer additions include Atlanta, Columbus, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Honolulu, Houston, Kansas City, Manchester, Melbourne, Miami, Minneapolis–Saint Paul, Montréal, New Orleans, Paris, Portland, Pittsburgh, Prague, Rio de Janeiro, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, San Antonio, San Diego, Seattle, and Vancouver, B.C.

A complete list of cities that support Transit in Apple Maps is available on the iOS Feature Availability page of Apple's website.

(Thanks, Bernd!)


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