UK Network EE Will Offer £5 a Month Cellular Tariff for LTE-Capable Apple Watch Series 3

EE will be the exclusive mobile network in the U.K. to offer a tariff for the new LTE-capable Apple Watch Series 3 when it begins shipping later this month.

Announced at Apple's media event on Tuesday, the latest version of the smartwatch contains an eSIM that can connect to a 4G LTE network so users can make and receive calls on their wrist, while watchOS apps can make use of the mobile data connection while untethered from an iPhone.


According to the BBC's Dave Lee, the EE tariff for the Apple Watch Series 3 will be £5 per month for existing EE iPhone contract holders, with the calling function on the watch using the same number as the owner's phone.

EE customers will be able to sign up for the new tariff when the Series 3 Apple Watch becomes available for pre-order on September 15, costing £399 with cellular connectivity and £329 without. Orders for the new watch are expected to arrive on September 22, which is the official launch date of the device.


Apple only mentioned EE as a U.K. carrier for the Apple Watch Series 3 during its media event yesterday, but it's likely that other U.K. networks will offer their own tariffs as the market for the LTE smartwatch matures.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 3, watchOS 4
Tags: EE, United Kingdom
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Don't Buy)

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UK Network EE Will Offer £5 a Month Cellular Tariff for LTE-Capable Apple Watch Series 3

EE will be the exclusive mobile network in the U.K. to offer a tariff for the new LTE-capable Apple Watch Series 3 when it begins shipping later this month.

Announced at Apple's media event on Tuesday, the latest version of the smartwatch contains an eSIM that can connect to a 4G LTE network so users can make and receive calls on their wrist, while watchOS apps can make use of the mobile data connection while untethered from an iPhone.


According to the BBC's Dave Lee, the EE tariff for the Apple Watch Series 3 will be £5 per month for existing EE iPhone contract holders, with the calling function on the watch using the same number as the owner's phone.

EE customers will be able to sign up for the new tariff when the Series 3 Apple Watch becomes available for pre-order on September 15, costing £399 with cellular connectivity and £329 without. Orders for the new watch are expected to arrive on September 22, which is the official launch date of the device.


Apple only mentioned EE as a U.K. carrier for the Apple Watch Series 3 during its media event yesterday, but it's likely that other U.K. networks will offer their own tariffs as the market for the LTE smartwatch matures.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 3, watchOS 4
Tags: EE, United Kingdom
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Don't Buy)

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LightwaveRF Unveils New HomeKit-Enabled Accessories With UK Compatibility

U.K. smart home solutions provider LightwaveRF announced on Monday that its forthcoming product range, which includes a light dimmer and smart socket, will be fully compatible with Apple's HomeKit platform.

On October 3, LightwaveRF will launch its new Generation 2 Link Plus smart hub, Smart Dimmers, Smart Sockets, and a Smart Radiator Valve. The Link Plus connects to a Wi-Fi router and controls the LightwaveRF smart home system for lighting, heating, power and security.


"This is a further exciting development for LightwaveRF," said chief executive officer Andrew Pearson. "We look forward to working with Apple as a HomeKit technical partner and a supplier to its retail outlets. The exposure and awareness from this partnership should enhance our market visibility and greatly benefit our customers via easier management of their smart home solutions. We look forward to expanding our relationship with Apple as we launch further HomeKit compatible devices for both the UK and international markets."
The new LightwaveRF range is said to be the result of a two-year research and development program, with new features of the system including built-in energy monitoring, color-changing LEDs to indicate status, and wire-free two-way switching.

The new range will be sold in the United Kingdom and the United Arab Emirates through Apple retail stores, online via Apple.com, and other chosen retail outlets.


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Apple’s Tiny WestQuay Store Getting Much-Needed Expansion This Weekend

One of Apple's tiniest retail stores, at the WestQuay shopping center in Southampton, UK, is getting a much-needed expansion this weekend.

Apple's tiny WestQuay retail store opened in February 2007

The current store, which recently turned 10 years old, will close on Friday evening for the final time, according to multiple people familiar with the matter. On Saturday, a larger store will open down the hall, taking over two units previously occupied by British retailers Sports Direct and Monsoon, the people said.

Lending credence to our report is a WestQuay floor plan with two vacant units—SU41 and MSU2—just steps away from Apple's current location in the shopping center. In addition, when we searched for Today at Apple events in the Southampton area, the WestQuay store had no workshops scheduled until Saturday.


Apple and WestQuay shopping center management did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Apple retail stores have seen a significant increase in foot traffic since the WestQuay location opened in February 2007, prior to the original iPhone launch. The larger store will be a welcomed change for both Apple retail employees and customers, and it should benefit from an updated appearance as well.

Apple's financial chief Luca Maestri recently said Apple collectively welcomed over 300 million visitors to its retail stores last quarter.

"It was a very busy quarter for our online and retail stores, which collectively welcomed over 300 million visitors," he said. "In addition to our spectacular new store at the Dubai Mall, we opened our first stores in Singapore and in Taiwan during the quarter, expanding our total store footprint to 497 stores."

"In May, we kicked off Today at Apple, with new in-store programming from music to photography to art and coding, and our stores collectively hosted 87,000 sessions during the quarter," he added. "We have entered a new chapter in retail, with unique and rewarding experiences for our customers."

Related Roundup: Apple Stores
Tag: United Kingdom

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‘Real People’ Don’t Need Encrypted Messaging Services, Claims U.K. Home Secretary

The U.K. home secretary Amber Rudd has argued that "real people" do not want secure end-to-end encryption on messaging platforms and are more concerned with usability and features than unbreakable security (via Yahoo News).

Rudd made her case in a newspaper article, published ahead of a meeting today with technology companies in San Francisco, where she will warn tech giants that their services are being misused by terrorists. Writing in The Daily Telegraph, Rudd said:
"Who uses WhatsApp because it is end-to-end encrypted, rather than because it is an incredibly user-friendly and cheap way of staying in touch with friends and family?

"So this is not about asking the companies to break encryption or create so-called 'back doors'.

"Companies are constantly making trade-offs between security and 'usability', and it is here where our experts believe opportunities may lie.

"Real people often prefer ease of use and a multitude of features to perfect, unbreakable security."
Rudd's comments were immediately criticized by privacy campaigners, with civil liberties organization Big Brother Watch calling her viewpoint "at best naïve, at worst dangerous".

"Suggesting that people don't really want security from their online services is frankly insulting," said Renate Samson, chief executive of BBW. "What of those in society who are in dangerous or vulnerable situations, let alone those of us who simply want to protect our communications from breach, hack or cybercrime."

"Once again the government are attempting to undermine the security of all in response to the actions of a few. We are all digital citizens, we all deserve security in the digital space."

Rudd is due to give her speech to tech companies like Twitter, Facebook, and Microsoft, in which she will urge them to do more to remove extremist content online or face new laws forcing them to do so.

Speaking to the BBC, Rudd said she wanted to work more closely with companies on encryption so that "where there is a particular need, where there is a targeted need" the government should be given access to metadata and encrypted content.

But Facebook's chief operating officer, Sheryl Sandberg, pushed back against that argument, and warned about pushing criminals into even harder to reach parts of the internet.

"If people move off those encrypted services to go to encrypted services in countries that won't share the metadata, the government actually has less information, not more," she said.

Tuesday's summit is the first gathering of the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism, an organization set up by the major tech companies following recent terror attacks. Organization members are likely to resist any action that would result in compromised encryption, however.

In a joint statement, the companies taking part said they were co-operating to "substantially disrupt terrorists' ability to use the internet in furthering their causes, while also respecting human rights".

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 Pay Expanding to AIB in Ireland, CaixaBank in Spain, and Other Banks in UK, France, and Italy

Apple Pay continues its global expansion today with several new participating banks, and more coming soon, in France, Italy, Ireland, Spain, and the UK.


In France, Apple says Apple Pay will be available later this year to Banque BCP and Arkéa Banque Privée customers, and through mobile-only banking and/or payment solutions Orange Bank, Lydia, and N26.

In Italy, as promised, Apple Pay is available now for American Express credit cards issued directly by American Express.

In Ireland, Apple Pay is available now at AIB, one of the so-called "Big Four" financial institutions in the country.


In Spain, Apple says Apple Pay will be available later this year at CaixaBank and mobile-only banking app imaginBank. Visa in general will also begin supporting Apple Pay in Spain by the end of the year.

In the UK, Apple Pay is now supported by mobile-only banking app Starling Bank.

Earlier this month, Apple announced several other new and forthcoming banks with Apple Pay support in France, Italy, and Spain. Apple maintains a complete list of Apple Pay participating banks in Europe on its website.

Related Roundup: Apple Pay
Tags: Italy, Spain, United Kingdom, France, Ireland

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EE Extending Free Six-Month Apple Music Subscription Offer, Won’t Count Against Data Caps

British carrier EE today announced it is extending its free six-month Apple Music subscription offer to all new and existing iPhone and Android smartphone customers with a pay monthly plan. SIM-only customers are also eligible.


The offer begins Wednesday, July 19, and customers will be able to register for the deal with a short-code to be revealed next week.

EE said any data consumed by Apple Music will be zero-rated, meaning it will not count against a customer's data allotment. After six months, customers will automatically be charged £9.99 per month for Apple Music until they cancel.


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Apple Promotes Music Single to Help Support Victims of London Grenfell Tower Tragedy

Apple is asking visitors of its U.K. site to make a donation to help those affected by the Grenfell Tower tragedy in London by purchasing the iTunes single "Bridge Over Troubled Water", which went straight to the top of the U.K. charts just two hours after it was released on Wednesday.

Artists for Grenfell represents more than 50 musicians including Craig David, Liam Payne, and Stormzy, who recorded the cover of the Simon & Garfunkel classic to support victims' families and survivors of the fire. Residents and survivors of the London tower block also feature as part of a choir led by Gareth Malone.


Download this moving cover of the Simon & Garkunkel classic (featuring Stormzy, Rita Ora, Liam Payne, Jorja Smith and many more) to support those affected by the Grenfell Tower tragedy. And if you’d like to donate further to the Artists for Grenfell and London Community Foundation appeal, please visit http://smarturl.it/AFGDonate.

At least £0.76 for each download of the song featured on this page will go to The London Community Foundation (a charity registered in England No. 1091263).
Compbustible cladding is believed to have been responsible for the rapid spread of the fire at Grenfell Tower last week, which left at least 79 people dead or missing. The government has been heavily criticized for its response in the immediate aftermath, and has pledged to house the Grenfell Tower fire survivors as quickly as possible.

The charity track achieved 120,000 downloads and streaming equivalent sales on Wednesday, which is the biggest opening day figure for a U.K. single this decade. You can download "Bridge Over Troubled Water" on iTunes here. The track is also available to stream on Apple Music.


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U.K. Smart Home Firm Hive Announces First Security Camera

Hive, the U.K. smart connected home company backed by British Gas, today announced the Hive Camera, bringing video to its family of smart devices for the first time.

Similar to the Nest Cam, the Hive Camera enables users to monitor their home 24/7 wherever they are, using an accompanying mobile app. The device features motion and audio sensors that can be set to trigger motion and audio alerts, with automatic video recording also included.


The Hive Camera's zoom function allows users to get a clearer view of what's happening at home, with the added ability to trigger noises like a barking dog or alarm to discourage intruders.

In addition, a two-way audio feature allows users to communicate with family members through the camera, enabling parents to soothe a baby in distress, for example.

The Hive Camera will be available in the U.K. beginning June 29 for £129, and joins the growing family of Hive smart products, which now includes motion sensors, smart plugs, door sensors, and smart lights.

The company also says it will soon launch a Hive Leak Sensor, which monitors domestic water supply, and the Hive Active Hub, a more advanced version of its existing Hub with an intelligent audio sensor.

Hive smart devices integrate with Amazon's Echo speakers so users can dictate actions through Alexa, while the company says it's working on bringing Apple HomeKit support to its products this year. Hive is also in the process of making its smart products available in the U.S. through a partnership with Direct Energy.


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EU Proposes Enforcing Data Encryption and Banning Backdoors

The European Parliament's Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice, and Home Affairs has 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.

The proposed amendment relates to Article 7 of the EU's Charter of Fundamental Rights, which says that EU citizens have a right to personal privacy, as well as privacy in their family life and at home. By extension, the "confidentiality and safety" of EU citizens' electronic communications needs to be "guaranteed" in the same manner.

Confidentiality of electronic communications ensures that information exchanged between parties and the external elements of such communication, including when the information has been sent, from where, to whom, is not to be revealed to anyone other than to the parties involved in a communication.

The principle of confidentiality should apply to current and future means of communication, including calls, internet access, instant messaging applications, e-mail, internet phone calls and messaging provided through social media.
The regulation states that the disclosure of contents in electronic communications may reveal highly sensitive information about citizens, from personal experiences and emotions to medical conditions, sexual preferences and political views, which could result in personal and social harm, economic loss or embarrassment.

In addition, the committee argues that not only the content of communications needs to be protected, but also the metadata associated with it, including numbers called, websites visited, geographical location, and the time, date, and duration of calls, which might otherwise be used to draw conclusions about the private lives of persons involved.

The regulations would apply to providers of electronic communication services as well as software providers that enable electronic communications and the retrieval of information on the internet. However, the amendment goes further by stating that the use of software backdoors by EU member states should be outlawed.
When encryption of electronic communications data is used, decryption, reverse engineering or monitoring of such communications shall be prohibited.  

Member states shall not impose any obligations on electronic communications service providers that would result in the weakening of the security and encryption of their networks and services.
The proposals appear to have been tabled in response to comments made by EU member states such as the U.K., which has argued that encrypted online channels such as WhatsApp and Telegram provide a "safe haven" for terrorists because governments governments and even the companies that host the services cannot read them.

The U.K. home secretary Amber Rudd recently claimed that it is "completely unacceptable" that authorities cannot gain access to messages stored on mobile applications protected by end-to-end encryption. A leaked draft technical paper prepared by the U.K. government was leaked shortly after Rudd's comments, containing proposals related to the removal of encryption from private communications.

The EU proposals could also put European security policy at odds with federal legislators in the U.S., who recently called on technology companies to compromise the encryption built into their mobile software. Last year, Apple and the FBI were involved in a public dispute over the latter's demands to provide a backdoor into iPhones, following the December 2015 shooter incidents in San Bernardino.

Apple said the software the FBI asked for could serve as a "master key" able to be used to get information from any iPhone or iPad - including its most recent devices - while the FBI claimed it only wanted access to a single iPhone.

The European Union proposals have to be approved by MEPs and reviewed by the EU council before the amendments can pass. It remains unclear how the laws would apply in the U.K. after Brexit, initial negotiations for which begin on Monday. 

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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