EX App Updated for iPhone X

JR Central updated their EX App to v2.0.8 for Face ID and iPhone X compatibility. Release notes mention other improvements in the UI. EX App is used for Smart EX and EX-Press Reservation Shinkansen e-ticketing service on the Tokai and Sanyo Shinkansen Tokyo-Osaka-Fukuoka line and works in tandem with Apple Pay Suica.

Updated English language versions should also be available on USA, Australian and Indonesia app stores but is not confirmed.


iOS 11.2.5 Apple Pay Suica Error Flicker in Action (U)

More Japanese readers are posting their Apple Pay Suica experiences with iOS 11.2.5. A consensus is coming into focus. Apple Pay Suica performance has improved and the Suica notification bug is fixed. Unfortunately Apple Pay Suica error flicker, and the occasional full error is a remaining problem for many on iPhone X and is not fixed from iOS 11.2.2. Readers also report the issue is not fixed in iOS 11.3 beta 1.

I captured a video of error flicker. Listen carefully and you can hear the unique error flicker double beep: first the error, then the all clear. The interesting and unique aspect of error flicker is that the transit gates do not close and the louder full error gong sound is absent.

My own experience matches what other readers are reporting. On average 1 in 3 gate transits display error flicker. I have not experienced the issue on non-JR East gates but others are seeing it. That’s good in a way because we can eliminate JR East transit gates as the problem and lob the bug ball back to Apple Park.

It looks like iPhone X battery optimization is a possible cause of Apple Pay Suica Express Transit error flicker

Apple Pay Suica Express Transit error flicker on iPhone X is also an issue on iOS 11.2.6

iPhone X has a NFC hardware problem, for more information see:
iPhone X Suica Problem Q&A Exchange Guide (English Version)
iPhone X Suica問題Q&A交換ガイド(日本語版)

Is macOS High Sierra Apple’s Vista?

Apple Vista

macOS High Sierra was supposed to be another MacOS X Snow Leopard, a polished release of refinements and fixes. Instead we have APFS features gone AWOL, a whoopee cushion level security gaffe, oh and High Sierra updates take forever on Fusion drive iMacs.

And now Apple Insider offers How to downgrade from macOS High Sierra to Sierra advice.

Somehow I don’ t think this is what Apple intended for High Sierra. Thank god Howard Oakley is keeping score for us.

Another January, another misleading iPhone supply cuts story from Nikkei

Apple Insider

Apple Insider’s Daniel Eran Dilger writes:

Every January, Japan’s Nikkei newspaper unloads a report suggesting that Apple is scrambling to slash production of its newest iPhone because of disappointing sales. Every year that report has been false, and every year the tech media falls for it.

Nikkei is notorious in the investing community, it’s about time they were called out on their iPhone reporting.

Another Nikkei iPhone related botch: independent (former Nikkei) reporter Tsutsumu Ishikawa broke the iPhone 7/Apple Pay Japan story in the JP press via Nikkei August 20, 2016. His story was later picked up in the English press by Bloomberg, without credit I might add.

What’s interesting is that Nikkei internal reporters then published their own story saying that Apple Pay Japan would not arrive until iPhone 8 due in ‘spring 2017’ which was blown out of the water at Apple’s iPhone 7 announcement. Of course that article no longer appears on any searchable Nikkei site but a post dated 9/7/2017 on LiveDoor News refers to it.

If you want to think the worst, you can see the Nikkei ‘fake news’ as pure market manipulation. More than one Nikkei reporter has been caught on insider trading so it’s not far-fetched.

But there is a much darker side. In December a former Nikkei newspaper delivery subcontractor ‘committed suicide’ in a men’s room at Nikkei Headquarters. The police reports said he doused himself with kerosene and set himself on fire.

This event by itself is odd and disturbing but there are several hush-hush low-level law suits going on between newspaper delivery subcontractors and large newspaper companies. The basic story on that is Nikkei and Asahi are accused of dumping newspapers on subcontractors to inflate delivery numbers (which are declining) to keep newspaper advertising rates from falling.

In that context the Nikkei building suicide sounds like something out of a Martin Scorsese directed Yakuza movie.

It’s probably not far-fetched either.

Suica History

Twitter user Riikun retweets a great blast from the past: Suica cards from the start of the service in 2001 (upper left) running zigzag to today (lower right).

Suica started out as Suica io-card because magnetic io-cards were still heavily used back then. Interoperability with other transit cards, the SF (stored fare) system we know today  and the ‘busy little penguin’ Suica mascot appeared in 2008. The io tag was dropped soon after.

Riikun reminisces, “I remember those old (first generation) Suica commuter passes, you couldn’t charge them. They sucked.”

Things have come a long way.