iOS 11.3 Update Raises iPhone X / 8 Docomo Network Speeds

As expected, Docomo raised the network download speed bar for iPhone X and iPhone 8 users with the iOS 11.3 Update / Docomo Carrier v32.1, going from 494Mbps to 544Mbps. If you use the Docomo SpeedTest App you can see that Docomo swapped out Green and Purple top speed colors. The screenshots on the top row are post iOS 11.3 update March 30, the bottom shots are from March 4.

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iOS 11.4 Apple Pay Adding More China T-Union Cards?

iOS 11.4 Developer Preview

iOS 11.4 rumors have been making the rounds on Japanese social media. One screenshot in particular suggests Apple Pay will continue the rollout of China T-Union IC transit card support for Jiangsu, Shenzhen, Wuhan and Chongqing. T-Union cards use the same specifications and are inter compatible, similar in concept to the Japanese IC Transit Network (Suica, PASMO, etc). The same information was also mentioned in Junya Suzuki’s tweet yesterday.

What’s interesting is that a centralized cloud infrastructure Is in place for T-Union cards to support smartphone loading and recharge for Huawei, Xiaomi, Samsung and now Apple. The lack of a centralized and shared cloud infrastructure is exactly what has been keeping everything outside of Suica, such as PASMO, ICOCA, TOICA and other Japanese IC transit cards from adding smartphone support.

It’s great that Apple is adding more transit cards in iOS 11.4 but I sincerely hope they fix the iPhone X Suica problem too.

iOS 11.3 Apple Pay Adds Beijing and Shanghai Transit Card Support

As alluded to in iOS 11.3 beta 4 first reported by 9 to 5 Mac, the official iOS 11.3 Update added Apple Pay Transit support for Beijing and Shanghai brand China T-Union IC transit cards joining Huawei, Xiaomi and Samsung which previously added China T-Union card support. Apple lists support on the Apple Pay Transit page as Express Transit “Beta” cards, other Apple support pages have instructions for adding and using them. One interesting difference from Suica is that plastic Beijing and Shanghai transit cards can still be used after being transferred into Apple Pay. Chinese users posted images to Twitter, Wei Feng has details in Chinese, Apple Insider posted an article as well.

Apple appears to be making it easier for Apple Pay to support IC transit cards in iOS 11.3. Suica has become the default transit card in Wallet accessible in all iOS 11.3 Region settings not just Japan anymore. Japanese IT Journalist Junya Suzuki tweeted that according to his sources Apple has been in talks with many transit agencies. The sources suggest that Apple Pay China T-Union card expansion could be coming soon and is “highly possible.”

More Apple Pay Transit Coming Soon

Cherry Blossom Japanese Vocabulary

The Japanese language is the best equipped language in the world for flower viewing. Hundreds of years of experiences and poetry are packed into the vocabulary. Impress and amaze your Japanese friends when using these expressions:

Hana-ikada (花筏): “flower petal boat” when a pond, steam or river is filled with fallen cherry blossom petals

Hana-komichi (花小道): “flower petal path” when a pathway is strewn with fallen cherry blossom petals

Hana-fubuki (花風吹き): a shower of cherry blossom petals blown by a gust of wind

Hana-bie (花冷え): chilly spring weather during cherry blossom viewing season

Hana-gumori (花曇り): cloudy skies during cherry blossom viewing season

Hana-gasumi: (花霞): hazy pollen filled but clear skies during the cherry blossom viewing season

Have fun.

iOS 11.3/WatchOS 4.3 Update Breaks Apple Pay Suica (U)

JR East issued a system notice via Suica App that the iOS 11.3/WatchOS 4.3 Update breaks Apple Pay Suica functionality in the following ways.:

  1. Apple Pay Suica Express Transit stops working. JR East says to restart the device to restore Suica Express Transit functionality.
  2. Suica stops working on iPhone with the ANA Milage Club App installed. JR East instructs users to download and install the updated ANA Milage Club App v1.1.11 and restart the device.

The JR East notice was updated and changed during the day and it’s not clear if all Apple Pay Suica users were affected or not. One thing is clear: Apple needs to fix Suica, new problems in addition to the iPhone X Suica problem reported earlier.

Update: ANA released ANA Milage Club App v1.1.11 that fixes the iOS 11.3 Suica incompatibility