iOS 11.2.5 Release Due This Week

With iOS 11.2.5 reaching the end of the beta cycle, the official release should come this week as predicted. Beta testing has been a very smooth experience with improved Apple Pay Suica performance on iPhone X that eliminates transit gate error flicker and Suica mis-reads at store readers, and also fixes the Suica Notification bug introduced in iOS 11.2.

If you have experienced either problem I recommend updating to iOS 11.2.5 with the official release.


Kintetsu Railway To Roll Out New Express Train for Tokyo Olympics

Kintetsu announced a new “Meihan Express” train to debut in the spring of 2020, just in time for the Tokyo Olympics. Wait a minute, won’t this luxury train run between Nagoya and Osaka? Indeed but what a great excuse for traveling down to Nagoya just to ride it.

Who knows, by then we might be able to purchase Meihan Express tickets in an app and use them in Apple Pay. Tokyo Olympic fever is in the air. This could be fun.

Using APFS in High Sierra

Howard Oakley takes stock of APFS in High Sierra both good and not so good. If you have the slightest interest in APFS read his posts. The quick summary is that if your Mac boots from a SSD, you can reap the Clone and Snapshot feature benefits of APFS which can be substantial.

If your Mac boots from a Fusion Drive or hard disk, you are in limbo because Apple has not completed APFS Fusion Drive/HD support.  Oakley warns of potential, “adverse effects of copy-on-write, perhaps the single most important technology behind APFS” on hard disk media and concludes

you can see why the performance of APFS on rotating disks is far inferior to that of HFS+. That is, though, something of a worst case.

But there is more. APFS brings yet more changes to basic Finder behaviors.

Apple has made Finder’s simple human interface progressively more complex. Originally:

  • Dragging an item from one folder to another on the same volume moved it; to copy you Option-dragged.
  • Dragging an item from one volume to another copied it.

Children of all ages, myself included, have found those principles clean and simple, and quite fail-safe.

Now, rules have become:

  • Dragging an item from one folder to another on the same volume moves it.
  • To make a copy (not clone) on an HFS+ volume, Option-drag to another location.
  • To make a clone (not copy) on an APFS volume, Option-drag to another location, but I can’t see how to make a true copy.
  • Dragging an item from one volume to another copies it, unless either of the volumes is on iCloud Drive, in which case it moves it.
  • To make a copy (not clone) to or from iCloud Drive, use Option-drag instead.


I agree with Oakley’s final summary that we’ll have to wait and find out how serious Apple’s commitment to macOS really is. High Sierra is not turning out to be the next Snow Leopard. Not by a long shot. Will macOS remain a serious platform or become an iPhone accessory?

iOS 11 Apple Pay NFC Switching in Action

fullsizeoutput_882cThe Apple Pay NFC switching feature in iOS 11 along with global NFC A-B-F support in every iPhone X and iPhone 8 gives Japanese Apple Pay users the unique ability to use the same Apple Pay credit card with FeliCa contactless payment networks in Japan and EMV contactless payment networks abroad.

There is just one catch. Credit card issuers have to support it. American Express announced NFC switching support for Apple Pay Japan customers shortly after the Apple Event last September, the same time that J/Speedy and Mastercard Contactless Apple Pay Japan support was announced. KDDI au and Mastercard said they were also working on NFC switching support but nothing has appeared so far.

Twitter user Riikun shared his American Express Apple Pay Japan purchase experience in Hawaii. The FeliCa QUICPay mark in Wallet is visible on the left, the EMV contactless receipt is on the right. It looks boring but it all just works. That’s neat. It would be great if Mastercard and Visa joined the party.


Mr. Apple Maps Japan Real Life Funnies!

Bus route maps,Caption 1: Wow I didn’t realize Apple Maps shows bus routes when you tap a bus stop. This looks convenient!

D626110A-A5D8-4FDA-9CCC-CEAF85B23F0A.jpegCaption 2: Wait a minute Mr. Apple Maps, this # 28 bus route looks really weird.

the number 10bus does not stop here

Caption 3: And the #10 bus doesn’t stop here.

Caption 4: Well showing bus routes is convenient, let’s wait for Mr. Apple Maps to fix it.

Fixing anything Apple Maps is a long wait folks. No joke. While you wait Mr. O’Beirne can do an analysis for you. It won’t change anything but you can impress friends and tech bloggers.