Fast food restaurants may never be the same again. Earlier today Taco Bell launched its revamped "Live Mas Taco Bell" app, which allows its fans to place and pay for their orders ahead of pickup. Even our own J.R. Bookwalter had a chance to try it out this morning, and he seems happy enough with the service, to put it lightly. As he said on Twitter, "Just ordered @tacobell lunch from my iPhone, picked it up at the drive-thru and… It. Was. Magical! Where has this been all my life?"
The user interface for the iPhone has worked so well for Apple over the past few years that it's changed comparatively little (all things considered), but Apple's reveal of the bubbly UI for the Apple Watch points to the possibility of a different aesthetic. Taking his cue from a 9to5Mac article that toyed with the idea of a Apple Watch-styled interface for the iPhone, YouTuber Lucas Menge went out and created one and shared the results in a video.
As you might recall from today's Morning Report, word got around this weekend that both Rite-Aid and CVS had dropped Apple Pay only a few days after they started supporting the service in favor of the merchant-friendly but cumbersome CurrentC service. This afternoon, Apple released a statement in response to the news expressing optimism despite the loss of two powerful retailers.
An iOS public beta may still be the stuff of legend, but Apple today ensured that developers could get easy widespread feedback for their prerelease iOS apps by extending the amount of people who can test them through TestFlight. Initially showcased at WWDC back in June, TestFlight now allows third-party developers to invite up to 1,000 members of the public to best test their apps ahead of launch.
Apple has enjoyed a generally smooth launch of its Apple Pay mobile payment service, but that track record changed today in the face of reports from CNN and Bloomberg that some Bank of America customers found the service was charging them twice for certain transactions. Considering that the service relies on a delicate balance between technology, banks, retailers, and credit companies, it's actually rather surprising that we haven't heard many more horror stories besides this.
Apple made us wait a while for Apple Pay, but now that the service is out of the gate, a new rumor suggests that the company is already preparing to release the loyalty rewards program that was reportedly scheduled for a late 2015 release. According to Bank Innovation, we could see it in time for the holiday shopping season.
Apple might be focusing its efforts with Apple Pay on the United States at the moment, but reports demonstrate that you can use the service overseas if you have a U.S.-based credit card attached to your Apple Pay account. This isn't just true for Americans; it also allows some iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus owners from other countries to join in on the fun in the right circumstances.
Apple this afternoon released its financial report for Q4 2014 ahead of a media event elaborating on the numbers, and the numbers themselves were as big as expected in the wake of evidence of impressive iPhone 6 and 6 Plus sales. All total, the company reported $42.1 billion in revenue (with 60 percent of it coming from international markets), which amounts to an impressive $8.5 billion in profits. What's more, that's up considerably from the $37.5 billion Apple reported last year.
If all goes well, today could mark the beginning of a bright new future for Apple. The Cupertino company today rolled out its long-awaited iOS 8.1 patch, which at last unleashes Apple Pay out into the wild for use at companies like Walgreens and McDonald's. It's a big step for both Apple and its users, so if you're nervous about jumping in blindly, be sure to check out the handy guide we've prepared.
Last month's official launch of iCloud Drive didn't go off too well, to put it lightly, largely because of the inability of devices running Mac OS X Mavericks to sync with the newly launched iOS 8. But that's all changed with yesterday's launch of OS X Yosemite, reportedly, so feel free to try it out this weekend. (The catch, of course, is that you have to download Yosemite.)