Square’s new Apple Pay reader shows how we pay is still in flux

“After unveiling its new credit-card reader at Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference in San Francisco earlier this month, Square tested [its] newfangled contraption at a Blue Bottle coffee shop in Mint Plaza, just down the street,” Cade Metz reports for Wired. “The reader doesn’t accept ordinary credit cards. It takes a newer breed of card equipped with an EMV chip for greater security, and it accepts Apple Pay, that much-hyped means of making card payments via the iPhone or the fledgling Apple Watch. With so many Apple faithful descending on the nearby Moscone Center for WWDC — the centerpiece of Apple’s year — Blue Bottle provided an unusually ripe proving ground for the new reader and the larger push towards Apple Pay and other ‘contactless’ payments systems.”

“According to Jesse Dorogusker, who oversaw the creation of the new reader as Square’s head of hardware, the tests revealed some ‘weird’ behavior among those paying for some mighty good coffee with their personal Apple gadgets. Some people touched their wrists to the reader with their Apple Watches facing up, before realizing that the Watch doesn’t send a payment unless it’s facing down,” Metz reports. “And sometimes, when they positioned their phones and Watches in the correct way and a payment went through flawlessly, they’re weren’t quite sure that it had. By the time they looked at their phone or watch display, he says, the notification saying they had paid successfully was already gone. ‘You have to adapt to the experience being too fast.'”

Metz reports, “Despite the hiccups during that week of testing at Blue Bottle, Dorogusker believes that Apple Pay has a sizable future and that Square’s new reader can help bootstrap this new reality.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Apple needs to overcome their fear of bad battery life reports and allow Apple Watch users to set their own durations for how long the display stays activated. We can handle it, Apple. Really, we can! If we set it for too long and run out of battery life before hitting the hay, we’ll quickly learn our lesson and reduce the display duration.

We hope that addition to watchOS setting arrives sooner than later!

Square founder Jack Dorsey talks new Apple Pay-integrated hardware – June 10, 2015


  1. Totally agree with the MDN Take on user-setting display time.

    Also, the ability to override the user’s preset default on a per-app basis would be nice.

    Also auto-dim, please, yeah, that’d be great.

  2. No reason they can’t add heft to the Watch with a bigger battery. I used to wear a nice chunk of stainless steel; much thicker and heavier than the Apple watch … and I liked it!

  3. On another note…those new EMV readers suck! I spent 5 minutes trying to get 2 different cards to take and they never did. I am glad they are combating theft…but damn…work! Only good news for Apple pay…so you don’t have to deal with this new system that sucks.

  4. Re MDN’s Take: Apple should protect some amount of reserve power. When your watch battery gets down to that level, all of the interactivity and wireless communication and fast processing and GPU should shut down to a bare minimum and just function as a basic low-power digital watch until it’s charged again.

    1. Using Power Reserve

      Power Reserve allows you to continue to see the time on your Apple Watch while preserving your battery life.

      Your Apple Watch will automatically enter Power Reserve if the battery gets too low, and you might see Charge icon next to the time. In Power Reserve, press the side button to show the current time in a 24-hour format. The time will display for six seconds.

      While your Apple Watch is in Power Reserve, your Apple Watch and iPhone won’t communicate, and you can’t access other watch features.

      Turn off Power Reserve
      To turn your device back on, press and hold the side button until you see the Apple logo and wait for your Apple Watch to restart. You might need to charge your Apple Watch first.

      Turn on Power Reserve
      If you need to, you can turn on Power Reserve. Press and hold the side button until you see the Power Off, Power Reserve, and Lock Device options. Then drag the slider to turn on Power Reserve.

      You can also turn on Power Reserve using Glances. Swipe up on the watch face to open Glances, then swipe left or right to find the Battery Glance. Tap Power Reserve, then tap Proceed.



    Go ahead. Shout from the rooftops. With a little luck, your dreams will come true. Someday.

    Folks, please don’t think that I disagree with your thoughts. It’s just that change takes time. I’ve read far too many articles and blogs like the one above (not to mention the comments in response) poking a stick at Apple for not giving everybody what they want, when they want it. But if you have ever worked in software development, and sat in on heated meetings between product managers, systems analysts and software programmers of what will make the cut in the next update or release, you know how agonizing the process can be.

    I’m sure that’s true at Apple. Some features we want may seem trivial to do – or at least that’s what we think. The truth is that each new feature added to software code can break another feature elsewhere in the stack, something that gives a software team’s quality assurance testers nightmares. Fix one line of code and you might break ten lines elsewhere. That’s the truth.

    In addition, a product like the Apple Watch presently has a limit to available memory for all the things we want to see added. It means figuring out how to compile all the code compactly to accommodate everything everybody wants, and all without slowing down performance.

    Then, there’s time. Software releases run on a schedule. There are deadlines that must be met, and there are only so many programmers available to get it all done within the allotted time.

    Long story short: All this means that some urgently desired customer requests get cut from the next release, and pushed back to the following version update. If there is a major security flaw discovered, that can suddenly push back features we’d all like to have, to allow the programmers time to figure out how to tackle it, code the fix, test the updated code for bugs, etc.

    I have a hunch that it’s not that Apple isn’t listening. And it’s not as if the company’s talented programming team had not already anticipated what we shout for from rooftops themselves – they’re Apple product users and customers too. But from my experience working in different software development companies, reality is far different than our GOTTA HAVE IT NOW hissy fits.

    You don’t want to read this. And you won’t agree. But boys and girls, be patient. By all means shout from the rooftops. But know you’re urgent burning feature request is standing in line with many others. That is how software development works.

    Sorry to pop your dreams. But that’s the truth. (And yes, the truth can suck sometimes.)

  6. Isn’t the Taptic engine supposed to alert you that the payment went or didn’t go through.

    One more reason to have a camera on your Apple Watch, it will use face reg to see that there are two eyes looking at it and not switch the display off.

  7. I’ve noticed that at Meijer here in Monroe MI, if I accidentally touch my iPhone to the payment terminal, the Apple Pay fails. I’m assuming there’s a grounding issue with the payment terminals at this Meijer (my “home” Meijer). I got into the habit of putting my fingers under my iPhone so that my fingers would hit the terminal, instead of the iPhone if I wasn’t being careful, while putting my thumb on TouchID to authorize the payment.

    Once I got my Apple WATCH – there have been no similar problems using Apple Pay there. I get the taptic feedback that the transaction was completed, well before my WATCH gets anywhere near the terminal.

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