Apple Pay

So. Apple Pay. I like my Apple devices, I really do. In fact I love my iPhone. True love. Wait till you see what I’ve bought my iPhone 6s for Valentines day. But that’s another story. Back to Apple Pay. What a gimmick. A pointless, unnecessary marketing gimmick. Or so I thought. But Apple has gradually won me over. I’ve seen the light. Why did I ever doubt them? The first revelation was at a McDonalds. I’d ordered my meal, but then discovered I’d left my wallet back at work. My lunch was about to be aborted when it occurred to me – I had registered a debit card on my iPhone. So I paid with my iPhone. Happy days! And a Happy Meal to go with it.

Now I’ve gotten used to paying with it. I stand in queues waiting to purchase my shopping, killing the time with a little bit of Candy Crush. Suddenly I’m at the front, the cashier has rung through my items and it’s time to pony up. Do I reach into my pocket, pull out a wallet, fight to get a card out etc etc? Nope, I just swipe my phone and lets the magical Cupertino Money Pixies do their stuff. How did I ever manage before?

I’d been wondering though. On the London Underground, if I tap in with my debit card and tap out with my iPhone (using the same card), would the system recognise them as the same card and charge me accordingly? Or would it read these as two payment methods and charge me twice? My hunch is that I would be charged twice. I can report that I have now made this error and can reveal the result. You’re charged twice. So don’t do it. It’s an expensive way to travel. Fortunately, I have read somewhere that the new iPhone 7 has a special app called Aladdin that turns the device into a Magic Carpet, which will save everyone a fortune on travel costs.



45 thoughts on “Apple Pay

        • With no more paper money, the government can literally track your every move, even those you’d prefer to keep private. No more garage sales, no more quick, anonymous transactions like buying gum, a soda, whatever. If the gov’t decides to impose negative interest rates (the real reason they want to abolish cash) then your money becomes a wasting asset and there’s nothing you can do about it. And imagine your gov’t becomes tyrannical. How would you help fund the resistance? I think cash is very important to a free society.

          Liked by 1 person

        • It sounds ideal all right but not every one has a bank account yet alone a credit card. So those of us less fortunate would be in dire straits without cash. You can see though that as countries become more flush the smaller coinage will gradually be phased out. In Canada the venerable penny, although still a coin of the realm is not taken or given in change and at the till it is rounded off to the next round number. Although interestingly enough the pennies are charged when you pay by C/C. I have also noticed this in Mexico the smaller coins are not so common and folks seem to round it out to full pesos in change.

          Liked by 1 person

        • You’re far more suspicious of government than I. A cultural thing, I suspect. We are cousins in that regard, not brothers. As far as government is concerned, the UK is more closely related to the he French. Some people might put your suspicions in the conspiracy theorist pot, but they’d be thoughtless to do so. All historical evidence suggests that you will, at some point in the not very distant future, be proven right. Even though it doesn’t seem a likely scenario to us Europeans at this moment in time.

          I did listen to a BBC podcast recently, where proposals to do away with he £50 note were made. The idea being that only those of a criminal bent actually use them. They might be right. But I’m not convinced that banning the note will help anything. Surely, if the note is only used by criminals, then the notes themselves are a useful tool in detection.

          I meant to ask you about negative interest rates in another conversation we had by email. Japan has recently given it a go. I doesn’t seem to be working out very well so far. You’d think that would put other countries off of the tactic. But then, other Japanese economic policies have been used in recent years in the west, despite the fact that they haven’t worked so well in Japan.

          Do you think it likely that we’ll see NIR in the US or UK anytime soon?

          Economically, something has got to give at some stage here in the west. The wealth disparity is too great and still increasing. That would be fine if they were pulling the rest of the people up with them in terms of living conditions, but the opposite is happening. It will come to a stage where war or revolution is inevitable. Hopefully the latter, and hopefully without bloodshed. Is fair to say that most people consider this unthinkable. I’ll again bring up historical evidence to back my assertion. Sadly, history suggests that much blood will be spilled.


  1. I admit I “like” my iPhone, love maybe too strong a word for it. The first one, a 3G I got just before the “s” version was released had a great camera however my present iPhone 5 was a disappointment. Most of my colleagues chide me for my small screen and poor choice of phone but for me it just works. My contract ends this year so a new one may be on the cards!
    My wife on the other hand has an LG G2 which has decent storage and a fab camera and takes photos far superior to mine. Now both of us have an iPad which also just work! My biggest mistake though was buying the 16Gig model.
    Fortunately though I discovered the RavPower file hub which can be used with an assortment of phones and tablets. The great thing about it is that you can connect to the phone, tablet etcetera in it’s own wifi environment whereby you can attach a USB stick or SD card or both and either transfer photos from the tablet to either or back up the SD card to the USB. There are other tricks you can perform too but for me being able to look through five or six hundred photos, choosing my favourites and saving them to the iPad is worth it!


    • I bought the iPhone 6 with only 16gb. It was, as you found, a big mistake. My iPhone 6s and my iPad Mini both have 64gb. Which works a lot better. For Christmas I also bought an SD card adaptor so that I can plug my Fuji camera straight into the iPad. There is a wifi app that Fuji produces, but to call it awkward, clunky and unreliable is to be polite.

      Liked by 1 person

      • The Fuji Wifi is ok if you just do them individually, pretty fast in my experience but it gets confused if you are sending a bunch together and then it just freezes!
        I got an SD card adapter for my wife’s iPad 2, it was $4 at a dollar store and it works fine but the Rav is my go to for the iPad Air.


        • The thing is, if I do want to transfer images from camera to iPad, I’m going to want to transfer bulk batches. So….

          I luuuurve my iPad as much as my iPhone. So I treated it to the official Apple adaptor, Which cost more than $4. But is almost certainly no better!


        • Another thing I treated my iPad too was a Jet Tech keyboard/case. At about GBP25. It’s a bit plasticky, the ‘t’ often doesn’t work and it has no GBP key. But otherwise it works ok. For the money I give it a thumbs up. And it means that I can send this reply while on the train home from Weymouth to Bournemouth.

          Liked by 1 person

        • I’m impressed, the wifi on the trains between Wicklow, Dublin and Belfast was pathetic last year and spotty but there again I was using a Windows 8 phone. Maybe if I was using a myPhone it might have been a more or less memorable affair?


        • Onboard wifi isn’t going to be good enough to start watching videos. Indeed, audio files are too much for the very limited bandwidth you are allowed to use. But it works ok for browsing and emails. Best of all, it’s free with the company I work for. Free for all, not just staff. Other TOCs charge a fiver.

          I was very impressed with Norwegian Airlines on my visit to Berlin a couple of months ago. Free wifi that worked throughout the flight.


        • Gary, many of the airlines have an app you must download, such as “Rouge” for Air Canada. This will allow you to see content on the plane, movies music etc.

          Unfortunately you have to download the App before your flight say at the airport before boarding and you will watch on your iPad, Galaxy Tab, phone or whatever as there is no other access once in the air.

          Generally I found that the iCloud is a pain to use in Europe as the wifi is sluggish. Whereas in our neck of the woods it is pretty fast. But I just don’t want to hang around for stuff to download from it.


  2. I checked that on, it says it has a keyboard with Apple functions. If that’s the “case” pun intended try holding your finger on the money key, be it $ or € for a long moment the alternative signs should appear likewise when you press a, e, o etc a second or two alternatives with accents appear.

    ps I’m in Merida for a few days grabbing some rays and photographing everyfing. Amazing city where old and new are side by side, really warming to the place, I can see myself coming again soon!


    • I had read that too, but I haven’t yet figured out how to get a pound sign. If it is indeed possible. I haven’t yet read the instructions. I have worked out how to make the normal onscreen keyboard pop up though, which does the job. ££££££

      I’ve been to Merida a few times. It is a lovely city, and is easy to picture oneself settling there. At least till summer comes along and the heat burns your face off every time you step out of the front door!!

      Are you going o post any of your photos online?


      • I have on Facebook, see Colm Fiftyfour but the quality doesn’t show as you can see! I’m still learning
        I have jet to figure out a suitable place to save and store them on line. I have Dropbox and Flickr but they need a bit of organizing.

        ps I bought a secondhand camera body from a reputable company on line before we left for Yucatan and it wouldn’t even turn on so I took the damaged one with me. Most photos I just allowed for the fault and cropped accordingly!


  3. Hola Gary!
    I have an iPhone 4, which I’ve been very happy with. (As an aside, it seems to be the most popular model here in CDMX.) But I recently bought an Acer Z410 (Android) for use in Mexico. I have a few, minor complaints (very hard to properly key in the password in the startup screen; go figure! And now it crashes whenever I try to rearrange the screen icons.) But it’s mostly pretty good, and it’s also a smidgen bigger than my iPhone. Unfortunately I’ve found it jabs me in the groin while walking around, which the iPhone never did. This may be why Steve Jobs was so opposed to larger screen sizes, as he and I wear the same pants all the time (and have very similar physiques). Though the iPhone is better than the Acer, a new iPhone would cost me 8-10x the cost of the Acer, so I’ve got to wonder if it’s really worth the extra price.

    But I’m glad you’re happy with your phone.


    Kim G
    CDMX, México
    Where we feel like a pendejo for not having gotten a Mexican phone years earlier.


    • When I was in Europe last year I bought a Windows phone.. what a waste of verbiage I could spew on that! Just had to give it away it was brutal! Should have just extended my iPhone plan and saved the embarrassment.
      Kim, the iPhone just works all else are imitators.. Ha ha just kidding!


      • Colm: Android is indeed an imitator, and as noted, has its problems. But for $80 USD I have a very functional “unlocked” phone here. I’d rather have an iPhone, but then I decided I’d even more rather have an extra $600 in my pocket. Call me weird.

        Liked by 1 person

        • In a month, I’ve spent $200 pesos on cell phone service, about $11 USD. In the USA, with me out of the country, I’ve spent about $100 USD on my monthly cell plan. Something’s wrong with this picture.

          Liked by 1 person

        • My Canadian plan is about $80 a month, unlimited texts, a gig of Internet + but wifi is really exceptional especially Shaw on the we’t coast so I don’t really use it.

          In Europe my phone cost €87 discounted from €120 and it used euros like water going down the drain, I used €80 the first few days while it ran the battery flat as I was looking at it and the crowd I bought it from wouldn’t upgrade it for me to something exceptional. Talk about putting a lash to the back!

          I nearly used it as a skimming stone but relented as sometimes they just go plop, so I just gave it away as they say Free, gratis and for nothing and I got to talk about what might have been..

          Liked by 1 person

        • You don’t want to know what I pay to maintain my Apple addiction each month. Or, at least, I don’t want you to know. I’d like to maintain the pretence that I’m a rational and intelligent chap.

          Contract wise, though, I think I get a reasonable deal. I use Three and for £17 a month I get 200 free minutes (I use about 10 of them), 300 free Three to Three minutes (I use another 10 of those), unlimited texts (probably another 10 of those!) and unlimited data. I use lots and lots of data. Between 12 and 20 gigs per month.

          Liked by 1 person

    • The older models are almost always very popular in developing markets. The price obviously plays a part. I’m sure that’s why Apple always keep the older models in production for so long. I’m not convinced that sales in the US and EU would justify continued production.

      Jobs wanted to stick with 4 inch iPhones for a few reasons. Mostly because he felt it was the optimum size for a phone. I dare say he thought a larger screened phone might eat into iPad sales. But Jobs was wrong, and in a big way. Sales prove that to be so. And had he iPhone 6 not had a larger screen size, I would still be an Android user.


      • I just discovered that my iPhone 4 does not have sufficient oomph to use Skype. Fortunately, the Acer does, so I just downloaded that app and was able to chat with folks in the USA while cooking dinner. So the 4’s days may be numbered. Or not. Apparently I can use my Mx Cell phone in the USA too. So who knows, maybe I just drop my USA phone service all together. That’ll make places like my hospital think twice about calling me if they have to dial a Mexican number, haha. Saludos!


        • If there were no carrier subsidies, would you really pay 5-8X the cost of a decent Android phone to get that last bit of incremental smoothness offered by an iPhone?

          Since I know you’ve had an Android phone, you’re well positioned to answer this. Thanks.


        • The advantage here really is that you can obtain the most recent older models at a discount if you can wait until the new one is released. Personally from experience, the latest and greatest does not all the bells ring. I think I would like a six plus but do I want to spend six hundred spondulicks on a new and improved gizmo? I’m a frayed knot!

          Liked by 1 person

        • Well I buy my iPhones direct from Apple, so the carrier subsidy is not relevant to me. But the real issue with your question is …. Define ‘decent’. All the Android units below £150, and thus a quarter the price of an iPhone, might do a job and represent reasonable value for money. But they are just too inferior in almost every respect to an iPhone to consider them a genuine alternative. Poor screens, rubbishy cameras, slow processors.

          Even Android sets at the £300 mark tend to be significantly and noticeably below the iPhone standard. Although there are some worthy units around that benchmark. The Nexus springs to mind. The high end Android units by the likes of Samsung and Sony arent much cheaper than the iPhone. Some are even a little bit pricier. How much you want to spend will probably depend on how much you will use the phone, what features are imporant to you and which eco system suits you.

          Theres another factor to this though. Resale value. iPhones hold their value incredibly well. Even your old 4 will be worth something. If youd bought the equivalent Android set instead? Well most supermarkets have bins you can drop them into as a donation, along with used batteries and other worthless electronica. Resale value should most definitely be factored into the debate regards value.

          Ive used Android units in the past, and Id use them again if they jumped ahead in the tech race. But for now, I wouldnt swap back. For the same reason I wouldnt swap my HD flat screen for a CRT monitor. In fact, seeing as I now have an Apple iPhone, iPad and TV, Im seriously looking at getting an iMac. Which I never imagined myself doing. I have truly swallowed the Apple pill.

          Finally, the last time I picked up an Android handset in a shop, my eyes hurt, I bled from my ears and nose and soon after developed a nasty rash.


        • I wonder what you were doing just before picking up that Android handset. Hmmmmm

          So you’ve dropped 400-500 quid on an unlocked iPhone and are happy?

          I hear what you’re saying about iPhone resale value. But my iPhone 4 is no longer powerful enough to run Skype on a Skype-out call, at least. The cheapie Android did the same thing fine. And I think the screen looks fine too, though the camera is junk, as it is in my iPhone 4. I don’t disagree that iPhone is better, I just question by how much.

          Liked by 1 person

        • Having spent all that money, I’d better be happy! My model was actually about 600. Like Colm says, the sensible purchase is made on last years model. But when you pay monthly, the extra fiver you spend to have the latest and greatest doesn’t seem so much more. Once upon a time, I felt the urge to have the cutting edge tech in everything I owned. TVs, computers, cameras etc etc. I don’t have that urge anymore. My TV and laptop are both nearly 4 years old and it’s doing fine. When I get around to replacing my camera, I’ll do so with a cheaper, older model. But I still just got to have the latest iPhone. It’s my last pointless foible.


        • Let’s make it an even forty five Gary will we?
          it’s all about the emerging markets! The US and European markets are now saturated. Everyone is up to their armpits in debt and the market is stagnant. Walking around Merida recently reminded me of Henry Street in Dublin back in the seventies. Every corner shop and city market stalls jam packed with all sorts of intriguing rubbish!

          Here it is in Merida every shop on every street is packed to the rafters and almost every conceivable item is within reach of your hand and pocket. Millions of minions armed with cell phones, flip flops and bling chatter happily together, young families whizz past on scooters. The streets are teeming with life, and what a life. They are such a rich and diverse people with magnificent faces and beautiful children.

          I can’t help grinning as I make another faux pas and a concerned face redirects my feeble Spanish attempts with a a toothless smile.
          This is where it’s at. You see the save the earth crowd may have it right but you cannot stop progress, you can’t say to these emerging marketeers you can’t have cars as they pollute! They will say rightly ” you’ve had your chance, now it’s our turn!”
          This new middle class have tasted the fragrance of newly minted bills. They are seeing that the promised land is not paved with gold in front of Trumps palace anymore but at home where everyone understands you other than the extrangeros who will stumble along as we do hopefully to find that the real meaning of life is with a warm happy people and not the grumpy people who have lost their way..

          This is where we need to be if we want to be on the cutting edge of life.. Now where did I put my iPhone?


  4. That is a great deal Gary!
    You see part of our problem lies in that the total population of Canada is only 35 million! In fact less than the population of just California alone. So they have us over a barrel!
    Strangely I can get a new LG for zero $ if I sign up for two years. But it will still cost me $80 a month for the contract. My local cable company has taken over a cell co. called “Wind” so maybe I’ll swing a deal with them. If it works out I’ll be.. swinging in the wind!


    • Subsidised phone plans are popular here too. You can pick up even some of the top end handsets at no extra cost. But the plans will soon suck your account dry! I just buy my Apple gear direct from Apple. They do finance over two years. It works for me.

      As a plus point, the only place you can get an unlocked iPhone from is Apple. The networks and stores sell sim free iPhones. But then they lock to the network of the first SIM card you put into the handset.


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