AWT News Update: May 15, 2015

Happy Friday, everyone! Today's Apple news runs the gamut (or should we say "Gamet"?) from grocery stores to vintage products, and everywhere in between:

  • Trader Joe's is adding Apple Pay support soon
  • Sprint adds another seven countries to its free data roaming plan, bringing the total to 22
  • Apple is set to make a bunch of old product obsolete on June 9
  • Oculus says they're putting development of the Mac and Linux versions of the Rift Virtual Reality Headset on hold for a while

The full podcast script is available below for your reading pleasure.

Text Version

Happy Friday, everybody. Steve Sande here from Apple World Today, and this is the AWT News Update for May 15, 2015.

Another US grocery chain is adding Apple Pay payments to its checkout stands. Trader Joe’s is a California-based grocer with over 400 locations in the US, specializing in organic foods, specialty products, and private label foods. Recently, checkout kiosks at the stores have been upgraded to a new VeriFone touchscreen display, with many of the displays showing that they accept Apple Pay. According to many of the checkout clerks, the devices don’t actually work right now and that support will be coming soon. Trader Joe’s joins other major grocery chains such as Winn-Dixie, Whole Foods, Meijer, and Bi-Lo in accepting the convenient Apple Pay payment option.

World travelers who want free data roaming for their phones should consider signing up with Sprint. The carrier announced today that it’s expanding free data roaming to seven more countries, bringing that sweet, sweet free data to a total of 22 countries. Want to know what they are? Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Denmark, El Salvador, Germany, Guatemala, Honduras, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Russia, Sweden, South Korean, Spain, and the United Kingdom.

Are you still using that old iPhone 3G or 3GS? How about a 17-inch MacBook Pro from mid-2009, an AirPort Express Base Station, a 20- or 24-inch mid-2007 iMac, a 2.4 GHz MacBook Pro, or an XServe from late 2006? Any and all of those devices will be losing support from Apple on June 9, 2015 as Apple moves these models to obsolete or vintage status. Obsolete means that Apple will no longer offer service or repair support through its own stores or authorized service providers, while support must continue in California and Turkey under vintage status. The original iPhone is also turning obsolete in the US after going “vintage” last year, so we can now put our 2007 original iPhones into storage as classic devices, to be sold for millions of dollars at some future date.

Are you excited about looking like a total jerk wearing an Oculus Rift Virtual Reality Headset? Sorry to tell you that Mac development of the headset is on hold while the company focuses its attention on Windows. The device is going to require some pretty hot hardware to drive it, as it displays 2160 x 1200 images at 90 Hz on two eyepieces. Oculus says that it will need a 3.3 GHz Intel i5-4590 processor, and NVIDIA GTX 970 or AMD 290 graphics card, and 8 GB of RAM. That’s out of the range of a lot of Macs, although the Mac Pro might be able to handle the headset with ease… if you can afford one. 

We’ll be back tomorrow with another AWT News Update.