Apple wants to take the pain out of turning your Apple TV into a cable box, and is doing so with Single Sign On. It's a system that promises to let you enter the username you use with your TV provider just once, and it'll collate whatever apps and services you can access automatically. It was announced all the way back in June, but only now is the company ready to begin testing the feature publicly. Both AppleInsider and 9to5Mac are reporting that Single Sign-on has been activated for beta testers using iOS 10.2 and tvOS 10.1. If you're using those operating systems on the Apple TV, iPhone or iPad, you can head over to the settings pane and enter your provider details to get going.
Apple has finally made good on its promise to bring single sign-on (SSO) for TV providers to the latest Apple TV and iOS devices. The feature was first announced at WWDC in June and now it's available for select service providers via the latest tvOS 10.1 and iOS 10.2 developer betas. SEE ALSO: Apple's new TV app is Apple's idea of TV With SSO, users will only need to enter their TV provider username and password once to get access to all content across different video apps included in their subscriptions. The problem is that logging into [different video apps] is a giant pain in the ass. To get logged in, I almost always have to use a web browser to enter in a code and then login with my provider details.
Earlier this month I made the leap to the dark side. I took off the Casio G-Shock that has been my constant companion for years (occasionally swapped out for my Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean for the odd special occasion) and strapped on an Apple Watch for the first time. And I have to admit, I'm very impressed. Must read: Here's why your old iPhone feels slow -- and what you can do about it My smartphone is an iPhone so it makes sense that if I'm to bother with a smartwatch that it's going to be an Apple Watch. For the past few months I've been wearing a Fitbit fitness tracker daily and have been finding the information that I get from it to be useful but somewhat limited, so the logical step was to switch over to a smartwatch (although I'm still wearing the Fitbit).
If you want to be able to turn network services on and off the same way you do virtual machines, some big carriers are starting to think like you. On Thursday, Verizon announced enterprise services defined and activated through software, a move intended to help both the carrier and its customers save money and respond more quickly to changing needs. It could mean firing up a new carrier Ethernet link to a branch office in minutes instead of months, for example. Verizon's Virtual Network Services announcement comes just days after AT&T introduced its own set of software-defined services and then partnered with Orange to help move more service smarts from hardware into software. All these steps mark progress for SDN (software-defined networking) and NFV (network functions virtualization), complementary technologies that are gradually doing for wide-area networks what virtualization has done for data centers.
Apple Pay technically launched in Canada back in November, but it might as well have been non-existent -- you could only use a directly-issued American Express card, which isn't all that common in the country. At last, though, things are opening up. Apple has announced that its tap-to-pay service is now available through a much, much wider range of providers. Right now, you can use it through heavyweights CIBC and RBC (both credit and debit cards) as well as smaller providers ATB (initially MasterCard-only) and Canadian Tire (MasterCard). The other big three (BMO, Scotiabank and TD) aren't ready yet, but they've all committed to letting you pay with your iPhone or Apple Watch in the months ahead.