Apple Pay Later Feature; Seattle Tops ‘Brain Gain’; Google Meet Free Gets Hour Limit; Electrify America to Double EV Charging StationsPosted: July 14, 2021
Apple is working on a new pay later service that will let customers pay for Apple Pay purchases in installments over time, according to Bloomberg. Installment payment options will be available for all Apple Pay purchases, and not limited to Apple products. As on the Apple Card, Apple is planning to partner with Goldman Sachs on the Apple Pay installments plan. Goldman will be the lender for the loans needed for the monthly installment plans. Users will be able to choose any credit card to make their payments over time with the Apple Pay Later plan, and it is not yet clear what interest rates will be. As with the Apple Card, Apple Pay Later users will need to be approved through an application submitted through the Wallet app on the iPhone, which is also where payments will be managed.
The Seattle region added more than 48,000 tech jobs from 2016 to 2020, an increase of more than 35% — growing at a faster rate than any other large U.S. tech market, according to a new analysis by the CBRE real estate firm. Geekwire.com reports that the analysis confirms the meteoric growth of the region’s tech industry in the latter half of the past decade. The trend has been driven by the expansion of Silicon Valley engineering outposts in the Seattle area, the extraordinary growth of Amazon, the revival of Microsoft, and the emergence of heavily funded, homegrown startups, particularly in cloud computing and enterprise technology. Overall, Seattle moved past Washington, D.C., to claim the No. 2 spot behind the San Francisco Bay Area in CBRE’s overall scorecard. Top tech talent isn’t cheap. The report also puts Seattle second, behind the San Francisco Bay Area, in average wages; and third, behind the Bay Area and New York, in total cost of running a technology business.
Google Meet was quickly rolled out to meet the video-conferencing needs of the COVID-19 pandemic, and was quite a deal for free users: a video call limit of 24 hours for group calls. Google’s pandemic promotion is apparently over, as Google Meet now limits free users to 1-hour group video calls. 9to5google.com notes that Google Meet’s free tier is slightly more generous than Zoom’s free tier, which caps 100 participants at 40-minute meetings, just enough to not fill a standard 60-minute calendar block. Microsoft Teams also settled on a 100-person, 60-minute limit for free users. For those who have to attend, 60 minutes is more than long enough…if the meeting goes over that, your bosses are either windbags that love their own voices, or they never prepare for meetings!
Electrify America’s EV charger network still pales in comparison to Tesla’s Supercharger grid, but that gap might narrow over the next few years. Engadget.com reports that the Volkswagen-owned company has unveiled a Boost Plan that aims to “more than double” Electrify America’s charging infrastructure in the US and Canada by the end of 2025. When the plan is complete, there should be over 1,800 fast charging stations and 10,000 individual chargers — many of them 150kW or 350kW chargers to support newer EVs like the Porsche Taycan and Hyundai Ioniq 5. The expansion could put pressure on Tesla for the first time in a while. The company had 1,101 Superchargers in North America as of February 2021.