Apple Online Store is Coming to India on September 23

Folks, it has finally happened. It’s here! I can’t believe it.

After several years of speculations and rumours, Apple has finally confirmed that the Apple Online Store is finally launching in India on September 23, 2020. I had leaked the upcoming release just a few days ago.

This isn’t a simple online store launch, they’re going all in:

The Apple Store online is the most convenient destination to shop for Apple products, with online Apple Specialists available to help with anything from custom-configuring any Mac to setting up new devices. Customers can get advice, receive guidance, and learn about new products directly from Apple, both in English and Hindi.

With financing options and an available trade-in program, the Apple Store online offers a range of affordability options. Students can shop for a Mac or iPad with special pricing, and receive discounts on accessories and AppleCare+. In October, customers can expect free online Today at Apple sessions led by local Creative Pros, focused on photography and music. Just in time for the festive season, signature gift wrap and personalized engraving will be available for select products. Engraving of emoji or text in English, Bengali, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Marathi, Tamil, and Telugu will be available for AirPods, and English engraving will be available for iPad and Apple Pencil.

Apple has been trying for years to get approval from the Indian Govt. to open a physical Apple store in India. Thankfully, the launch isn’t too far with the first Apple Store in the country opening in BKC in Mumbai.

New iCloud Storage Pricing for India (Updated)

Update: 12th August, 2020 with new iCloud Storage Pricing for India in 2020.

At it’s annual September event, Apple announced updated pricing and revised tiers for storage on iCloud. Although the Free Tier remains at 5GB, the paid tiers have been revised from 20GB, 200GB, 500GB and 1TB to only three — 50GB, 200GB and 1TB, costing $0.99, $2.99 and $9.99 respectively.

This new pricing is now active and here’s the iCloud Storage pricing for India.

iCloud Storage Pricing for India in 2020
iCloud Storage Pricing for India in 2020

Due to the addition of 18% GST and fluctuations in the US dollar value, Apple has adjusted the pricing of iCloud Storage in India.

50GB of iCloud storage costs ₹75 per month in India, followed by 200GB at ₹219 per month. Apple has upgraded the 1TB storage tier to 2TB, which comes in at ₹749 per month. So for a small bump in the price, you get double the iCloud storage.

The old article from 2015 is below:

iCloud Storage Pricing for India

As you can see, the 20GB paid tier has been revised to 50GB now and the pricing has been updated to INR 65 for 5GB, INR 190 for 200GB and INR 650 for 1TB of storage.

Is BGP Safe Yet? Cloudflare Launches Website to Check Whether your ISP Prevents Route Leaks & Hijacks

Louis Poinsignon writes on the Cloudflare blog:

BGP leaks and hijacks have been accepted as an unavoidable part of the Internet for far too long. We relied on protection at the upper layers like TLS and DNSSEC to ensure an untampered delivery of packets, but a hijacked route often results in an unreachable IP address. Which results in an Internet outage. 

The Internet is too vital to allow this known problem to continue any longer. It’s time networks prevented leaks and hijacks from having any impact. It’s time to make BGP safe. No more excuses.

In June 2019, large parts of the Internet were put offline for no fault of theirs, thanks to Verizon — just one of the many hundreds of Internet Service Providers across the world who do not have security practices and filtering in place to prevent such a thing from happening.

Tom Strickx wrote on the Cloudflare blog back then:

Today at 10:30UTC, the Internet had a small heart attack. A small company in Northern Pennsylvania became a preferred path of many Internet routes through Verizon (AS701), a major Internet transit provider. This was the equivalent of Waze routing an entire freeway down a neighborhood street — resulting in many websites on Cloudflare, and many other providers, to be unavailable from large parts of the Internet. This should never have happened because Verizon should never have forwarded those routes to the rest of the Internet. To understand why, read on.

And this sort of thing happens a lot. And it isn’t just an inconvenience, it can also cause tremendous damage. Lily Hay Newman, writing for Wired, says:

BGP disruptions happen frequently, generally by accident. But BGP can also be hijacked for large-scale spying, data interception, or as a sort of denial of service attack. Just last week, United States Executive Branch agencies moved to block China Telecom from offering services in the US, because of allegedly malicious activity that includes BGP attacks. 

To make this internet a better place for everyone, Cloudflare has today launched an effort to push ISPs to implement checks and filtering to prevent BGP leaks & hijacks. The company has launched IsBGPSafeYet.com, a website that lets you check whether your Internet Service Provider (ISP) or broadband provider has BGP filtering in place or not. You can run the test in your browser and get instant results.


Indian ISPs Fail the Test

I ran the test for my ISPs Jio & ION and both of them failed the test. I also asked a few of my friends to run the test on their respective ISPs, and so far all Indian ISPs are failing the test. Here’s a non-exhaustive list:

Indian ISPs Failing the Test:

If you’re using any of the above ISPs, let them know.

If you’re in India, please run the test on IsBGPSafeYet.com in your browser and let me know on Twitter, so I can update this list.

Satechi has launched this pretty cool charging dock for the Apple Watch that can be used without a cord. It has a USB-C port that is attached directly to the dock, allowing you to plug it directly into your iPad Pro or Mac devices and rest your Apple Watch right onto it.

I’m not sure if I’d use it attached to the iPad Pro like that, but on the Mac, hell yes! Long cords are so unnecessary and need to die.