CVS and Walgreens also said to support Apple’s new payment service

By Cody Lee on Sep 5, 2014

Recode reports that Apple has signed on the country’s two largest pharmacy chains—CVS and Walgreens—to participate in its new mobile payment service. The company is expected to unveil the service, alongside two new iPhones, at a media event in Cupertino next week.

This is a big deal for a few reasons. For one, CVS and Walgreens have a combined total of over 15,000 retail locations, giving Apple’s new payment service a significant initial footprint. And two, due to the nature of their business, they tend to see a high rate of transactions. Read More

 

Claimed rear camera with OIS and other iPhone 6 components surface in new photos

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 5, 2014

Modified Russian accessory vendor Feld & Volk, known for customizing iPhones with luxury parts like solid gold volume buttons, Friday on its Instagram profile published photos it claims show a rear camera with optical image stabilization for a 5.5-inch iPhone 6 version, along with an assortment of other claimed components such as the microphone, speaker and the power button with rubber seal.

Jump past the fold, give the images a quick look and join us in comments for an analysis. Read More

 

Apple-owned TestFlight surfaces in App Store as native app ahead of iOS 8 launch

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 5, 2014

TestFlight, a service allowing developers to beta test mobile apps on the fly, is now available as a native iPhone and iPad application in the App Store.

Apple snapped up Burstly, the company behind TestFlight, back in February to help its registered developers distribute their iPhone and iPad apps to beta testers before pushing them to the App Store for release.

TestFlight is available free of charge and requires iOS 8.0 or later. Read More

 

Sony’s side-scrolling CounterSpy stealth game now available on iOS

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 5, 2014

After releasing on the PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita last month, Sony’s CounterSpy is now available on Apple’s iOS platform.

Developed by Dynamighty and published on the App Store by Sony Computer Entertainment America as a premium $4.99 download, CounterSpy is set in an alternate history Cold War era and puts you in the shoes of a budding agent for C.O.U.N.T.E.R.

Your goal in this action stealth side-scrolling game: stop a crazed superpower from unleashing a devastating nuclear missile attack unto the entire world. Read More

 

‘The Photo Cookbook’ goes free as Apple’s App of the Week

By Cody Lee on Sep 4, 2014

Apple has named ‘The Photo Cookbook – Quick & Easy‘ its App of the Week for this week. This means that from now through next Thursday, you’ll be able to pick up the popular app for both iPhone and iPad for free—a great savings of $4.

Showcased by Apple in one of its iPad TV ads, The Photo Cookbook shows you how to prepare for and cook various meals with hi-res photos. Each tutorial is made up of short, straightforward steps, and includes a shot of the finished dish. Read More

 

Apple Store app updated: now universal, with revamped icon and new shopping features

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 4, 2014

Apple has just updated its official Apple Store shopping application for iOS, now at last provided as a universal binary with a brand new Home screen icon and a few new fancy features to go with it, starting with an all-new design on the iPhone and iPod touch that takes cues from the iPad edition with a much simplified navigation and excellent use of high-resolution product imagery.

Another new feature allows you to start shopping on one device and finish on another, or even on your Mac or Windows PC, because the application now remembers the state of your shopping cart across platforms. Read More

 

Tempo for iPad is here

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 4, 2014

Tempo Smart Calendar, another worthwhile alternative to Apple’s stock iOS Calendar that last week became the first iOS app with Uber integration, is now available with native iPad interface which takes full advantage of the tablet’s larger canvas.

The iPad interface has been added to the existing Tempo for iPhone app, now a universal download in the App Store.

Other new features in this edition of Tempo include the new Week, Month and Agenda views that look business on the iPad, localization in French, German, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish, as well as wider availability in more countries. Read More

 

Apple has reportedly negotiated lower transaction fees for mobile payments

By Cody Lee on Sep 4, 2014

Bank Innovation shares some new details on Apple’s mobile payments project this afternoon, reporting the company has managed to negotiate deals for lower credit card transaction fees with several banking institutions. This includes JP Morgan Chase, Citigroup, Capital One, and Bank of America.

Citing sources familiar with the negotiations, the site says that the banks have all agreed to give Apple a flat transaction rate for both in-store and online purchases, which is fairly uncommon in the industry. They will also apparently give the Cupertino firm a 10% discount on all of its processing fees. Read More

 

NYT: iPhone 6 has one-handed mode, iWatch has NFC, wireless charging and flexible sapphire screen

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 4, 2014

Joining today’s conversation about a flurry of announcements due September 9, journalist Brian Chen filed a report today with The New York Times claiming that Apple’s iPhone 6 will feature a so-called “one-handed mode” in an effort to address usability issues anticipated for a phablet-class device.

The lengthy story also takes a closer look at the rumored Apple wearable device which, according to Chen’s sources, will have NFC technology and feature a flexible display protected by a sapphire-made cover.

The article corroborates the consensus out there that the iPhone 6 will come in 4.7 and 5.5-inch flavors, both featuring an on-board Near-Field Communications (NFC) chip to facilitate mobile payments. Read More

 

Microsoft adds group audio calling with up to four participants to Skype for iPhone

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 4, 2014

Skype, a Microsoft-owned Voice over IP (VoIP) provider, on Thursday added another missing feature to its iPhone client after a major visual overhaul of the app in June removed a few popular capabilities.

Specifically, the new Skype 5.4 enables group audio calling with up to four participants. You can also add or remove people to an existing call and disabled users should appreciate a few improvements to the app’s accessibility.

The refreshed application is now available in the App Store for free. Read More

 

Apple to live stream September 9 iPhone event

By Cody Lee on Sep 4, 2014

Apple updated its website this afternoon to announce that it will be providing a live video stream of next week’s iPhone event. On a new Live page at Apple.com, the company has posted a countdown timer that expires just before 10 am on September 9th.

We are expecting Apple to unveil two new iPhones during the event, at least one of which features NFC for a new mobile payment system. It’s also believed that we’ll finally see the firm’s so-called iWatch, although rumor has it that it will just be a preview.

Read More

 

Irish newspaper claims U2 won’t be involved in iPhone 6 launch, retracts itself minutes later

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 4, 2014

There’s been a flurry of speculation by fans and watchers alike that the popular Irish rock band U2 will be performing live at Apple’s media event next Tuesday and even preload its new album on the forthcoming iPhone 6. Thursday morning, an Irish newspaper added to the confusion.

The band’s spokesperson purportedly quashed the rumor in a statement released to Independent [Google Cache]. The story got pulled minutes later without an explanation, casting doubt on its veracity.

As Cody told you last night, The Sunday Times newspaper first started this rumor based on vague hearsay among fans and shady photographic evidence in the form of images depicting U2′s secret video shoot in Dublin last week, which music promotor Stephen Browne shared on Twitter. Read More

 

WSJ: NFC-enabled iWatch has ‘a role in mobile payments’, features curved OLED screen

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 4, 2014

Adding up to the ongoing conversation about Apple’s purported wearable project dubbed by the media the ‘iWatch’, The Wall Street Journal affirmed Thursday that the fashionable gizmo will connect to the upcoming iPhone 6 via NFC and come in two sizes to appeal to both gender’s preferences.

NFC stands for Near-Field Communication, which is a short-range wireless technology required for the handset’s rumored mobile payment functionality.

In their write-up behind the paywall, reporters Lorrraine Luk, Daisuke Wakabayashi and Greg Bensinger quote people familiar with the matter as saying that both iWatch sizes feature a curved organic light-emitting diode screen, or OLED.

There will be sensors to track and monitor health and fitness data, as expected. According to the Journal, Apple’s use of NFC technology on the iWatch signals that it “sees a role for the device in digital payments”. Read More

 

KGI on iPhone 6: no sapphire, barometric pressure sensor, programmable power button and more

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 4, 2014

Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities is on a roll today. After detailing his expectations for an iWatch, the analyst in a note issued to clients today also summarized his thoughts concerning the upcoming iPhone 6 devices which are expected to be unveiled next Tuesday at the Flint Center for the Performing Arts in Cupertino, California.

As per AppleInsider, which has obtained a copy of Kuo’s report to clients, rumored sapphire protection won’t be an option for this year’s iPhone refresh. Moreover, both 4.7 and 5.5-inch models should be available in a 128-gigabyte storage flavor and will include a new barometric pressure sensor to support indoor navigation applications, as well as new health-related functions related to spirometry.

Wrapping up his report, Kuo wrote that the iPhone 6 device should also feature a programmable power button for integration “with specific applications”. Read More

 

Much-improved Rdio launches with new look and features, free version coming to 20 countries

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 4, 2014

Rdio, the popular Internet radio service, on Thursday launched a major redesign of its mobile app which now aims to compete with the likes of Spotify and rival Pandora by bringing its ad-supported free Stations to 20 countries.

The new look includes your personalized Home featuring an evolving mix of music stories based on your listening history and tastes, a new Browse section which now features both genre and curated Stations, a Trending feature showing what’s popular right now, the ability to favorite just about anything, from albums to artists to songs to stations, and much more.

Rdio is free in the App Store. Read More

 
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