By Ed Sutherland on Aug 15, 2013
One of the hangups with Apple’s iTunes is that currently there is no way for you to directly ‘gift’ digital media to a friend or family member. Though you can easily trade, re-sell or give away a music CD, you can’t do that with movies, books any other digital content types offered on Apple’s iTunes Store.
A patent application published Thursday could solve this dilemma, thanks to near-field communications (NFC) technology, which has yet to be deployed across Apple devices.
According to the filing published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, instead of a second party receiving an email from iTunes that a song or video has been purchased, an item could be gifted to a nearby iOS device simply with the press of a button… Read More
By Ed Sutherland on Jun 4, 2013
A 2009 Apple patent application is gaining renewed attention, not only because the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) today issued a patent to the iPhone maker, but how the technology could keep pace with smartphone rival Samsung.
At issue is finding a way to easily transfer data between handsets and desktop computers. The patent, titled “System and method for simplified data transfer” describes how two Apple devices could wirelessly sync data using Near Field Communication (NFC) technology, a system as yet unavailable in Apple products but part of Samsung’s S Beam feature on select NFC-enabled Galaxy devices… Read More
By Ed Sutherland on Apr 17, 2013
If you have some media content on your iPhone that needs to get to a Mac, the transfer can be cumbersome. Apple appears to be tapping wireless technologies to smooth out such operations, simply by having your mobile device near your desktop or portable Mac computer.
A patent published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office outlines a way for Macs to sense when a mobile device is nearby. Your iPhone can then transmit that great vacation photo to the Mac, which then inserts the image into an email, or even photo manipulation application… Read More
By Cody Lee on Mar 11, 2013
The chatter regarding Apple’s next-generation handset, the iPhone 5S, has stayed fairly consistent over the past few months. The talk points to a device with an iPhone 5-like design, an improved camera system and other internal upgrades.
Another rumor that continues to surface is that the phone will feature a built-in fingerprint sensor. And it’s popped up again this morning in a new report, claiming the 5S will use that and NFC to push Apple further into mobile payments… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Mar 5, 2013
Walt Disney World is piloting a trial program which replaces the old turnstiles with something more in line with the 21st century: Apple’s iPod touch. The media player is being used at the Central Florida theme park as a friendly ticketing system as the resort’s costumed staff members use the device to scan the tickets of visitors as they arrive, a new report has it.
They are using a special accessory case and accompanying software similarly to how Apple Store employees have phased out the good ol’ cash register by using the iPod touch to scan people’s credit cards. A Disney representative warns the program is in its trial stage so the company may or may not deploy it on a large scale… Read More
By Cody Lee on Jan 14, 2013
The iPhone may not have near field communications installed, but that’s not stopping companies from trying to integrate the tech. US Bank proves that yet again today by unveiling its new NFC-enabled iPhone case.
The case is a major part of the bank’s new Go Mobile payment service, which will allow US Bank customers to pay for goods and services from their checking, savings or credit accounts using an NFC-compatible device… Read More
By Cody Lee on Jan 9, 2013
Like Griffin, Belkin and other iOS accessory powerhouses, Incipio turned up at CES this week to unveil a wide range of new products. Among them are a dual iPhone 5 car charger, and an iPhone case with a built-in tape measure.
Perhaps most interesting, though, is its new Cashwrap iPhone case. The thin case not only protects the handset from drops and other accidents, but it also gives it the ability to make NFC transactions using the Isis platform… Read More
By Ed Sutherland on Dec 10, 2012
So, are you tired of the iPhone 5 already? Feeling the after-announcement blues, sort of like the after-Christmas let-down? Cheer up, Apple fans, the iPhone 5S (or the iPhone 6 or whatever Apple calls it) is coming next June or July. According to one Wall Street observer, the new iPhone will include a “super HD” camera and screen, stronger battery and NFC.
What’s more, the iPhone 5S will arrive in a rainbow of colors, or at least 6-8 different colors, according to Jefferies analyst Peter Misek. Also on tap: the iPad 5 with an IGZO screen and more colors… Read More
By Ed Sutherland on Nov 29, 2012
Apple has filed for a patent to solve one of mankind’s most troubling questions: how do I recharge my iPad with this annoyingly-short power cord? In the application, the company suggests a ‘realistic’ way to wirelessly recharge your iDevice via near-field resonance. While near-field technology is more often used to grab data off your credit card at the grocery store, Apple sees the technology as a way to cut the cord between your laptop, iPad or iPhone and a wall charger, the way your mouse was set free years prior… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Nov 19, 2012
AuthenTec, the maker of NFC chips and smart sensors that Apple bought in the summer for $356 million, has sold off its division which makes encryption-based security hardware and software. The buyer is French NFC maker and contactless chip provider Inside Secure and the transaction is valued at $48 million.
That Apple decided to get rid of AuthenTec’s Embedded Security Solutions division is another tell-tale sign that the iPhone maker snapped up AuthenTec for its NFC solutions and smart sensors that are not part of the Inside Secure deal.
Yes Mr. Schiller, I know “Passbook does the kinds of things customers need today”, but Apple did drop $356 million on an NFC tech maker and obviously your next iPhone is going to have NFC… Read More
By Cody Lee on Oct 16, 2012
This year’s roundup of iPhone rumors, like many years before it, included chatter that the iPhone 5 would finally receive NFC technology. But as we found out in September, those reports were once again unfounded.
Despite the fact that several Android handsets support the wireless connection, Apple has yet to add it to its mobile products. But according to a newly granted patent, it may be working on some kind of alternative… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Oct 3, 2012
There has been a whole lot of hoopla concerning Apple deploying NFC technology on iOS devices, especially prior to the iPhone 5‘s release last month. NFC, or Near-Field Communication, facilitates close-proximity wireless payments on mobile devices.
Marketing boss Phil Schiller explained Apple passed on NFC with this year’s iOS devices lineup because “Passbook does the kinds of things customers need today”, noting that “it’s not clear that NFC is the solution to any current problem”.
In the reality, Apple is working behind the scenes, taking its time to put the pieces of the NFC puzzle together until an NFC-equipped iPhone and the associated service is fully baked and ready for public consumption. It doesn’t come as a surprise then that Apple is working with Sydney-based Microlatch to develop fingerprint technology for NFC apps… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Sep 24, 2012
Earlier in the summer, smart sensor maker AuthenTec agreed to be bought by Apple for $356 million. Still pending approval, the transactions left even the seasoned watchers scratching their head.
People began wondering whether Cupertino might leverage AuthenTec’s fingerprint sensors to bolster enterprise security in iOS devices. Or, perhaps, Apple was keen on tapping AuthenTec’s sensors to add consumer features to iPhones, iPods and iPads, the stuff like finger-based unlock or a secure e-wallet service.
The deal remains shrouded in a veil of secrecy because Apple isn’t talking much and neither is AuthenTec. A report out this morning claims that AuthenTec’s current clients are “in a state of panic” as the company is telling them it will stop offering its technology and NFC/fingerprint sensors as of next year… Read More
By Cody Lee on Sep 12, 2012
This year, similar to years past, a lot of folks expected to see Apple add NFC to its new smartphone. And even after previous reports all but ruled out the tech, a last minute scoop made it a possibility again.
Alas, the iPhone 5 event came and went, with no mention of Near Field Communications. And the company has since confirmed that the handset does not contain the wireless payment tech. Here’s why… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Sep 12, 2012
A well-known iOS developer with a strong track record of Apple reporting took to Twitter this morning to argue that prototypes of Apple’s next iPhone do contain a Near-Field Communication (NFC) sensor inside. This shouldn’t be deciphered as the definite proof of an NFC-enabled iPhone 5 as Apple and other handset makers often test several device prototypes before settling on one model.
Furthermore, even if the iPhone 5 has NFC, this should not be confused with an NFC-driven mobile payment system. We also know from Apple’s marketing boss Phil Schiller’s interview with the Wall Street Journal (Apple’s unofficial mouthpiece) that digital wallet mobile-payment services are “all fighting over their piece of the pie”, adding that “we aren’t doing that”… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Sep 6, 2012
A set of four new high-quality photographs have emerged, seemingly depicting the complete front assembly of Apple’s next iPhone, due for unveiling at a San Francisco media event next Wednesday. These new images provide a detailed look at a square chip which leaked earlier and prompted pundits to speculate that it houses a Near-Field Communications (NFC) sensor, later debunked by the eagle-eyed experts over at AnandTech.
One of the theories has it that this thing is a fingerprint sensor, based on Apple’s hasty $356 million acquisition of smart sensor maker AuthenTec. There are other possible answers to this mystery and I couldn’t help myself collecting all the plausible possibilities in an amusing poll, included right below… Read More
By Cody Lee on Aug 28, 2012
Bad news today for folks who were hoping that near field communications technology, or NFC, would make it into the new iPhone. It looks like the tech is a no-go for Apple’s next smartphone.
Theories for the tech picked up steam yesterday when a square chip inside a leaked iPhone 5 part was identified as an NFC sensor. But according to a new report, it’s not happening this year… Read More
By Cody Lee on Aug 27, 2012
Surprise, surprise, another purported iPhone 5 component was leaked over the weekend. Late last night, an assembled front panel with Home button and FaceTime camera surfaced on the web.
But unlike the claimed parts we’ve been seeing as of late, this one might actually give us some worth-while insight. It houses an unknown square sensor, which some folks believe to be an NFC chip… Read More
By Jim Gresham on Aug 27, 2012
Over the years, we have become accustomed to Apple’s, mostly Steve’s, “one more thing…” announcements following major keynote presentations. For those of you unfamiliar with the “one more thing” additions, they often come as a closing cherry on top of an already excellently run presentation. However, even though these additions are just thrown on at the end, they have been major product changes or even whole products themselves. Even Wikipedia celebrates this tactic, calling the Apple presentation’s “Stevenotes.”
While we have not enjoyed any Steve-inspired “one more thing…” announcements since his passing, Apple still enjoys keeping their newest and most ground breaking features an absolute secret. The upcoming September 12th keynote, which is yet to be officially announced, is now rumored to be solely about the iPhone 5 and potential iPod updates. So that leaves me guessing, what is next? The final killer announcement at the upcoming iPhone event will certainly be excellent, as many news sources have speculated the iPhone 5 announcement will be one of the largest in mobile history. After scouring through news and even analyzing patent images, we may be looking at Near Field Communication as the final knock-out punch… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Aug 16, 2012
Apple’s unexpected $356 million acquisition of mobile security and smart sensors experts AuthenTec was finalized with an unusual urgency as the transaction will likely result in future iOS devices getting advanced built-in fingerprint and NFC sensors. Furthermore, it would seem Apple’s offer to AuthenTec even included an IP agreement giving Apple rights to use AuthenTec’s patents on an exclusive basis and even license them out to third-parties… Read More