Apple Pay rival CurrentC delayed, may never see release following employee layoffs

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, May 18th, 2016, 06:04
Category: Apple, Finance, Google, News, retail, Samsung

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The CurrentC horse may never even make it out of the gate.

CurrentC, the payment platform backed by a group of retailers under the banner Merchant Customer Exchange that caused a kerfuffle when Apple Pay launched, may never see release.

The consortium announced Monday that the CurrentC rollout has been postponed and that the company will lay off 30 employees after “feedback from the marketplace and our Columbus pilot.” MCX tested CurrentC at Target, Walmart, and other retail locations in Columbus, Ohio.

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Google releases Gboard, a third-party keyboard app, for iOS

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Date: Thursday, May 12th, 2016, 08:25
Category: Google, iOS, iPhone, News, Software

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Google is now offering a third-party keyboard for iOS.

Since iOS 8, Apple has supported third-party keyboards for iOS, each with their own unique features. As such, Google has released Gboard for iOS, a third-party keyboard that also incorporates a search functionality.

Third-party keyboards can be accessed from any app and Gboard features a dedicated Google Search function right from the keyboard. This means you can search Google from Messages, Twitter, Facebook, or anywhere else you can type on iOS without leaving that specific app. Google’s pitch here is that it minimizes the need to switch between various apps and rely on copy and paste to grab information.

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Proposed California State Assembly Bill could work against smartphone encryption

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Date: Friday, March 11th, 2016, 07:22
Category: Android, Google, iPhone, News, security, Software

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For California smartphone users, this hits pretty close to home.

Assembly Bill 1681, a California State Assembly bill, would ban default encryption on all smartphones. The bill, introduced in January by Assemblymember Jim Cooper, would require any smartphone sold in California “to be capable of being decrypted and unlocked by its manufacturer or its operating system provider.” This could be even more drastic than what’s going on with Apple’s legal showdown in the San Bernadino iPhone unlocking case.

Both Apple and Google currently encrypt smartphones running their iOS and Android operating systems by default. A.B. 1681 would undo this default, penalizing manufacturers and providers of operating systems $2,500 per device that cannot be decrypted at the time of sale.

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Google Photos updated, now features Live Photos, improved backup support

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Date: Tuesday, March 8th, 2016, 15:53
Category: Google, iOS, iPhone, News, Software

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This is sort of nifty.

The Google Photos app for iOS has been updated and now allows users to back up and view Live Photos taken with the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus. The latest version of the iOS app has finally received support for the format, nearly six months after Apple introduced Live Photos in the latest iPhone.

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Google posts record profits, highlights Alphabet holding company details

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Date: Monday, February 1st, 2016, 14:26
Category: Finance, Google, News

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Google just turned in some amazing quarterly numbers.

Alphabet, Google’s holding company, reported its fourth quarter earnings on Monday, the first ever in two segments, with separate figures its core business and its motley moonshots.

Google altogether beat expectations, reporting net revenue, minus partner site payout, of $17.3 billion on $8.67 earnings per share. Wall Street was looking for something around $16.9 billion on $8.10 in profit.

More important to Wall Street’s concerns, Google was able to show a meaty profit margin, especially when its costly venture projects are stripped away.

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Fiat Chrysler announces CarPlay support for assorted Dodge, Jeep and Chrysler models later this year

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Date: Tuesday, January 5th, 2016, 08:26
Category: CarPlay, Google, Hardware, iPhone, News, Software

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A certain number of Fiat Chrysler models, including Dodge, Jeep and Chrysler models, will arrive will Apple CarPlay and Google Android Auto support this year.

And that’s a nifty thing.

The automaker announced on Monday that a certain group of the three brands would feature CarPlay and Android Auto support, but didn’t say which exact models would gain the support in its official announcement. CarPlay will bridge with the company’s proprietary Uconnect dash system, which is also being upgraded with things like faster startup times, more responsive touchscreens, and better overall performance.

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Nielsen ratings show more than 54.5 monthly Apple Music app users in 2015

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Date: Tuesday, December 22nd, 2015, 04:56
Category: Android, Apple Music, Google, News, Software

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While specific Apple Music user numbers have yet to be released, the early estimates are looking good.

A year end report from consumer research firm Nielsen states that Apple Music was one of the most popular smartphone apps of 2015, and with more than 54.5 million monthly users ranked among offerings from Facebook and Google.

Apple’s streaming music service came in at No. 9 on Nielsen’s Top Smartphone Apps of 2015 chart, notching over 54.5 million average monthly users in the U.S. from January to October. That number is up 26 percent compared to the same time last year, a growth rate second only to Facebook Messenger.

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Software update allows Ford Sync users to use Siri Eyes-Free, adds feature to over five million vehicles

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Date: Thursday, December 3rd, 2015, 13:29
Category: Google, News, Siri, Software

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It’s pretty cool what a firmware update can do.

Owners of the Ford Sync can now download an update that will allow the Sync to tap into Siri to perform a variety of tasks while keeping their eyes on the road.

Ford on Thursday announced the Siri Eyes-Free update, noting that the software is available for more than 5 million Sync-equipped vehicles dating back to 2011. Siri Eyes-Free will allow the iPhone to work with the Ford Sync software to help drivers make and receive phone calls, listen to music, get driving directions and check calendar appointments via voice commands.

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Google Maps app for Android offers offline feature, iOS version coming soon

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Date: Tuesday, November 10th, 2015, 11:17
Category: Android, Google, iOS, News, Software

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This could come in handy.

Google has announced that its Google Maps application for Android is now capable of storing regional data, especially in cases where you’ll be going into parts of the world without Internet access. By the company’s guess, roughly 60 percent of the world is without Internet today.

Per the company’s press statement:

Now you can download an area of the world to your phone, and the next time you find there’s no connectivity—whether it’s a country road or an underground parking garage—Google Maps will continue to work seamlessly. Whereas before you could simply view an area of the map offline, now you can get turn-by-turn driving directions, search for specific destinations, and find useful information about places, like hours of operation, contact information or ratings.

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Amazon pulls Google Chromcast, Apple TV units from shelves, looks to boost Amazon Prime, Fire brands

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Date: Friday, October 30th, 2015, 06:26
Category: Apple TV, Google, News, retail

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If this proves anything, it’s don’t sell a product that directly competes with Amazon’s interests.

Following through on its promises to halt sales of set-top streaming devices competing with its own Fire TV lineup, Amazon on Thursday removed all Apple TV and Google Chromecast products from its online store.

In an effort to boost both its Prime Video subscriptions as well as sales of its Fire TV set top box and Fire TV Stick units, Amazon.com has pulled both the Chromecast and the Apple TV from its shelves.

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