PayPal is eager to integrate Touch ID

Posted by:
Date: Friday, June 6th, 2014, 08:07
Category: Apple, Finance, Hardware, iOS, iPhone, retail, security, Services, Software

touch-id_PaypalLittle was said about Touch ID in the WWDC keynote except that the API would be opened to third-party developers for use in iOS 8. Craig Federighi did show a nice pie chart claiming that since the introduction of Touch ID on the iPhone 5s, 83% of users now use passcodes, up from the 49% that used their iPhone’s security previously. Just days after this announcement, PayPal is reportedly dipping their toes into the Touch ID API with hopes of incorporating fingerprint recognition into their iOS app’s authentication system. This isn’t really surprising as it has already done this on Android with the Samsung Galaxy S5. Hopefully the process will be more hacker-proof on iOS.

PayPal may just be the first of several companies including other mobile payment services, banks, and even large retail chains, to take advantage of access to Apple’s fingerprint scanner. Getting users familiar with using Touch ID for purchases may be just the first step in Apple’s own long rumored plans to get into the mobile payments game, using it in tandem with their Passbook software. Apple is expected to start building Touch ID sensors into all of its mobile hardware soon. Here’s hoping the technology becomes more reliable than many users’ past experiences or people may get frustrated with the process and just not use it.

 

 

Your next Apple headphones may have a Lightning connector

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, June 5th, 2014, 08:50
Category: Accessory, Apple, Hardware, iOS, iPhone, Lightning, music

iPhone5-lightningAccording to 9to5Mac, Apple has quietly introduced a new specification in its Made-For-iPhone/iPad/iPod (MFi) program that allows headphones that connect to iOS devices use a Lightning connector instead of the usual 3.5mm headphone jack. The ability to use such hardware doesn’t exist on iDevices yet, but a software update sometime in the future will likely enable this function. The advantage of using a Lightning connection would be to create “smarter” headphones.

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Intel announces Core M “Broadwell” processors, could pave way to thinner MacBook Air notebooks

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Date: Tuesday, June 3rd, 2014, 10:24
Category: Hardware, MacBook Air, News, Processors

IntelLogo

Your MacBook Air could get even thinner.

Which is impressive, as the current models are seriously thin already.

Per iMore and Engadget, Intel on Monday announced a new family of Core M “Broadwell” processors, which could possibly cut down even further on power consumption via improved cooling solutions.

Presenting the new chips at Computex, Intel president Renee James showed off a 2-in-1 PC powered by the company’s new 14nm Intel Core M chip, making way into the fifth generation (Broadwell) of Intel processors. The new processors utilize less energy and improve battery life, while providing enough power for consumers to enjoy a smooth experience on supported devices. The 2-in-1 PC shown off at Computex was just 7.2mm thick (see below photo) with no fans to hear or external exhausts to see. Those kind of features would be incredibly nice to see on a MacBook Air.

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Was this a peek at the iPhone 6?! (Update: not so much)

Posted by:
Date: Monday, June 2nd, 2014, 16:20
Category: Announcement, Apple, conference, Developer, Hardware, iPhone, Sighting, WWDC

Update:

Weeeelll nope. Sorry, jumped the gun there. After closer inspection of my own iPhone 5s without it’s case, and the recognition that the top and bottom of the image are cropped, it now appears that this is in fact a white iPhone 5s. I’ve been taking a closer look at the video and the demo presenters definitely seem to be using a iPhone 5s. I guess the rumor of a leaked video showing a supposed iPhone 6 got me a little too excited at the prospect that Apple was giving us a subtle peek. It was exciting for a few hours eh?

After watching the live WWDC Keynote, my head is swimming with info and feature announcements for OS X Yosemite and iOS 8, however, there was one thing I didn’t catch until I was reviewing part of the keynote to find some information I missed. See if you can spot it in this photo (even though I kind of gave it away in the title). iPhone6_sneakpeek The first thing I saw were the buttons. My immediate reaction, “that doesn’t look like the 5s buttons…”. iPhone6_sneakpeek hilight Then I looked at the whole thing and thought, “waaaaaaait a minute…that doesn’t look like any iPhone I’ve seen!”. Apple isn’t one to simply create some kind of random, generic phone design to show in their presentations, so this seems like a pretty good bet that this is a peek at the new iPhone 6 design, and if it wasn’t ready for a release this year, I doubt they’d be showing it off. I can’t tell what device they were using in the on-stage demos, but maybe some developers on site will post some close-up images.

What do you think? Is this the new iPhone or is this a red herring? Let us know in the comments or on the Facebook page.

And the Beats go on, but now at Apple

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, May 29th, 2014, 08:04
Category: Announcement, Apple, Hardware, iTunes Radio, Retail Store, Services

Pardon the Sonny & Cher pun, but it had to be done. Yesterday, Apple confirmed that it has, amidst much rumor, hints, and speculation, acquired both Beats Electronics and Beats Music. The cost of getting the maker of the popular headphones, speakers, and audio software, as well as the streaming subscription music service, turns out to be about $3 billion total. That amount consists of a purchase price of approximately $2.6 billion and approximately $400 million that will vest over time according to the Apple press release. The deal is expected to close in fiscal Q4, subject to regulatory approval.

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Rumor: Apple to use rounded design for upcoming iWatch, could begin production in late July

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, May 28th, 2014, 11:53
Category: Hardware, Rumor

Unknown

It’s still speculation but reports from supply sources have indicated that Apple might go with a round design for its long-anticipated iWatch.

Per MacRumors and Business Insider, analyst Brian Blair of Rosenblatt Securities believes Apple’s iWatch will feature a round face, similar to a traditional watch. The iWatch design will resemble Motorola’s Moto 360 smart watch, with the Apple version shipping with a slimmer profile.

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Rumor: Apple to begin manufacturing larger iPhone 6 models in July, August

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, May 27th, 2014, 11:22
Category: Hardware, iPhone, Rumor

eliphone5s

When KGRI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo releases a report about forthcoming Apple products, people tend to listen.

Per Boy Genius Report and DigiTimes, Apple, which is expected to release a larger format iPhone in 2014 (rumors pointing towards a 4.7-inch iPhone 6 and a 5.5-inch iPhone phablet), could release the larger devices sooner than expected.

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Rumor: Apple could announce home automation technologies at WWDC

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, May 27th, 2014, 11:36
Category: Hardware, Rumor, Software, WWDC

Unknown

It may not be a complete “Jetsons” future, but it might be Apple automating parts of your home.

And it might be announced as early as next week at the Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco.

Per The Mac Observer and Financial Times, anonymous sources have told the Financial Times that Apple will unveil its plans on June 2 in front of developers and the media. Apple will introduce a new platform for controlling in-home devices such as lights, appliances, and security systems that will also tie in to a new version of Apple TV to be introduced later this year.

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A quick look at Qualcomm’s Toq Smartwatch

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, May 27th, 2014, 09:50
Category: Accessory, Android, Hardware, Wearables

People were pretty disappointed to hear that Apple wasn’t planning to introduce or speak about any new hardware at WWDC, so an iWatch may still be a ways off…or a complete surprise. With no signs of an Apple smartwatch on the horizon, other companies are trying to get the jump on the watch market. Among the contenders is Qualcomm’s Toq Smartwatch. The Toq (toke…tock…not sure) so far only works with Android devices and presents a set of the typical features we expect from a smartwatch such as access to calendars, calls and texting, notifications from social services, music control, etc.. Information-wise, it doesn’t provide any more than a Pebble, but it does have some other nice features.

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Energous developing wireless Wattup technology, could allow for gadget charging across a room

Posted by:
Date: Friday, May 23rd, 2014, 14:23
Category: Hardware, iPad, iPhone, News, wireless

wireless.rechargingx299

We’ve all dreamed of charging our devices from across the room.

This may soon be a reality.

Per the MIT Technology Review, startup Energous is developing a technology called WattUp that will allow you to charge smartphones, tablets, and other small gadgets from across a room without wires.

Energous hopes other companies will license this technology and build it into all kinds of products and places, so you can easily power your iPad while sitting on the couch or top off your phone while buying a coffee in an airport. It will face competition, however, from a startup called Witricity that uses a different method, and already has the backing of some major electronics companies.

For now, WattUp’s technology is still in the demo stage. But it works and devices can be charged wirelessly if they are connected to an external receiver, or slotted into a special protective case.

During a recent demonstration, an iPhone was plugged into a white device shaped like a smartphone atop a little stand. Another iPhone sits on the table, wearing a bulky Energous case. Across the table, a briefcase-sized wireless energy transmitter sits on another tripod and a plug dangling from that was plugged into the wall.

The demonstration showed the iPhone’s charge progress, as measured via an app on a nearby iPad, the wireless energy transmitter being controlled via an app on the iPad. A small beep indicated that the iPhone’s charge cycle had begun and recharging works more than 10 feet from where the power is emitted, and you can move the device around while it’s charging.

The most common wireless-charging technology currently available is magnetic induction, which uses coils to transfer power over small distances via a magnetic field. This is the method used to recharge electric toothbrushes, for example.

Energous’s charging method uses a transmitter with lots of small antennas to send radio waves to a receiver connected to the gadget being charged. The transmitter uses Bluetooth to scan for nearby gadgets that are authorized to receive a charge. Once it finds one, the transmitter directs radio waves toward the receiver, which collects them and converts their energy to DC power so it can charge the phone.

The transmitter and receivers Energous brings to my office can send power to two devices that require less than 10 watts of power at a distance of up to 15 feet; eventually, Energous says, it will be able to charge more gadgets at a time.

The company expects the first products using its technology—such as smartphone cases that can deliver wireless power to the devices—to be shown off by partner companies at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas next January and go on sale later in the year. Company representatives had predicted that a phone case would cost about US$75 to US$125, which is within the range of what you’d pay today for a case that provides extended battery life, though the transmitter for charging things probably would cost around US$300.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.