For years, Apple has resisted including NFC connectivity inside its iPhone handsets… until now. With the arrival of the new iPhones, the folks in Cupertino are finally including the option that will sort mobile payments. What’s more, it’s doing so with a process it built for use on its handsets: Apple Pay. The new feature is included on both the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus and uses NFC, Touch ID and a Secure Element chip to keep that precious info under lock and key. So how does it work? Well, you add a card to your iTunes account which then adds it to Passport. From there, you can suspend payments on the phone if your card gets lost or stolen without the need to make a phone call. In terms of security, Apple doesn’t know what you’re buying, and cashiers won’t even see your name. Instead, a one-time payment number and a dynamic security code complete the transactions.
At launch, American Express, Mastercard and Visa are all on board with a load of banks opting in to Pay as well. As far as retail is concerned, Apple Stores, Bloomingdale’s, Macy’s, Walgreens, Subway, McDonald’s, Whole Foods and many more will allow you to pay for goods with that newfangled iPhone or the outfit’s wearable. For shopping on the web, there’s a one-touch feature that replaces the need to manually enter a card number, shipping address and other into. Once again, no credit card info is shared with merchants. Apple Pay is set to arrive in October via a free update to iOS 8
If you’re tired of rumors and speculation about Cupertino’s so called “iWatch,” then good news — that all ends today. Apple has just confirmed the arrival of its first fully-fledged wearable device — Apple Watch. How much of what we heard in the run up to the event was true? How does it compare to the recent slew of Android smartwatches? In typical Apple fashion, the device has a few surprises.
First up some top-level details: Apple Watch has a sapphire display, four sensors on the back, NFC, Apple Pay, and a choice of straps at launch — these are proprietary, not standard. Apple also claims it’s accurate to 50ms and is the “most personal device we’ve ever created.” Probably to the surprise of many, the new watch isn’t swiss-style at all, in fact sharing much of the iPhone’s design language — curved edges and a power button on the side. There’s also a hardware dial, just like on a regular watch, that Apple is calling a “digital crown,” which can be used to navigate menus, zoom into images and more. A big heads up: you’ll need an iPhone 5 or above and $350 if you want one of these when they become available “early next year.”
How will it work? Tim Cook is keen to assure that his team didn’t want to create a boiled down iPhone — joking that there’s no pinch-to-zoom etc. In a similar way to how Samsung’s Gear watches work, the Apple Watch knows when you lift your wrist to look at it, and activates the display (and showing you some apps). If you were wondering about how you’ll charge it, it uses inductive charging, but actually uses something that looks quite a lot like a small MagSafe. Other rumored details that turned out to be true include the flexible display, and a heart-rate monitor.
Worried that you won’t get along with a watch that everyone else also has? Apple has thought of that, and has created three watch “collections.” These main difference being the finishes: aluminium, stainless steel and 18-carat gold! There’s a choice of two-sizes also. The bad news is, you’ll need an iPhone to go along side it, whichever one you choose. Also, as you’d expect, Apple Watch does notifications, so you can see meetings and message alerts — many of these are actionable too, so you can decline an invite without reaching for the phone. As we’d heard earlier in the week, there will be dedicated apps for the Apple Watch, both from third-parties (American Airlines, City Mapper) and Apple (such as maps, with navigation etc.).
What about fitness credentials? Yup, that’s a big part of Apple Watch too, with Cook stating: “It’s a very important area for me, and important for Apple.” What that really means is that it will act as a fitness tracker, and a dedicated sports watch, complete with workout app (but you’ll need your iPhone’s GPS for tracking a run — BOO!).
Has the Apple Watch spelled doom for dedicated fitness devices? Apple knows how seriously its users take fitness, which is why it’s built a pair of apps specifically for the new wearable. The first is activity, which eliminates the need for a Fitbit-esque activity tracker by measuring your sitting, standing and movement on a daily basis. For instance, you can set the move ring to disappear when you’ve burned off enough calories that day. It’s the same situation with exercise: which it qualifies as anything over the intensity of a brisk walk, which you need to do for half an hour each day. Then there’s the standing ring, which goes away once you’ve stood for at least a minute in each hour, up to 12 hours. The software will also learn your activity patterns and, when it spots you being particularly sedentary, will give you a Jawbone-esque reminder to get up off the couch.
Apple has unveiled its long-rumored wearable, and with it a third-party tool chest called WatchKit. For starters, the initiative will help developers integrate compatible apps with the Watch’s Glances screen, and do so from day one. It’s also part of a larger mindset in Cupertino, including HomeKit and HealthKit, that allows more openness and a range of features when new devices launch. This means that companies like Twitter, American Airlines and Starwood Hotels can get in right from the start, with custom features for wearable-driven tasks. For example, guests can expect to unlock hotel rooms by waving the Apple Watch in front of the lock and BMW will let you check the charging status of your car.
At its special media event today, Apple announced the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 and the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus. Apple is touting a “Retina HD Display” on both phones, as the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 features a 1334×750 display at 326 pixels-per-inch while the iPhone 6 Plus features a 1920×1080 display at 401 PPI. The iPhone 6 is said to have more than 1 million pixels, while the iPhone 6 Plus is said to have 2 million pixels.
The new models also feature a number of hardware changes, including a chassis that is 6.9 mm thin for the iPhone 6 and 7.1 mm for the iPhone 6 Plus. Additionally, both models feature the next-generation 64-bit A8 chip, which features 2 billion transistors on a 20nm processor. Apple stated that the processor delivers 25% faster CPU performance and is 13% smaller and 50% energy efficient when compared to the A7. The device also comes with a next-generation M8 motion coprocessor which can now estimate distance and elevation changes with a new barometer.
Apple states that the iPhone 6 will get 50 hours of battery life for audio, 11 hours for video, 11 hours for WiFi browsing and 10 hours for LTE browsing. Concurrently, the iPhone 6 will get 80 hours of battery life for audio, 14 hours for video, and 12 for WiFi and LTE browsing. The iPhone 6 now also includes Voice Over LTE (VoLTE) technology, including 20 LTE bands. Also new is 802.11ac Wi-Fi, which delivers 3x faster WiFi and support for WiFi calling.
The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus also support a new camera system with a brand new 8 MP sensor, along with a circular true tone flash. Apple is also touting “Focus Pixel” technology, which allows the lens to move in and out to better determine autofocus points. The camera also features next-gen tone mapping and noise reduction. Apple also says the camera is complimented by a new gyroscope and image stabilization built into the A8 processor.
As for video capabilities, both devices shoot in 1080p at 30fps and 60fps, along with 240fps slo-mo video, which is up from 120fps on the iPhone 5s. The front facing FaceTime HD camera has also received a new sensor with a f2.2 aperture that lets in 81% new light. Users can also shoot single-shot HDR photos and take HDR video.
Both devices will launch on September 19, as pre-orders will start on September 12. The iPhone 6 will be available in 16GB, 64GB, and 128GB variants for $199, $299, and $399. The iPhone 6 Plus will be available in the same storage capacities for $299, $399, and $499, respectively. Both iPhone 6 models also come in the same Space Grey, Gold, and Silver variants. The iPhone 5c is now free on contract while the iPhone 5s will now be offered for $99.
Today at its special event, Apple has announced that iOS 8 would be released on September 17 as a free download, just two days before the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus release.
The new version on iOS will be available for iPhone 4s, iPhone 5, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5s, the 5th generation iPod touch, iPad 2, iPad with Retina Display, iPad Air, iPad mini and iPad mini with Retina Display.
Apple Announces ‘ApplePay’ Mobile Payment Solution, Enabled at Over 220,000 U.S. Merchants [iOS Blog]
At its special media event today, Apple announced its new ApplePay payment solution for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, which utilizes the Touch ID fingerprint sensor, a new “Secure Element” functionality, and the built-in NFC antenna in conjunction with a credit card stored on iTunes.
To make a payment, users hold the iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus to a receiver while holding the Touch ID home button. Apple states that card numbers will only be stored or shared in Secure Element, and if an iPhone is ever lost or stolen, Find my iPhone can suspend all payments. Apple is also touting privacy, stating that it does not record what users bought or how much they paid. Cashiers also do not see a name, credit card number, or security code.
ApplePay will first launch in the United States next month as an update to iOS 8 and will be compatible American Express, Mastercard, and Visa credit and debit cards, with Citi, Bank of American, Capital One, Wells Fargo, and Chase also listed as partners. Apple is also stating that the program will work with over 220,000 U.S. merchants, including Walgreens, Duane Reade, Macy’s, Nike Bloomingdales, Staples, Subway, and McDonalds more. Apple will also launch a new ApplePay API for developers to integrate the system into their apps.
Sprint, quick to counter T-Mobile’s new guaranteed trade-in deal, is back today with a post reminding customers why they are the best in the wireless space. A press release from today tells us that despite the Un-carrier’s claims, they can’t offer what Sprint can. Take, for instance, the fact that consumers can trade in more than one device per line.
Sprint also allows customers to trade-in up to three phones per line at any time and five in a calendar year. T-Mobile, on the other hand, only allows one phone trade-in per line and only allows customers to trade-in their phone when purchasing a new device.
Available immediately, Sprint says they’ll also match prices for trading in devices through Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile.
The post Sprint: No, our trade-in program is the best in the business appeared first on AndroidGuys.
If you haven’t heard of Teague, it’s the Seattle-based firm that designed this year’s e-bike of the future, the Pringles can and the original Xbox. The company also has a sideline aircraft cabins, and it was here that it learned of a peculiar problem facing professional sports teams. According to a 2008 study, baseball players that cross three time zones to play a game would have a 60 percent chance of losing, thanks to the lack of comfort afforded by air travel. That’s why the company paired up with Nike to design an aircraft interior designed to expressly carry a basketball team from coast-to-coast without compromising their performances. That’s why it comes with lie-flat beds that are tall enough for a 7-foot player, smart bathroom facilities that analyze hydration statistics and a separate chill-out zone for pre-and-post-game relaxation. Curious for a little tour of these state-of-the-art facilities? Head on down and check out the gallery.
Filed under: Transportation
If you’ve been on vacation even once in the last four years, you’ve seen it: tourists whipping out awkward tablets with subpar cameras to capture what can only be the worst photographs. Tablets aren’t known for their stellar imaging capabilities, but Dell and Intel’s next joint effort may change that, at least to some degree. During this morning’s Intel Developer Forum keynote, Dell CEO Michael Dell and Intel CEO Brian Krzanich will preview a new tablet: the Dell Venue 8 7000 series. At 6mm thick, the new slate is purported to be the world’s thinnest tablet. It’s also the first device to feature Intel RealSense — a photo technology that creates a depth map within every image it takes. Krzanich gave me a quick preview of the device before today’s keynote.
True to Dell’s word, the new Venue 8 7000 is very thin. Its svelte profile leaves it feeling very light in the hand, though Krzanich was unable to tell me its exact weight. The CEO says he’s been testing the tablet out for a few months now, and he’s become quite fond of it. It’s not hard to see why — it’s a light, comfortable device to use — though Intel’s RealSense camera module does leave it looking a little unbalanced. The bevy of camera sensors takes up residence on the device’s left side, embedded in a large speaker bar gracing the tablet on the same end. It gives the device an obvious place to grip without covering the screen, but lacks the symmetry of dual-speaker devices like the HTC One or NVIDIA Shield.
Still, it’s easy to excuse the visual imbalance for the sake of the RealSense camera’s capabilities. Krzanich fired up his tablet’s camera app to show off the camera’s depth-mapping capabilities, beckoning me to touch the screen and drag between two points. This caused the app to draw a line under my finger, actively measuring the distance between the points. Krzanich says the camera can map a depth of several meters, and anything within that range can be accurately measured by the Venue 8 7000’s onboard software. The app will also have refocus and filtering technology, and Intel hopes that it will spark new ideas in the minds of developers.
Details on the Dell Venue 8 7000 (and the longterm implications of RealSense) are still scarce, but in the few minutes I spent with the tablet, I was impressed.
Filed under: Tablets