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Save Mart Supermarkets Adds Apple Pay as Bank of America Approaches 800K Customers On Board

Apple Pay was introduced last year during Apple’s September iPhone event and debuted alongside iOS 8.1. Months after launch, the service continues to expand with two major announcements today that mark the further expansion of the mobile payments service into regional supermarket chains and the continued adoption by consumers.

Starting today, California supermarket chain Save Mart Supermarkets is rolling out Apple Pay to all 217 Northern California and Nevada stores it operates under the Save Mart, S-Mart Foods, Lucky, Maxx Value Foods, and FoodMaxx brands. Save Mart Co-President & Chief Strategy and Branding Officer Nicole Piccinini Pesco said that the grocery store chain is adding Apple Pay for the “benefit and convenience” of their customers, adding that Apple Pay will “transform the shopping experience for our customers”.

While Apple Pay continues to expand to new retailers, consumer interest in the mobile payment service also remains strong. As part of its Q4 2014 earnings report, Bank of America today announced that almost 800,000 customers have enrolled in Apple Pay and have added approximately 1.1 million cards to the service since it launched in October 2014.

The number of mobile banking customers increased 15 percent from the year-ago quarter to 16.5 million users, and 12 percent of deposit transactions by customers were done through mobile, compared to 9 percent in the year-ago quarter. Since the introduction of Apple Pay™ in October, nearly 800,000 customers have enrolled in the service, adding approximately 1.1 million cards.

Bank of America was a launch partner for Apple Pay, and the company has continued to promote Apple Pay since that time, releasing advertisements showcasing the convenience of using Apple’s mobile payments service with a Bank of America credit card.


WWE Immortals fights its way onto Google Play

Wrestling fans are in for a pretty cool treat today. NetherRealm Studios, the developers behind Injustice: Gods Among Us, just announced that WWE Immortals has been released for Android. The game allows you to play supernatural, supercharged versions of your favorite WWE stars such as John Cena, Roman Reigns, and Big Show.


Reuters: Samsung considering $7.5B purchase of BlackBerry


If the rumor is true, Samsung may be considering the purchase of the Ontario-based BlackBerry for as much as $7.5B.

According to Reuters, who have seen documents and who has a source familiar with the matter, Samsung is considering purchasing BlackBerry seeking its valuable patents as it battles Apple.

Reuters comments that Samsung’s strength as the No. 1 global smart phone marker has been built on making devices for the consumer market, which has become crowded in recent years, but with a takeover of Blackberry, it could help the Korean-based Samsung with the corporate market.

Not straying too far from it’s current business model, BlackBerry just launched its long-awaited Classic model on Wednesday, hoping to help win back a share of the smartphone market share. The smartphone resembles its once popular Bold and Curve handsets with its classic physical keyboard.

BlackBerry issued a released on the matter and said that while it’s aware of certain press reports published Wednesday with respect to a possible offer by Samsung to purchase BlackBerry, it “has not engaged in discussions with Samsung with respect to any possible offer to purchase BlackBerry” and that “BlackBerry’s policy is not to comment on rumors or speculation, and accordingly it does not intend to comment further.”

VIA Reuters, BlackBerry 

The post Reuters: Samsung considering $7.5B purchase of BlackBerry appeared first on AndroidGuys.


Adobe Lightroom Mobile makes its way to Android phones, but apparently not tablets

Adobe Lightroom 5 is an exceptionally powerful photo editing tool on desktops. I know a number of friends and associates who will live and die by it. Now the power of the Lightroom has made its way to Android for a more mobile user experience. The new addition to the mobile suite of Adobe apps […]

The post Adobe Lightroom Mobile makes its way to Android phones, but apparently not tablets appeared first on AndroidSPIN.


First hands-on images of the Xiaomi Mi Note surface

Xiaomi Mi Note 2

Earlier today, Xiaomi unveiled its high-end Mi Note and Mi Note Pro handsets, packing in plenty of quality hardware at quite reasonable prices. Marketing images that accompany pretty much every device launch are all well and good, but there’s nothing quite like a hands-on image to get a better sense of what the phone looks like in the real world. Fortunately, a few such pictures of Xiaomi’s new Mi Note have popped up on the official MIUI blog.

Prepare your broadband lines, here is a selection from Xiaomi’s gallery (click to expand):

Xiaomi Mi Note 3Xiaomi Mi Note back Xiaomi Mi Note bottom




Xiaomi Mi Note 4 Xiaomi Mi Note topXiaomi Mi NoteNot only can we catch a closer look at the Mi Note’s steel chassis, port layouts, and the rather nice curved glass edges on the back of the handset, but Xiaomi has released a second gallery to show off its one-handed mode feature. A piece of software that is becoming increasingly popular in larger smartphones. Xiaomi’s single hand option allows the user to select between three screen sizes: 4.5, 4, or 3.5 inch modes. We now also know that the handset is sized at 155.1mm x 77.6mm x 6.95mm.

Xiaomi Mi Note one handed sizesXiaomi Mi Note one handed

Xiaomi has also tweaked its MIUI software for larger displays, so that additional content will fit on the handsets’s screen when compared with the company’s smaller models, rather than simply making objects appear larger. Although we’ll have to wait and see how this compression affects the image clarity of the 1080p display. System wide fonts can also be applied, even to third party apps, which is a nice bonus for those who love to customize their phones.

What do you make of the Xiaomi Mi Note’s design?


YouTube stars will interview Obama at the White House next week

Just a few days after President Barack Obama gives his penultimate State of the Union address he’ll be taking to the web to answer questions from a trio of big-time YouTube stars. Bethany Mota, GloZell, and Hank Green will sit down with the President in the White House to ask him questions about the issues that matter most to their audience — mainly tech-savvy millennials. While the three will certainly have their own questions, a good portion of the queries will come directly from you, the American people. You can submit questions via the usual social channels using the #YouTubeAsksObama hashtag.

If you’re over 25, you might not be very familiar with the three lucky YouTubers getting a chance to sit down with the leader of the free world. Bethany Mota is a 19-year-old fashion vlogger with eight million passionate followers who have led her to being one of personalities frequently featured on those YouTube commercials you keep seeing. GloZell on the other hand is a comedian who describes herself as the “queen of YouTube.” And lastly is Hank Green, one of the Vlog Brothers and host of several Crash Course lessons on science.

The State of the Union begins Tuesday, January 20th at 9 PM ET. And the trio of YouTubers will follow up with an interview on Thursday January 22nd.

Filed under: Internet


Source: YouTube Blog


Screen Mode app takes new angle on accessing your smartphone screen


One of the bigger annoyances all smartphone users deal with is getting access to the screen as quickly and easily as possible. Possibly in a perfect world, we might all leave our screens on all the time so a mere glance would reveal all we expect to see. In the real world though, that would lead to some very short periods of time in between battery charging. So, a variety of measures have been enacted to turn our screens off and only show limited notifications in an effort conserve battery life. However, that also means going through the trouble of turning a device back on to use it. The new Screen Mode app from XDA Senior Member Meko07 hopes to address this situation.

To help ease the process of turning a smartphone screen back on, device manufacturers have looked for a variety of innovative methods. LG has their Knock On system that just requires a couple taps of the screen and Motorola implemented methods so a wave of the hand will turn on a screen. Meko07 decided to use a different tactic though, relying on a smartphone’s sensors to detect the angle of the device and turning the screen on based on that. In addition to unlocking and locking the screen based on the angle, the app also adjusts the screen’s brightness.

This could be a good solution for owners of devices that do not have a quick way to unlock their screen or just want an easier way to adjust the brightness. The Screen Mode app is free, so if you want to give it a try, just hit the Play Store links below.


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Google Play Download Link


Come comment on this article: Screen Mode app takes new angle on accessing your smartphone screen


iPhone 6s Rumored to Include 2GB of Faster RAM and ‘Force Touch’ Technology

Apple may boost the amount of internal RAM and use faster LPDDR4 RAM technology in its next-generation iPhone 6s, claims TechNews Taiwan (via G Gor Games). These RAM modules offer low power consumption and a significant performance increase over the 1GB of LPDDR3 RAM used in the current-generation iPhone 6 and 6 Plus.

According to supply chain sources, the LPDDR4 RAM modules for the iPhone 6s will be supplied primarily by Hynix, Samsung, and Micron-Elpida. Elpida reportedly was behind schedule, but the company allegedly improved its manufacturing process to a level that will meet Apple’s demand. Micron-Elpida and Hynix were identified in iFixit teardown analyses as the RAM suppliers for Apple’s current iPhone 6 and 6 Plus models.

Apple’s next-generation iPhone also is rumored to sport the same design as the iPhone 6 with internal improvements such as an A9 processor and a dual-lens DSLR quality camera. Today’s report also hints at the adoption of “Force Touch” technology as seen on the Apple Watch to differentiate between quick taps and more forceful presses.

It is not clear, however, how Apple would implement such a system on the iPhone as it would appear to require a major shift in display technology for the device given that the Apple Watch uses a flexible OLED display paired with electrode sensors to support the Force Touch feature.


Apple’s iBooks Platform Seeing 1 Million New Users Per Week After iOS 8

Apple’s iBooks platform is seeing an average of a million new users per week after the company’s decision to ship iOS 8 with the app pre-installed, according to Apple Director of iBooks Keith Moerer, who spoke today at the Digital Book World Conference.

Apple’s decision to ship iOS 8 with several new apps pre-installed, including Podcasts and iBooks, was somewhat controversial because pre-installed default apps are unable to be deleted from a user’s device. At the same time, though, default apps that come automatically installed introduce the content to a range of new people who might not have otherwise discovered it in the App Store.

digitalbookworldiBooks Director Keith Moerer at the Digital Book World Conference, image courtesy of David Lamb
Before iOS 8, the iBooks app had to be searched for and downloaded from the App Store, putting it on par with several other App Store-based e-books apps like Amazon’s Kindle app for iOS. Pre-installing iBooks made it “so easy” for new users to try iBooks for the first time, said Moerer. Family Sharing, also new in iOS 8, helped to improve customer acquisition as well.

According to Moerer, iBooks consumption on phones is also on the rise since the launch of the larger-screened iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. “We are seeing more of our book sales starting to come from the phone,” he told the audience at the conference. Moerer also highlighted the company’s commitment to establishing relationships with creative professionals, including authors, and noted that indie publishing is one of iBooks’ “biggest growth areas.” Foreign publishing is also expanding, with Spanish-language publishing becoming a larger part of Apple’s business in the United States and Japan seeing a lot of growth.

Moerer commented on the overall e-book market, saying that while Apple has noticed a slowdown in “other digital media businesses”, the company is content with “our place within it” and still has many opportunities for growth through leveraging other content from iTunes, including movies and music.

Competing book stores were also a subject of discussion, with Moerer pointing out that Apple does not charge for publishers to promote books, unlike other stores like Amazon. “We accept no co-op payments, no pay for placement,” he said. Apple is most focused on supporting artists big and small, according to a statement relayed by Gigaom:

Whether an author chooses to self-publish or work with a small or large publisher, I’m very proud that our business terms are the same. The same 30—70 split applies to a self-published author as well as an author published by the very biggest house. Because we’re not a publisher ourselves, we work very closely with publishers and we view them as partners. We view what we do as an expansion of our support of print professionals on the hardware and software side and the way we run our other media businesses.

Apple’s iBooks Store has gotten the company into hot water in the past, as Apple was found guilty of conspiring to fix the prices of electronic books. As a result, the company was subjected to a penalty of $450 million and forced submit to anti-trust monitoring.

iBooks has remained a major focus for the company despite its troubles, and along with making the app a default iOS app, Apple also introduced several new iBooks features in iOS 8 like an auto night mode, new organization, and more. OS X Yosemite also saw the introduction of a Mac-based iBooks app that allows users to read books on their Macs.


Xiaomi announces new Mi Box Mini streaming box that is the size of your wall charger

Xiaomi has made a few announcements today, one of which includes a rather interesting new media streaming set-top box, sort of, device called the Mi Box Mini. The Mi Box Mini is a small square box that plugs directly into your wall or power outlet. That alone makes it a bit different from the Chromecast […]

The post Xiaomi announces new Mi Box Mini streaming box that is the size of your wall charger appeared first on AndroidSPIN.

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