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Apple Adds New ‘Apple Tested Cases’ Page to Online Store

As it works on introducing some major changes to the third-party accessory sections of its retail stores, Apple has launched a new section in its online store dedicated to “Apple Tested Cases.”

The new page is displayed alongside third-party iPhone and iPad cases and outlines the testing procedures for Apple-approved Made for iPhone/iPad (MFi) third-party cases that Apple sells both online and in its retail stores. Designed to reassure customers about the quality of the third-party accessories available from Apple, the site goes over several testing parameters that cases must meet, including design, camera, acoustics, sensors, and cellular and wireless.


We analyze how a case fits, so you can still access every button, port, and jack. And a series of drop tests tells us the design is strong enough for day-to-day use.

Each case must fit the iPhone or iPad exactly, leaving all ports and features accessible. The camera and flash must be unobstructed, cases can’t interfere with FaceTime, phone calls, or audio sound, and sensors for ambient light and Touch ID must work the same with the case on and off. Cellular, Wi-Fi, and NFC connectivity are also tested, with each case needing to meet Apple’s standards for signal quality.

Apple has long engaged in these testing procedures to make sure accessories are compliant with its MFi programs, but the launch of the “Apple Tested Cases” page marks the first time that Apple’s prominently shared its testing guidelines with the public.

The introduction of the page comes as Apple prepares to revamp the third-party accessory sections in many of its retail locations, cutting down on the number of accessories offered and packaging many of them in boxes that were co-designed by Apple to match the packaging of its own products.


Republic Wireless drops unlimited data in favor of Google-like refunds

Republic Wireless' data usage app

Another unlimited mobile data option just bit the dust… although it’s not quite as bad as it sounds. Republic Wireless has switched from offering unlimited cellular data on its higher-priced phone tiers to a Refund Plan that shares more than a little in common with Google’s Project Fi. You start with a base $10 plan, and add data depending on how much you expect to use — you get money back, and pay $15 per extra gigabyte if you run over. The add-ons start at a modest $7.50 for 500MB and peak at $45 for 3GB, so you won’t pay much at all unless you regularly underestimate your needs.

The carrier is betting that you won’t mind the lack of unfettered service, since you’ll probably be paying less overall. As it explains to Recode, participants in a test run saved a typical $5 per month. However, the change also makes frequent data use considerably less attractive. You might end up paying extra if you regularly use over 2GB a month, and it just won’t be your cup of tea if you use 3GB or more. The plan makes a lot of sense if you spend most of your day on WiFi and only need basics like email when you’re out, but you’ll want to reevaluate things if you just have to stream music and movies wherever you go.

Filed under: Cellphones, Wireless, Mobile


Via: Recode

Source: Republic Wireless (1), (2)


‘Journey’ comes to PS4 on July 21st

With stunning visuals and gameplay to match, Journey quickly became a platform favorite on the PlayStation 3. Now, Sony is bringing that adventurous experience over to the PlayStation 4, as was announced last year. Better yet, if you already own a digital copy of the title, designed by thatgamecompany, you’ll be able to download and play the new version for free. Journey’s scheduled to hit the PS4 a couple weeks from today, on July 21st, so you may want to start clearing some space on that hard drive of yours.

Filed under: Gaming, Home Entertainment, HD, Sony


Source: PlayStation


PlayStation Now’s streaming app wants to be Netflix for games

PlayStation Now’s all-you-can-play game subscription service launched back in January on PlayStation 4, but the method for actually playing those games has been kind of a nightmare. Today’s news of a dedicated subscription app might change that. Before this, every time you wanted to stream a new game, you had to go through the PlayStation Store, sift through a handful of menus, pick something (much like you would to purchase a game) and then hope that it even launched the first try. A streaming app that minimizes menu fatigue and works along the lines of a Netflix or Hulu actually makes a lot of sense here.

“The current experience is a little bit transactional, it feels like, ‘Okay, I’ve gotta pop in and [then] back out [to play],’” Robert Stevenson of Gaikai, the outfit Sony bought for its streaming infrastructure, says. “You might join the subscription for a marquee title — God of War or something that you’ve never played and you want to go back and play it. Then there’s probably a dozen or two other games that you might like,” Stevenson says. “But actually finding and locating that content is a little tricky.”

The new application hopes to streamline the process. And perhaps what’s doing the brunt of the heavy lifting then is the simultaneously familiar and new interface. Codenamed Apollo, it takes cues from other streaming services in an effort to make it easier to find what you want to play among the current 125 or so games available for streaming. It’s dominated by rows of big, splashy images for each game and a minimal amount of clutter surrounding them. Take a look at the Batman: Arkham City screenshot below for an example.

“We built a new categorization for the games; the actual navigational paradigms are different, the product detail scene is different,” Stevenson says. Pick what you want to play and the bare essentials appear: a large image, user ratings and reviews. It looks a lot like Netflix. Stevenson says this reduced information density comes from some extensive user tests to learn what customers care about when they’re browsing digital catalogs and trying to figure out what they want to play next.

As the number of games on the subscription service grows, that kind of design and organization becomes much more important. Not only to help allay paralysis of choice, but for Sony to keep customers on the hook for between $15 and $20 per month. There’s a free 7-day trial for new subscribers if you want to check out the shiny UI first hand, and the app should be live by the time you’ve finished reading this post.

Filed under: Gaming, HD, Sony



Banks in the U.K. Gearing Up for Apple Pay Launch as Santander Allows Customers to Register Cards

Apple Pay in the United Kingdom has yet to officially launch, but some banks are preparing for the upcoming release of the payments service and have begun allowing customers to register their cards for use with Apple Pay.

Several Santander customers on the MacRumors forums have been able to successfully add their cards to Passbook for use with Apple Pay, making the cards available on both their iPhones and their Apple Watches.

Customers registering their cards are also receiving confirmation emails from Santander, informing them that they’re now able to use Apple Pay. As of the time of writing, customers have not yet tested the Apple Pay service at a location that accepts Apple Pay. One customer was told the bank’s system is not live and that customers who were able to mistakenly register early would be de-registered, so it is not clear if the registered cards will be able to be used to make purchases.

Activating a Santander card with Apple Pay at this time requires U.K. users to set their region to U.S., add a card, and change their region back to U.K., at which point the card remains available in Passbook. It’s clearly a workaround, but a sign that banks are preparing to accept Apple Pay in the near future.

Other banks, like MBNA and Nationwide, are giving error messages like “Contact Card Issuer” and “Your Issuer Does Not Yet Offer Support.”

It is not clear exactly when Apple Pay will become officially available in the United Kingdom, but during its Worldwide Developers Conference, Apple said the payments service would launch in July. Recently released employee training documents have suggested the launch could come next week, on Tuesday, July 14. 250,000 merchants are expected to support Apple Pay in the U.K. when it is released.


Republic Wireless’ new plans will refund customers for unused data


Republic Wireless today announced its new Republic Refund plans that will refund customers for 4G data they don’t use on the following month’s phone bill. Republic began testing these new plans with over 2,000 customers back in April.

These new plans allow customers to save some money by estimating how much data they think they’ll use, then getting reimbursed for that amount at a later date. The MVNO estimates that if consumers don’t change how much data they currently use with the carrier, on average, 78% of customers will pay the same or less than what they’re currently paying.

The carrier’s new plans will be available for both new and existing customers, and current customers will be able to keep their current plans if they’d like. Here are the pricing tiers that come with the new plans:

  • $17.50 per month – 500MB high-speed data
  • $25 per month – 1GB of high-speed data
  • $40 per month – 2GB of high-speed data

All of these plans include unlimited calling and texting, as well as unlimited Wi-Fi data. Additional gigabytes of 4G data can be purchased for $15/GB. It should be noted that according to CNET, Republic has dropped its unlimited data offering when it ushered in these new plans, which used to be available for $30 per month with unlimited 3G data. New customers will be prompted to sign up for one of these new plans when they sign up for service.

You can easily manage your data through the Republic Wireless app, which can be downloaded for free from the Google Play Store.


Republic Wireless will refund you for unused data

Republic Wireless today formally introduced its Republic Refund plans, which refund customers for unused data after each month. What’s more, the carrier is now offering a number of new plans with variable amounts of data. In short, Republic will credit customers on the next bill cycle for anything that was not used in the previous month.

The cellular industry, largely dominated by 2 giant companies, has done a brilliant job convincing people that they need huge buckets of cellular data. The truth is that most people are within range of WiFi the majority of their day and therefore never use all the data the carrier made them buy. The industry profits wildly from this practice – an estimated $52 billion annually, and we are determined to change that.

,” David Morken, co-founder and CEO of Republic Wireless

The new Republic Refund plans break down as follows:

  • $5 – unlimited WiFi calling, texting and data (same)
  • $10 – “Base Plan” – unlimited WiFi calling, texting and data + unlimited cellular calling and texting
  • $17.50 – unlimited WiFi calling, texting and data + unlimited cell talk and & text, 0.5 GB on-net cell data
  • $25 –  unlimited WiFi calling, texting and data + unlimited cell talk and & text, 1 GB 4G on-net cell data
  • $40 –  unlimited WiFi calling, texting and data, unlimited cell talk and & text, 2 GB 4G on-net cell data

Additional cell data, for any of the aforementioned plans is priced at $15 per gigabyte. Along these lines, reimbursement shakes out to $15 per gigabyte, too.

According to Republic Wireless, most of its customers consume less than 1GB of data each month. The Republic Refund plans were previously available as part of a beta program and are now being offered to both new and existing customers.

Republic Wireless

The post Republic Wireless will refund you for unused data appeared first on AndroidGuys.


Kabam provides early look at Star Wars: Uprising gameplay

I don’t know about all of you, but I am so ready for December 18. Everyone who understands the significance of that date feels the same way as I do. If you don’t, then I believe you have been living under a rock.

For those Star Wars fans who have December 18 marked in their calendars, but are feeling as though doing a Star Wars marathon for the hundredth time isn’t cutting it, then you should look out for Kabam’s upcoming mobile game Star Wars: Uprising.

Kabam has been teasing the game for a while, but now they have provided some gameplay footage, along with some more details of the mechanics in the game. Check out some of those features and the video below!

This will have to whet our appetites for now. Until then…

December 18… December 18… December 18…

  • Create the Hero the Galaxy Needs Choose from a wide range of special skills, species, visual customizations and classic Star Wars™ gear to become the next Han Solo, Boba Fett or entirely unique hero of your own design.
  • Shape the Future of the Game Universe Join players worldwide in massive sector-wide battles to dictate the expansion of in-game content, including new planets, exclusive gear and unique crew members.
  • A New Chapter in Star Wars Play the first mobile game in the Star Wars universe that takes place between Star Wars™: Episode VI: Return of the Jedi™ and Star Wars™: The Force Awakens™.
  • Real-Time Co-op Against the Empire Explore the secrets of the sector, build a powerful crew with allies, and play alongside friends in synchronous cooperative play.
  • Brave Challenges on Classic and New Worlds Battle your way through missions on Hoth, Cloud City and more, fighting against powerful bosses led by an ominous new adversary.


The post Kabam provides early look at Star Wars: Uprising gameplay appeared first on AndroidGuys.


Google trials Uber-like service in Israel


Uber is not the only one trying to change the way we can commute, Google is also trying to get in on the action as well. In Tel Aviv, Google is set to trial a service called RideWith that is meant to help commuters during heavy traffic hours.

Essentially, the RideWith app will use Waze data to help commuters organize pickups and drop offs to locations they were already heading anyways, like work or a scheduled grocery trip. It is not meant to be a taxi service, but more so a carpooling service. Riders are limited to two rides per day, and can only join rides that originate from their neighborhoods, or for when they need to take a return trip, the area they are in. Think of it functioning similarly to a bus route.

Payment for each ride can be made from via credit card linked from the app. The key difference between Uber and this service will be how the payment will be used. With Uber, it’s a service fee with profit covering the drivers needs and Uber’s cut of the transaction. RideWith uses the money to cover wear and tear and gas. Google is set to get a cut of the RideWith fee, but there isn’t any information on the percentage just yet.

For now, the trial is limited to Tel Aviv, which makes sense, if you want to rival a big giant, even though Google is a giant itself, you have to fine tune your direction early on. This is all good news for consumers, more diversity and competition is always welcome.

Source: WSJ

Come comment on this article: Google trials Uber-like service in Israel


[Deal] Samsung offering $200 rebate on Galaxy Note 4 through July 26th

Samsung_Galaxy_Note_4_Back_Galaxy_Note_4_Logo_TAThe Galaxy Note 5 might be close to launching, but that doesn’t mean the Note 4 isn’t still a fantastic phone, especially if you can pick one up at a discounted price. Samsung is pushing a new promotion for July that will offer potential Note 4 buyers a $200 rebate for purchasing the phone through select retailers, which is a pretty substantial discount on a phone that’s still one of the best on the market.

The rules for the promo are pretty simple. Buy the phone from an approved retailer, fill out the required info on Samsung’s promotion site, and upload a photo of your receipt. Samsung should then send you a $200 rebate within 8 to 10 weeks. The only drawback is that waiting period, but hey, you’d end up with some cash back in your pocket right in time for the holidays.

This promo kicks off today and runs through the 26th of July, so you’ve got almost all month to think about it.

source: Samsung Promotions

Come comment on this article: [Deal] Samsung offering $200 rebate on Galaxy Note 4 through July 26th

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