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Category: Apple

There are 26 posts published under Apple.

Mobile Pay: The Digitization of Money

For years the smartphone has made life simpler. It has given us the power to make phone calls, send text messages, send and receive emails, surf social networks, and more – all in the palm of our hands. For many people, the smartphone is something that they simply “can’t live without.” And if you’re one of those people, the latest developments in the mobile world are only going to make it that much harder to drop your device. Specifically, you may find that by this time next year your wallet will have also been replaced by your smartphone.

According to mobile technology firm NN4M, mobile payments are primed to be the next major defining moment in the world of payments, signaling a boom in the number of virtual transactions and a significant shift in how consumers pay for goods. While person-to-person payment options such as Venmo and SquareCash have grown in popularity over the last few years, 2015 is expected to be the year when widespread adoption of mobile payment practices finally takes hold.

The Three Major Players

One of the biggest indications that mobile payment is here to stay - and grow – is the adoption of these technologies by the biggest players in the mobile world – Apple, Samsung and Google.


In 2014, Apple announced the release of Apple Pay, a mobile payment and digital wallet service that lets users make payments using the latest Apple devices, including iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPad Air 2, and more. Apple Pay allows users to make in-app purchases with one click, and also allows users to make real-world purchases by hovering their device over specified readers. While the announcement didn’t come as a complete surprise, Apple’s adoption of the technology accelerated interest in mobile payments and is just one of the reasons why mobile payment is expected to be a touted topic in 2015. One challenge with Apple’s approach to mobile payments, however, is that it is largely dependent on adoption by retailers, as a specialized card reader is needed. While Apple Pay is already accepted at thousands of retailers worldwide, it will take continued consumer demand for the service for all retailers to adopt it.


Another indication that mobile payments will be on the rise in 2015, is Samsung’s recent acquisition of LoopPay, a mobile-payments technology start-up. Samsung announced the merger early last week, and buzz around how the tool will work has garnered much attention. LoopPay seeks to replace your wallet entirely by storing your credit cards, debit cards, rewards card, and even your ID. And, unlike Apple’s method which requires retailer adoption, LoopPay works with nearly all existed credit card readers. Though the tool does require users to open an app to make the payment, once the app is open users can hover their device, click a button and get on with their day.  Without the need for specific technology to be adopted by retailers, LoopPay has already made its way into 10 million locations, and has been voted as one of the top mobile payment options in America.

Samsung’s acquisition of LoopPay is not only an indication of their desire to compete in the mobile payment world, but to their commitment to make a smart life for everyone. This acquisition is the latest in their line of moves that encourage synced devices, intuitive usability and a seamless blend between technology and human interaction.


Google Wallet, which was originally released in 2011, is another mobile payment option that is expected to spur the growth of mobile payment popularity. Though the application has garnered criticism for perceived security concerns, the app received a push in 2014 with the announcement of its Gmail sync feature – which allowed users to send money to other via email. Those individuals who receive money via Google Wallet payment, can use the money instantly for in-app purchases, or can “cash-out” and have the amount sent to their bank account.

The End of The Traditional Wallet?

While wallet manufacturers don’t have to worry just yet about declining sales, the latest developments in mobile payment options are certainly exciting, and showcase the deep interest that both consumers and tech companies have in this avenue. And though security and privacy concerns may slow complete adoption of mobile payments, 2015 is certainly poised to be the year where it all begins. The only question now, is which mobile payment will you use?


Stories Behind the Apps - Botpocalypse

Tell us about your app! Botpocalypse is a fast-paced, survival-style arcade game where gamers can compete against friends for the highest score or longest survival time, acquire new characters, and unlock achievements.



Switching from iOS to Android

Thinking of switching from iOS to Android? This post will help by addressing some of the areas of hesitation or concern, particularly as it relates to the new iOS continuity announcements.  more


Stories Behind the Apps – Sudoku in Space

Tell us about your game! Sudoku In Space launches the classic paper-and-pencil game into orbit with its sleek design and stellar graphics and sounds. Its colors-only mode is a brilliant alternative to the traditional sudoku with numbers, providing an entertaining twist to both novice and experienced players.



The Future is so Bright, I Gotta Use Android

Coke vs. Pepsi, Ford vs. GM, Gates vs. Jobs, Nike vs. Reebok and Android vs. Apple.


Throughout time there have many many high profile corporate competitions, but the battle had always fueled innovation and progress. Like the cola wars and PC battles, the latest battle exists between the two most dominant mobile operating systems, Google’s Android OS and Apple’s iOS.


Apple vs. Android


Having launched first, Apple’s operating system had an advantage in the marketplace. But because of it’s closed platform (like it’s computer OS, the Apple iOS only runs on Apple devices), the sales numbers of devices running Android are destined to outpace and overtake it’s competition. But there is more than just the variety of phones and tablets to keep Android’s future looking bright.


The Power of Google


While Apple has split is innovative efforts on both hardware and software, Google quickly realized it’s true calling was software. Google is one of the biggest players on the Internet, and since smartphones and tablets are basically your mobile gateway to the online world, using its online power to boost the mobile operating system will help Android’s future immensely. One huge advantage that the search giant has is it’s experience in mapping and tracking the world. Until the 6th version of the Apple iOS, Google was the power behind mapping features on both smartphones, with Google Maps. Apple has its own offering now, but Google Maps is still available on both platforms. According to, the debut of mobile map competition only added fuel to the innovative fire. More choices means that Google’s map offerings on Android will have to continue to improve in order to stay competitive.


Test Drive an Android


Another space that Android will continue to innovate is in automobiles. TechTimes discusses the Open Automotive Alliance, which is an initiative to bring the Android platform to cars. The goal is to use collaboration and innovation to make us safer, more connected and to create more outlets for Android. The operating system is already offered on devices from a wide variety of manufacturers.




Storage and data backup is another feature that gives many Android devices an advantage. Apple devices do not include removeable memory. According to, most Android devices are designed wiht additional storage on miniSD cards, giving them the ability to store larger files like video, photos and apps externally, freeing up space on the internal memory and preserving battery life. Pair that ability with cloud solutions like Mozy online backup, which will ensure you do not lose your precious data should your device have issues, and Android becomes a very powerful tool for storing and accessing important information on the go. And that is really the whole point of mobile devices, to give you what you need, when you need it.


Will Upcoming Ubuntu Phone Disrupt Mobile OS Landscape?

Ubuntu has, since its release as a free, open source software, been labeled as the world’s most popular free operating system. Scheduled to launch in mid-October, Ubuntu 13.10 will be the first version of Linux’s line of operating systems that will provide full support for a wide range of products — from servers to desktops to tablets and smartphones.


This highly flexible operating system will now allow users to run mobile applications on their computers with keys and mouse and share the same navigating comfort as using the app on a phone with touchscreen controls. This brings about a truly mobile experience as it transforms your mobile device into an all-in-one device. Although there are thousands of apps already compatible with Ubuntu, Canonical still needs third party developers to create applications that can run in both mobile and desktop mode, as many Ubuntu applications can only run on computers.


While Linux still has to make its debut on phones, it can be safe to say that its revolutionary dual modes are going to change the mobile playing field dramatically. It will be interesting to see how competing companies such as Apple, Google, and even Microsoft will respond to this technological breakthrough. Some other welcomed changes we can expect to see with this Ubuntu update, is an improved Smart Scopes and XMir.


Smart Scopes is a desktop search engine of sorts and allows users to find files on the computer as well as related sites on the internet Previously, it seemed to be a bit problematic for users, providing a slew of irrelevant results while not returning what was intended. Now, we can expect even more results, except that it will return what we’re looking for as its top choice.


XMir is a computer display server for Linux and will replace the currently used X Windows. The old display server has proven to be a bit glitchy, causing applications to take some action without the proper inputs. Additionally, it would be hard to have it working across platforms fluidly without having tight controls. The shift to XMir will allow for a more fluid display while easily maintaining cross platform activity.


It will be interesting to see what other packages Linux will be adding, changing, and dropping with the release of Ubuntu, and how popular the Ubuntu phone will be amongst other contenders.


Top Startup and Tech News Today: 7 Things You Missed Today

1. SVForum Announces First-Ever Startup Expo Day


Silicon Valley’s leading non-profit devoted to innovation, technology, and entrepreneurship, SVForum, is hosting a startup expo in October 2rd, 2013 in Menlo Park, California. SVForum, which has always had a long role in helping to connect entrepreneurs and investor, is hoping that the first ever Startup expo will help that dynamic. The startup expo is planned to be an open and interactive environment where investors and startups can meet. Instead of formal pitches, the expo floor will be open for investors to visit demo tables. “Being at the helm of a brand-new startup company is one of the most challenging experiences the business world has to offer,” says SVForum CEO Susan Lucac-Cowell. “The entrepreneurs that sign up for SVForum’s Startup Expo are being offered a much-needed jump-start, a chance to cut down on the slack time between starting out and ‘making good.’”


2. U.S. Ban On Some Samsung Products To Go Into Effect


The legendary Samsung vs Apple legal riff made headlines for weeks. Now, Samsung’s loss is going to start hurting the technology giant. The U.S. Trade Representative’s office said that it would allow a U.S. ban on Samsung products that infringed onto Apple’s patents. On August 9th, the US International Trade Commission ruled that some of Samsung’s older mobile devices infringed on patents and then banned the importation of these devices. Samsung has said that it has means and methods of designing-around the parts of the technology that infringe on the patents, and that these have already been approved by the ITC. Hopefully, they will be enacted before a ban on Samsung products is able to go through.


3. Google Unveils New HP Laptop For $279


Google’s new laptop, which borrows many high-end features found in four-figure laptops, is selling for only $279. The HP Chromebook 11, which runs on the Chrome OS, relies heavily on continuous internet connection so it can connect to apps like Gmail. Many applications don’t run directly on the device as well; instead, they run over the internet. Chromebooks have little storage space, as documents, photos, and other files are stored online as opposed to being stored on the computer itself. The new laptop has a plastic frame with no sharp edge or corners and speakers that are under the keyboard. The Chromebook 11 measured 11.6 inches diagonally and weighs about 2 pounds. The laptop is available in white or black and enters the market on Tuesday.


4. WSJ Confirms HTC One Max Fingerprint Sensor, Says Debut Coming Oct. 15


Recently, a dozen or so photos of HTC’s upcoming One Max leaked, showing what appeared to be a fingerprint scanner. On Tuesday morning, the Wall Street Journal reported that HTC was getting ready to reveal some more information on its phone-tablet. It confirmed the name “HTC One Max” and confirmed that the smartphone would have a 5.9 inch display as well as an integrated fingerprint scanner. No clarification on how the fingerprint scanner would be utilized was given. HTC plans to unveil the HTC One Max on October 15th. After Apple’s introduction of the fingerprint scanned with the new series of iPhone 5S’s and 5C’s, it seems as though every player in the smartphone industry has decided that they too need to have a fingerprint scanner on their phone.


5. Google, Samsung And Others Reportedly Considering BlackBerry Bids

When BlackBerry’s future was still up in the air, few companies showed any interest in acquiring the once-giant smartphone builder. But, now that the future is looking bleak for BlackBerry, the company is drawing all sorts of interested acquirers. Ceberus recently revealed that they were working on gaining access to BlackBerry’s financials in order to determine whether or not they wanted to make a bid. BlackBerry co-founder Mike Laridis is rumored to be entertaining the notion of reclaiming his former company. Now, it has recently been reported that big names such as Google, Intel, LG, Cisco, SAP, and Samsung are all interesting in bidding for all or parts of BlackBerry’s business. It is unclear which parts are being hunted after, and whether or not the companies will pursue such an action.


6. The Best Startup Perk? A 40-Hour Week


Everyone knows that happy employees are better employees. So, a handful of tech startups have been trying a new approach to getting the best out of their workers: this approach is to make them work less. They’ve been monitoring workers to make sure that workers go home on time very night, and are able to relax and enjoy their weekend. At BambooHR, co-founder Ryan Sanders enforces a strict 40-hour maximum workweek. Some other companies are taking more modest steps to restore personal time. Vynamic, a startup in Philadelphia, told workers they were not allowed to send emails on weekends or between the hours of 10PM or 6AM. Rick Sheridan, CEO of Menlo, doesn’t allow workers to work past 6PM. The result he’s seen so far from this experiment, Sheridan says, is a productive 8-hour day, a happier staff, and more efficient work that leads to more pleased clients.


7. App Turns Airport Wait Into A Mini Holiday


Traveling is a pain, and that’s without counting the possible delays or stalling, and the inevitable layovers. But, startup app Smart Layover wants to help passengers with a few hours between flights make more out of their wait. The app, which is available for iOS, Android, and Blackberry lets users take advantage of their time to go see nearby attractions and facilities. Users simply enter the details of the layover, and the app will offer suggestions of things to do and see that meet the timeframe and location. The app’s database features day-use hotels, events, attractions, food and drink opportunities, and even discounts and coupons. Users who are aware of a layover can plan out their schedule – those with last minute delays can find last minute solutions to entertain themselves.


Top Startup and Tech News Today: 7 Things You Missed Today

1. Straight Shot Accelerator’s First Startups Make Their Pitches


Last week, the 90-day program for Straight Show wrapped up. This accelerator program offers $20,000 in investments, more than 300 mentors, and more than $75,000’s worth of in-kind services. Seven startups participated in Straight Shot’s inaugural program. Networking opportunities for these startups included possible investors who attending the program’s culminating event, a Demo Day, which had a packed audience of about 400 people. Managing Director of Straight Shot, Faith Larson, said that the accelerator, which was founded by Mark Hasebroock of Dunde Venture Capital has learned a few things from its inaugural class. Straight Show held several community events throughout the 90-day program, and Larson says that next year they hope to host fewer, but larger events. Larson also said that the accelerator may work on offshoots of the Straight Shot brand, such as coding classes or a development academy. “Straight Shot can be a mechanism to attract and develop talent,” said Larson.


2. Forget The iPhone 5s, Let’s Talk About The iPhone 6


Sales of Apple’s iPhone 5S have been very impressive so far, but analysts are saying that next year’s release of the iPhone 6 will put Apple’s current sale numbers to shame. The Apple iPhone 6 is expected to feature a display screen that is 4.8 inches, making it larger than the current model’s 4 inches. Analysts Peter Misek of Jeffereies stated that he expects the price target of the iPhone 6 to be roughly $600. “The ecosystem is excited about the iPhone 6, which we feel is warranted. We think the stock will appreciate ahead of the iPhone 6 launch,” he wrote.


3. Google and Facebook Seek to Drive Down Cost of Internet Access, Join Alliance for Affordable Internet


The fight for affordable internet access in the developing word is a prominent battle, thanks, in part, to the large names that are joining up to back this measure. Google and Facebook are some of the newer additions to the host of other notable tech companies, such as Yahoo, Intel, and Microsoft. Along with special interest groups and governments, these organizations have formed the Alliance for Affordable Internet, which is a coalition designed to drive down competitive costs through introducing policy chances. This group is spearheaded by the World Wide Web foundation and hopes to reduce costs to “less than 5-percent of average monthly income” in up to 12 countries through 2015.


4. LG Starts Producing Curved Displays To Cure Dull Phone Design


LG is beginning to mass produce of what they call “the world’s first flexible OLED panel for smartphones.”  LG announced this amid rumors that it would release a curved smartphone next month. The flexible panel is built on plastic substrates instead of glass and is set in a concave curve. LG Display’s Chief Technology Officer Yeo Sang-Deog said that LG is attempting to release “new products with enhanced performance and differentiated designs next year.” The new phone will measure 6 inches diagonally, making the slimmest and lightest smartphone known. LG’s OLED panel will have a 700mm radius of curvature, which is twice the curvature, of the Galaxy Nexus.


5. U-Verse Live TV Streaming Comes to iPhone


AT&T promised to bring live U-Verse TV screaming to mobile devices, and has managed to fulfill this promise a couple of days early. The app, which was supposed to go live on the app store a couple of days later, went up recently and allows subscribes to watch up to 108 live channels while at home. This number diminishes to 25 when the user is away from home. Along with the ability to live stream, customers always get improved remote controls, new parental tools, and a fresher interface. The app is expected to hit the Android market on October 21st.


6. Alleged Silk Road Mastermind, Ross Ulbricht, Denies Charges, Says Lawyer


Robert Ulbricht of the underground marketplace, Silk Road, denied his charges in a federal court, via his lawyer, yesterday. His bail has been postponed until October 9th. Earlier this week, the FBI shut down Silk Road and charged Ross Ulbricht as illegal drugs were becoming available through the site. Ulbricht was charged with three conspiracies: computer hacking, narcotics trafficking, and money laundering. The next day, he was charged separately, in Maryland, for drug trafficking and hiring a hitman. Assistant US Attorney Randall Luskey said that the government is against releasing Ulbricht on bail, saying that “no combination of surety will assure community safety or guarantee appearance.”


7. Samsung Finally Launches Its HomeSync Set-Top Box


Samsung finally has an answer to Apple TV, and it comes in the form of HomeSync. HomeSnyc was showcased back in February and is finally available to order. HomeSynx enables Samsung Galaxy owners to stream media from their phones and tablets onto the TV set, as the device runs on Android and has its own processors. Users will also be able to access Google Play via their television and play Android games on a bigger screen. The HomeSync also supports multiple accounts, and concerned parents can set up restricted content accses for their children. HomeSync costs roughly $300.


Top Startup and Tech News Today: 7 Things You Missed Today

1. Twitter Dishes Tantalizing Tidbits In IPO Treatise


On Thursday, Twitter released an 800-page filing that talked about its attempt to make money, its growth, and its intention to its IPO. The suspense surrounding Twitter’s decision to its IPO is heightened by Twitter’s keeping their IPO documents secret until management is ready to appeal to investors. Twitter’s lack of secrecy means that the company may start pitching to investors as early as Oct 24th. Twitter’s report referenced some key components about Twitter. The report relayed facts, such as how, when Twitter was first opened, management focused on attracting more users and making the service more reliable; Twitter didn’t even try to make money during its first couple of years. But, the company isn’t incredibly profitable; Twitter’s losses hit $69 million the first half of this year. Twitter is, however, getting more mobile than Facebook, and its market value could be as high as $20 billion.


2. iPhone 5C Price Slashed To $50 At Best Buy After Just 2 Weeks


Best Buy has slashed the price of the iPhone 5C in half after just two weeks. From now until October 7th, Best Buy will give iPhone 5C buyers a $50 gift card with the phone. Best Buy has offered similar deals for iPhones in the past, but this is the first time a deal has been offered for a brand-new iPhone that was only so recently launched. Analysts generally agree that Apple’s lower-costing iPhone 5C was not priced aggressively enough to appeal to consumers in emerging markets. Best Buy’s slashing of the prices in order to sell units supports this idea; we will have to wait and see if other American retailers decide to follow Best Buy’s lead.


3. Samsung Reports Record-High Profit for 3Q


Profit at Samsung hit a record-high in the 3rd quarter. This is most likely driven by large sales of Samsung’s cheaper smartphones in developing countries. Samsung said that their third-quarter operating income rose 25% over the past year to $9.4 billion. This result was slightly better than the market prediction of $9.3 billion. Third quarter sales were $55 billion. No other details of Samsung’s financial performance were disclosed.


There had been expectations last month of slowing growth in sales of smartphones, and while Galaxy S4 sales did plunge during the three-month period, Samsung sold more smartphones than the previous due to the sales of its cheaper smartphones.


4. Hackers Steal Data From 2.9 million Adobe Customers


Adobe Systems warns that hackers stole the credit card numbers and other information from 2.9 million of Adobe’s customers. The information stolen was believed to have included customer names, credit or debit card numbers, expiration dates, and order information. “Very recently, Adobe’s security team discovered sophisticated attacks on our network, involving illegal access of customer information as well as source code for numerous Adobe products,” said Adobe chief security officer Brad Arkin. “Our investigation currently indicates that the attackers accessed Adobe customer IDs and encrypted passwords on our systems… We deeply regret that this incident occurred… We’re working diligently internally, as well as with external partners and law enforcement, to address the incident.”


5. Apple Buys Cue


Apple has acquired Cue, a personal assistant startup app. Apple doled out around $50-$60 million for this acquisition. Cue provides mobile apps for iOS that collects relevant information from users’ email, social, and professional networking platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, etc.) It then displays all this on the mobile screen occasionally, letting users get all the information they want from a single app. This acquisition will help Apple integrate social networking capabilities into its operating system. Google Now has similar capabilities; it is a large possibility that Apple acquired Cue in order to play catch-up with Google Now.


6. Google Backs Sydney Student Startups


INCUBATE, an award winning startup accelerator program, has launched 16 ventures from students at Sydney University. INCUBATE has found a backer in Google and is now set to expand this entrepreneurial program to universities across Australia. “With Google’s help, we want to take the accelerator program to other campuses to create Australia’s first national network of global-thinking entrepreneurs at universities,” said program manager James Alexander said.


Through INCUBATE, startups receive $5,000 seed funding, a co-working space on campus, office resources, internet, printing, and mentoring from some of Australia’s most experienced business minds and industry experts. INCUBATE was co-founded in 2012 by two students and developed by the University of Sydney Student Union.


7. Google Acquires Gesture Recognition Startup Flutter


Google has acquired the gesture recognition startup, Flutter. Neither companies have disclosed the financial terms and other details of this acquisition. However, it is speculated that Flutter has been acquired for roughly $40 million. Flutter was created three years ago by Navneet Dalal and Mehul Nariyawala, and is based in India. They develop gesture recognition technology that can be used to control apps such as Youtube, Pandora, and Netflix through the webcam. CEO Navneet Dalal of Flutter was quoted as saying, “Today, we are thrilled to announce that we will be continuing our research at Google. We share Google’s passion for 10x thinking, and we’re excited to add their rocket fuel to our journey.”