The iPhone 6 is going to include a new payments system allowing owners to pay in stores simply by tapping their phone on a reader.
And now it sounds like they’ve got the big guns on-board.
The iWallet app will allow users to pay for things like lattes and Wired magazine with their phones, using Near Field Communication (NFC), the technology is already widely used by credit cards for low cost payments.
The handset, which is expected to be unveiled on Tuesday 9th September, will come in 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch sizes.
It is rumoured that it will also have a flexible, scratch-proof screen, which is good news for, well, everyone – especially you clumsy alcoholics who get in a lot of arguments where you feel the need to throw your phone around.
Apple is also expected to link the system to their iTunes store, which already holds customer’s payment details, so you’ll be buying Rene & Renato’s Greatest Hits in no time.
Most phones already do it as well, but hey ho.
The music video service is now across the UK, France, Italy, Germany and Spain.
Currently available via the Samsung Apps and Google Play Store, the ad-funded service is free to Samsung users, with no in-app purchases.
Users with a 2014 Samsung Smart TV can wirelessly transfer content from the VidZone mobile or tablet app onto the big screen, streaming it in order of the play queue they have set up.
VidZone had only been on PlayStation until now, with more than 11 million people downloading it since 2009.
There’s over 65,000 music videos from across the board of labels, as well as HD versions from the flashier stars with things like budgets, such as novelty dipshit, Pitbull.
There’s also exclusive content such as video premieres, live and backstage nonsense.
Lee Epting, vice president of Samsung Electronics Media Solution Centre Europe, reckons: “The use of online video music streaming services is booming. VidZone is leading the charge with a service that delivers one of the richest and most extensive music video catalogues – available instantly at the touch of a button. We are delighted that the service has been designed and optimised specifically for Samsung devices, marking the first time that VidZone’s service will be available on smartphones, tablets and Smart TVs.”
Adrian Workman, CEO of VidZone kept it briefer when he added: “We’re delighted to be launching VidZone via the connected Samsung platform and excited that new VidZone, users can now enjoy our music video application via market leading Samsung mobiles, tablets and smart TVs.”
So there you go. A service that you can probably have for free, across all platforms, elsewhere.
People of a certain age will remember Swatch as the company who adorned the wrists of posh teenagers who wore NafNaf jackets and had enough mousse in their hair to turn their semi-perms into rock-solid lethal weapons.
Well, you may or may not know that Swatch are still knocking about and they’re planning on making a smartwatch.
On top of that, they’re also going to be working with a number of tech companies, possibly with Apple.
Swatch CEO Nick Hayek- who calls Starburst ‘Opal Fruits’ and watches The Mary Whitehouse Experience on repeat in his office – said: “All the big technology firms want to work with us and I don’t rule out that we are or could be collaborating in some areas.”
“[Technology companies] that want to strike partnerships with us also want access to brands. They want [their products] to be more than a commodity. Our first message for customers is the watch. If they like it, they might also be interested in the extra functions,” Hayek added. “It is a problem if you only define a product by its technology. Technology alone doesn’t sell, not in watches.”
Swatch is prepping to launch its own smartwatch, called the Swatch Touch, next year and it apparently has some new smart features enabled in it, all enabled through Bluetooth.
Worth getting in on the smartwatch action too. If the analysts are right, the market is worth $93million. Seeing as Swatch have lost 15% of their value over the last year, they’re going to have to do something – and what better than to jump on a fad that, by and large, the public seems to be completely ambivalent about?
This comes 12 months after Vodafone first offered the service.
They have been satisfied enough by the uptake in 4G, as it showed that the pay monthly customers were using three times more data than the past-it 3G customers.
The company have also had a shift around of its PAYG tariffs, bundling them with Sky Sports Mobile TV and Spotify, although Netflix is still only for the pay-monthly set.
It’s also raised data allowances across its Freedom Freebees, with the cheapest now at £20 and including 2GB of data, 500 UK minutes and unlimited UK texts, which must be used within 30 days of purchase.
And the first time a customer buys a 4G Freedom Freebee, they’ll get unlimited data for the first 30 days.
Robot Uprising update: It looks like Dyson are about to launch a robot hoover.
According to a new YouTube teaser, various Dyson types – or at least actors doing a splendid job – are seen looking at a mysterious unseen thing, which moves about a bit occasionally, but remains in the shadows.
Also, said thing appears to have Dyson’s location-analysis technology.
If you factor in Dyson’s investment in a new robotics vision lab at Imperial College in the London, it’s feasible that they collective mindset have come up with a dream clean machine.
They’ve teased the date September 4th as the big reveal, so that’s only a week’s worth of sleepless nights. Or it could be an elaborate trailer for the next Aphex Twin album.
You can never tell these days.
Apple have been intentionally coy of late, leaving everyone else to fill column inches about what they might do next. Is it going to be their smartwatch?
Or will it be the new, larger iPad (which one reader brilliantly referred to as ‘the maxiPad, which we’re stealing and claiming as our own).
Whatever it is, Apple have gone from coy to downright flirty, sending out an invitation to all, with the date on it (9th September 2014) and a ‘wish we could say more’ on it. Of course, they could totally say more. They don’t want to. They’re like those awful people who put a status on a social network that says “Oh, something amazing has happened! Can’t say too much right now #excited”.
So there it is. Apple have, at least, given a date for their devoted fans to excited about (they’re going to book the day off work so they can watch a speech on the internet and make plans to buy some sleeping bags and deck chairs so they can queue up for Whatever It Is for a whole week while being filmed by a tech blog).
Either way, we look forward to people arguing about Apple being overpriced against “Shut up! It’s a luxury purchase! You cheapskates wouldn’t understand!”
We’ll just remind the rest of you that a phone really doesn’t define you as a person (unless you’re making nuisance calls with it, because that absolutely defines you as a person).
So. Is it a phone, tablet or wearable technology?
Samsung have been piddling around with smartwatches for a while now, but no-one seems to be at all interested. That’s not going to stop them though, as they’ve unveiled what they reckon is the first smartwatch capable of making and receiving calls without a mobile phone nearby.
Of course, wearable technology is the Next Big Thing, or so the tech companies hope. Apple are expected to launch their own watch later this year, while LG have announced their new G Watch R smartwatch, which has a circular plastic OLED screen, a stainless steel frame and leather strap.
Samsung’s new effort is called Gear S and is different from those they’ve made before. For starters, the screen is bigger (5 cm) and it has a curved display and will give you WiFi connectivity, pedestrian navigation and a built-in GPS.
It sounds good, but like all smartwatches, it’ll inevitably be prohibitively expensive, which means only super nerds with money burning a hole in their pocket are going to buy them. And if they’re waiting to see what Apple are doing first, then there might be a few Gear S devices gathering dust in the back of gadget shops.
Samsung’s watch will run on their nascent Tizen operating system.
It’ll be on sale from October, which means they’re eyeing up the luxury Christmas present market. However, they’ve not said where it’ll be available and there’s not even a ballpark figure of how much they’ll retail for.
Well, fortunately we can happily soothe you with the news that THEY ARE HERE.
GoPro, who usually see their action cameras for skydivers and stunt-type dude filming, have now launched a harness that allows viewers to capture the world from your dog’s point of view.
They’re fairly robust affairs, being waterproof and the like, so perfect to capture your dog – ideally having jolly adventures, but in reality you’ll get quite a lot of footage of other dog’s arses, various piles of faeces being rolled in and perspectives of a bored animal wishing it was dead while lying on the sofa.
For £59.99, you can do this and more. It can be mounted on either the back or the stomach too [So you can get an extra pervy look at your hound mating? Ed.].
It’s padded, as so the dog doesn’t find it uncomfortable, as obviously they’re used to having devices strapped onto them.
Paul Osborne, GoPro’s senior director of product management, bigs it up: “The adaptability and versatility of GoPro cameras make them the perfect device to document life from a dog’s point of view.”
“We designed Fetch to meet the unique needs and usage for pets and can’t wait to see the images and videos that owners will capture and share now that they have a mount specifically for their dog.”
We can safely adjust the doomsday clock now. HUMANITY HAS STEPPED IN AGAIN.
Well, Kobo are here to help with their e-book device called the Aura H2O, which is waterproof and launching in the UK.
The e-reader is so waterproof that it can be submerged for 29 minutes and it’ll be fine. This means you can read The Little Mermaid while thrashing around under the surface of the water for a bit, while dressed up as Ariel.
Or, you could read some depressing poetry while you drown yourself. It is entirely up to you, really. Kobo’s device is apparently dust-proof too, which is handy for the beach or if you are a cowboy who works on a ranch.
Michael Tamblyn, president of Kobo, said: “When we asked our customers what held them back from reading more ebooks, many told us they love to read in the bath, by the pool, or on the beach, but believed that devices and water didn’t mix.”
“We designed the Kobo Aura H2O, our latest premium eReader, so that ebooks could be just as common at the beach or in the bath as they are on the bus or in bed,” he added.
It has a 6.8in screen, 4GB of memory (which you can expand with a microSD card), two months of battery life and will be on sale from 1st October costing £139.99.
Or you could just carry on buying paper books if you think e-readers are a massive crock. No-one’s forcing you to do anything.
This callback affects products sold between September 2010 and June 2012.
Apparently six million of the affected cables had been sold in the US and Canada, and lord knows how many elsewhere.
The cords have been burning users due to overheating. They just got so angry they rose up and punished their captors, so to speak.
Any cords with LS-15 on the side, sold alongside HP and Compaq notebooks, PC and other bits and bobs, are the ones to look out for.
Their site bugles: “HP customers affected by this program will be eligible to receive a replacement AC power cord for each verified, recalled AC power cord at no cost.”
There’s only been a handful of events so far, but y’know, worth getting a new one just in case the one you have now decides to melt into your carpet.
The company behind such publications as NME, Chat and TV Times, will be running a money-off offer for customers that have downloaded OneStop or Appflare Redeem apps.
The promotion will be available in all of Tesco-owned OneStop’s 740 stores for a month from 1st September.
To be able to receive the promotion, consumers will have to enable Bluetooth and turn on notifications while in the store to receive a discount code they can redeem it at the till.
Katharine Challinor, retail sales director at IPC Media, says the innovative campaign will allow its customers to receive relevant and timely promotions.
It will target customers based on their interests to serve them discounts for magazines they are most likely to have an interest in, and start spamming them accordingly.
So, no doubt you can share in the harrowing despair of the 14,000 people left who buy NME as a magazine.
This is the latest in beacon trialling following the likes of Eat and House of Fraser, where a beacon in mannequins or on shelves sends out
orders for you to kill alerts you to offers.
If shop staff don’t mither you enough, now bits of technology will. Fabulous.
The new BSI (British Standards Institution) kitemark has been applied to Barclay’s new Pingit mobile payment service and Barclays Mobile Banking, after they were independently assessed.
Although the kitemark is initially being piloted within the banking industry, the BSI envisages that its use will be adopted by a wider range of firms – for example within the entertainment industry.
Anyone wanting to get a kitemark for their product will have to go through hardcore testing so that their security meets the required standards for dealing with confidential data.
Those that meet the standards will be able to give customers confidence by displaying the kitemark on their products and in their marketing materials.
This is quite the thing as three quarters of Brits now use the internet for shopping and just over half now bank online.
Maureen Sumner Smith who is the UK managing director at BSI, used her mouth and said: “More and more of us are now sharing confidential information through online shopping, mobile banking, booking flights, gaming, university applications or interacting with local government. These behavioural changes from the physical to the digital demand the need for even more rigorous security measures.”
“Many organisations have good information security processes already established, but by having their systems independently tested on a regular basis as part of the BSI kitemark process, they can clearly demonstrate to customers their commitment to safeguarding information.”
According to reports, Apple are launching a new iPad in the first part of 2015 with a new 12.9 inch screen.
This iPad size follows the 7.9 inch and 9.7 inch.
But don’t leap off a cliff just yet, an updated version of the 9.7 inch iPad and the mini will be in the shops by Christmas, according to Bloomberg.
The iPhone is now expected to increase to 5.5 inch screens, which should be announced at an event on September 9th.
And iPhones only scraped 35.2 million sales, short of the market predictions of 36 million.
Let’s all cross our fingers and hope things work out for them at this difficult time.
That’s right. The telco have announced that they are to raise the prices of their phone and broadband by 6.5%
The price rise has been – surprise – defended by BT, claiming that most customers are on inclusive packages, and that bills have actually decreased by 14% in the last half decade.
It will increase the line rental for direct debit customers by 6.25% to £16.99, and the rate for calling UK landlines by 6.44%.
And also, set-up fees for landline calls, residential calls, to the speaking clock and call return charges will also increase for some or all customers.
BT’s option for low-incomes, BT Basic, will stay the same at £5.10 a month with a call allowance.
Of course, they’re not nearly as keen to have an option where you can get a fibre optic broadband connection without the need for a landline (as a lot of people just rely on their mobiles these days), but there you go.
They’d been in a bidding war with Google for Twitch, which allows gamers to broadcast live streams from PCs, XBox and PS4 consoles of themselves playing video games.
Twitch, who we banged on about here, also run gaming events and redistributes content from Joystiq, Gamespot, and Destructoid, Manvsgame and more.
Twitch also has 55 million visitors, which might have something to do with the keen interest from both companies.
This is seen as another step in Amazon’s strategy to big up their entertainment services, and video games are a big old market where cash literally grows on trees (especially in the online game ‘Cash Trees’ where you play a tax-dodging entity having to hoover up as much cash off trees or something).
But what has Jeff Bezos to say, hmmm?
“Broadcasting and watching gameplay is a global phenomenon, and Twitch has built a platform that brings together tens of millions of people who watch billions of minutes of games each month.”
Tens of millions. Bet his pants tightened at that.