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Comic: Hey Now, You're a One-Star

Today, 02:59 PM

Posted By x-bot in iDevice News

Ed: Welcome to this week's edition of The Pixel Project: a weekly comic from Diesel Sweeties' Rich Stevens on Apple, technology, and everything in-between. Today: Hey Now, You're a One-Star


Read more comics from The Pixel Project.





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Grab a Lightning charging-data cable with aluminum housin...

Today, 02:10 PM

Posted By x-bot in iDevice News


These durable Lightning cables reach 6.6ft. in length and feature a nylon wrapping that prevents annoying tangles. Supporting a max of 2.4A, you'll enjoy safe and speedy charges or data transfers anywhere — anytime. Available in silver or gold!





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Apple Pay to the rescue!

Today, 02:00 PM

Posted By x-bot in iDevice News


Last week, I received an all-too-familiar call: One of our credit cards had been used to make a fraudulent transaction.

Card fraud is a huge problem that generates billions of dollars of losses every year. It affects businesses, banks and consumers alike. It's never convenient to get this call and the subsequent cancelation of the account, but this one was worse than most: my wife was out of town on a business trip and I was on a dog walk.

Luckily, my spouse had a backup card in her purse and could use it for the reminder of her trip. I, on the other hand, didn't have another card—and I was on my way to the market to buy dinner. My fingers were crossed that the meager amount of cash in my pocket would be able to cover the charges.

After picking out some meat, vegetables, and beer, I headed to the checkout line. Worst case, I could do without the alcohol if I went over my cash on-hand.

Of course... I'm also the kind of person who likes to experiment with new technology. And, since I had my iPhone in my pocket, I decided to see what Apple Pay would do with a cancelled credit card.

I held my phone up to the reader and... it worked flawlessly.

At that point, I figured I was just in a lull between the main account closing and the changes propagating to the Apple Pay device account. I had only made the transaction about five minutes after the card was cancelled, after all. Either way, the payment hadn't been declined and I had my beer. Woo-hoo!

Automagically secure

The next morning, however, while going through my email, I saw an automated message from Citicard AAdvantage that explained what had happened the previous evening:


I don't need to do anything further! For any consumer who's experienced card fraud, this is a huge benefit to Apple Pay.

My family buys a lot of goods online. As someone who works at home, it's a lot more convenient to have things delivered: I'm rarely in the car and near a store. Unfortunately, that also means we see fraud a couple of times each year.

When the card number changes, you have to remember all the places you have a card number stored in a website database. Then you have to go to those sites, one by one, and change them all. So you visit the Netflix site, look up a password you use infrequently, and find where to update your payment information. And then do it at Amazon. And then iTunes. And then for your toll road transponder. And then for your pills. And a few more times after that.

There's another subtle thing that happens to merchants when a card number goes bad: Sometimes online databases don't get updated with new information. I've let subscriptions and other recurring payments lapse because I can't be bothered to figure out how to navigate a byzantine website. I'm sure other services have ended because the merchant sent me an email telling me to update my information, and that message ended up in a SPAM folder, never to be seen again.

So when my card provider tells me that I "don't need to do anything further", they're telling me that I get a little extra free time on the weekend to avoid a mind-numbingly repetitive task. Apple Pay, FTW!

Apple Pay-only

This situation also has major ramifications for merchants: I am now actively seeking out businesses that support Apple Pay because it makes my life a lot easier. Everyone I've told about my experience last week has had the same response: "That's awesome!"

The first time you experience this seamless transfer of your accounts with Apple Pay, you're going to want it everywhere you purchase goods and services. That, combined with very positive word-of-mouth, is going to make entering a card number feel very antiquated. And I suspect this change will come about very quickly.

One thing I've noticed about Apple Pay is that it's being adopted quickly by smaller merchants: The pet store down the street started offering it the first month after it was released. They use an iPad connected to a card reader, so I suspect it was easy for them.

Larger merchants will need time to update more complex systems. The most glaring omission during this weekend's "update all the cards" activity was iTunes: Yes, Apple's media marketplace doesn't support its own payment system. It's odd that App Store updates are suspended because of card verification when that same device is already linked to an updated account.

The seeds of change

We're seeing the beginning of a shift in who's inconvenienced by credit card fraud. Previously, the consumer had to deal with the fallout of a cancelled credit card number. Now, it's the merchants who have to update their payment systems.

Apple will almost certainly address the problem of using Apple Pay for iTunes, and smart companies will follow their lead when they realize that the temporary inconvenience of updating their payment collection system will benefit them in the long run. Consumers will learn quickly—as I did—that they don't want to deal with merchants who do things the old way.

At some point, this will have a snowball effect. When the majority of the purchases you make online are done securely with Apple Pay, spotting an instance of credit card fraud will be much easier. You'll know which merchant leaked your information and will never deal with them again. Eventually, a retailer that doesn't accept Apple Pay will be as popular as one who only accepts personal checks.

And from my experiences this past week, it can't happen soon enough.





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Sprint starts drawing customers back, but makes a loss of...

Today, 12:41 PM

Posted By x-bot in iDevice News

Sprint has released its financial report for the first fiscal quarter, posting a net positive in subscriber addition, as well as hitting the lowest churn rate in the company's history. While Sprint has managed to start turning things around, it's unfortunately not enough to compete against T-Mobile.

In the quarter just passed, Sprint managed to add a total of 675,000 new customers, a strong reversal from the previous year where the company managed to report a net loss of 220,000. The postpaid churn rate was 1.56 percent, improving by 49 points year-over-year. Compared to T-Mobile, which reported a total addition of 2.1 million, Sprint still has some way to go.

It's not all positive in the report, however as Sprint made a loss of $20 million this quarter, and operating revenue dropped from $8.79 billion to $8.03 billion. If you'd like to read more about Sprint's performance for the quarter, do check out the full report using the link below.

Source: Sprint





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How to buy songs you like from Apple Music and Beats 1

Today, 12:00 PM

Posted By x-bot in iDevice News


Keep the songs you love whether you have an Apple Music subscription or not.

Find a track on Apple Music that you have to own? Whether you want to support a new favorite artist or just want the peace of mind of owning that track or album, it's easy to do with Apple Music's built-in iTunes Store linking.

How to purchase songs you like from Apple Music On your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch
  1. Find the song or album in question you want to buy.
  2. Tap the More (•••) button next to the song or album.
  3. Tap Show in iTunes Store.

On your Mac
  1. Find the song or album in question you want to buy.
  2. Click the More (•••) button next to the song or album.
  3. Click Show in iTunes Store.

How to purchase songs you like from Beats 1 On your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch
  1. Open the iTunes app.
  2. Tap on the Wishlist icon in the upper right corner.
  3. Tap on the Radio tab*.

  4. Tap Buy next to any song in your listening history you want to purchase.

*It doesn't appear that the Radio tab exists in all countries due to licensing restrictions, unfortunately.

On your Mac
  1. Open iTunes and click on the Radio tab.
  2. Start playing any Apple Music radio station, Beats 1 included.
  3. Click the Up Next list icon.

  4. Select the History icon to view your listening history, where songs available on the iTunes Store will show a buy button.
Still need help?

Having issues buying songs you like? Ping us in the comments below and we'll try and help you out.





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Groove is the new name for Microsoft's Xbox Music app...

Today, 03:35 AM

Posted By x-bot in iDevice News

Groove is the new name for Xbox Music, and iPhone and iPad owners can now download an app update that not only makes the rebranding complete, but adds new features as well.

  • You no longer need Groove Music Pass to use the app! (Certain features still require it)
  • New app name and design
  • Music in your OneDrive music folder now appears as part of your collection
  • In addition to playlists, you can now download individual songs and albums for offline use
  • Filter your music to see just what's available offline
  • Various bug fixes

The rebranding of the service has already happened on Windows 10, Android, the Xbox One and the web.
The name change for the app is due to Microsoft deciding to focus its Xbox brand on the company's gaming efforts, and as a result, the company chose Groove as the new name for its music service. However, if you are already familiar with Xbox Music, the Groove music app still allows users to either purchase and download tracks and albums from its library, or stream music for a monthly or yearly fee.
What do you think of the new name for Microsoft's music service? Let us know in the comments!





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Sprint brings some new faces on board in executive shakeup

Yesterday, 11:32 PM

Posted By x-bot in iDevice News

Sprint has announced a slight executive shakeup today, bringing in former Telstra exec Tarek Robbiati as its new CFO, and Günther Ottendorfer as its COO of technology. The shakeup will also see Sprint's Chief Network Officer, John Saw, promoted to Chief Technology Officer. Sprint is clearly looking to bring a fresh outlook on its strategy in the competitive mobile space with some new faces. Speaking on Robbiati's new position as CFO, Sprint emphasized his track record for transformation at his previous posts:

During his time in senior operating and finance roles at FlexiGroup, Telstra International Group, CSL Limited and Orange Plc., he helped to successfully transform these companies, reorganizing them, refining their strategy and making the choices that strengthened them and positioned them to grow.

Similarly, Sprint is hoping that Ottendorfer will help the company successfully expand its wireless network:

Sprint has been making substantial progress in delivering a network with the reliability, capacity and speed customers demand. Ottendorfer, in his capacity leading the Technology Office, will lead the company's efforts to build on that progress by deploying the next generation of its wireless network. This will capitalize on Sprint's rich spectrum portfolio, increasing coverage and capacity by significantly densifying the company's network.

With the new executives coming on board just ahead of Sprint's quarterly earnings report tomorrow, August 4, it seems likely the company may be pre-empting some bad news. In any case, it will be interesting to see how this pans out, and if we see any notable shifts in strategy to deal with Sprint's most immediate threat, T-Mobile.

Source: Sprint





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OS X El Capitan Beta 6 now available for developers

Yesterday, 08:14 PM

Posted By x-bot in iDevice News


Apple has pushed out the sixth beta version of OS X El Capitan to developers. It is available from the Mac Developer Resource Center, or from the Mac App Store Update section on devices with the previous beta version installed.

The full release of OS X 10.11 is expected to land this fall, bringing a number of improvements to Spotlight search, Safari, and the expansion of the Metal graphics framework from iOS to the Mac.

Thanks to Keith for the tip!





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Apple pushes further into Bay area with 43-acre purchase

Yesterday, 07:29 PM

Posted By x-bot in iDevice News

Apple is apparently set to expand its presence in San Jose in a big way. According to recently uncovered documents, the company has purchased a 43-acre development site in the city, though it's unclear what Apple intends to use the undeveloped land for. The news comes from the Silicon Valley Business Journal, stating:

Apple Inc. has purchased a roughly 43-acre development site in North San Jose in a blockbuster real estate transaction that comes just weeks after the Mac maker established its first major presence in the city.

According to the Silicon Valley Business Journal, the development site is located next to a 300,000 square foot space that Apple leased early last month. The purchase also comes just a week after Apple also reportedly rented 76,000 square feet of office space in San Francisco.

In any case, between these recently leased office spaces and Apple's ongoing construction of Campus 2, it looks like the tech giant is expanding in the Bay area in a big way.

Source: Silicon Valley Business Journal; Via: MacRumors





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The Amazon Echo speaker can now also be purchased from St...

Yesterday, 05:05 PM

Posted By x-bot in iDevice News


People who want to purchase the Amazon Echo connected speaker now have another option besides Amazon itself. It is now for sale on the Staples website for the same price of $179.99.

Staples will be the only third-party retailer to offer the Amazon Echo for sale, but it will only be available online for now. You won't be able to walk in your local Staples retail store and purchase the speaker, at least not immediately. Aside from that, there's nothing else that Staples is doing to make its Echo listing different than Amazon's, although if you own any Staples gift cards, you can use them now to help purchase the speaker.

Check out the Amazon Echo at Staples.com ($179.99)

Check out the Amazon Echo at Amazon ($179.99)





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