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Yes, you can get a ticket for using Apple Watch while dri...

Today, 01:26 AM

Posted By x-bot in iDevice News
Everyone knows that talking on your cellphone while driving will get you a ticket in most places, but one driver in Canada recently found himself taking heat from the police after he was caught tapping his Apple Watch while behindmf.gif


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Man gets $120 ticket for changing music with his App...

Today, 12:53 AM

Posted By x-bot in iDevice News

A driver in Quebec, Canada claims he was fined $120 and given four points on his driving record for changing music on his Apple Watch while driving. While the driver disputes that this is not against the law (at least in Canada), many regions of the United States are not so keen on Apple Watch usage while driving. For example, the following definitions of devices that cannot be used on the road in New York clearly match the Apple Watch: “broadband personal communication device”, “two-way messaging device”, “portable computing device”, “or any other electronic device when used to input, write, send, receive, or read text for present or future communication.” Because the Apple Watch falls under those definitions, usage of the device is likely subject to the same fines as using a cell phone in applicable regions. Unfortunately, a study from March indicated that using a smartwatch behind the wheel can be even more distracting than a smartphone.

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Filed under: Apple Car, Apple Watch 381858 381858 381858 381858 381858 381858 381858 b.gif?host=9to5mac.com&blog=22754319&pos

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Kindle for iOS adds a new font for digital screens, HBO G...

Yesterday, 02:20 PM

Posted By x-bot in iDevice News
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Two interesting app updates out today that make enjoying media from your iOS device even better.

On the reading front, Amazon has updated its Kindle for iOS app to include a font called Bookerly that it says was designed especially for reading on a digital screen. The font, which was first made available on its Kindle Fire devices, is described by Amazon as “warm and contemporary.”

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Amazon adds that the font was “inspired by the artistry of the best fonts in modern print books but is hand-crafted for optimal readability at any screen size.” Bookerly should be a font option for “most” Kindle books starting with Kindle version 4.9.

In the video space, HBO has released a minor update to its recently redesigned HBO Go app for iPhone and iPad that could have a big impact on how you watch content on your TV. Along with a fix for Bluetooth audio streaming and the usual bug fixes and improvements, HBO Go version 3.0.1 adds support for playback through HDMI output.

This means you can connect your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch to your HDTV using an adapter like Apple’s Lightning Digital AV Adapter and watch your movies and TV shows from HBO Go on your iOS device through the big screen. This is ideal for sets without an Apple TV or Chromecast in the middle if you already have the adapter handy.

The update is available for HBO Go subscribers through the App Store. If you don’t subscribe to HGO through a cable package, don’t miss HBO Now, the standalone subscription version of the premium network that launched in April.


Filed under: Apps Tagged: Amazon, HBO, HBO Go, HDMI output, Kindle 381632 381632 381632 381632 381632 381632 381632 b.gif?host=9to5mac.com&blog=22754319&pos

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Apple Pay Rewards Program to Debut at WWDC

Today, 12:29 AM

Posted By x-bot in iDevice News
Apple-Pay-250x434.pngApple plans to introduce a new rewards program for Apple Pay at WWDC next month, reports The New York Times. In a piece covering upcoming mobile payment upgrades from Apple and Google, the site suggests that Apple will announce details about enhancements to Apple Pay at its Worldwide Developers Conference in June.

Few details are known about the rewards program that Apple plans to implement, but it is said to offer "perks" to customers who make purchases using Apple Pay.
But analysts have noted that a missing piece from Apple Pay was a rewards program to keep users returning to participating merchants. People familiar with Apple Pay said that next month, Apple will announce such a program offering perks to consumers who make purchases with the service, though they declined to reveal details.
There have been rumors about a rewards program for Apple Pay since before Apple Pay launched in October of 2014. In September, a report suggested Apple was working on a pilot program that could see it partnering with multiple third-party retailers to form an Apple Pay loyalty program.

Further rumors suggested the system could tie into iAd, delivering targeted ads to consumers via iBeacons and Bluetooth LE with coupons for free or discounted products, but it is not clear if that's how Apple's finished rewards program will work.

Upcoming Apple Pay competitor CurrentC offers a built-in rewards program that's able to incorporate loyalty cards and discounts for individual merchants, and CurrentC executives tout this as one of the major differentiating features of its system. With its own rewards program, Apple Pay will be better situated to compete with the reward-based features of CurrentC.

It is not known if Apple has plans to introduce additional Apple Pay features at its Worldwide Developers Conference, but it's possible that it could share details on an expansion of the service to additional countries like Canada. Canada is expected to be one of the first countries beyond the United States to gain Apple Pay support.mf.gif


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Apple Pay rewards program coming at WWDC as Target wants...

Today, 12:11 AM

Posted By x-bot in iDevice News

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According to a new report from The New York Times, Apple will, as expected, announce new details and enhancements for Apple Pay at WWDC next month. The report, citing two people briefed on the product, claims that Apple plans to add a rewards program to Apple Pay.

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Specific details regarding how the rewards program will work remain sparse at this point. Earlier this month it was rumored that Apple had shown interest in acquiring the failed payment startup Clinkle. Clinkle, which has been mocked and ridiculed from the beginning, is a payment rewards startup.

Apple Pay competitor CurrentCsupports loyalty and rewards cards in its mobile payment offering. Users are able to add both their debit cards and rewards cards to the service, making for a more seamless experience than Apple’s offering, which requires loyalty cards to stay in Passbook. Another possibility for Apple’s rewards program, however, is that the company could be getting into the business of giving cash back promotions to Apple Pay users. We’ll have to wait for WWDC next month for anything to be confirmed.

Apple is preparing to announce details about enhancements to Apple Pay at its software conference next month. Those include a rewards program for the mobile wallet service, said two people briefed on the product.

The addition of a rewards program to Apple Pay will likely launch alongside iOS 9, on which we’ve already covered a plethora of details. Regarding Apple Pay, we reported today that had considered highlighting points-of-interest in Maps that supported Apple Pay, but has since scrapped that feature. We also reported earlier this week that Apple plans to support Apple Pay in Canada, making it the first country outside the United States.

In related news, Target CEO Brian Cornell, speaking at the Code Conference, stated that he has met with Tim Cook regarding the possibility of supporting Apple Pay. Cornell said that Target’s main focus right now is converting all of its stores to the secure chip-and-pin credit cards, but that down the line, he very much wants to support Apple Pay.

Google is expected to introduce Android Pay at its own I/O developer conference later this week. The service is expected to include support for reward programs, as well.

In addition to developing its new Apple Pay features, Apple is working on a series of other updates for iOS 9. As we have reported, Apple is developing a new streaming music service based on its acquisition of Beats Electronics, a new Home app for managing home automation accessories, a refreshed look for iPhones and iPads with the new San Francisco typeface, new security and optimization features, iPad split-screen apps, a new keyboard, and iMessage improvements.


Filed under: Apple Pay Tagged: Apple, Apple pay, Commerce, Google Wallet, rewards, WWDC 381854 381854 381854 381854 381854 381854 381854 b.gif?host=9to5mac.com&blog=22754319&pos

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Target Plans to Offer Apple Pay After Chip-and-PIN Card U...

Today, 12:00 AM

Posted By x-bot in iDevice News
target.jpgTarget CEO Brian Cornell spoke at Re/code's Code Conference in Palos Verdes, California today, where he confirmed that the company plans to offer in-store support for Apple Pay in the future. According to Cornell, while he'd love to have Apple Pay available "right now," support will not be coming until Target upgrades its system to support integrated circuit credit cards to comply with new standards.

Integrated circuit cards (or chip-and-PIN cards) replace the magnetic stripe on a credit card or debit card with an embedded microchip. The microchip communicates with a supported point-of-sale system and transactions are authenticated through a PIN instead of a signature.

Chip-and-PIN cards are already used in many countries around the world because they're believed to be more secure than traditional credit cards. In the United States, retailers are being encouraged to adopt point-of-sale systems that support chip-and-PIN cards by the end of 2015. As of October 2015, the four major credit card companies in the U.S. are introducing policies that will cause retailers who don't support chip-and-PIN transactions to be responsible for any fraudulent charges made with chip-and-PIN cards.

Target is especially eager to move to a more secure transaction system following a major data breach in late 2013 that saw hackers obtaining payment information for approximately 40 million of its customers. The move is a major transition for Target, and Cornell says he doesn't want to "distract the team" with work on other payment systems.
"Our focus is on getting chip-and-PIN in place in time for the holidays," Cornell said at the second annual Code Conference in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif. "Down the line we want to accept all the types of payments that our guests want. But this decision was all about focus. ... It is a major undertaking to convert to chip-and-PIN, and I decided that we can't distract the team."
Cornell says he has met with Apple CEO Tim Cook, and once the chip-and-PIN transition is completed, Target will be "open-minded" about supporting additional payment systems like Apple Pay. Target already supports Apple Pay in its iOS app.mf.gif


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Bellabeat Officially Launches Stress-Measuring 'Leaf...

Yesterday, 02:00 PM

Posted By x-bot in iDevice News
Bellabeat, a company focused on creating technology products designed for women, is today ready to launch its first wearable, the Leaf activity tracker. First announced last year, the Leaf is an activity tracker that looks more like a stylish piece of jewelry than a standard activity tracker from a company like Jawbone, Nike, or Fitbit.

The Bellabeat Leaf is, as the name suggests, a leaf-shaped activity-tracking wearable that can be positioned as a clip, necklace, or bracelet. Depending on where it's worn, it's advertised as being able to track metrics like activity level, sleep quality, stress level, and ovulation.

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Described as a wearable "you'll actually want to wear," the standard leaf is made from a light maple-colored wood and accentuated with a steel leaf plate that's available in five designs. Bellabeat is also introducing a new limited edition gold version that's made from a dark marshwood and accompanied by a gold-plated leaf, plus the company is selling a range of bracelet and necklace accessories to pair with the Leaf.

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The Leaf is designed to be worn all day, tracking activity, sleep, and stress. It works in conjunction with an upcoming Leaf app, which is able to track information on menstrual cycles to provide a complete picture of health. Leaf will also deliver vibration-based notifications on activity level throughout the day.


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Receive real-time feedback in the form of slight vibrations, notifying you to increase or decrease your activity and reminding you about other aspects of your health, such as getting more sleep. The LEAF app even helps to monitor your monthly menstrual cycle by tracking expected days and providing information based on your activity, sleep and stress levels.

As you continue to use the LEAF, it becomes smarter by learning your personal habits and tailors feedback accordingly. The LEAF is truly unique in that it allows you to cross reference your cycle with trends in your daily activity, all easily viewable in your app.
Tracking activity and sleep is a function included in most smart wearables, but stress detection is relatively unique. When worn as a pendant or a brooch near the chest, the Leaf monitors breathing and uses that along with user-provided information as a metric to determine stress levels.

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The Leaf ships with a necklace chain, but it can also be added to existing jewelery and paired with the aforementioned accessories Bellabeat plans to offer. It includes a standard watch battery, so there is no need to charge it on a daily basis, but the battery will need to be replaced after approximately six months.

Bellabeat previously accepted pre-orders for the standard edition of the Leaf, but those quickly sold out. Today's sales of the Leaf and the Limited Edition Leaf mark the official launch of the Leaf, which will begin shipping out to customers on June 15.

The Leaf and the Limited Edition Leaf can be purchased from the Bellabeat website beginning today. The standard Leaf is available for $119, while the limited Edition Leaf is available for $250.mf.gif


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Apple confirms iMessage bug is crashing iPhones

Yesterday, 08:02 PM

Posted By x-bot in iDevice News
Apple has confirmed the existence of the “Unicode of Death” security exploit in iMessages. “We are aware of an iMessage issue caused by a specific series of unicode characters and we will make a fix available in a software update,”<span class="ellipsis">…</span><div class="read-more"><a href="http://www.cultofmac...-iphones/">Readmore ›</a></div><img width='1' height='1' src='http://cultofmac.com.feedsportal.com/c/33797/f/606249/s/46b2fac8/sc/15/mf.gif' border='0'/><br clear='all'/><br/><br/><a href="http://da.feedsportal.com/r/228858200265/u/3/f/606249/c/33797/s/46b2fac8/sc/15/rc/1/rc.htm" rel="nofollow"><img src="http://da.feedsportal.com/r/228858200265/u/3/f/606249/c/33797/s/46b2fac8/sc/15/rc/1/rc.img" border="0"/></a><br/><a href="http://da.feedsportal.com/r/228858200265/u/3/f/606249/c/33797/s/46b2fac8/sc/15/rc/2/rc.htm" rel="nofollow"><img src="http://da.feedsportal.com/r/228858200265/u/3/f/606249/c/33797/s/46b2fac8/sc/15/rc/2/rc.img" border="0"/></a><br/><a href="http://da.feedsportal.com/r/228858200265/u/3/f/606249/c/33797/s/46b2fac8/sc/15/rc/3/rc.htm" rel="nofollow"><img src="http://da.feedsportal.com/r/228858200265/u/3/f/606249/c/33797/s/46b2fac8/sc/15/rc/3/rc.img" border="0"/></a><br/><br/><a href="http://da.feedsportal.com/r/228858200265/u/3/f/606249/c/33797/s/46b2fac8/sc/15/a2.htm"><img src="http://da.feedsportal.com/r/228858200265/u/3/f/606249/c/33797/s/46b2fac8/sc/15/a2.img" border="0"/></a><img width="1" height="1" src="http://pi.feedsportal.com/r/228858200265/u/3/f/606249/c/33797/s/46b2fac8/sc/15/a2t.img" border="0"/>

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Developer of first Apple Watch battery strap demos faster...

Yesterday, 10:24 PM

Posted By x-bot in iDevice News

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Early this month I reported that accessory makers were planning on tapping into the Apple Watch’s hidden port for battery straps and faster charging. Not only would that allow companies to avoid having to design a solution with the magnetic, inductive charging system Apple is using, it also meant they wouldn’t have to workaround the sensors on the back of the watch.

Now, the company that first announced plans to use the hidden port, Reserve Strap, has posted a video showing faster charging using the port vs Apple’s charger:

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The video shows Apple Watch charging slightly faster with the hidden port, hitting around 95% charged when Apple’s solution hits 90%.

At the time of its original announcement, the company noted that using the port enabled it to “achieve a higher charge capacity and quicker, more efficient charging times while also improving durability and eliminating any interference with Apple Watch functionality including taptic feedback and heartrate sensors.”

Today the company told us it’s much further along in the design process with its prototypes. Here’s what the current design looks like:

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Reserve Strap is up for preorder for $249 with first shipments coming sometime this fall, and we’re sure this will inspire a number of other accessory makers even though we argued against it.


Filed under: Apple Watch Tagged: Apple watch, battery strap, conductive, Hidden Port, Inductive, magnetic, Reserve Strap 381840 381840 381840 381840 381840 381840 381840 b.gif?host=9to5mac.com&blog=22754319&pos

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Apple Watch Shown Charging Through 6-Pin Diagnostic Port...

Yesterday, 09:40 PM

Posted By x-bot in iDevice News
Earlier this month, the team behind the battery-boosting "<a href="http://reservestrap.com">ReserveStrap</a>" for the Apple Watch suggested it was possible to use the hidden <a href="http://www.macrumors.com/2015/04/23/apple-watch-diagnostic-port-confirmed/">6-pin diagnostic port</a> in the Apple Watch <a href="http://www.macrumors.com/2015/05/04/reserve-strap-new-design/">to charge the device</a>, and today they've backed up their claims with a video demonstration. <br/> <br/> In the video, an Apple Watch charging on a standard inductive charger is depicted next to one said to be charged through a power supply connected to the 6-pin port on the device. The watch being charged through the port charges slightly faster than the watch on an inductive charger, reaching a 95 percent charge at the same point the other watch reaches a 90 percent charge. <br/> <br/> <center><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/NOuUroPZE14" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></center> <br/> The team behind the Reserve Strap for the Apple Watch plans to use the port to create a band with a backup battery inside, allowing the Apple Watch to be charged while it's on the wrist. The product is still in the early stages of development, but it's available for pre-order for $250 from the <a href="http://reservestrap.com/products/reserve-strap">company's website</a>. <br/> <br/> The Reserve Strap is not currently certified under Apple's recently released <a href="http://www.macrumors.com/2015/05/04/apple-watch-bands-dev-guide/">accessory program for the Apple Watch</a>, which will allow manufacturers and accessory makers to create approved third-party bands for the device. Apple has outlined a specific set of rules for Apple Watch bands, preventing them from blocking any sensors on the device, but its guidelines do not mention bands that access the 6-pin port. For that reason, Apple's position on Reserve Strap's use of the 6-pin port is unclear. <br/> <br/> Apple has not confirmed what purpose the 6-pin port serves, but speculation has suggested it is used by the company for diagnostic purposes. Apple may also be using the port internally for charging, as detailed in documents covering the <a href="http://www.macrumors.com/2015/05/20/apple-watch-display-unit-disassembled/">function of its in-store Apple Watch displays</a>. <br/> <br/> It is not known if Apple has plans to expand the usage of the 6-pin port in the future, but <em>TechCrunch</em> <a href="http://www.macrumors.com/2015/03/05/apple-watch-diagnostic-port/">has hypothesized</a> that the port could eventually be used for "smart band" accessories to bring additional functionality to the Apple Watch.<img width='1' height='1' src='http://rss.feedsportal.com/c/35070/f/648326/s/46b347fa/sc/28/mf.gif' border='0'/><br clear='all'/><br/><br/><a href="http://da.feedsportal.com/r/228766050034/u/49/f/648326/c/35070/s/46b347fa/sc/28/rc/1/rc.htm" rel="nofollow"><img src="http://da.feedsportal.com/r/228766050034/u/49/f/648326/c/35070/s/46b347fa/sc/28/rc/1/rc.img" border="0"/></a><br/><a href="http://da.feedsportal.com/r/228766050034/u/49/f/648326/c/35070/s/46b347fa/sc/28/rc/2/rc.htm" rel="nofollow"><img src="http://da.feedsportal.com/r/228766050034/u/49/f/648326/c/35070/s/46b347fa/sc/28/rc/2/rc.img" border="0"/></a><br/><a href="http://da.feedsportal.com/r/228766050034/u/49/f/648326/c/35070/s/46b347fa/sc/28/rc/3/rc.htm" rel="nofollow"><img src="http://da.feedsportal.com/r/228766050034/u/49/f/648326/c/35070/s/46b347fa/sc/28/rc/3/rc.img" border="0"/></a><br/><br/><a href="http://da.feedsportal.com/r/228766050034/u/49/f/648326/c/35070/s/46b347fa/sc/28/a2.htm"><img src="http://da.feedsportal.com/r/228766050034/u/49/f/648326/c/35070/s/46b347fa/sc/28/a2.img" border="0"/></a><br/><a href="http://adchoice.feedsportal.com/r/228766050034/u/49/f/648326/c/35070/s/46b347fa/sc/28/ach.htm"><img src="http://adchoice.feedsportal.com/r/228766050034/u/49/f/648326/c/35070/s/46b347fa/sc/28/ach.img" border="0"/></a><img width="1" height="1" src="http://pi.feedsportal.com/r/228766050034/u/49/f/648326/c/35070/s/46b347fa/sc/28/a2t.img" border="0"/><img width="1" height="1" src="http://pi2.feedsportal.com/r/228766050034/u/49/f/648326/c/35070/s/46b347fa/sc/28/a2t2.img" border="0"/><div class="feedflare">
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