Initially reported by MacRumors, CVS and Rite Aid have both begun blocking the use of Apple Pay and Google Wallet at their NFC payment terminals. Apple Pay launched this past Monday, and we’ve seen a number of people tweeting and socializing about one of Apple’s latest feature. It is no wonder that customers are becoming confused and frustrated that within a week of its release, these two retailers have opted to block the service.
It appears that this was, indeed, an intentional move by both CVS and Right Aid due to their participation in the Merchant Customer Exchange program. As reported by Business Insider, Merchant Customer Exchange is a 3rd party service that is working on creating its own form of mobile payment that is set to release in 2015. A detailed email was released by a CVS employee that explained that Apple Pay and Google Wallet are being disabled and how to deal with customer concerns.
This is an interesting move considering that both chains have supported NFC terminals for payment for some time including Google Wallet, which was released by Android over 2 years ago. The question remains as to why the company decided to disable it now, a week after users have had time to benefit from the service; even longer if the individual is a Google Wallet user.
It is even more interesting that the retailers are shutting down a form of payment. If there is one sure-fire way to decrease revenue, it is to decrease the ways in which customers can bring money into the store. That partnership with Merchant Customer Exchange must be pretty promising and lucrative for them to be exhibiting such behavior.
Sadly, many people in the world are not aware of World AIDS Day. Apple is trying to change that by launching a two-week campaign (APPSforRED) to help fight against AIDS. Starting Monday, December 1st, Apple plans to donate a portion of the sales of 25 apps to the Global Fund to fight AIDS. According to Apples website “through December 7, every time you purchase a (PRODUCT)RED participating app or In-App Purchase item, 100% of the proceeds go to the Global Fund to fight AIDS.”
Some of these apps include Angry Birds, FIFA15, Clash of Clans, and Garage Band. To get a full list of the apps that will be apart of the two-week campaign visit RED’s website.
Apple’s CEO Tim Cook said, “For eight years, our customers have been helping fight AIDS in Africa by funding life-saving treatments which are having a profoundly positive impact. This year we are launching our biggest fundraising push yet with the participation of Apple’s retail and online stores, and some of the brightest minds in the App Store are lending their talents to the effort as well.”
To add to the great news Apple will also be donating a portion of their online and retail stores sales on November 28th (Black Friday) and December 1st (Cyber Monday). In the US, Apple customers will receive a special edition iTunes gift card with the purchase of specific (RED) Apple products.
To learn more about RED and to help fight against AIDS visit RED.org.
Lets make a difference! Are you going to join in and battle against AIDS? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
Yesterday at Apple’s Spring Forward event, the company unveiled their new MacBook laptop. The new MacBook sports an incredibly thin design, fanless innards, and a beautiful retina display. However, like a hairy mole on the face of a model, the device has only one port, and it’s the mysterious USB-C. The internet has been in an outcry ever since the announcement, with most worried that they won’t be able to plug-in their favorite peripherals. I hear and understand these concerns as they are very valid. However, Apple has a track record of being very smart and strategic in implementing such change. As such, I would argue that there is more to the “why” behind such a drastic change.
USB technology has been advancing at snail-like speeds. First developed and released in the mid-to-late 90’s, the design of the connector port for the USB has not changed since inception. That’s nearly 20 years without a change to how we connect many of our devices to our computers! In the wake of a world dominated by mobile devices however, this has become a problem as USB ports are relatively bulky in size. Designers could never fit a full-sized USB into a smartphone. However, with the significantly smaller USB-C, this connector could become universal across computers and mobile devices alike creating a much improved unified experience.
Now, to satisfy your older device needs, Apple is releasing a number of dongles and attachments that will allow you to connect antiquated USB devices. Many are claiming this is a profit-grab play by Apple. I disagree. Apple has a track record of seeing the future and heralding (pushing) it across their loyal fan-base leading to mainstream adoption. While Apple will certainly profit from dongle sales, I would argue that their real end-goal is to drive mainstream adoption of USB-C for the betterment of the technology.
They’ve Done It Before
This isn’t the first time that Apple has implemented such a strategy either. If you can remember back to the early days of the late 2000s, Apple was often mocked for not supporting Adobe Flash on the iPhone and iPad. Apple was adamant about not supporting it as they saw it as a dying technology that didn’t play well with mobile devices. That testimony was only furthered by Android users complaining of poor battery life and performance caused by the processor intensive Adobe Flash.
As such, Apple saw HTML5 as the future and supported that within iOS for online interactive experiences on Apple devices. Because of the strength of Apple’s fan-base, this adamancy forced web developers to consider a shift in how they approached developing such online experiences. Fast-forward to today, HTML5 is widely considered the standard, while Flash is considered by most as obsolete. Without Apple making this decision, I would argue that the landscape of the internet would look very different today. The internet is a better place for mobile devices and tablets as a result of Apple’s drastic software choices many years ago.
They’ll Do It Again
Returning back to why Apple is forcing USB-C upon us, they’re making this decision for the same reasons they forced HTML5 upon us years ago. We need an advancement in technological adoption of the connector. When businesses are considering how to develop and design their devices, a primary decision-making factor is ensuring that the experience will be a positive one for the masses. Without a large user-base being impacted negatively when not natively supporting USB-C, it would take substantially longer to get innovators to support the new technology. With the likely success of Apple’s new Macbook, there will be a much greater justification for device creators to consider creating devices in native USB-C.
In short, by forcing this new technology upon us, they are creating stronger reasons for device creators to adopt the new USB technology. With stronger adoption, Apple and others will be able to create better devices. With better devices, the world will be a better place. That’s all Apple wants. (and crazy amounts of profit of course.)
What do you think? Is Apple just trying to drive mainstream adoption of USB-C? Or are they trying to profit off us through dongle sales? Let us know in the comments below.
Apple has always been known for their sleek and stylish phones, but the sleek and stylish designs come with a high price tag. To help with that, Apple created the Apple%20iPhone 5c 32GB (Blue) – Verizon WirelessiPhone 5C which is similar to the Apple%20iPhone 5 16GB (White) – Verizon Wireless5S with less features, lower specs, and a more affordable price.
According to Taiwan’s Industrial and Commercial Times, Apple will discontinue the iPhone 5C next year. Although a specific date has not yet been announced, the 5C is said to be discontinued in the middle of 2015.
As previously mentioned the Apple%20iPhone 5c 32GB (Blue) – Verizon WirelessiPhone 5C is a lower-end 5S. For example, the iPhone 5C does not have the A7 64-bit processor, it features a lower-end camera, smaller amount of built-in storage, and does not have the Touch ID fingerprint sensor. Below you will find a short list of specs for the iPhone 5C:
Apple’s iPhone 5C sales were lower than expected due the he high demand of the Apple%20iPhone 5 16GB (White) – Verizon WirelessiPhone Apple%20iPhone 5 16GB (White) – Verizon Wireless5S. According to a CIRP in January, the 5S accounted for 59% of iPhone sales in the previous quarter of 2013, while the iPhone 5C accounted for 27%. It appears that when it comes to iPhone sales, customers are willing to fork out the extra cash to get the best iPhone products. I guess Steve Jobs was right when he was against a low end iPhone.
Do you agree? When purchasing a phone (no matter the brand), are you willing to spend the extra cash on higher end products? Let us know in the comment section below.
People everywhere are crazed and excited about the upcoming Apple Watch. The watch will hit the market in T-minus 20 days and I’m sure there will be lines out the doors of many Apple Stores. If you are looking to get your hands on an Apple Watch day one, you might want to rethink your plans.
According to CNET, the Apple watch will be sold through a “reservation system” and will continue to be sold in that manner until Apple indicates otherwise. So unless you have already reserved an Apple Watch, don’t bother stopping by the store. Another interesting fact is that you cannot walk into the store and simply try on one of the watches. Instead, Apple requires you to schedule a fitting with an Apple Store representative.
I’m sure there will be many disappointed customers at the store on day one thinking they will be able to walk into the store and purchase a watch off the shelf. While some may disagree, there are a number of reasons why this is a good strategy for releasing the Apple Watch. Unlike other Apple devices, the Apple Watch will come in a number of different models that vary in price and style. Because of this, Apple needs to make sure they have the inventory to satisfy customers. By forcing buyers to use a reservation system and scheduling fitting sessions, Apple will be able to better manage their inventory to please buyers.
The Apple Watch is one of the most anticipated smart watches being released this year. With a price range between $349-$17,000, the smartwatch will likely peak the interest of both your average iPhone user to even the most premium time-piece collectors. To be honest with you, despite being an Android fan-boy, I’m pretty excited to get my hands on an Apple Watch. (sorry for disappointing our Android followers) The watch is simple, stylish, and unlike any other smartwatch on the market today. You can see the Apple Watch in all of its glory below:
What are you thoughts? Do you believe the Apple Watch will be as successful as its hype? Do you think Apple is making the right choice by using a reservation system to order the watch? Let us know what you think int he comment section below.
Remember how great it felt the last time you were bloated? Neither do I, because being bloated sucks. Apple is jumping on the bloatware bandwagon in an attempt to increase adoption of its recently acquired streaming music service, “Beats Music.” The Financial Times initially reported of an inside source claiming that an upcoming iOS release will come with the Beats application pre-installed and undeletable.
Apple acquired Beats earlier this year from legendary rapper Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine. This marks the first initiative that Apple is taking at chipping away at the market share that Spotify currently dominates. It’s abundantly clear that Apple’s hopes are that by getting the application in front of more consumers they are more likely to increase their subscriber count.
Beats music has been struggling to gain subscribers since launch. Contrary to the half a million subscribers claimed by Iovine, a leaked document showed that the service only had around 110,000 subscribers back in May of this year. That is compared to the 10 million paid and 40 million free subscribers of Spotify.
It’s apparent that Apple is looking to recoup some of its investment so that they can continue to evolve the music industry. As everything is moving towards streaming and downloading music, iTunes is becoming a thing of the past. What once was the iPhone and iPod blazing trails in the evolution of music, Apple is now struggling to keep up as competitors and innovators are changing the landscape of the way we listen to music. While this change is bound to frustrate some users, hopefully it does gain some momentum so that Apple can use their talented brains to build upon and innovate the way we listen to music.
What are your thoughts on the matter? Already feeling the need for some Diurex? Let us know in the comments below!
It’s day two at E3, and we are pleased to say that it has been just as exciting as day one. Today, we had an opportunity to meet with Andrew from AntVR to discuss their cross platform, open-source virtual reality headset.
Some of you may be asking, “why another VR headset?” We already have Oculus, Samsung Gear, Project Morpheus, and Microsoft’s HoloLens (AR), which are already taking the gaming and VR world by storm. While the AntVR may seem similar to these other headsets, there are some differences that really differentiate it from its competition.
AntVR is the only headset that is compatible on a number of different platforms. Currently, the headset is compatible with PC, Xbox, PlayStation, Android, and Blu-ray. This is a major selling point for the AntVR as other headsets are only compatible with games developed specifically for the headset built. For example Oculus is only compatible with games developed specifically for it. Project Morpheus can only be used on the PS4 and Microsoft’s HoloLens will only be compatible with Windows 10 devices. For those users who play a number of different platforms, you will be able to enjoy a VR headset that can be used across all the different platforms you have.
AntVR can connect to your console, PC or mobile device via HDMI cable. AntVR does have a wireless headset that utilizes WHDI, a relatively new wireless technology that provides HD video wireless to the headset. AntVR has indicated that they have been able to use WHDI while maintaining latency of less than 1 milisecond.
The headset has a 1920×1080 HD display and utilizes an aspherical lens (Oculus uses spherical) which provides less distortion and allows you to see pictures in a standard ratio. This ensures that every pixel remains in sharp focus. The headset also gives you a 100-degree diagonal field of view which is 10 degrees more than the Project Morpheus VR headset.
Along with the headset comes a transformable controller. Yes, the controller actually transforms but don’t expect Optimus Prime to appear. Because of the built-in 9-axis gyro, the controller can be used as a gun, joystick, lightsaber, standard controller or a steering wheel.
We had a chance to give the AntVR headset a try in a couple of capacities. The first demo we tried was simply a tech demo. We were able to look around in a variety of environments to test the VR headset. While it was definitely impressive, I did notice a bit more latency than my experience using the Oculus Rift. It’s worth noting that AntVR is still in the early stages of development and items such as latency are likely to improve prior to launching as a consumer product.
We also had a chance to try out the headset and the controller to compete in a Counter Strike-esk first person shooter. It was impressive to be able to look around, control the direction of the gun using the motion control, and use the joystick to move. There is definitely a learning curve associated with using motion controls in tandem with a control stick that’s location is different than the normal gamepad control stick. I noticed a challenge in orienting myself using the control stick in both my experience today with AntVR as well as yesterday in my demo with the PPgun. As the technology catches on, so will our muscle memory and the experience will only improve. Overall, it was an enjoyable experience; even if I was the loser in the match.
What are you thoughts? Do you think that the AntVR will be able to compete with Oculus, Samsung, and Microsoft? let us know what you think in the comment section below