Tag - Nfc
A new study of public requests for more NFC-based mobile wallet options when paying has found that Apple Pay is by far the most-requested "tap to pay" option, and that consumers are accelerating their demands for mobile-payment options at the places they shop in the US -- which will be good news for all "e-wallet" vendors. The poll, conducted by analyst firm Piper Jaffray, asked 507 resellers and independent software merchants about mobile payment technology options.
The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) and the NFC Forum today announced an initiative that will enable the two organizations to jointly educate the industry on mobile Near Field Communication (NFC) technologies, including Apple Pay, to support the needs of public transportation operators. The wider adoption of NFC will speed fare collection and is consistent from system to system.
Apple Pay is now available at two million locations worldwide, according to a new report, in a year that should see rapid expansion of compatibility as US merchants update to point-of-sale (POS) terminals that support both mobile payment options and the new "chip-and-PIN" EMV debit and credit cards. A new Bloomberg article notes that a number of US chain restaurants and retailers will be adding Apple Pay and other NFC-based payment options to their stores, including Au Bon Pain, Chick-Fil-A, and Crate & Barrel.
A new report confirmed by the head of Wells Fargo's ATM division suggests that at least two large US banks are working on adding NFC secure payment functionality to automatic teller machines, giving customers the option of simply waving their smartphone or Apple Watch to use Apple Pay-style authentication rather than the traditional debit card insertion and PIN confirmation entry. The system will also support other mobile wallets, and is being tested with Android Pay currently.
Swatch is releasing an analog watch in the United States, Brazil, and Switzerland that will perform mobile payments, following a launch in China. After making a deal with Visa, the Swatch Bellamy will be less of a smartwatch and more a designer timepiece with NFC built into it, allowing it to perform payments with NFC-equipped mobile terminals, but without requiring the device to be connected to a smartphone.
Apple has become a sponsor member in the NFC Forum association, which puts on the NFC World conference and is the leading trade organization for Near-Field Communication advancement. The group promotes and participates in other related technologies as well, such as QR, iBeacons, Bluetooth Low Energy, digital watermarks, augmented reality, biometrics, acoustics, bio-sensors, and light-based communications.
Google is finally ready to enter the mobile payment arena, today introducing a payment platform known as Android Pay. The platform will be available via an API framework, with support for NFC and biometric authentication, allowing developers to creatively integrate the feature into a wide range of third-party apps. Android Pay appears to offer many of the same capabilities as Google Wallet, but without relying solely on Google's own app and implementation scheme.
An internal memo at bakery cafe chain and Apple Pay launch partner Panera Bread has confirmed that Apple intends to launch the e-payment system on October 20, and that training is underway throughout the chain, which plans a massive promotional campaign to let customers know it can accept mobile payments using Apple Pay or other NFC-based e-wallet systems. A one-minute video and a FAQ sheet are among the training materials front-line Panera employees will need to get up-to-speed on the new system.
Ahead of an expected announcement of an Apple-led mobile payments solution, there have been new reports that prominent retailers such as Disney Stores, McDonald's and Apple's own retail stores have joined the ranks of businesses receiving new, upgraded NFC readers and iBeacon sensors as required. The system, if successful, could offer a future alternative to the planned move to a "chip and PIN" credit- and debit-card system already widely in use in Canada and Europe.
Apple is starting a pilot program that will form partnerships with merchants, possibly involving a rewards program for its mobile payment system, sources say. One of the informers indicates that the InterContinental Hotels Group is one party involved in talks. The sources also remark, however, that Apple has only just begun hiring towards the project, and that while it could be announced tomorrow, it might be postponed until more partners have been signed and media coverage moves beyond iCloud's celebrity photo leaks.
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Cirrus creates Lightning-headphone dev kit
Apple supplier Cirrus Logic has introduced a MFi-compliant new development kit for companies interested in using Cirrus' chips to create Lightning-based headphones, which -- regardless of whether rumors about Apple dropping the analog headphone jack in its iPhone this fall -- can offer advantages to music-loving iOS device users. The kit mentions some of the advantages of an all-digital headset or headphone connector, including higher-bitrate support, a more customizable experience, and support for power and data transfer into headphone hardware. Several companies already make Lightning headphones, and Apple has supported the concept since June 2014. http://bit.ly/29giiZj
Apple Store app offers Procreate Pocket
The Apple Store app for iPhone, which periodically rewards users with free app gifts, is now offering the iPhone "Pocket" version of drawing app Procreate for those who have the free Apple Store app until July 28. Users who have redeemed the offer by navigating to the "Stores" tab of the app and swiping past the "iPhone Upgrade Program" banner to the "Procreate" banner have noted that only the limited Pocket (iPhone) version of the app is available free, even if the Apple Store app is installed and the offer redeemed on an iPad. The Pocket version currently sells for $3 on the iOS App Store. [32.4MB]
Porsche adds CarPlay to 2017 Panamera
Porsche has added a fifth model of vehicle to its CarPlay-supported lineup, announcing that the 2017 Panamera -- which will arrive in the US in January -- will include Apple's infotainment technology, and be seen on a giant 12.3-inch touchscreen as part of an all-new Porsche Communication Management system. The luxury sedan starts at $99,900 for the 4S model, and scales up to the Panamera Turbo, which sells for $146,900. Other vehicles that currently support CarPlay include the 2016 911 and the 2017 models of Macan, 718 Boxster, and 718 Cayman. The company did not mention support for Google's corresponding Android Auto in its announcement. http://bit.ly/295ZQ94
Apple employees testing wheelchair features
New features included in the forthcoming watchOS 3 are being tested by Apple retail store employees, including a new activity-tracking feature that has been designed with wheelchair users in mind. The move is slightly unusual in that, while retail employees have previously been used to test pre-release versions of OS X and iOS, this marks the first time they've been included in the otherwise developer-only watchOS betas. The company is said to have gone to great lengths to modify the activity tracker for wheelchair users, including changing the "time to stand" notification to "time to roll" and including two wheelchair-centric workout apps. http://bit.ly/2955JDa
SanDisk reveals two 256GB microSDXC cards
SanDisk has introduced two 256GB microSDXC cards. Arriving in August for $150, the Ultra microSDXC UHS-I Premium Edition card offers transfer speeds of up to 95MB/s for reading data. The Extreme microSDXC UHS-I card can read at a fast 100MB/s and write at up to 90MB/s, and will be shipping sometime in the fourth quarter for $200. http://bit.ly/294Q1If
Apple's third-quarter results due July 26
Apple has advised it will be issuing its third-quarter results on July 26, with a conference call to answer investor and analyst queries about the earnings set to take place later that day. The stream of the call will go live at 2pm PT (5pm ET) via Apple's investor site, with the results themselves expected to be released roughly 30 minutes before the call commences. Apple's guidance for the quarter put revenue at between $41 billion and $43 billion. http://apple.co/1oi1Pbm
Twitter stickers slowly roll out to users
Twitter has introduced "stickers," allowing users to add extra graphical elements to their photos before uploading them to the micro-blogging service. A library of hundreds of accessories, props, and emoji will be available to use as stickers, which can be resized, rotated, and placed anywhere on the photograph. Images with stickers will also become searchable with viewers able to select a sticker to see how others use the same graphic in their own posts. Twitter advises stickers will be rolling out to users over the next few weeks, and will work on both the mobile apps and through the browser. http://bit.ly/29bbwUE