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NEWS (LAST 200)
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Brexit: How did we get here?
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Feed Provided By MacRumors - News and Rumors



iTunes U App Gains Image Annotation Tools, Video Message Sharing Support Apple yesterday updated its iTunes U education app with some notable new annotation and media sharing features.

In an extension of iTunes U's markup support, which was previously limited to PDF documents, version 3.5 of the app now enables users to apply visual notes to image files using the same annotation toolset.


Elsewhere, video messages can now be shared between teachers and students, while the ability to open audio and video files in other apps has also been included.

The update comes on the heels of changes earlier this week to Apple's Classroom app, which lets teachers set up iPads for educational settings. That update gave educators the ability to create classes manually and send invitation codes to students for them to join, as well as extending classroom file sharing options with AirDrop support.

iTunes U is a free download for iPad and iPhone available on the App Store. [Direct Link]


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... Pubdate: Wed, 29 Mar 2017 03:12:20 PDT

Google Search App Updated With 'Trending on Google' Widget, New 3D Touch Actions Google announced a fresh update to its Search app yesterday, highlighting Gboard keyboard integration, a raft of 3D Touch enhancements, and a new Trending widget.

Launched last May, Gboard offers users the ability to search for emoji, includes a built-in animated GIF search, and supports glide typing and voice transcription. Users can also use the keyboard to share information and content sourced from online searches, including video and images. The option to enable Gboard can be found in the Google Search app's settings after the app has been updated.


While the Gboard integration was slipped in some weeks ago, the latest update brings a new "Trending on Google" widget that keeps users in the know about hot topics and breaking news by displaying live trending Google searches. Tapping on a trending search opens the Search app where users can find out more.

The Trending widget can be accessed using a 3D Touch hard press on the Search app icon, or by swiping right on the home screen and activating it via the Edit option at the bottom of the main widget screen.

Google has also added a number of other 3D Touch Quick Actions to the Search app icon, including Quick Search, Voice Search, Search for Images, and Search Incognito. In addition, additional in-app 3D Touch integrations mean users can hard press on web pages, map results, cards in the feed, or search results for previews and more information.

Google Search is a free download for iPhone and iPad from the App Store. [Direct Link]

Tag: Google

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... Pubdate: Wed, 29 Mar 2017 02:35:50 PDT

LastPass Working on Security Patch For Browser Extension Vulnerability LastPass has advised all users of the password manager to launch sites directly from the LastPass vault and enable two-factor authentication wherever possible, until it addresses a vulnerability discovered in LastPass browser extensions.

The client-side vulnerability, discovered by Google security researcher Tavis Ormandy, allows for an attack that is "unique and highly sophisticated", said LastPass in a blog post, without disclosing further details.

Over the weekend, Google security researcher Tavis Ormandy reported a new client-side vulnerability in the LastPass browser extension. We are now actively addressing the vulnerability. This attack is unique and highly sophisticated. We don’t want to disclose anything specific about the vulnerability or our fix that could reveal anything to less sophisticated but nefarious parties. So you can expect a more detailed post mortem once this work is complete.
To secure sign-in credentials in the meantime, LastPass has recommended that users launch sites directly from the vault and make use of two-factor authentication on sites that offer it, while remaining vigilant to avoid phishing attempts.

The news follows the discovery and successful patching of earlier remote code execution (RCE) vulnerabilities that could be used to steal passwords from extensions for Firefox, Chrome, Opera, and Edge. Safari was not mentioned in the original vulnerability alert, while mobile apps were not affected, but concerned users can follow the advice regardless until LastPass offers further news on the situation.


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... Pubdate: Wed, 29 Mar 2017 01:40:46 PDT

Epic Strategy Classic 'Rome: Total War - Barbarian Invasion' Released on iPad Feral interactive has announced the release of Rome: Total War – Barbarian Invasion for iPad. The game is a standalone expansion pack of the cult classic PC strategy title, Rome: Total War, and builds upon the empire-building mechanics of the original as well as introducing a dramatic new historical context.

Barbarian Invasion takes place in 363AD during the height of the Roman Empire, when the Barbarian hordes began fighting back against Roman supremacy in an attempt to reclaim lost territory.


Players can choose to take on the role of a Barbarian commander determined to bring down the Empire, or take up arms as a Roman General and fight to extend the civilization into a new age.

Woven into the historical narrative are clashes with Christian, Pagan, and Zoroastrian religions, along with a new Horde mechanic that commands factions to raid and plunder opposing settlements to sustain their nomadic lifestyle.

Rome: Total War – Barbarian Invasion requires a first-generation iPad Air or newer, an iPad mini 2 or newer, or any iPad Pro running iOS 10.2 or later, and just under 4GB of free space to install. The game is available to download on the App Store for $4.99.

Tag: Feral

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... Pubdate: Wed, 29 Mar 2017 00:41:33 PDT

'WONDERBOOM' Speaker From Ultimate Ears Offers Big Sound in a Small Package Ultimate Ears today announced the latest addition to its lineup of portable speakers, debuting the palm-sized $99 WONDERBOOM. The WONDERBOOM fits right in with its bigger siblings the UE Boom 2 and the MEGABOOM, offering 360 degree sound in a smaller, more affordable package.

Design wise, the WONDERBOOM looks a lot like the UE Boom 2, but it's half as tall and a bit thicker. It's 10.2cm tall with a diameter of 9.4cm, while the UE Boom 2 is 18cm tall with a diameter of 6.5cm.


The front of the WONDERBOOM features the iconic Ultimate Ears volume control buttons, denoted by a "+" and a "-", and at the top, there's a power button and a Bluetooth button for pairing the WONDERBOOM to an iPhone. A UE button, also at the top of the speaker, pauses and unpauses music that's playing. A double tap on the UE button will skip to the next song.

The WONDERBOOM connects to a device through a standard Bluetooth connection and it is designed to maintain its connection up to 100 feet away.


All of the Ultimate Ears products offer surprisingly great sound for both their size and price point, and the WONDERBOOM is no exception. In our testing, it wasn't far off from the sound of the UE Boom 2 and it was louder and carried more than the sound from a UE Roll. Sound was clear, even at high volume, and the bass was impressive for a small speaker.

Two WONDERBOOMs can be paired together (a long press on the UE button puts them into pairing mode) for larger spaces and louder sound, and there's also a feature that allows two Bluetooth devices to connect to WONDERBOOM so multiple people can control the music.

A loop on the back of the WONDERBOOM allows it to hang anywhere, and it's also waterproof (IPX7) and able to float, making it ideal for use at the pool, the beach, or in the bath. It can withstand immersion in up to one meter of water for 30 minutes. It's also rugged, making it an ideal outdoor speaker -- it's drop proof from up to five feet.


WONDERBOOM charges using an included micro-USB cable, and it offers 10 hours of battery life per charge, long enough to last for a full day.


WONDERBOOM is priced at $99 and it is available in six colors: Stone (gray), Phantom (black), Fireball (red), SubZero (blue), Cashmere (pink), and Lilac (light purple). Ultimate Ears will begin selling the WONDERBOOM on its website in April of 2017.


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... Pubdate: Wed, 29 Mar 2017 00:01:52 PDT

Apple Pay Expands to Taiwan Apple Pay is rolling out to Taiwanese customers starting today, reports The China Post. Seven banks in Taiwan are supporting Apple Pay at launch according to Apple's Taiwanese Apple Pay website, including Cathay United Bank, CTBC Bank, E. Sun Commercial Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, Taipei Fubon Commercial Bank, Taishin International Bank, and Union Bank of Taiwan.

Apple Pay is available to all Visa and MasterCard holders who bank with the above listed institutions. The payments service will work at all retailers where contactless payments are accepted, including Far Eastern Department Stores, Carrefour, PXMart, Sogo, and The Breeze Center. FamilyMart stores are also accepting Apple Pay, but only for users who bank with Taishin International.


Cards can be added to Apple Pay by tapping the "Add Credit or Debit Card" option in the Wallet app on a device running iOS 8.1 or later. Apple Pay works with the iPhone 6 or later or the iPhone 5 or later when using an iPhone paired with an Apple Watch. Apple Pay in apps and on the web is also available on iPads with Touch ID, including the iPad, iPad mini 3, iPad mini 4, and both iPad Pro models.

Since its 2014 debut, Apple Pay has been slowly rolling out around the world. Rumors suggest Apple Pay will soon expand to several additional countries, including Italy, Belgium, Germany, and South Korea.

Along with Taiwan, Apple Pay is also available in the U.S., the UK, China, Australia, Canada, Switzerland, France, Hong Kong, Russia, Singapore, Japan, New Zealand, Spain, and Ireland.

Related Roundup: Apple Pay

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... Pubdate: Tue, 28 Mar 2017 18:20:48 PDT

Apple Rejecting Apps With Pricing Info Like 'Free' in App Title Apple has started blocking developers from promoting their apps by using a price in the app's name, reports VentureBeat. For approximately the last month, apps that use "free" or other pricing information in their metadata have been blocked in iTunes Connect submissions.

Apps that use "Free" in their titles are receiving the following rejection notice after being submitted for review:

Your app's name, icons, screenshots, or previews to be displayed on the App Store include references to your app's price, which is not considered a part of these metadata items.

Please remove any references to your app's price from your app's name, including any references to your app being free or discounted. If you would like to advertise changes to your app's price, it would be appropriate to include this information in the app description. Changes to your app's price can be made in the Pricing and Availability section of iTunes Connect.
An Apple spokesperson VentureBeat contacted confirmed the changes but declined to offer any additional information.

Given that there are still dozens of apps in the App Store that use "Free" in their title, such as Disney's "Where's My Water? Free" or "Doodle Jump FREE," it appears this is a new policy that will affect app submissions going forward. It's not clear if Apple will make apps that are already in the App Store implement a title change.


In related App Store news, Apple appears to have mistakenly approved Metadata, an app that sends a notification when a U.S. drone strike is reported in the news.

The app, which had previously been rejected a dozen times before, was approved this morning and then pulled just hours later, suggesting its temporary approval was an accident. Previously, the app was approved in 2014 and was in the App Store for almost a year before being removed.

Tag: App Store

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... Pubdate: Tue, 28 Mar 2017 17:37:50 PDT

MLB.com At Bat and NHL Apps Take Advantage of Custom Icon Option in iOS 10.3 iOS 10.3 includes a new feature that allows developers to change app icons after an app has been installed, bringing custom app icons to the iOS Home screen. Both the MLB.com At Bat and NHL iOS apps are now taking advantage of the new custom icon feature following updates released this afternoon.

In the MLB.com At Bat app, users can customize the Home screen icon of the app with MLB club-branded app icons representing their favorite team. Similarly, in the NHL app, app icons can also be customized with team logos instead of the standard NHL app icon.

To change the icons, iOS 10.3 is required. Subscribers can go to More --> Settings --> Home Screen icon and choose a team logo.

Screenshots via TechCrunch

As TechCrunch points out, while developers are now able to change app icons without pushing a full iOS update, there is no support for dynamic app icons that would allow for things like a weather app icon that updates continually with the temperature.

Customized Home screen icons, which Apple calls "User-Selectable App Icons" may be something that we'll see a lot more of now that iOS 10.3 is available to the public. Apple has strict rules for icon customization options, requiring visual consistency, a simple icon swap interface, and explicit user permission to change an app's icon.

MLB.com At Bat can be downloaded from the App Store for free. [Direct Link]

NHL can be downloaded from the App Store for free. [Direct Link]

Tags: MLB, NHL

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... Pubdate: Tue, 28 Mar 2017 15:24:07 PDT

Apple Seeds First Beta of macOS Sierra 10.12.5 to Developers Apple today seeded the first beta of an upcoming macOS Sierra 10.12.5 update to developers, one day after releasing macOS Sierra 10.12.4, which introduced Night Shift for the Mac.

macOS Sierra 10.12.5 can be downloaded through the Apple Developer Center or through the Software Update mechanism in the Mac App Store.


Apple's release notes don't often provide much insight into what's included in new beta software, so we don't yet know what features it might offer. As the update follows the release of 10.12.4, which was a major update, this one may focus primarily on bug fixes and other small improvements.

The release notes accompanying the beta release say only that the "update improves the stability, compatibility, and security of your Mac." Should any new features be found in macOS Sierra 10.12.5, we'll update this post.

Related Roundup: macOS Sierra

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... Pubdate: Tue, 28 Mar 2017 10:10:32 PDT

Apple Seeds First Beta of tvOS 10.2.1 to Developers Apple today seeded the first beta of an upcoming tvOS 10.2.1 update to developers for testing purposes, one day after releasing tvOS 10.2, an update that introduced improve scrolling and iPad support for the Apple TV Remote app.

The tvOS 10.2.1 beta is designed for the fourth-generation Apple TV. It can be downloaded by connecting the Apple TV to a computer with a USB-C cable and installing the beta software from a registered developer account using iTunes.


Because of the tricky installation requirements, tvOS betas are limited to developers. tvOS 10.2.1 will not be available to the public until the final version of the software launches.

Apple does not typically provide detailed beta release notes, so we don't yet know what's included in tvOS 10.2.1. It's likely to focus primarily on bug fixes and under-the-hood performance improvements, so we may not know what's new until the software sees an official release.

Should any noticeable changes be discovered in tvOS 10.2.1, we'll update this post.

Related Roundups: Apple TV, tvOS 10
Buyer's Guide: Apple TV (Don't Buy)

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... Pubdate: Tue, 28 Mar 2017 10:01:13 PDT

Apple Seeds First Beta of watchOS 3.2.2 to Developers Apple today seeded the first beta of an upcoming watchOS 3.2.2 update to developers for testing purposes, one day after the launch of watchOS 3.2, a major update that introduced Theater Mode.

watchOS 3.2.2 can be downloaded through the Apple Watch app on the iPhone by going to General --> Software Update. To install the update, the Apple Watch must have 50 percent battery, it must be placed on the charger, and it must be in range of the iPhone.


watchOS betas require an iPhone running iOS 10 to install, and they're only available to developers because there's no way to downgrade the software on an Apple Watch.

It's not yet clear if watchOS 3.2.2 introduces any new features or bug fixes because Apple doesn't typically provide release notes for betas, but we'll update this post should anything new be discovered.

Given that this is a minor 3.x.x update, it's likely to focus primarily on bug fixes.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch Series 2, watchOS 3
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Neutral)

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... Pubdate: Tue, 28 Mar 2017 10:00:30 PDT

Apple Seeds First Beta of iOS 10.3.2 to Developers Apple today seeded the first beta of an upcoming iOS 10.3.2 update to developers, just one day after introducing iOS 10.3, which included features like a new Find My AirPods feature and Apple File System.

Registered developers can download the iOS 10.3.2 update from the Apple Developer Center or over-the-air with the proper configuration profile installed.


We don't yet know what features or improvements are coming in iOS 10.3.2 as Apple doesn't offer detailed release notes, but as a minor 10.x.x update, we can expect it to focus on bug fixes and under-the-hood performance improvements rather than major new features. Apple does say the update fixes the new SiriKit car commands, which should now work as expected.

Should anything new be found in the iOS 10.3.2 beta, we'll update this post.

Related Roundup: iOS 10

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... Pubdate: Tue, 28 Mar 2017 09:58:50 PDT

T-Mobile Gifting Customers Free Year of MLB.TV Premium Ahead of 2017 Season T-Mobile today announced that it will offer its customers a free annual subscription to MLB.TV Premium, a $119.99 value, on Tuesday, April 4.


T-Mobile customers will be able to claim the gift through its T-Mobile Tuesdays app until Wednesday, April 5 at 1:59 a.m. Pacific Time. Then, customers need to sign up for MLB.TV Premium by Tuesday, April 11 at 1:59 a.m. Pacific Time.

MLB.TV Premium allows baseball fans to stream every out-of-market game live or on demand on the web with supported devices, including the Mac, iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, PlayStation 4, Roku, and Google Chromecast.

MLB.TV Premium also includes a free subscription to At Bat Premium, which unlocks high-quality streaming of select live MLB.TV broadcasts and highlight clips in the MLB.com At Bat app for iPhone and iPad.

Opening Day of the 2017 Major League Baseball season is Sunday, April 2. Spring Training wraps up this week.

T-Mobile customers must have a qualifying monthly rate plan, including "most consumer and business, postpaid, and prepaid plans." Government accounts and plans without high speed data are not eligible.

2017 marks the fourth consecutive year that T-Mobile has offered its customers a free year of MLB.TV Premium.

Tag: T-Mobile

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... Pubdate: Tue, 28 Mar 2017 08:55:06 PDT

'AmazonFresh Pickup' Beta Test Lets You Pick Up Groceries Without Leaving Your Car Amazon has launched another grocery initiative, this time for Amazon employees in Seattle. The service is called AmazonFresh Pickup and it allows customers to order groceries from the Amazon mobile app on iOS and Android, or on the web, select a pickup time, and show up at the AmazonFresh Pickup location to get their items bagged into their vehicle by an Amazon worker.

Although it's limited to Amazon employees right now, when it opens to a wider audience AmazonFresh Pickup will be available to Prime members (who are near a location) as a free addition to their membership (via TechCrunch).


The service has no minimum order requirement, so customers can create grocery lists for dozens of items or for a single bottle of mouthwash, for example -- whatever is ordered will be waiting for them when they drive up. Customers can order fresh produce, meats, bread, dairy and a range of household items off of AmazonFresh Pickup, which currently has two locations in Seattle's SODO and Ballard neighborhoods.

Amazon previously tested out "Amazon Go" pop up stores, which let customers walk in, purchase groceries, and walk out of the store without needing to go through any lengthy check out process. That service worked by having customers scan their smartphone when entering, and the Amazon Go app tracked every item taken from the store's shelves and tallied it all up in a virtual cart, which charged a customer's connected payment card.


Recently, it was reported that Amazon is delaying a wider launch of Amazon Go locations to "work out kinks" related to the cashierless technology that charges customers automatically. Amazon is constantly testing out and slowly launching neat new ideas that could see a wider debut for its customers in the future -- like Amazon Prime Air, which has evolved from futuristic reveal to small-scale, working delivery drone in just over three years. With today's announcement, it appears that AmazonFresh Pickup is the next in line.

Tag: Amazon

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... Pubdate: Tue, 28 Mar 2017 07:56:04 PDT

Wi-Fi Calling and VoLTE Expand to O2 and Other Carriers on iOS 10.3 Following yesterday's iOS 10.3 release, several carriers around the world have enabled support for native Wi-Fi calling and VoLTE on iPhone.


In addition to updating to iOS 10.3, the features require installing a carrier settings update to be enabled. Your device should prompt you to install the carrier settings update in Settings > General > Software Update.

Features may be limited to certain iPhone models, so check with your carrier. British carrier O2, for example, has only enabled support on iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus right now, with plans to add other devices soon.

The full list of carriers that have just enabled native Wi-Fi calling on iOS 10.3:

  • Australia: Optus
  • Austria: A1 Telekom
  • Belgium: Telenet
  • Greece: Cosmote
  • Hong Kong: 1010
  • Norway: Telia
  • Poland: Orange, Play
  • Switzerland: Sunrise
  • United Kingdom: O2
The full list of carriers that have just enabled VoLTE on iOS 10.3:
  • Denmark: 3
  • Greece: Cosmote
  • Peru: Movistar
  • Poland: Orange
  • Russia: MegaFon
  • Turkey: Turk Telecom
  • United Kingdom: O2
To enable Wi-Fi calling, open the Settings app, tap on General > Wi-Fi Calling, and toggle on Wi-Fi Calling on This iPhone.

To enable VoLTE, open the Settings app and tap on Mobile Data > Mobile Data Options > Enable 4G > Voice & Data.

Meanwhile, Verizon customers with an iPhone running iOS 10.3 can now make and receive Wi-Fi calls on other iCloud-connected devices, including the iPad, iPod touch, Apple Watch, and most 2012 or later Macs, even if the iPhone is turned off. The devices must be signed into the same Apple ID used on the iPhone.

Update: Slovenia's Telekom also officially announced VoLTE support today, although the carrier was already included on Apple's list.

Related Roundup: iOS 10
Tags: Wi-Fi calling, VoLTE

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... Pubdate: Tue, 28 Mar 2017 07:10:28 PDT

Facebook Launches Camera Within iOS App With Effects, Filters, and 24-Hour 'Stories' Facebook today is officially rolling out its long-in-testing upgrade to the main Facebook mobile app on iOS and Android, bringing a number of changes focused on the addition of an all-new camera, filters, themed effects and "Facebook Stories." The company's 24-hour post Snapchat clone was reported to have launched a few weeks ago, but a Facebook spokesperson contacted MacRumors at the time and confirmed that the feature was still in testing ahead of a wide launch, happening today.

The new camera can be found in the top left of the Facebook app's main news feed, or users can swipe right on their news feed to open up the camera (similar to Instagram). Here users can take pictures and selfies using masks, filters, and "reactive effects," where they can interact with dynamic objects such as falling snow. Style effects apply a Prisma-like artistic filter onto an image in real-time.


Brands and advertisers are also joining in on the Facebook camera launch, with users able to take selfies using filters for upcoming films like Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Alien: Covenant, and Wonder Woman. Facebook said that the company will consistently update all of these effects in the camera "to give you fun new effects to explore," and even more customization is coming down the line as well.

Over the coming months, we plan to introduce new ways for the Facebook community to create their own frames and effects that can be used on any photo or video created with the new Facebook camera. Our goal is for the camera to be a home to hundreds of dynamic and fun effects that give you new ways to connect with friends, family, and your community.

We hope that with the new Facebook camera, Stories and Direct, it will be easier than ever to see the world through each other’s eyes, and we can’t wait to see the photos and videos you create. In the meantime, here’s one of my own in my tropical island disguise, hiding from work with my cat Ebi.
The launch of the Facebook camera on iOS and Android is also bringing Facebook Stories to the masses for the first time. The feature hasn't changed since it was originally in testing in January, or since it launched as Instagram Stories last summer: users can post images and videos, add silly effects and captions, and watch them disappear forever after a 24-hour period.

For users who don't want to share publicly, a new Direct option will allow Facebook friends to share the same disappearing posts directly to one another. When shared through Direct, a friend or family member will be able to look at the photo or video one time, replay it, and write a reply, but after that it'll be gone forever -- similar to Snapchat's own chat section.

Facebook can be downloaded from the iOS App Store for free [Direct Link], and the update should begin appearing for users throughout the day.

Tag: Facebook

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... Pubdate: Tue, 28 Mar 2017 05:36:00 PDT

Square Reader Launches in the United Kingdom for £39 Payments company Square today announced that it has officially launched within the United Kingdom, bringing its popular Square Reader to small and medium businesses within the UK Square's UK debut marks the company's first European launch, but its products are already available in the United States, Canada, Japan, and Australia.

In the UK, the Square Reader will cost businesses £39, and will act just as it does in other territories by connecting to a mobile smartphone or tablet, turning the device into a payment receptacle through the use of mobile wallets or physical credit cards. Every transaction that occurs in person will have a 1.75 percent flat fee charged to businesses, while all online, telephone, and electronic invoice transactions will incur a 2.5 percent fee.


After it's set up, businesses will be able to browse the Square software built for mobile devices to track real-time sales data, invoicing and digital receipts. In its announcement today, Square said that the UK is a prime target for its technology because the average UK adult carries less than £25 in cash, while 70 percent of UK shoppers prefer card payments. Despite these statistics, "half of the UK's 5.4 million small businesses do not yet take card payments."

“We founded Square to empower small businesses with tools to accept all forms of payment and to make a sale anytime, anywhere,” said Jack Dorsey, CEO of Square. “We look forward to working alongside the millions of entrepreneurs and thriving small and medium-sized businesses across the UK, especially those who do not yet take card payments.”
In the United States Square has been a partner with Apple over the past few years, launching an NFC reader that introduced Apple Pay and other mobile wallets to small businesses for the first time, while also recently giving them the opportunity to obtain free processing fees when processing transactions through Apple's mobile wallet.


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... Pubdate: Tue, 28 Mar 2017 05:09:59 PDT

Samsung to Sell Refurbished Note7 Phones 'to Minimize Environmental Impact' of Recall Samsung announced on Monday that it will sell refurbished versions of its Galaxy Note7 smartphones, the model it officially discontinued last year because of fire-prone batteries.

Samsung's Note 7 devices were permanently scrapped in October and recalled globally, after multiple reports of some phones self-combusting. A highly publicized in-depth investigation by the company discovered that batteries supplied by two different companies were to blame. No other faults were discovered in the components or parts.

The news surprised some analysts, coming just days before Samsung officially announces its Galaxy S8, which is generally regarded as the firm's comeback mobile device and "iPhone 8" rival. Samsung said the refurbished Note7 phones will be equipped with new batteries that have gone through new safety checks.

"Regarding the Galaxy Note 7 devices as refurbished phones or rental phones, applicability is dependent upon consultations with regulatory authorities and carriers as well as due consideration of local demand," Samsung said in a statement. "The product details including the name, technical specification and price range will be announced when the device is available. Samsung will not be offering refurbished Galaxy Note 7 devices for rent or sale in the US."
The move should allow Samsung to recoup some of the $2.3 billion in losses it suffered because of the ill-fated phone, but the company told The Verge that the main objective of introducing the refurbished devices was "solely to reduce and minimize any environmental impact".

Last month, Greenpeace protestors interrupted the company's Mobile World Congress keynote and demanded to know what the company's plans were for its 4.3 million recalled devices, so it's possible Samsung's latest announcement is timed to avoid a repeat incident overshadowing its S8 launch on Wednesday. "Samsung's announcement is the first step to show its effort to set a new path for recycling smartphones starting with Note 7s," Greenpeace wrote in a blog post.

Samsung told Reuters the company has not set specifics on refurbished sales plans, including which markets they will be sold in and when they will go on sale. However, it noted that the phones will not be sold in India, as some media mistakenly reported earlier this year.


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... Pubdate: Tue, 28 Mar 2017 03:54:55 PDT

Questionable Rumor Claims Siri iCloud Integration and Contextual Learning Coming in iOS 11 Siri is set to gain contextual learning abilities and deep integration with iMessage and iCloud in iOS 11, according to an unverified rumor shared by Israeli site The Verifier.

Citing information "received directly from the development teams based in Israel and the U.S.", the site says Siri's AI codebase will receive a major update that will enable it to learn a user's usage habits, similar to abilities claimed by Samsung for its new virtual assistant Bixby.

The upgrade is said to extend Siri's capabilities beyond its current limited command pool by stacking multiple queries and offering different actions depending on the context. For example, Siri's integration into iMessage means it will be able to offer suggestions relevant to the ongoing conversation, such as where to dine out, how to get there, and one-step Uber taxi booking.

In addition, the claim is that Siri's integration with iCloud will enable it to identify meaningful connections between the various devices associated with an Apple ID account and offer practicable actions that crisscross Mac and iOS systems.

Moreover, Apple will embed Siri deeper into the Apple TV and Apple Watch experience, with significant updates to tvOS and watchOS. Advanced Siri abilities are also said to extend to a "smart clock" feature, although no other details were given.

The Verifier does not have an established track record for accurate rumors, making it unclear how reliable the information is, while the iMessage features described above can already be found in published Apple patents. Previously the site said that group FaceTime calls will be introduced in iOS 11, but so far we've been unable to corroborate the claim.

Details of what's in store for iOS 11 have been scant in general, but it is expected to be released with new iPhones in the fall of 2017, while a preview of the new software could come at the Worldwide Developers Conference 2017 held in June.

Related Roundup: iOS 11
Tag: Siri

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... Pubdate: Tue, 28 Mar 2017 03:14:21 PDT

Google Home Arriving in the U.K. on April 6, Priced at £129 Google has revealed that its Amazon Echo rival, Google Home, will arrive in the United Kingdom on April 6. The announcement was made on Tuesday at an event in London, where it was also revealed that the British version of the connected smart speaker will deliver news briefings from several U.K. media outlets including The Guardian and the BBC.


Rollout of Google Home beyond American shores has lagged behind its main rival. The Echo range of speakers was released in Germany and the U.K. back in September 2016, allowing Amazon to gain an early foothold in the British market over the holiday period.

Google's voice-activated speaker has also recently been dogged by accusations that its virtual Google Assistant responds to some questions with dubious answers because of flaws in the way its online search algorithm operates.

Google Home will cost £129 when it arrives in the U.K. next month and will be available from the Google Store, Argos, Dixons, John Lewis, and Maplins. Google is also launching colored bases, costing £18 for fabric and £36 for metal versions.


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... Pubdate: Tue, 28 Mar 2017 02:06:02 PDT








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