Apple has launched an update to its official Apple Store application for mobile shopping on iOS devices. Besides being able to research and purchase all of your favorite Apple products, the app now provides notifications that will let you know when you're eligible for an iPhone upgrade at the subsidized price. When you're ready to order your new phone, simply use the app to have it delivered to your doorstep.
Other notifications have also been added, providing shipping information for orders and letting you know when your purchases have been delivered. As always, the Apple Store app makes it possible to order items and pick them up later at the nearest retail location.
That time of year when Apple offers discounts for holiday shoppers is fast approaching. The company has launched its online Gift Guide to help shoppers find the perfect electronic gift. This year, Apple is focusing heavily on the iPad mini, the latest iOS device to hit the market.
Besides encouraging iPad sales, several accessories are highlighted that can be used in conjunction with iOS devices. Everything from Mac computers to iPhones and musical instruments can be shipped for free on the Apple online store. Apple's Gift Guide is not the only way to find the perfect item for friends and family. Holiday shopping apps such as whohas.it can track hard-to-find items and send alerts directly to your iOS device when a product becomes available.
The latest major update to the iOS Apple Store app is here. Passbook integration was expected but Apple didn't stop there. Users of the app can now use Siri to get information about Apple products using voice queries.
Changes have been made to point-of-sale devices in Apple's retail stores to complement the additional functionality found in the Apple Store app. Passbook-ready digital gift cards came online just yesterday, and can now be purchased, gifted and used to pay for Apple products.
Apple is taking no chances with its storefronts this week, with a major hurricane bearing down on the northeastern US. 35 retail locations are directly in the path of the storm, and Apple has reportedly taken precautions at up to 50 stores in anticipation of dangerous weather. Several of these locations are temporarily closed due to high winds and the threat of flooding coming along with hurricane Sandy.
The photo above from Vince Lattanzio shows sandbag installations to prevent flooding at the Philadelphia Apple Store in Center City. There's no need to say that water and electricity don't mix, and Apple's stores could be particularly vulnerable thanks to in-floor electrical outlets and wood displays.
Pretty soon Passbook users will have another place to flash their iPhone for payment, at Apple retail stores. The EasyPay system already in place at Apple's stores will be updated by the end of October with Passbook support.
Although the initial launch may be limited to using prepaid gift cards, once the framework is in place Apple could expand its capabilities. With over 400 million active iTunes accounts linked to credit cards, Apple could accept payment from customers using an Apple ID.
In case you missed it, the jailbreak-like application Bluetooth OnOff is still available in the iTunes App Store. Even though the app seems to be in violation of Apple's App Store guidelines, it has managed to survive for six days now. It's unknown whether Apple will pull the app or let it remain, but to be safe, you should probably act quickly.
Bluetooth OnOff offers a simple solution to one of the biggest iPhone complaints -- the ability to activate and deactivate your bluetooth easily. Normally a user must navigate to Settings/General/Bluetooth/Toggle to switch their bluetooth on or off. This application saves you time by allowing you to toggle your bluetooth settings just by launching the app. It also offers some kind of bluetooth chat option, but most iPhone owners will only be interested in the simple toggle feature.
If you're tired of hunting for lost remote controls, or just have too many cluttering up the house, the VooMote Zapper may be what you're looking for. The iPhone accessory and app turns your iOS device into a universal remote eliminating the need for batteries and multiple remote controls.
Universal iPhone remotes are not a new idea, but the makers of VooMote promise you will love their easy setup wizard and “Teach-In” feature. The VooMote app allows you create room "bundles" so you can easily separate the Blu-ray player in your living room, from the one in your bedroom. You can even substitute buttons for normal IOS swiping gestures.
Apple has launched version 2.0 of the Apple Store app which now includes EasyPay and Personal Pickup. EasyPay allows you to pay for items through the app, rather than having to deal with long lines or sales reps. The new feature has been dubbed "EasyTheft" since it makes shoplifting a lot easier. EasyPay will only be available for smaller items like iPhone cases and other accessories. So you won't be walking out with a free laptop in the near future.
Personal Pickup also saves you time by allowing you to purchase items at a retail store while on the go. Items purchased on the app will be ready for pickup within an hour of the sale. This seems like a great time saver for business professionals. You can order an item while eating lunch, and pick it up on your way back to the office.
Here's a list of retail stores that will be selling the iPhone 4S on October 14. This is not a complete list, just some suggestions on other places you can go if you don't have an Apple Store near you. All Apple locations will be opening at 8 am local time on Friday, October 14, and will be offering a free Personal Setup service.
AT&T, Verizon and Sprint stores will also be carrying the iPhone 4S, but are not a great option. If you have to buy it directly from your carrier I would call ahead to make sure they plan to have a lot in stock.
The iPhone 4S is $199.99 for the 16GB model, $299.99 for the 32GB model and $399.99 for the 64GB model. All prices require a new or upgraded contract.
Having sold over one million iPhone 4S pre-orders, Apple has decided to open their stores early to meet the demand of the best selling iPhone ever.
“We are blown away with the incredible customer response to iPhone 4S,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing. “The first day pre-orders for iPhone 4S have been the most for any new product that Apple has ever launched and we are thrilled that customers love iPhone 4S as much as we do.”
All 245 Apple retail stores in the US will open at 8 am local time on Friday, October 14. Good news if you plan to get up really early or camp out the previous day. Bad news if you have to work, or are a late sleeper.
Apple asks that you upgrade your existing iPhone to iOS 5 and bring it along if you plan to replace it. You will also need the social security number of the account holder, photo ID, your carrier password and Apple ID and password.