Purchasing merchandise with a mobile phone is nothing new in many parts of the world, including Japan, South Korea, Scandinavia and many other parts of Europe, but it hasn't taken hold in the U.S. yet. Google Wallet is around but it hasn't been heavily adopted thus far. Apple, seeing a future in mobile commerce, has been working fervently on such a system.
According to The Information, in recent months Apple has been in talks with many payment industry companies, including Visa, in effort to come to an agreement on a mobile payment system. People with knowledge of those discussions say that
When Amazon fist launched its Prime Music subscription service some people pointed out that its song library wasn't as deep as other services such as Pandora, but this week Amazon bulked up its catalog by adding thousands of new tracks from new and existing artists. Song selection aside, it is hard to ignore Prime Music as a viable music streaming option mostly because what you get for only $10 a month.
Prime Music comes free with a Amazon Prime membership. This means you not only get access to free streaming music without ad interruptions, but a Prime account also includes free two-day shipping from Amazon.com, free access to Prime Instant Video and the ability to borrow digital books from the Lending Library if you own a KIndle. Not a bad deal if you consider the price of cable television or that Netflix only offers movie streaming for $.7.99/$8.99 a month.
It's the summer movie season and that means lot and lots of movie tie-in apps and games are being created for mobile devices. Marvel Entertainment launched Guardians of the Galaxy: The Universal Weapon last week, and today Nickelodeon released the official Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie game. Just like Marvel, Nickelodeon decided not to release a free-to-play title, but they did include in-app purchases, which will probably not sit well with some fans.
TMNT is a classic, side-scrolling beat 'em up where players can "take back the streets of NYC" using Leo, Mikey, Donnie and Raph. Players can upgrade their turtles with unique powers and weapons, complete combo moves to unlock a "Turtle Power" mini-game and use special abilities like "Freak Streak". The game features a Story Mode written by Tom Waltz, a Survival mode and Leaderboard support.
The Angry Birds franchise may be getting a little crazy with all its products, games and HASBRO toy tie-ins, but Rovio Entertainment's Angry Birds Transformers Comic Con trailer is pretty fun. Rovio hasn't revealed much about the game, but we do know there will be lots Transformer telepods for people to waste their money on, and plenty of "Autobird" and "Deceptihog" action. No official release date for the game has been announced.
Rovio is going to be at Comic Con from July 24th to July 27th. You can see their full schedule of events here. Rovio isn't the only mobile gaming studio showing off their products in San Diego. AMC is previewing their new game based on the Walking Dead television series, and Bandai Namco also unveiled its 2014 mobile game lineup at the event.
AAPL Financial News Weekly Roundup: Q3 Earnings Expected to be Strong, iPhone 6 Production to Begin and More
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) closed at $94.43 with a volume of just under 50 million shares, which is about average in recent weeks. As of this writing, AAPL is trading at $94.66, which doesn't seem too exciting considering the company is widely expected to post strong numbers when it releases its Q3 earnings after today's closing bell. The iPhone largely drove sales in the first half of 2014 and, according to Bidness Etc., third quarter sales will be strong as well, with analysts expecting 35.88 million units sold (UPDATE: Q3 earnings report is in). This will miss second quarter sales of 43.72 million units, but it was expected that customers would hold off buying new iPhones this quarter, with the iPhone 6 launch just around the corner.
In other news, we recently reported that Apple CEO Tim Cook was looking for new members for Apple's Board of Directors. This past week, on Thursday, Apple announced that Susan L. Wagner, founding partner and director of BlackRock, has been elected to Apple's board of directors. She will replace Bill Campbell, the board’s
It looks like Apple is preparing for its largest iPhone launch yet. The company told suppliers it is planning to build 70-80 million next-generation devices by December 30, according to The Wall Street Journal. This is a large increase from the 50-60 million iPhone 5c and iPhone 5s units Apple ordered last year. Apple is predicting that iOS users will be drawn to the new larger sized iPhone models, and hopes for an increase in sales after a disappointing performance by the iPhone 5c.
There have also been rumors that the 5.5-inch model is suffering from manufacturer delays and that it will be pushed back until 2015. Even the WSJ noted that display makers "are struggling to improve the production of the larger 5.5-inch screens".
"The production is complicated because the displays are using in-cell technology, which allows the screens to be thinner and lighter by integrating touch sensors into the liquid crystal display and making it unnecessary to have a separate touch-screen layer," explained the WSJ.
Some people may find Bio Inc. - Biomedical Simulator a bit controversial, but is there really any difference between blowing up your opponent in a first person shooter, or killing someone slowly by infecting them with horrible diseases? If you're easily offended or "triggered" then this is not the mobile app for you. The goal of the game is to kill innocent people by making them sick and it is a lot of fun!
Bio Inc. is a simulation title where your skills at resource management games will help you succeed. The game play is simple, you just tap viruses to earn points to spend on three categories: Diseases, Risk Factors and Recovery. Like in any resource management game, you must spend your Bio Points wisely. Concentrating all your points on one part of the body, like the circulatory system, will only send your victim to the doctor so he can be cured. You want to take your time and shut down all of the person's systems at once , ultimately creating a lethal and incurable illness that doctors won't be able to stop.
Apple today seeded iOS 8 beta 4 to developers. The update brings the usual bug fixes, a few UI tweaks and the addition of Apple's Tips app. The new stock app currently offers six tips with tutorials, but Apple promises it will be updated with more tips each week.
The Tips app includes tutorials like, how to quickly respond to a notification, how to enable the "Hey, Siri" option, and how to send a spoken message. According to iDownloadblog, there is also an option to "Like" individual tips, but it "apparently doesn't do anything". You can also share you favorite tips on social media sites like Twitter or Facebook.
The iOS jailbreak world was rocked this week by news that the popular Cydia repository BigBoss has been hacked. Not only this, but the person or group responsible posted the entire contents of the repo online, including paid tweaks. The stunt by Kim Jong-Cracks comes hot on the heels of an essay by Saurik, the creator of Cydia titled Competition vs. Community.
Plastering their "rip" of the BigBoss repo with hash tags such as WhichSideAreYouOn and SupportTheCompetition, the group appears to be arguing for alternatives to Cydia by distributing the hard work of developers' efforts for free. Not only is this a blatant act of piracy, but it's possible these cracked tweaks will be exploited by others to distribute malware or otherwise compromise security.
Released two weeks ago, 2K Games' Civilization Revolution 2 only has a two star rating on the App Store. This is sad because Civ Rev is one of the few games with a $14.99 premium price tag. 2K had the chance to strike a blow to the popular freemium model plaguing the App Store by releasing a great game for the iPad, but instead they delivered a buggy, lackluster effort not worth the high price, according to fans.
Fans of the Civilization franchise claim Revolution is more of a remake than a sequel. Players have complained that the game seems "lazy" and that there are only a handful of new units. Some also say that the new 3D graphics add nothing of value and even slow the game down in some cases. Fans are also unhappy about the games new "buggy" interface, lack of a multiplayer option and other basic control issues like not being able to zoom out of maps. Hopefully the game is not so bad that 2K can't fix it with a future update.