Apple Pay adds over 30 new banks & credit unions

Apple Watch Apple Pay

Apple Pay on Apple Watch

A number of additional banks and credit unions across the United States have now turned on support for Apple Pay including Synchrony Bank which backs Walmart and other retail credit cards, NASA Federal Credit Union, and many more. Earlier this month, Apple Pay went live for the popular mobile-based Simple Bank for the first time. You can find the full list of new and existing banks with support for Apple’s mobile payment service below: Read more

CarPlay support added to popular Audible audiobooks app

CarPlay Audible

The popular Amazon-owned Audible audiobooks service is the latest app to gain support for Apple’s CarPlay feature. The new version of Audible’s iPhone app released today now will automatically appear on CarPlay head units once installed on your iPhone so you can find and control audiobook playback from your library using the interface optimized for driving. The update includes a long list of other changes as well including: Read more

Review: Macphun’s Noiseless is the affordable photo noise killer that will save your grainy pictures

noiseless-0As a serious photographer, I do as much as I can to make my daily shots excellent, using cameras with low-noise sensors and fast lenses — then trying to keep them as steady as possible in low light. But even the latest and best cameras can’t snap perfectly clean images in dark surroundings. Grainy noise is basically inevitable in darkness, and the more basic the camera you’re using, the more likely it is to appear in a wider variety of pictures. To reduce noise, you can either shell out thousands of dollars for new camera gear, or try to fix your noisy photos with software.

Having spent years trying to fix noisy photos with software, including the noise reduction filters included with fully-featured photo editing applications such as Adobe’s Photoshop, I can tell you that the results typically aren’t great. Unless you’re willing to invest in an expensive noise-reduction plug-in, you’ll spend a lot of time trying to clean your image up, and it probably won’t be beautiful when you’re done. So when I learned about MacPhun’s Noiseless ($18), an app designed to do only one thing — eliminate noise — I was simultaneously skeptical and intrigued. Given that standalone noise-reduction apps often sell for 4 to 8 times as much, could an affordable single-purpose app meaningfully improve some seriously messed-up photos? The answer is “yes,” and at a far lower price than buying a comparably noise-free camera…

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Hundreds of dollars being stolen from Starbucks app users – weak/duplicated passwords blamed

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Starbucks has confirmed multiple reports of users of its smartphone app having three-figure sums stolen from their accounts in the form of gift certificates, reports CNN.

One user lost $550 in a matter of minutes, his account auto-reloaded each time it was emptied by a hacker sending a series of $50 gift cards. Other users have also reported three-figure losses within a matter of seconds or minutes …  Read more

Chrome for Mac will soon require Chrome Web Store distribution for extensions to prevent malware

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Back in May of last year, Google started enforcing a policy that requires Chrome extensions be hosted on its Chrome Web Store, but only on Windows. The goal was to prevent malware hidden in extensions installable from outside its store, and it even started disabling extensions already installed on users’ systems that weren’t hosted on the Chrome Web Store. Now, Google says it will bring that requirement to Mac Chrome users over the coming months, as well as the Chrome developer channel for Windows that wasn’t previously enforcing the policy: Read more

BitTorrent releases Bleep, a secure peer-to-peer messaging service for iOS and Mac (Video)

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If you want the security of knowing your voice, text and picture messages can’t be intercepted, direct peer-to-peer communication with end-to-end encryption is the gold standard: and that’s what BitTorrent offers with its Bleep app.

Every conversation is between you and your friends. There is no cloud to hack because messages are never stored in the cloud.

For text messages and photos, Bleep offers the choice of Whispers – where both text and images disappear when they’ve been read – and Messages, which stores them locally on the device. You can also make voice calls with the same peer-to-peer encrypted technology …  Read more

Google updates News & Weather app with Apple Watch support

Google today has released its first application for the Apple Watch in the form of an update to its iOS Google News & Weather app. Launched last fall, Google News & Weather iOS populates local weather and news headlines. On the Apple Watch, based on the screenshots from iTunes, the application pretty much serves the same purpose. Like other Apple Watch apps based on WatchKit, this new Google application does not appear to be anything special. The screenshots display a bland, text-filled application that is light on functionality…

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How-To: Clean your iOS device with free downloads, recovering lost space

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When Apple was designing the Mac app iDVD, then-CEO Steve Jobs directed his development team to build a dead-simple DVD-burning application: instead of a mess of options and windows, Jobs wanted one window with one button marked “Burn,” which would be pressed once the desired video file was dragged-and-dropped into the window. Years later, when Jobs wanted Apple’s iOS devices to be even simpler, he dumped the Mac’s windows and drag-and-drop file system in favor of a grid of icons. There wasn’t even a trash can to worry about — instead, iOS would automatically discard unused files as needed.

While that’s great in theory, the reality is that iOS actually leaves bits of trash sitting around on your device, and there’s no easy way to clean everything up at once. iTunes aggregates various types of lingering files as “Other,” but doesn’t have a trash can, nor does it provide direct access to your iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch file system so you can purge trash on your own. Consequently, your device may be holding a large collection of junk that could be dumped to free up gigabytes of space.

Below, I’ll show you how to clean your iOS device for free using two apps, one of which you definitely already have installed…

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FiftyThree’s free drawing iPad app Paper gets business-like, now feeds into Keynote & PowerPoint

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FiftyThree’s drawing iPad app Paper has so far been pitched as a creative drawing tool, but the company now thinks it might have appeal for business presentations too. The latest version adds a Diagram tool that lets you create objects like shapes, arrows and lines, which the app keeps neat and tidy while retaining the hand-drawn look.

Think Kit is here! Now Paper gives you the power to create diagrams, charts, and wireframes at the speed of thought. Think Kit adds three new tools—Diagram, Cut, and Fill. Powered by the Intention Engine™, Think Kit helps you quickly create powerful, personable graphics to express any idea, and continue seamlessly into your favorite presentation app.

Your roughly-drawn shapes get turned into neat versions automatically when the Diagram tool is selected, and you can drag shapes to move or duplicate them. A Smart Fill function lets you add color, keeping it constrained to your shapes …  Read more