Square announces POS ‘Business in a Box’ hardware package for iPad starting at $299 [video]

Mobile digital payment company Square announced today on its blog that it will begin selling a “Business in a Box” solution that will act as a full point-of-sale system for iPad-toting business owners. The hardware package starts at $299 and includes two Square Readers, a Heckler Design WindFall iPad Stand, and an APG Vasario 1616 Cash Drawer (as pictured above). For an extra $300, bringing the total price of the package to $599, Square will throw in a Star Micronics TSP143L Receipt Printer. We were able to find all the pieces of the package online (minus the free Square readers) for around $480, although that’s before any taxes or shipping costs.

Neighborhood merchants are increasingly adopting Square Register for its simple interface, smart analytics, continuous updates, and low processing fees. With Business in a Box for Square Register, merchants can now simplify their countertop with an affordable and comprehensive package that includes two Square Readers, an iPad stand, a cash drawer, and an optional receipt printer. All work wirelessly with Square Register.

Business owners can learn more about the “Business in a Box” package here. Video of how Almond Surfboards use Square register above.
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Microsoft raises prices on Microsoft Office for Mac, no one notices

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According to Computerworld, Microsoft raised its pricing on Office for Mac 2011 during its Office 365 event last month by as much as 17 percent and stopped selling multi-license packages of the application suite. The move is likely to drive customers to its Office 365 program for PC/Mac that is $99 a year for a family.

The move puts Office for Mac 2011 on the same pricing schedule as the new Office 2013 for Windows. The price increases and the disappearance of the multi-license bundles also makes Microsoft’s Office 365, a software-by-subscription deal the company has aggressively pushed, more competitive with traditional “perpetual” licenses.

It’s not clear when Microsoft raised prices. The oldest search engine cache Computerworld found with the new prices was Feb. 2, so the company boosted them before then, likely on Jan. 29, the day it launched Office 2013 and Office 365 Home Premium. Microsoft did not mention the changes to Office for Mac in its press releases that day, or otherwise publicize the move on its Mac-specific website.

Indeed, Apple now offers Office for Student/Professional for $140/230Amazon still says it is $119 but notes that Office 2011 is an older version and the newer version that includes a key card is $139 marked down to $131 with a new SKU. You can still buy the multi-user packs at significant discount, but those likely are only while supplies last. Read more

AOL Corporate disables meeting management via iPhones due to Apple iOS 6.1 bug

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AOL has informed its corporate employees that it has temporarily disabled the ability to manage meetings via mobile devices due to a bug with Apple’s iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch iOS 6.1 operating system. We received an internal email from a source detailing the announcement from AOL CIO Michael Freker.

Below is a statement from Freker to 9to5Mac that details the situation:

AOL’s corporate Enterprise Messaging Operations team has been monitoring a rapidly increasing and unusually large volume of traffic across our enterprise mail environment originating from iOS devices running the new iOS 6.1 update. We have researched this problem and appears to be connected to a recently identified issue that seems to cause these iOS devices to continuously loop while synchronizing a recurring calendar meeting invitation. Similar problems have been reported by a number of sources to several media outlets across the Web in the past few days. While our team continues to work productively and rapidly with Apple and Microsoft to resolve the issue, it has been necessary to temporarily disable the ability to accept or manage calendar meetings using mobile devices to ensure that we maintain the integrity of our corporate enterprise messaging platform. Since this change is limited to managing calendar invitations, by disabling them temporarily we allow our employees to continue to experience the excellent productivity these devices bring to our enterprise until this issue is resolved.

The iOS 6.1 bug causes a “continuous loop” when meetings are attempted to be managed. This leads to a degraded iOS device performance and battery life experience. AOL is working with Microsoft and Apple to resolve the issue.

Issues with iOS 6.1’s Exchange support has also been highlighted on Microsoft’s forums. “I had a user upgrade to 6.1 and immediately after he finished, his [iPhone/iPad] started causing excessive logging on the exchange server,” one of the postings reads. ZDNet also notes the issue with iOS 6.1 and Exchange servers.

Earlier this week, Apple seeded iOS 6.1.1 to registered developers. The iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch software update adds enhancements to Maps for Japan. It is unclear if that update fixes the enterprise-related issues. Earlier today, Vodafone informed customers that an iOS 6.1 bug can cause performance issues for iPhone 4S users.

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Staples advertises Apple TV for $49, is the office retail giant going to sell Apple products?

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Here’s an interesting find sent by a tipster. Staples, the biggest office retailer in the United States, has a page showing an Apple TV with a list price of $49.99. While that price is very low, we were not able to add it to our cart or check out because the following page said “out of stock” (screenshots below). Staples also recommended a $24.99 Apple Lightning charge and sync cable when you visit the page. In fact, there is a bunch of Apple’s products sitting on “Mockup Pages” section.

What’s going on here?

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Apple removes Java applet plugin from OS X, continuing push for plugin-free web

Further pushing toward the idea of a plugin-free internet, Apple has issued an update to Java for OS X that removes the Java applet plugin. Attempting to use a Java applet through any OS X web browser will now prompt users to download the latest version directly from Java maker Oracle.

This is not the first time Apple has stopped shipping a specific browser plugin with their computers. With OS X Lion, users discovered that their Macs no longer came with Adobe’s oft-derided Flash Player plugin due to its instability and security issues. Apple has long held browser plugins in contempt, especially following the success of iOS, which hasn’t supported browser plugins at all in the past six years.

Just about every Mac Trojan/vulnerability over recent months and years has been related to outdated Java code. This move should close off those attack vectors.

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Apperian launches first administrative remote control solution for iOS [Video]

Apperian just launched “Remote Control for iOS”, a feature for its Enterprise App Services Environment that it called “the first and only solution that empowers IT departments to remotely view and interact with employee’s iOS devices as if the device was directly in front of them.” The solution works from anywhere, even over cellular networks, provides per-app privacy settings for end users, and it allows admins to control iOS devices through a web browser with no additional coding or software necessary:

Mobile devices go anywhere and everywhere – so there’s no need to be on the same local network or use a VPN to use Remote Control. An administrator can remotely control a device that is behind a home router, firewall or captive network with no additional configuration. It even works over cellular network, so you can provide support to a user no matter where they are.

A video demo of the feature is above, while the company’s full press release is below:
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Google Chairman talks Maps and Apple

Google’s executive chairman Eric Schmidt sat down for an AllThingsD talk last night with Walt Mossberg. Among other topics, they not-surprisingly discussed Android and his thoughts on Apple. Much of the talk centered around Schmidt’s thoughts on the Android-Apple platform fight, which he called “the defining fight in the industry today.” He also noted there is a “huge race specifically between Apple and the Android platform for additional features,” and he commented on Apple’s Maps situation:

The Android-Apple platform fight is the defining contest. Here’s why: Apple has thousands of developers building for it. Google’s platform, Android, is even larger. Four times more Android phones than Apple phones. 500 million phones already in use. Doing 1.3 million activations a day. We’ll be at 1 billion mobile devices in a year.

At the 17:30 mark, Schmidt began to talk about Apple’s new Maps app controversy: “Apple should have kept with our maps”… Read more

Parallels 8 virtualization software announced, available September 4, free upgrade to recent Parallels 7 customers

Parallels just announced the availability of its next generation of virtualization software for the Mac. Although details are scant at this point, it is safe to assume it is optimized for Mountain Lion and Windows 8.

Notable: If you purchase/purchased Parallels 7 after July 25 (Mountain Lion’s release date), you are eligible for a free copy of Parallels 8. Not too shabby.

Buy a FULL or UPGRADE version of Parallels Desktop 7 for Mac TODAY and you will receive an upgrade to our next version at NO ADDITIONAL CHARGE.

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More on the “TechGuarantee” here…or just download a free trial. Read more

Report: Six of top 10 enterprise devices using Good are iOS, 97 percent of tablets are iPad

In its Q1 2012 report of device activations by platform, multi-platform software company Good Technology analyzed thousands of activated smartphones through its network of enterprise customers. Apple’s CEO Tim Cook noted this week during Apple’s Q2 earnings call that the iPad was now being deployed or tested by 94 percent of the Fortune 500s and 75 percent of the Global 500. Good Technology’s numbers show the iPad and iPhone together continue to dominate Android in the enterprise market with roughly 73.9-percent of all smartphone activations and 97.3-percent of tablet activations during Q1. Apple’s iOS devices together took 80 percent of total activations, which is up 10 percent from last year.

Among iOS, iPhone 4S is the clear leader with 37 percent, representing four times the amount of activations of any other device. In the graphic of the Top 10 Devices above, we see iOS take up six of the top 10 spots with iPhone 4S and iPad 2 accounting for the majority of activations during the quarter. Good’s numbers, however, do not include RIM or Windows…

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Study: 85 percent of companies that plan to buy a tablet, plan to buy an iPad within 90 days

We know that demand for the new iPad met expectations with Apple telling USAToday demand is “off the charts.” Apple also confirmed that the initial pre-order supplies were purchased with shipping times for the device slipping to “2-3 weeks.” Now, a new ChangeWave Research study of “1,604 business IT buyers” gives some insight into just how in-demand the new device will be in the enterprise.

From the study, we learn that approximately 22 percent of companies plan to buy tablets for their employees during Q2 2012. ChangeWave noted, among those companies, demand for iPad increased to the “highest level of corporate iPad demand ever” with 84 percent planning to make the new iPad their tablet of choice. The increase represents a 7-point jump from ChangeWave’s last study due to the new iPad launch. The study also aimed to find which carrier the companies plan to use for data services with their tablets. Not surprisingly, AT&T and Verizon were neck and neck:

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Apple releases Configurator app for Mac

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Apple today released a new free Mac App called Configurator which allows you to administer many iOS devices at a time like in a school or business (or my house) setting.  At first blush it appears to be much simpler than the Windows/Mac configuration utility.

Description follows: Read more

Aerohive’s Bonjour Gateway enables long distance iPad and iPhone printing support across enterprise

Mobile device manager Aerohive introduced Enterprise Bonjour Gateway today for enabling Apple’s Bonjour protocol to work across multiple network segments in a corporate setting.

Bonjour allows networking hardware to automatically configure (zero-configuration), while Bonjour Gateway (PDF) essentially adds support for iPad and iPhone users to employ components like AirPrint for wireless printing wherever an AirPrint-capable printer is accessible. The feature intends to aid the growing trend of users who bring their iOS devices into work.

More information is available below.

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