Apple Pay adds 24 new banks and credit unions including some Simple Bank customers

Apple Pay Apple Watch

Apple has rolled out Apple Pay support for another 24 banks and credit unions following last month’s expansion reaching more than 200 in total. The newly added banks include more than a dozen banks and credit unions from around the United States including The Bancorp Bank which backs Simple, a popular online banking service. Here’s the full list of newly added Apple Pay banks: Read more

Review: AAXA’s ST200 LED Pico Projector beams bright, color-accurate HD video from an Apple TV-sized box

aaxast200-7

Even though I’ve had a fair bit of experience with video projectors, I took Celluon’s PicoPro somewhat for granted when I reviewed it this January. I praised the pocket-sized projector, which squeezed a 720p laser video display and speaker into the footprint of an iPhone 6 Plus, but I didn’t triple-underscore how much easier it was to use than most of its rivals. PicoPro worked so well and so quietly with such little effort that I hardly thought about it.

AAXA’s ST200 Short Throw LED Pico Projector ($299) is the newest of the traditional projectors PicoPro is challenging. It has roughly the same footprint and 1280×720 resolution as PicoPro, but it’s around 2.5 times thicker, since it uses a lightbulb-illuminated LED projection engine — just like almost every other projector on the market. There’s an audible fan inside, and because ST200 needs to power that fan and the lightbulb, it can’t match PicoPro in battery life. It also requires more manual user adjustment when you’re setting it up.

But ST200 is a markedly better video projector and audio device when judged on raw output quality, and less expensive, besides. If you’re looking for a compact way to display 720p video from an Apple TV, Mac, or iOS device at up to a 100″ diagonal size, ST200 delivers brighter, more color-accurate video output than PicoPro, more powerful speaker output, and — if you appreciate this — many more settings to play with. Read on for the details…

Read more

Apple/IBM partnership piloting scheme with Japan Post to monitor the elderly

Apple IBM Japan Post

A low-tech scheme where postal workers from Japan Post check-in on how elderly residents are doing is about to go hi-tech with the help of iPads, reports the WSJ. The pilot scheme – one of the fruits of the Apple/IBM partnership – will see Japan Post hand out free iPads to 1,000 older citizens to allow closer and more frequent checks.

“By handing iPads to the elderly, we can closely check in on them more often—not only confirming if they are doing fine but also making sure that they are not involved in any trouble like a scam targeting the elderly,” a Japan Post official said on Thursday.

Data from the iPads will be analyzed by IBM’s Watson computer, reports Nikkei
Read more

The best Mac and iPad keyboards

macipadkeyboards-13

Keyboards are important — so important that many people won’t “work” on their iPads without real keys to type on. No one complained when desktop mice gave way to laptop trackpads, or when trackpads evolved into tablet touchscreens, but the switch from physical to virtual keyboards has been met with plenty of resistance… specifically because virtual keyboards offer no resistance. There’s something about the responsive, up and down movement of actual keys, known as “travel,” that people clearly prefer over tapping on completely flat glass.

I’ve tested a lot of keyboards, and since I rely upon them professionally every day, I have some strong opinions as to the best options for different types of Mac and iPad users. You might be surprised by my advice, as it bucks a couple of Apple’s trends (“smaller!” “thinner!”), but if you’re like me, you’ll be a much happier typist if you “think different” on this topic than the folks in Cupertino…

Read more

Samsung reclaims top smartphone maker title from Apple

gs6-vs-iphone-6

Strategy Analytics has a new report out that estimates that Samsung has once again become the number one smartphone manufacturer by units shipped. Although Samsung doesn’t officially report unit numbers, the analytics firm is estimating 83 million smartphones sold worldwide for the company. IDC is also reporting similar numbers.

Apple, which does report the number of iPhones it shipped, sold 61 million iPhones in the last quarter. This is a new record for Apple (which became the #1 manufacturer during the previous quarter with the launch of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus) but is clearly outstripped by Samsung’s (estimated) number by about 20 million units.

Read more

Pixelmator for Mac adds Force Touch pressure-sensitive painting, even better Repair Tool, more

Screen Shot 2015-04-28 at 1.28.02 PM

The developers behind Pixelmator have just released another free update to the Mac app, available in the Mac App Store ($29.99). Despite the bug-fix identifier, Version 3.3.2 packs some cool enhancements to support Apple’s latest technologies and hardware.

For one, as demoed in the screenshot above, Pixelmator brushes now support Force Touch so you can draw with multiple levels of pressure by pressing harder on the touchpad of your new Retina MacBook (or early 2015 13 inch Retina MacBook Pro). This is useful for quick adjustments although serious painters will still want to use dedicated drawing tablets. The update also adds support for the Photos app and a revamped Repair Tool …

Read more

iPad app outage affects a “a few dozen” American Airlines flights

ua-flightdeck4_1

Update: American Airlines has confirmed that the problem was with a bad update to the Jepson app that added Ronald Reagan Airport map. The app provides maps of runways and more information to pilots. Until the app can be fixed, the airline has informed pilots of a workaround to prevent future delays.

Two years ago, American Airlines replaced the paper versions of its cockpit documents with iPad flight bags on all planes. At the time, the airline touted that the switch would both save money for the company and make the lives of pilots easier. This evening, however, more than several dozen American Airlines flights have been affected by an outage related to the app used by American Airlines pilots. Many flights have been delayed and passengers forced to exit the planes.

Read more

Test iPad stolen from Cupertino home, not yet recovered

Apple's latest iPad Air 2 tablet

Apple’s latest iPad Air 2 tablet

Mercury News reports that an iPad test model was one of the items stolen in a robbery and kidnapping that took place at a Cupertino house earlier this month. Specific details regarding the device are sparse at this point, although it has not yet been recovered. The victim of the robbery was a 20-year old man who was also kidnapped after responding to an online advertisement from a woman. The victim is thankfully safe following the incident.

Read more

Review: Vinsic’s 20,000mAh ultra slim Power Bank can power your 12-inch MacBook anywhere

Vinsic ultra slim power bank

The new USB-C port on Apple’s new 12-inch MacBook (review) is both a gift and a curse. If you frequently connect legacy USB peripherals to your notebook, then you’ll have to deal with using an adapter between your old gear and your new laptop each time (and should possibly consider another machine for now). The move from Apple’s proprietary MagSafe 2 connection to the new industry standard USB Type C port for charging, however, opens up the door to third-party power adapters and portable battery packs.

During my initial MacBook evaluation, I verified this possibility with a 13,000mAh portable battery pack I had on hand. Vinsic’s 20,000mAh ultra slim power bank is a giant battery that offers even more juice for your iPhone, iPad, or 12-inch MacBook with a sleek design and an LED status indicator…

Read more

Apple says it will reject Apple Watch apps that just tell the time, more first-party faces may be coming soon

apple-watch

Apple has today added a new guideline to the App Store Review Guidelines, the first clause specifically targeted at Apple Watch development. This rule that Watch apps that only tell time will be rejected has actually been enforced since Apple started accepting WatchKit submissions as many developers complained to find their apps had been rejected for this reason. The documentation change now formalizes this rule into an official policy.

Screen Shot 2015-04-28 at 18.10.06

Read more