Samsung’s not done with its ‘me too’ act yet: announces Continuity clone, Flow

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Not content with being a ‘fast follower’ of HealthKit and HomeKit with its Digital Health and Smart Home platforms, and iBeacon with its Proximity Service, Samsung has just announced a Continuity clone, Flow.

People today use multiple devices in their daily activities: phones, tablets, laptops, smart watches, TVs, and more. But the way we work is still device-centric. We still use one application, within one device, with data that is tied to that application and device.

Samsung Flow is a platform that enables developers to create seamless transitions across devices, so that people can change devices in the midst of an activity and continue right from where they left off.

Flow is compatible with anything that works with Android’s Share feature: if content can be shared with other apps, Flow can be used to to hand it off to other devices …  Read more

SanDisk launches Made-for-iPhone ‘iXpand’ USB flash drive w/ integrated Lightning connector

iXpand flash drive right top angle open-hr

SanDisk is today launching a new Made-for-iPhone/iPad product called iXpand that integrates a Lightning connector into a traditional USB Flash Drive device. Like similar products that have recently started hitting the market, the iXpand makes it easier to transfer content between iOS devices and computers with standard USB ports by including Apple’s proprietary Lightning connector in addition to a traditional USB plug. Read more

Activision’s ‘Call of Duty: Heroes’ freemium iOS app goes live, with scary in-app purchases

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Activision has officially launched Call of Duty: Heroes, its 3D combat strategy game for the iPhone and iPad. Unlike the companion app for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare launched earlier this month, this latest offering is a full standalone game like Strike Team.

While the basic game is free to play, you might want to take note of the cost of the optional in-app purchases before you get hooked: these range from $9.99 to a frightening $99.99 …  Read more

Samsung going head-to-head with Apple with iBeacon rival, Proximity

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The rivalry between Apple and Samsung looks set to enter a new field as Samsung has announced a direct competitor to iBeacon, called Proximity.

Samsung Proximity is a mobile marketing platform that connects consumers with places via cutting-edge Samsung location and context-aware technology.

With Samsung Proximity, visitors are able to experience rich content related to their location, and marketers can better engage with customers for increased sales and brand awareness.

The applications Samsung describes for the service are identical to those already in use with Apple’s iBeacon partners …  Read more

Report claims chip suppliers are preparing to ramp up Apple Watch production

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Apple has yet to provide a specific launch date for the Apple Watch, leaving its early 2015 timeframe and internal memo revealing a spring launch after Chinese New Year as the only information to go by in terms of a release date. A new report by Taiwan-based DigiTimes, however, suggests that the Apple Watch could launch sooner rather than later next year. Read more

DIYers! Belkin WeMo ‘Maker’ brings smartphone remote and IFTTT functionality to nearly any device

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At this point, we are all familiar with the Belkin WeMo line of products. They’ve been empowering consumers with smartphone-connected home automation products for some time now, from light switches to its newly released coffee maker.

While the WeMo line performs a number of simple tasks, it has not necessarily provided the level of open source capabilities that some consumers long for. Today, Belkin has taken a step in that direction with its new WeMo Maker.

This new product empowers DIYers to create their own custom WeMo setup, the possibilities truly seem endless.

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KGI: iPad Pro pushed back again to Q2 2015, Q1 to see under 10M iPads shipped

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The latest report from KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo claims Apple will delay its expected launch of a 12.9 (or 12.2)-inch iPad ‘Pro’ as it predicts a 50% decline for iPad shipments heading into next year. Specifically, KGI thinks Apple will sell just under 10 million units in Q1 2015 following a busy holiday season in the last quarter of this year. That would be a 54.5% drop from quarter to quarter with KGI predicting 21 million iPad units sold during the Q4 2014 Holiday quarter: Read more

Staples turns on Apple Pay support at its retail stores ahead of Black Friday

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Staples shared in an announcement today that it is now accepting Apple Pay transactions at its “over 1,200 stores” in the United States for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus users. Apple Pay, of course, will also be available for iPhone 5, iPhone 5c, and iPhone 5s users starting next year when paired with the upcoming Apple Watch. Apple included Staples in its list of retail partners when announcing its secure mobile payment service, although Apple noted that support would be “coming later this year” from the retailer as it was available in time for last month’s launch. Read more

Full video from Apple VP Greg Joswiak’s Code/Mobile conference interview now available

Apple VP Greg Joswiak via Re/Code

Apple VP Greg Joswiak via Re/Code

Apple VP of iPhone and iOS Product Marketing Greg Joswiak appeared at Re/code’s Code/Mobile conference last month where he discussed various topics including Apple Pay and iOS 8.0.1′s botched rollout, and today Re/code has shared the complete video footage of that interview. During the discussion, Joswiak talked about the upcoming Apple Watch and other smartwatches, Apple’s approach to marketshare and why you shouldn’t expect a low quality phone from Apple, and more. We’ve embedded the video interview below. Read more

YouTube launches Music Key streaming service for $10/mo: no ads, offline playback, full albums & Play Music access

YouTube Music Key

Google today officially announced its highly rumored YouTube music subscription service and its calling it YouTube Music Key. YouTube’s Music Key service with be available for a monthly subscription of $9.99 and unlock ad-free music, offline playback and video viewing, and the ability to play music in the background when using other apps.

The service is rolling out as a beta next week with a promotional price of $7.99/month, and early adopters will be able to request access from YouTube.com/MusicKey. YouTube’s Music Key beta service will be available through the YouTube apps on Android and iOS and through YouTube.com.

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