Must-have iPhone, iPad, & Apple Pay apps for holiday gift shopping this year

Beats iPhone 6 Apple gift cards

Shopping this year through iPhone and iPad apps is significantly more convenient thanks to Apple Pay and Touch ID. The latest iPhones and iPads allow you to avoid the arduous process of re-entering your credit card information each time at checkout and instead pay for your purchase with the touch of your finger.

Hopefully our holiday gift guides are steering you in the right direction for what to buy this year, especially with guides focused on using your iPhone and iPad in the carmaking music with Apple devicesoutfitting your home with connected smart devices, and more, and these shopping apps should continue to help you along the way. Read more

Apple reportedly discussing mobile wallet plans with credit card companies, may launch with iPhone 6

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The Information has a new report out discussing Apple’s progress on a mobile wallet payments service. The post echoes reporting by 9to5Mac earlier in the year.

The report says the service may launch this fall, enabling iPhone users to pay for goods with their devices in retail outlets. Apple has apparently discussed the plans with credit card institutions, according to the report, as a user’s banking information “would essentially be uploaded to the wallet”. Apparently, Visa is already onboard with the project.

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Ringly introduces new iPhone-connected smart ring

Ringly Pink-Sapphire

New startup Ringly seeks to help solve a problem that many busy women have: missing important phone calls, texts or notifications because they cannot hear their phone go off in their purse, or find the phone quickly enough to get to it. Personally, I’ve run into this problem several times.

Ringly’s solution looks like an ordinary fashionable ring, but is actually a high-tech smart ring that can notify users of incoming messages, notifications, phone calls, and more.

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eBay hires Apple’s e-commerce head R.J. Pittman as its Chief Product Officer

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eBay has hired Apple’s head of e-commerce R.J. Pittman as its new Chief Product Officer and Senior Vice President, the online payments company tells us today. At eBay, Pittman will lead marketplace development and product strategy, and he will report directly to eBay President Devin Wenig. At Apple, Pittman has served as the brains behind Apple’s online sales platforms. Before Apple, Pittman was a Product Manager at Google.

As he describes on his LinkedIn profile:

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Get the most money for your iPhone before trade-in values plummet ahead of Sept. 10 event

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Update: Gazelle has announced an extended 50-day price lock window. That will give you until October 15th to send your iPhone in, but you’ll have to lock in your price before Apple’s September 10th event to take advantage.

With the unveiling of a next-generation iPhone expected on September 10th, it’s once again time to start thinking about trade-in options for your current device. While iPhones typically hold their resale value much better than competing devices, previous iPhone models historically experience a big drop in trade-in value in the 3-4 weeks leading up to an iPhone announcement. That’s highlighted in the chart above showing average decline in selling prices for previous gen iPhones leading up to the iPhone 5 launch.

With reliable reports of the next-gen iPhone coming early next month (no word on if that means the rumored iPhone 5S, 5C, or both), now is the time to get the most for your iPhone if you plan on upgrading when Apple’s new device finally becomes available. Apple is testing its own trade-in program that should launch in the coming months, but until then we’ve put together a chart showing where to get the most out of your device today: Read more

Did Apple shut down its Refurbished Outlet on eBay?

Apple’s eBay refurbished items store looks like it is closed for business (via Daily-Deals). All items were taken offline Saturday evening, and the store remains empty as of early Monday morning.

We reported in November that a representative of eBay told us Apple was running the store, possibly through intermediaries. An eBay spokesperson declined to refute the information at the time. An Apple spokesperson also declined to comment.

The store gained added attention because of the requirement that tax only be paid immediately in a few states, as well as PayPal payment options, and that it sometimes offered prices lower than the official Apple Store on Apple refurbished items.

We’ll miss you Apple eBay Store, but remember you can always find the best prices on Apple products on our product pages or on 9to5Toys.com.

Apple’s eBay store offers significantly better deals on Apple.com refurbs (and that’s before tax+payment advantages)

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9to5Mac first broke the news that Apple sold refurbished merchandise through its own eBay store last year, equipped with the same price tags, full warranties, and approved inspections, and now the company has dropped prices on many of those items below what it offers at store.apple.com.

9to5Toys and eventually Dealnews recently noticed a $100 price cut for Apple’s 13-inch MacBook Air with 1.8GHz i5 and 128GB of storage (now over). It costs $100 more at store.apple.com for the same refurbished unit.

An even better eBay deal has emerged today: Apple’s 11.6-inch MacBook Air with 1.8GHz, 4GB SDRAM and 256GB SSD is only $949. It’s certified refurbished unite, while the same refurb model goes for $1,059 on Apple.com, and the 256GB MacBook Airs start at $1,299 new. All items come with free standard shipping, and eBay adds sales tax for only a few states at purchase and allows folks to pay with PayPal and BillMeLater. Read more

Announcement: 9to5Mac Apple Products pages

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It is the holiday shopping season again, and we know many of you will be looking to buy Apple- and Apple-related products this year. To help out, we’re compiling a new section of 9to5Mac called Apple products and separate sections for each of Apple’s lines. Elsewhere, we have seen buying guides, pricing guides, related news and predictions, but we’re wrapping them up into one page per product.

How it works:

1. With the help of our 9to5Toys editors, we’re finding the lowest prices on Apple products in the U.S. and keeping a matrix of the biggest retailers’ prices. Here’s the current static matrix of MacBook Airs.

2. For the last few months and going forward, every post we do on a related product will be propagated to the page so you’ll have a roundup of the latest information on each product line. Additionally, in every post on a topic, you’ll notice a new link to the product section on the right.

3. We’ll also have a record of Apple’s past updates on each product, which should help in estimating the next product cycle.

4. Finally, we have our best predictions on upcoming products from 9to5Mac’s editors headed by Mark Gurman.

Together—this information should help Apple product users and buyers make smart, informed decisions.

Enjoy! Read more

Apple opens its first eBay store for a trial with select refurbished products

Seth Weintraub and Danny DeSilva contributed to this post.

Over the last few weeks, we’ve been posting links to a mysterious Apple refurbished store that appeared on eBay about a month ago and has been hiding in plain sight ever since. Labeled only “Refurbished Outlet” with hidden corporate information and nothing in the way of contact information or a traceable backend, the store gets impressive 99.7-percent positive reviews from buyers. But, there is no information on where devices are coming from.

We thought Apple might be testing the waters to sell refurbished products directly to customers through eBay, and it seems that’s exactly what is happening. We discovered that this is in fact an Apple-run Store within eBay. It is in trial, and it could open the door to much bigger things. No one would go on the record at eBay, however.

Aside from the image fonts above, which are an uncharacteristic wreck, there are many telltale signs of Apple’s direct involvement. Just like Apple’s own refurbished products, the “refurbished outlet” products all have the following:

  • Full one-year warranty
  • Returned to like-new condition
  • iPads/iPods include a new battery
  • Received complete burn-in testing
  • Original OS re-installed
  • Repackaged with manual and cable
  • Final quality inspection by Apple

The prices on the products are also identical to the Apple Store’s refurbished prices across the board (below) Read more

Aerial shots of Apple’s NC Data Center show off 100-acre solar array, Bloom energy cells and new tactical data center[Gallery]

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Wired just published aerial shots of Apple’s data center in Maiden, N.C. from Monday, when construction crews were in the midst of laying foundation for a large structure in a northwest sylvan area, and it appears the company has just begun assembling its Bloom Energy fuel cells for biogas conversion.

According to Wired:

Our flyover captured some pretty clear images of the tactical data center, the massive solar array, and, of course, this new mystery building.

Check out some closeups of the parts below, and Wired for full gallery and details.

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