Move over, Samsung: Lenovo takes the prize for most shameless Apple ripoff

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If imitation truly is the sincerest form of flattery, then the designers at Lenovo must adore the iPhone 6.

Samsung has caught a lot of flak for—and been taken to court over—some of its iPhone-like smartphone design choices, but nothing the Korean company has ever produced comes close to the shamelessly derivative Lenovo S90. Not only does the S90 seem to take more than a few design cues from Apple’s latest smartphone, but its entire advertising campaign seems to be a carbon copy of Apple’s own.

Take, for example, the image above (found on Weibo, via PhoneArena). If it looks a little familiar to you, that might be because it’s the exact same thing you’ll find on Apple’s iPhone webpage. There are about ten of these images total, and nearly all of them look like they were ripped right from Apple’s website.

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Google Drive for iOS adds Touch ID unlocking, video saving, iPhone 6/Plus support, more

In addition to updating its Maps app with an overhauled design, Google has released a new version of its Drive app for iPhone and iPad users adding support for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus as well as some new iOS 8 features.

The Google Drive file storage app can now be secured using Touch ID so users with supported devices (iPhone 5s, iPhone 6, iPhone Plus, iPad Air 2, iPad mini 3) can unlock the app using the fingerprint scanner. The new version of Drive also includes an extension to “open form and save to Drive in other apps” for iOS 8 users, and videos can now be saved from Drive to the Photos app (instructions below). Google says the new version of Drive for iPhone and iPad also includes full iOS 8 compatibility, bug fixes, and performance improvements.

Google Drive 3.3 for iPhone and iPad is available for free on the App Store. Full change log below. Read more

Review: The Veil from Caudabe is a case that will keep your iPhone 6/Plus thin and protected (Video)

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I’m always looking for the best possible case for my needs. I’m not the type of person that requires a bulky case with a lot of drop protection, but it’s nice to have something there to protect against scratches and small dings. The only option I’ve had in the past is to use a skin. It’s not always the best solution though, as a skin is nothing more than a thick sticker that will eventually start to wear and peel up at the edges.

Recently, I discovered Caudabe and their ultra thin iPhone 6 and 6 Plus case, The Veil. This isn’t the most protective case in the world, but it’s the perfect solution to my problem. It offers the same protection as a skin, with the advantages of a case. If your goal is to keep an iPhone clean and thin, there’s no better option…

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Report: US carriers experience huge surge in VoLTE with iPhone 6/6Plus, 3G calls down one-fifth

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Following the introduction of Voice-over-LTE technology with the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, which increases call quality by routing calls through an LTE network opposed to last generation 3G networks, US carriers have experienced a big increase in VoLTE calls. That’s according to a new report from Newfield Wireless that highlights a decrease for calls over 3G by about one-fifth compared to previous generation iPhones and other LTE-capable devices:

The majority of voice calls made on other 4G-enabled devices are currently routed through legacy 2G and 3G networks, due to the fact that not all networks and devices are optimised to deliver next-generation voice services. iPhone 6 devices are VoLTE-compatible and as a result, U.S. networks have experienced a surge in VoLTE calls since the September launch.

The report also shared some other data points from its research noting a few stats for iPhone 6 and 6 Plus uptake compared to previous generations: Read more

Several new banks get Apple Pay support including USAA, US Bank, Barclaycard, PNC, more

USAA-Apple-Pay-01Update: USAAUS Bank and Navy Federal have just confirmed Apple Pay support starting today. In addition, MasterCard confirmed a roll out for Barclaycard, USAA and Navy Federal Credit Union, while readers report cards from PNC, and M&T Bank also working in Apple Pay.

Ahead of a previously announced Nov. 7 launch for Apple Pay support, a number of users today report being able to load USAA issued cards into the new payment service. We’ve received tips from readers regarding support for USAA Debit MasterCards and a long list of other customers online report support for other card types through the bank.

Apple has yet to update its support document detailing supported banks and card types. Currently the list includes American Express, Bank of America, Capital One, Chase, Citi, J.P Morgan, Merrill Lynch, U.S. Trust and Wells Fargo.

A long list of other supported banks and cards are scheduled to arrive in the coming weeks and months, however. Apple previously said it had signed up approximately 500 banks for Apple Pay in the US. Read more

Apple’s next iPhone 6 rollout starts Nov. 14th, includes Brazil, Colombia and Philippines

 

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If you’ve been eagerly waiting for the iPhone 6 to go on sale in your country, you may be in luck. While Apple has not yet made an official announcement of the next phase in its rollout of the iPhone 6/Plus, we’ve so far spotted that the new phones are scheduled to go on sale in at least ten (and counting) new countries on November 14th. Local carriers have so far announced the November 14th availability of the new iPhones in: Brazil, PhilippinesColombia, Costa Rica, Chile, UruguayGuatemala, Lebanon, Kenya and Nigeria, with Malaysia also looking set to see the phones around the same time …

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Sam’s Club’s Black Friday deal has iPhone 6 for $99 on-contract starting Nov. 15

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A leaked sales flyer for Sam’s Club reveals that the wholesale retailer will begin selling the iPhone 6 for as low as $99 with a new two-year service agreement starting November 15th. The upcoming Black Friday promotion will see each iPhone 6 model on sale for $100 off their standard on-contract prices: 16GB ($99), 64GB ($199) and 128GB ($299). Read more

U.S. court rules that phone passcodes are protected by the 5th Amendment, but fingerprints aren’t

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While Touch ID makes sense for most of us as a secure and convenient way to protect our phones, there is one group of people who may want to stick to good old-fashioned passcodes: criminals.

A Virginia District Court has ruled that while phone passcodes are protected by the 5th Amendment, which says that those accused of crimes cannot be compelled to incriminate themselves, there is no such protection against using a suspect’s fingerprint to unlock a phone …  Read more

MCX’s CurrentC, the infamous Apple Pay competitor, says its already been hacked

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CurrentC, the much discussed infamous competitor to the Apple Pay mobile payments platform, has some more bad press coming its way. According to an email sent out this morning to its pilot program customers, the MCX service has already been hacked. According to the notice, “unauthorized third parties” obtained email address information for an unannounced number of users:

Thank you for your interest in CurrentC. You are receiving this message because you are either a participant in our pilot program or requested information about CurrentC. Within the last 36 hours, we learned that unauthorized third parties obtained the e-mail addresses of some of you. Based on investigations conducted by MCX security personnel, only these e-mail addresses were involved and no other information.

In an abundance of caution, we wanted to make you aware of this incident and urge you not to open links or attachments from unknown third parties. Also know that neither CurrentC nor Merchant Customer Exchange (MCX) will ever send you emails asking for your financial account, social security number or other personally identifiable information. So if you are ever asked for this information in an email, you can be confident it is not from us and you should not respond.

MCX is continuing to investigate this situation and will provide updates as necessary. We take the security of your information extremely seriously, apologize for any inconvenience and thank you for your support of CurrentC.

For those not following the MCX vs. Apple Pay saga, MCX powers a payments platform utilized by key retailers such as WalMart, CVS, and RiteAid. After initially supporting NFC-based payments via Apple Pay and Google Wallet, those aforementioned retailers shut down their industry standard NFC-based payment processing systems in favor of the CurrentC app from MCX.

MCX has since responded to this controversy on its website, and Apple CEO Tim Cook referred to the entire situation as a “skirmish.” Meanwhile, reports have indicated that retailers are playing along with MCX in order to avoid fines discussed in early contractual agreements. Nonetheless, Apple Pay has already amassed over a million activations, becoming the most ubiquitous mobile payments platform in just about a week.

MCX has confirmed that the email to customers is legitimate and said the following:

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Apple responds to CVS & Rite Aid blocking Apple Pay for CurrentC

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Apple has provided the following statement to Business Insider when asked about CVS and Rite Aid both blocking Apple Pay at their checkout terminals:

The feedback we are getting from customers and retailers about Apple Pay is overwhelmingly positive and enthusiastic. We are working to get as many merchants as possible to support this convenient, secure and private payment option for consumers. Many retailers have already seen the benefits and are delighting their customers at over 220,000 locations.

Earlier today CVS confirmed in a statement to CNBC that it will not be accepting Apple Pay after users previously reported being able to the chain’s NFC terminals: Read more

Leading NFC terminal maker Verifone encourages merchants to enable Apple Pay

If you’ve ever made a contactless credit card payment in a retail store, you’ve likely run into a VeriFone NFC-terminal: recent estimates put it at approximately 60% global market share for EMV payment terminals, for example. Today, the company is launching a new campaign along with payment processing company Vantiv that encourages Verifone’s massive network of clients to upgrade their terminals and get ready for Apple Pay: Read more