Could Apple buy Square to accelerate its mobile payment plans?

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Re/code is reporting that both Apple and Google have considered making acquisition offers for payments company Square, with CEO Jack Dorsey said to favor a sale to Apple.

In the last year, both Apple and Google have considered making acquisition offers for Square, according to industry sources familiar with the situation [...]

[Dorsey] believes, sources said, that his company’s design aesthetic and values match up much more closely with Apple than Google …

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A look at what some high-profile apps will look like when iOS 7 hits

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Click for a larger view.

Apple announced on Tuesday that iOS 7 will be publicly available on September 18th. The revamped OS moves completely away from the realistic designs of the past six generations, dropping almost all “artificial shadows” (as Apple SVP Craig Federighi called them), gloss, and even button borders. Instead, the Jony Ive-inspired interface features an entirely rethought design language that focuses heavily on large icons, lightweight fonts, whitespace, transparency, and conservative use of color.

We previously took a look at what some of Apple’s own in-house apps could look like when redesigned for iOS 7. During Apple’s September 10th event, Federighi flashed up a slide displaying the upcoming iOS 7 updates for many third-party applications. None of the apps were labeled, but we’ve tracked down names for most of them.

The apps featured are:

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Opinion: Why I love the iPhone 5s, and why I’ll be sticking with my 4S

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I like my gadgets, and generally consider myself an early adopter. When my friends are looking at buying a new piece of technology, I’m the one they ask as they know I’ll either own it or have tried it.

So you might be surprised to learn that my phone is an iPhone 4S and that after yesterday’s unveiling of the 5s (no, I don’t know why it suddenly became lower-case either), I’m planning to wait for the iPhone 6 before upgrading.

It’s not that the 5s isn’t impressive from a purely technological viewpoint. It is. A 64-bit phone? That’s a pretty incredible achievement. Delegating sensor functions to a separate chip to enable constant use without the usual battery-drain? Brilliant. A truly state-of-the-art fingerprint sensor? Fantastic. A larger phone sensor with lower pixel-density? Exactly the right approach, and I was delighted to see Apple refusing to join in the stupid megapixel race.

But I’m still not going to buy one, and the reason for that is two-fold. Before I get to that, one piece of context. In the U.S., upgrading can be a no-brainer as you end up on the same tariff either way. In the UK, it’s better value long-term to buy the phone outright at full retail (around $1120 for the 64Gb 5s), so you have to balance incremental benefit over other gadgets you could buy with the same money – like a new iPad. So, back to those two reasons … Read more

Apple now offering PayPal for online store purchases starting with Germany

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As first spotted by our friends over at German language publication Macerkopf.de, Apple appears to be rolling out an option to make purchases on the Apple Online Store using PayPal. The feature appears to be limited to Germany currently, but it could mark the start of a broader roll out to other users.

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Apple has never been opposed to offering the option to use PayPal for some services. Users in the U.S. have long been able to setup PayPal as a payment option for their Apple ID on the desktop, allowing them to purchase iTunes content with PayPal on iTunes & the Mac App Store. Apple does, however, already support PayPal payments for its online store in China.

It also allows its education customers to use PayPal for volume purchases of iOS apps, but the privilege didn’t extend to making purchases from the online store at Apple.com.

Apple’s help page for  payments and tax information in Germany now explains how users can opt for PayPal at checkout, but we’ve yet to find the feature live in other countries that we’ve tested.

Users will not have to setup their PayPal as their payment option for their Apple ID, instead they will be redirected to log in using their PayPal username and password at the time of purchase: Read more

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

Xfinity TV Player, DataMan Pro, PaperPort Notes, PDF Expert Enterprise, more

Xfinity TV Player version 1.2: Comcast updated its Xfinity TV Player app today to allow users to download TV shows & movies from the following networks: Starz, Encore, Showtime, and MoviePlex.

DataMan Pro for iPhone version 6.1: A new feature for tracking data used by apps hourly comes in an update to the DataMan for iPhone app today. The app is also 50% off in our deals (below).

・Advanced App Watch. See how much data is being used by each app every hour, every day.

PaperPort Notes version 2.0.0: This free note taking app from Nuance was recently updated with an interesting new feature: the ability to “convert your scanned documents from the camera or photo album into editable text” using the Nuance OmniPage Cloud Service.

PDF Expert Enterprise version 4.2:

• Full compatibility with iOS 6
• Workflow improvements:
o Search inside Briefcase
o “Completed” folder for document reference
o “Always Flatten” policy support when submitting a document
o Confirmation of “Compete” document action

Assassin’s Creed Rearmed version 3.0.1: Read more