Amazon apparently set to launch Square-competitor in August as it develops biometric payment solutions

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Amazon could be preparing to launch its own mobile credit card reading hardware in the coming weeks, according to internal Staples documents hinting at such a launch that we’ve obtained. According to the documents, Staples stores will prepare next month to stock a new product called the “Amazon Card Reader” alongside existing card readers from Square, PayPal, and Staples’ own in-house brand. The small hardware, which will likely connect to smartphones to process payments, will cost $9.99, according to the Staples internal sales systems…

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PayPal reportedly planning to integrate iOS 8’s Touch ID API in mobile payment app

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When Apple unveiled the Touch ID API during its WWDC keynote earlier this week, users and developers alike immediately started considering possible uses. It seems PayPal was also quite interested in putting the fingerprint technology to work in its mobile app.

According to Business Insider, several PayPal developers attended a WWDC session on the new API and the company is actively considering its implementation. The idea here is likely to get a head-start on Apple, which is currently said to be working on its own mobile payment service in conjunction with several major payment processors.

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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