All Articles by Derek Kessler

19 more banks sign on to Apple Pay, total hits 90

Another week, another batch of banks signing on to offer Apple Pay support for their customers' credit and debit cards. This time we're looking at 19 new banks, with the big one definitely being Morgan Stanley. The newest additions bring the total number of banks supporting Apple Pay to 90, offering millions of customers the opportunity to make payments with their iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus securely and without having to pull out their old-fashioned plastic card.

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Apple's car project said to be self-driving, electric, and unconventionally manufactured

After exploding onto the scene we're learning more and more about Apple's supposed automotive project, which is now said to include self-driving technologies. The vehicle, which has been described as (at this stage) being "minivan-like" is definitely in the gestational stages, with Apple toying around not just with autonomous driving but also electric drivetrains and new manufacturing processes.

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US National Parks and other federal services will support Apple Pay come September

Today saw the United States federal government announce that they intend to support Apple Pay with their own payment cards, but a more consumer-facing Apple Pay implementation is coming as well later this year. According to Apple CEO Tim Cook, speaking at a cyber security summit organized by the White House, various branches of the federal government will start accepting Apple Pay payments in September.

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The US Federal Government's credit cards will soon be Apple Pay-compatible

The federal government of the United States is picking up support for Apple Pay, on both sides of the equation. Not only are Apple Pay-compatible payment terminals coming to your friendly neighborhood federal government agency office, but the federal government is poised to start paying for things with Apple Pay as well.

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Apple's Beats-based streaming service said to be priced at $7.99/month, feature curated tunes

Apple's been rumored to have a new streaming service in the works ever since their $3 billion acquisition of Beats Music, and now we've got just a few more details on what might replace iTunes Radio. One such detail the price, which is said to be currently debating around $7.99/month (higher than competitors such as Spotify or Pandora).

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Sift offers four-way gesture sorting of your email

The newly-released Sift app for iPhone and iPad offers yet another gesture-based method for sorting through your emails. The app, which presents you with one email at a time offers you the option to swipe up, down, left, or right to trigger options including marking the email as read, keeping it, deleting it, adding a star and more. Think of it as Tinder, but for your email.

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Nike's Fuel app now integrates with Health, no longer requires a FuelBand

Nike today updated their long-standing FuelBand app to offer integration with Apple's Health app and services. In the process, the FuelBand app also dropped what has long been a requirement for the app to function: the Nike FuelBand itself. Accordingly, the app is now just "Nike+ Fuel".

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AT&T's newest data plan offers 7GB for $75

AT&T's added another tier to their Mobile Share Value data plans: 7GB for $75. Of course, that's just for the data, but if you're thinking about grabbing a new smartphone at the same time and go with AT&T's Next payment plan option for a new smartphone, they'll cut the $40 smartphone access charge down to just $15/month.

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App Store now highlighting "Pay once & play" games with no in-app purchases

The iPad and iPhone App Store now has a section featuring games that you pay for upfront and then play without ever paying again. It's called "Play once & play," and it's a freemium hater's dream: dozens of excellent games from big studios and independent developers, all free of in-app purchases. You pay anywhere from $0.99 for Almightree: The Last Dreamer or Epic Eric to to $19.99 for Dragon Quest VIII, and and everything in between including Minecraft and the truly-bizarre Goat Simulator.

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BusyContacts brings BusyCal-style contact management to your Mac

If you happen to be in the market for a high-powered contact management app, then you might want to take a look at the newly-released BusyContacts. The app, by BusyMac, makers of the much-loved BusyCal calendar app, brings smart filters, customizable views, integration with the aforementioned BusyCal and more.

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Apple's Campus 2 is being built from the remains of a former HP campus, literally

Apple's enormous Campus 2 building site in Cupertino, CA, has been pretty much off limits since construction began (excepting hard-to-restrict aerial photography), but San Francisco public radio station KQED got a quick on-the-ground tour of the site which, well, it's very much a construction site right now. Lots of concrete and steel and whatnot, just arranged in the ring of the Apple Campus 2 design instead of more traditional right-angled structures.

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Kindle Unlimited expands to Canada for $9.99

Amazon's Kindle Unlimited subscription books service is expanding to Canada for $9.99/month. The service, which offers a library of more than 750,000 books from which to read previously launched in the United States and the United Kingdom at comparable pricing.

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Parallels now supports running Windows 10 inside OS X

Parallels today released an update for their OS X virtualization software that will allow Mac users to download, install, and run the Windows 10 Technical Preview as a virtual machine. Yes, Windows 10 on OS X (ten) through Parallels 10. It's a mouthful, and technically experimental support right now. But it's also another avenue for people to try out Microsoft's latest and greatest OS (itself in a not-quite-finished state) without having to resort to crazy things like partitioning.

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Your Starbucks card can now be reloaded with Apple Pay

Users of the Starbucks app now have an additional option when it comes to reloading their digital Starbucks card: Apple Pay. Starbucks previously support credit and debit cards as well as PayPal accounts. But both depended on storing your information in the app. Apple Pay, obviously, doesn't do that, instead generating a unique one-time-use card number for each transaction.

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Apple crossed $700 billion: Another milestone for the world's most valuable company

Shares of Apple stock today reached another all-time high, which in and of itself isn't shocking — Apple does that on a regular basis — but today market the point where Apple as a company crossed the $700 billion line. Apple has been the world's most valuable publicly-traded company for some time, but its skyrocketing share price has seen it rapidly pull away from every other company on the planet.

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The keys to Apple's to success in China: People, stores, and partnerships

Apple's been making great strides in China, and CEO Tim Cook today elaborated on how. China's been long regarded as a market that should have been challenging for Apple, but the explosive growth seen by Apple in the last quarter was fueled in part by the anticipated iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, but also by massive growth in China.

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Apple's building an $850 million solar farm in California

Apple CEO Tim Cook today announced that Apple is investing $850 million in a brand-new solar farm to power their California operations. The 1,300-acre facility is being built in Monterey County, California, and will produce enough electricity to power all of the new Apple Campus 2, as well as Apple's other offices and retail stores in California, as well as their Newark, CA, data center.

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Apple CEO Tim Cook to speak at today's Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet Conference

Apple CEO Tim Cook will be speaking today at the Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet Conference. Scheduled for 3:30 pm Eastern time (12:30 pm Pacific), Cook's appearance follows a record-setting quarter for Apple, tremendous growth fueled by the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, and a stock price that's hitting all-time highs practically every week.

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Anki's next-gen robot racing game features jumping cars and modular tracks

Anki Drive has long been one of our favorite connected toys, and the next generation — Anki Overdrive — is looking to literally make a huge jump. The highlight of the new Anki Overdrive, due out in September 2015, is a modular track that replaces the roll-out mat of the first edition. The individual segments of the track are held together by magnets embedded in the edges, and can even be assembled to build bridges that cross the track or have gaps that cars must jump.

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Swift 1.2 features an improved compiler and Objective-C interactions

Apple's youngest programming language, Swift, received a fairly substantial update with today's first beta of Xcode 6.3, at least in beta form. The Swift 1.2 beta features an improved compiler that's both more stable and more speedy, as well as new Objective-C (the programming language that pre-Swift iOS apps were built on) interactions for building more capable hybrid apps.

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