After introducing the new iPhone 6, 6Plus and the Apple Watch, this week, Apple announced Apple Pay, a digital wallet, integrated into the new devices that will let you use your phone to pay for purchases online and at the register. Like some credit and debit cards are already doing, the technology uses near-field communications. While pressing your fingerprint to the phone's screen, hold the phone near the credit card keypad at the register and your payment will be accepted. Macys, Walgreens, McDonald's, Subway and Staples are already on board and planning to participate with the service rolls out in October.
Online, Apple Pay will act like PayPal, where you pay for goods by entering your Apple Pay account information, not your credit card number.
The service is free...but the iPhone 6 will set you back $299 (with a two-year carrier contract)
Never miss a bill payment again! From Intuit, the makers of Quickbooks, comes this app that keeps track of your bills and your account balances, and pays your bills for you, automatically and on-time. Get reminders when bills are due and either pay them immediately with the push of a button or schedule a payment. You also receive alerts when your balance is low so you don't get hit with overdraft charges. You can also pay with a credit or debit card, though there is a fee associated...direct account payments are free. The app works even if your bank doesn't offer its own mobile banking app.
Yesterday, Instagram announced the release of their new app that allows you to take high-quality, time-lapse video with your phone. It also takes the “bounce” out of your footage, making it look like you shot it with a Steadicam. No Instagram account required, by the way.
So far, Free in the AppStore
An Android version is in development.
This is the perfect app for parents who are fed up with being ignored or having their calls screened when trying to get in touch with their teen. Once installed on your teen's Android phone, if calls or texts from specific phone numbers are ignored, the phone locks up. It can't call, text email, IM or check social media until the user enters a code to unlock the device. The phone can only call Mom or Dad (or any other predetermined care-giver...as well as 911) to check-in and get the unlock code. So far, its only available for Android ($1.99 per device) but an iOS version is in development.
Manage your homework and assignments from your phone, tablet, PC or on-line. Use it as a standalone organizer or set up a myHomework account to receive alerts on homework, assignments or special class projects. The app also integrates with "Teachers.io", which allows teachers to share information and class announcements, and update schedules and assignments. The app syncs across all platforms so you'll never miss an assignment.
Set up a free account at MyHomeworkApp.com/signup
$4.99 for the premium, ad-free version.
Quite simply, this app has the stream from every radio station, every talk show, everywhere. Unlike individual radio station apps where you only get one radio station's stream or iHeartRadio where you only get some radio stations...this has them all. Even stations you didn't realize were there, like HD2 side-channels, police band scanners, podcasts, and public and college campus stations. Search by radio station, format, host, team, or artist to find a the right station for you. If its streaming online, its streaming on TuneIn.
Also free on your computer: tunein.com
This is a board game that plays on the auto-complete function of many popular search engines. Sort of like Balderdash, the “dealer” reads aloud the first bit of a search query...the players write how they think Google, Yahoo or Bing will auto-complete the search field, then try to guess which of the submitted answers is correct.
For example: “Do the Kardashins...”.
Will the search engine auto-complete the query with “...give to charity”, “...wear hair extensions”, or “...have college degrees”?
$28 at QueryTheGame.com
With NFL training camp 2014 getting underway next week, ESPN has updated it's Fantasy Football app. The new version makes it easier (and possible) to create your team or a league right from the app...in the old version, the "grunt work" was done online or on your computer. The 2.0 version of the app also allows you to invite Facebook friends to join your league, interact through social media, and recieve push notifications and alerts about your team.
ESPN Fantasy Football is free for iOS devices and looks great on iOS 7.
Yesterday, cellphones across the county blared out the familiar Emergency Alert System tones, normally heard on your radio or television. In June, 2012, the National Weather Service, FEMA and the FCC partnered with cellphone carriers to provide Wireless Emergency Alerts, direct to your mobile device. Now, no matter where you are, you can be notified of an emergency.
The service comes standard on new phones and operting system updates, and has limited customizable features available.
If you're in iPhone user, tap the Settings icon, then the Notifications tab.
Android users, open the Emergency Alerts app and go to the Settings menu.
Alerts issued by the President can not be disabled, but you can decide whether or not to be notified of weather emergencies or Amber alerts. For iOS users, it is either "on" or "off". Andoid users can choose whether or not to receive the alerts and whether or not they are accompanied by those jarring alert tones.
Whether you're an eBay novice, or just don't have time or skills to deal with online auctions, eBay Valet handles everything for you. Use the app to take pictures of the item you wish to sell, enter a brief description and the eBay Valet pros will take it from there. They'll value your item, list it, answer questions from buyers, handle payment and send you a postage-paid box for shipping. The app is free for iPhone only. The service costs 30% of the total sale price of your item.
In case you didn't know, Rovio Entertainment released a new Angry Birds game last week. This one is set in medieval times and features knights, swords, wizards and pirates. Warning: It is Angry Birds only in the sense that you recognize the characters...the game play is totally different. Its essentially, the birds and pigs in a Dungeons & Dragons game. Gone are the slingshot and trajectory calculations. In this latest installment, we use the birds and their individual talents, skills and health points to defeat the pigs in face-to-face battle. It takes some getting used to, but it is fun.
Free for iPhone, Android and Windows phones
This is a great father's day gift...either to give to or use on Dad!
Open the app and hold it over your hand, the screen of your phone shows an x-ray image of a hand, so it LOOKS like the phones is looking through your skin, right to the bone. You can scroll the image as you scan over your hand. This is not a REAL x-ray, just a picture. The recently released Update 1.2 includes scans of either hand, either foot, a chest or a skull.
Fool your dad or let your dad fool his grand-kids (and then buddies)!
The official app of the food website UrbanSpoon.com. The app helps you locate restaurants in your area and offers reviews from critics, food bloggers and friends. Browse menus, see pictures of their food, and if the restaurant supports OpenTable, you can make reservations. Search based on location, price, cuisine or rating. If you plan to go out of town on vacation this summer, this app is vital.