Samsung Pay officially launches in the United States

Buoyed by the concurrent emergence of smartwatches, the mobile payment industry is now in full swing. Apple has made a song and dance of its Apple Pay service, which has gradually reached a number of nations following its Stateside initiation, and now Samsung is joining in the shenanigans. Sammy had promised that its mobile payment system would be ready to rock by September 28th after testing the waters in South Korea, and so it has proved. But as is often the case with these major new features, there are some limitations.

Mobile technology is a fragmented beast, with the user experience likely to vary drastically from device to device. Even within Samsung’s own ranks, you’ve got a wide selection of devices; some running on Android, modded with the company’s own TouchWiz overlay, and others packing Samsung’s emerging Tizen OS. But despite a smartphone roster that seems to add new faces on a weekly basis, only the newest and most powerful devices will be getting Samsung Pay for the time being.
This includes the Galaxy Note5, the flagship Galaxy S6, along with the Galaxy S6 edge and the S6 edge+. AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and U.S. Cellular will support Samsung Pay from today’s inception, but if you’re subbed to Verizon, you’ll have to sit it out for the time being. Away from carriers, a number of banks and credit / debit card vendors are already on board, including the likes of American Express, Bank of America, Citibank, MasterCard and Visa.
The main draw for Samsung Pay over, say, Android Pay or the aforementioned Apple Pay is that it supports NFC (Near-Field Communication) and MST (Magnetic Secure Transaction) infrastructures. The latter is more widely available, meaning that Samsung Pay will work with almost all traditional swipe-card payment terminals. Since Apple and Google only support NFC for now, Samsung users are at a significant advantage, and despite its belated introduction, those wielding a Galaxy S6-era handset will surely favor it over Android Pay.
To sweeten the deal, Samsung is also offering Note5 and S6 edge+ owners a free wireless charger or wallet flip cover, should they activate Samsung Pay before the end of October 11th. To hop aboard, just hit that source link.


BlackBerry Venice to be called the BlackBerry Priv?

A tweet from Evan Blass reveals that the BlackBerry Venice slider, which has captivated many who normally wouldn’t give BlackBerry a second glance, is going to be called the BlackBerry Priv. According to N4BB, their own independent sources have confirmed the new name. The handset, which is powered by Google’s open source operating system, is rumored to be available in November, in time for the holiday shopping season. All four major U.S. carriers are said to be lining up to get a piece of the action.

The Venice (or shall we say the Priv), is rumored to be model number STV100-6. According to the latest rumors, the slider will feature a 5.4-inch screen with a 1440 x 2560 QHD resolution. The Snapdragon 808 chipset is under the hood, containing a hexa-core CPU and the Adreno 418 GPU. 3GB of RAM is inside. The rear-facing camera will be 18MP and will feature OIS.

Now that the name has hit the rumor mill, we are probably closing in on the announcement from BlackBerry that will make this all official. As we noted the other day, the Priv is shaping up to become the most eagerly anticipated BlackBerry handset since the ill-fated Blackberry Storm was launched in 2008.

Apple announces fastest iOS adoption ever …

Well, folks, the new iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus are well on their way and, as usual, the new update to Apple’s mobile operating system – iOS 9 – is already rolling out to supported devices. And the list for supported devices is pretty impressive – going back 4 years to iPhone 4s and iPad 2 and above.

A few of days ago, we heard complaints of iOS 9 causing modern devices, such as the iPhone 5s and iPhone 6, to start performing terribly choppy and slow. Apparently, however, this wasn’t much of a concern for most users, as Apple has just reported that iOS 9 is already downloaded to more than 50% of iDevices – that’s the fastest iOS update adoption in the history of Apple mobile devices. Looking at 3rd party analytics, provided by Mixpanel and GoSquared, we see that iOS 9 is currently displayed as being used on 36% and 33% of devices, respectively. So there’s a 14% – 17% discrepancy there – we’re willing to chalk it up to 3rd party companies lagging behind with their information for one reason or another.

Whichever number you take, however, that’s still a pretty impressive adoption rate in just 5 days after the official roll-out. Looking at Android, according to Mixpanel, Lollipop is just now hitting 37% adoption. And we are, allegedly, a couple of months away from the next big Android update – Marshmallow.

Read more at–the-newest-update-is-already-on-more-than-half-iDevices_id73916#SHi1m5WryyouUICS.99

Apple’s iPad mini 4 gets the teardown treatment, turns out there’s a smaller battery in it as well

To say that the new iPad mini 4 got its fair share of spotlight time during Apple’s latest keynote event will be a serious overstatement. The new member of Apple’s small-sized iPad was only treated to merely 30 seconds of on-stage time. The reason for this were the iPad Pro, the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, which were the true stars of the show.

We already knew it has an 1.5GHz Apple A8 chipset inside, which is aided by 2GB of RAM, but thanks to a recent iFixit teardown, other tidbits of info became clear. For one, it was revealed that the iPad mini 4 has a smaller battery than its predecessor. Whereas the iPad mini 3 hauled a two-cell 6,471mAh battery inside, its successor comes with a thinner, single-cell 5,124mAh one.

Despite the stark difference in the capacity department, Apple claims that the downgrade hasn’t had a detrimental effect on the battery life of the new slate. In fact, Apple claims an endurance of 10 hours for the iPad mini 4, which is the same as the official stamina stats of the iPad mini 3.

Additionally, the teardown revealed that the new slate has “stolen” a few features of its larger peers, like the fully-laminated screen. Some additional changes over the past generation are antennas that are split between the top and the bottom part of the device. The display and the glass on top of it are now fused to one another, making display changes a cumbersome task.

As a result, iFixit awards the new munchkin with a repairability score of 2 out of 10 points, which is not that great. Still, the device is praised for its easily-interchangeable battery, but criticized for the hard to replace display. Check out the insides of the device below.

No, screen protectors won’t break 3D Touch on iPhone 6s/6s Plus

Apple’s 3D Touch tech in the new iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus will make it possible for the phones to discern between a light, medium, and hard tap, allowing for some neat extra functionality. But while that sounds great and all, some insightful people on the web were concerned about the implications: does that mean that touch screen protectors would get in the way? Thankfully, the answer is no.

Lenovo Vibe X3 fully unveiled, could be released in the near future

Lenovo Vibe X3 fully unveiled, could be released in the near future

The Lenovo Vibe X3 is an unannounced smartphone that first showed up way back in February. It appears that the device will soon be available to buy (at least in some regions), as it’s just been approved by China’s Telecommunications Certification Center. Thanks to this approval, we can take a better look at the Vibe X3 and its features.

The new Lenovo smartphone runs Android 5.1.1 Lollipop, and sports a 5.5-inch 1080p display (previous rumors had it that the screen would be a 5-inch one). The handset is powered by a six-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 processor, measures 154 x 76.4 x 9.4 mm, and weighs 175 grams. It’s also got LTE connectivity, dual speakers on the front, 3 GB of RAM, and 32 GB of expandable storage space.

On the back of the Vibe X3, we can see a fingerprint scanner, and a 21 MP camera with dual LED Flash (Lenovo somehow managed to make this combination look like the top of a beer/soda can). As for the phone’s front-facing camera, this is an 8 MP one.

At the moment, there’s no word on where or for what price the Lenovo Vibe X3 will be released. But we’ll let you know when we find out more about this.