Four Major Retailers Have Disabled NFC Payments

NFC-Google-Wallet

Most merchants have disabled the ability to use NFC in response to Apple’s new Apple Pay. Not only are they not allowing Apple Pay, they are completely disabling or tweaking their NFC card readers to disallow NFC payments. Along with that, it will disable cards that have NFC chips enabled in them.

Here’s a list of places that already disabled NFC payments:

  • Walmart
  • Kmart (They are trying to go out of business)
  • 7-Eleven
  • Best Buy
  • CVS
  • Rite Aid

There is a reason they are disabling this. The retailers through a joint venture have decided to build their own mobile payment app. This one does not use NFC however, it uses QR codes. Really? Their app is called CurrentC, but there is one large problem. No bank is backing this app. Payments will be processed via your bank account and routing number. Very secure right?

Now lets list all the currently confirmed CurrentC partners:

  • Walmart
  • Gap
  • Old Navy
  • 7-Eleven
  • Kohls
  • Lowes
  • Dunkin Donuts
  • Sams Club
  • Sears
  • Kmart
  • Bed, Bath & Beyond
  • Banana Republic
  • Stop & Shop
  • Wendys

That’s a lot of places. But why QR codes? Why not just use the NFC readers they already spent a ton of money rolling out company wide?

Starbucks Finally Updates App to Support QHD Devices

StarBucks

It’s a long time coming, but Starbucks has finally updated their app to support QHD devices. With millions of QHD screens on the market, It would only make sense to finally address them. Praise from LG G3 and Samsung Note 4 owners rang out on the web the other night when they began to receive the update. This is the main reason it has kept me from going to Starbucks.

Along side that, Starbucks added a small list of features that many goers have asked for in the previous months.

New Features Include:

  • Digital Tipping
  • Shake to Pay
  • Fresh UI

Thoughts?

Android 5.0 Announced!

devices

Android 5.0 is officially here. Along with this, Google has also announced the newest line of Nexus devices. Also, the Android L preview has been updated to include the final release of the Lollipop API.

Starting in the coming weeks, Nexus line devices will begin to see the OTA update. Currently, you can download the update to flash via adb for the Nexus 5 & 7. Other Nexus & GPE (Google Play Edition) line devices will begin to see the latest update roll out to them in the coming weeks / month.

Nexus 6: It’s finally here.

Nexus 6

Specifications:

  • OS: Android 5.0
  • CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 (2.7GHZ quad core) SOC with a Krait 450
  • GPU: Adreno 420
  • Screen: 5.96” 2560×1440 QHD AMOLED display (493 ppi)
  • Audio: Dual Front Facing Speakers
  • Rear Camera: 13MP with OIS, Dual LED ring flash, f/2.0 aperture, & 4K Video at 30fps
  • Front Camera: 2MP
  • Battery: 3220mAh
  • Size: 82.98mm x 159.26mm x 10.06mm
  • Weight: 184 grams
  • Network:
    2G/3G/4G LTE
    GSM: 850/900/1800/1900 MHz
    CDMA: Band Class: 0/1/10
    WCDMA: Bands: 1/2/4/5/8
    LTE: Bands: 2/3/4/5/7/12/13/17/25/26/29/41
    CA DL: Bands: B2-B13, B2-B17, B2-29, B4-B5, B4-B13, B4-B17, B4-B29
  • Wireless:
    Broadcom 802.11ac 2×2 (MIMO)
    Bluetooth 4.1
    NFC
  • Storage: 32GB & 64 GB (actual formatted capacity will be less)
  • Ports:
    Micro USB
    Nano SIM
    3.5mm audio
  • Sensors:
    Accelerometer
    Gyroscope
    Magnetometer
    Ambient Light Sensor
    Barometer

Twitch arrives on Chromecast!

twitch

Even though the Cast SDK has been open to the public for about a month now, there has been no implementation from Twitch.

Until now.

An independent developer has created a app for Android called TwitchCast. This very simple app now allows users to cast Twitch to their TV’s. Over the past few days I have been using this app with no flaws, everything is smooth and the same quality when using the Source option. If you have bad internet be sure to check out the other lower options. Unfortunately, they only apply to users who are Twitch partners. Recently Twitch did announce the availability of multiple quality streams to non-partner users during off-peak hours. Bottom line, Unless you know they are a popular streamer, don’t attempt to use any other options other than source.

If you are looking for a web based version to cast Twitch, look no further. TwitchCast Web

Nexus 4 Vs. iPhone 5: Value Over Time Examined.

One thing that has plagued Android ever since its inception is the value the phone holds after a duration of time. However, there are one line of phones that consistently hold their value even a year after they have been on the market. Let us take a step back and examine the Google Nexus line of phones.

When thinking of a phone that retains its value, everyone instantly thinks the iPhone. Well I am here today to tell you this doesn’t hold up.

Nexus 4

nexus4 

When the Nexus 4 was launched in November 2012 the phone was launched in two models. First model, 8GB at $299 and 16GB at $349. This is one of the few phones that have ever been released under the “normal” MSRP of $649.99. This phone was supposed to be a cheaply subsidized phone for hardcore android enthusiasts. What it turned into? A low budget powerhouse for anyone who wanted a phone off contract. Up until November when the Nexus 5 Launched users where still able to sell their phones for $249 and that meant they would pretty much sell the phone back at the same price they bought it. Lets see if iPhones can do this still.

iPhone 5

iphone5 

When the iPhone 5 launched in September of 2012 the phone was launched in 3 different models. 16GB for $649.99, 32GB for $749.99, and 64GB for $849.99. This phone is a standard example of the $649.99 MSRP price. This phone was the sixth generation iPhone. Most of the iPhones that are being sold in the model above are either 32GB or 64GB*. That’s almost half of the value lost of a phone that was launched at almost identical times and has a successor already on the market!

*All statistical data was provided from Swappa on 2/13/2014

Android News

Over the past few weeks a few things have changed in the Android game. First, Nexus line being killed off. Second, Motorola being sold to Lenovo.

RIP Nexus?

We have been hearing rumors about the Nexus line getting the boot. This looks promising now that Motorola has now just been sold.

Goodbye Google-Motorola

Google just posted this on their twitter. RIP.

Change is in the air for Android, For better or for worse?