About Ben Reid





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Ben has blogged 5329 post(s).

Posts by Ben Reid:

Thanks to iOS 8.1, Apple Pay is now ready for prime time use, and although many retailers are still readying the hardware in preparation for NFC-based payments, many outlets have already fitted these terminals in advance of the software update. One of Apple’s partners for the new initiative is McDonald’s, purveyor of burgers in buns among other delicacies, and if you’re wondering how an Apple Pay transaction might play out at the renowned fast food chain, then the clip below will give you an idea.

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Apple has just revealed the details of its quarterly earnings for the fourth fiscal quarter of 2014, which covers the three months leading up to September 27th. Bolstered by strong early iPhone 6 and 6 Plus sales, the figures make for impressive reading, particularly for those with a stake in the company, and with both profits and revenue up on this time last year, things are shaping up very nicely ahead of exciting new products like the Apple Watch.

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One of the major announcements at last month’s Apple event – aside from the introduction of two new smartphones and the company’s inaugural smartwatch effort – was that of Apple Pay, a contactless, NFC-driven system that would allow iOS 8 users to seamlessly pay for goods at a wide selection of outlets. As excited as we were about this significant new initiative, Apple did make it clear at the time that Apple Pay wouldn’t be hitting the scene until this month. With iOS 8.1 now upon us, we’re likely to witness a rapid, concerted effort to support the new infrastructure, and this has begun quite close to home today with an update to the Apple Store app.

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This is just in. iOS 8.1 download links are now live by Apple. The roll-out of iOS 8.1 has been on the cards for a while now, and although the central feature of the new release has long been considered as Apple Pay, this rather significant update has plenty of other enhancements besides. Now, after a few weeks wait, it’s been primed and ready for download, and as well as direct firmware links for every single iOS 8.1-ready device, you’ll also find all of the relevant details after the leap.

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Here’s how to setup and use multi-user accounts in the latest Android 5.0 Lollipop for smartphones, complete with step by step guide.

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The wait is over. You can now download Mac OS X 10.10 Yosemite final for your Mac right now. Apple’s OS X 10.10 Yosemite was announced all the way back at this year’s WWDC event in June, and since then, we’ve followed its progress continually as it has sauntered through the Developer Previews and Public Betas. Recently, it reached Golden Master status, and with a couple of further GMs having subsequently rolled out as the Cupertino applied the finishing touches, Yosemite is finally ready for the masses. The FINAL release is now upon us, and we’ve all the details of how you can get hold of it right here.

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As expected, Apple has just taken the wraps off the iPad mini 3, and whilst the smaller of Apple’s tablets hasn’t been given all that much attention during the build-up to today’s events, we can now sit back and assess some of the many new features that have been bundled into this refresh. There is, as also suspected, a Touch ID fingerprint sensor, and with a number of other quirks to be enjoyed, we’ve got the full run-down after the leap.

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The second-generation iPad Air, which is now the sixth 9.7-inch slate that Apple has brought to the fore, has finally been unveiled, and as well as Touch ID, the faster processor and all of the other bells and whistles that we’ve long presumed would be present, there are a few surprises thrown in for good measure. Full details can be seen below.

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Social media, particularly the likes of Twitter and Facebook, have become essential figures in modern media and communication, and although discussions on numerous topics occur at all times, major disasters prompt a notable spike in overall activity. The problem is that while disorganized, free-for-all chatter is fine in most instances, it simply doesn’t resonate with the general panic that coincides with catastrophe, and so to help bring an element of formality to proceedings, Facebook has added a novel feature that allows users of the network to log their “safety status” when caught up in a potentially hostile, dangerous, or even life-threatening scenario.

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There’s a famous little spot outside the Android Team’s headquarters that hosts the various statues of Android mascots through the generations. To mark the unveiling of Android 5.0 Lollipop, the mascot is back once again and grinning from ear to ear, which isn’t surprising given that he’s holding a lollipop larger than his body.

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Alongside the as-expected Nexus 6, Nexus 9 and Android Lollipop 5.0, Google has also showcased Nexus Player, a new set-top box that doubles up as a console allowing players to get their game on with the hundreds of thousands of titles available over at the Play Store.

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It’s been a busy day today as far as Google is concerned, and alongside the all-new Nexus 6, the Mountain View outfit has drafted in the services of Taiwan-based HTC for its next major tablet. With the Motorola-made Nexus 6 set to be the first handset running on Android Lollipop right from the get-go, the Nexus 9 will follow suit for the larger occupants of the mobile world, and given that it’s made by HTC – designer of some highly-regarded smartphones over the past couple of years as you may recall – we’ve been very intrigued to take the wraps off this particular slate. Now, Google has put paid to the rumors, offering glimpses of the tablet as well those all-important specs, and here, we dig through them all to see if it has justified the hoopla.

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Numerous leaks of the Motorola-made Nexus 6 in the run-up to today’s official announcement have pointed to a device almost identical to the new Moto X but with a larger display. In essence, that’s exactly what we’ve been treated to today by the search giant, whose exciting new phablet is said to be designed for the all new Android Lollipop, and we’ve got all of the key details and information right here.

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Smart home products have risen in prominence over the past couple of years in particular, and thanks to crowd-sourcing sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo, these seamless home automation gadgets continue to gather steam. The August Smart Lock, which was first introduced last year, has just begun shipping to those who pre-ordered, and if you wish to get your hands on a unit, you can do so right now for the price of $250.

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HDR or High Dynamic Range photography has long since aided those looking to take snaps in low light, but while the HDR setting has been available on iPhone from the 2010 introduction of the iPhone 4, video is quite a different matter. But for those in ownership of the iPhone 6 or the iPhone 6 Plus, help is at hand courtesy of a new, third-party app, which shoots video in HDR and can, when tweaked properly, offer a better standard of output versus Apple’s stock software.

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This week is already shaping up as a busy one thanks to Apple’s confirmed event at Town Hall, but according to reports and rumors, Google could well be poised to steal the show with a major roll-out of its own. Android L, which we first saw at this year’s I/O event, is a rather significant bump on the current Android KitKat, and although the Big G has said very little on this topic, October is the search giant’s usual month of choice for such announcements. With Android L seemingly imminent, users of Samsung devices will be looking on with a keen interest, and now, we’ve a leaked roadmap that indicates which of the Korean outfit’s line-up will be seeing new software, and perhaps more importantly, when.

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Apple’s iPhone 6 has already sold tens of millions of units across the globe, and with some 20 million Chinese consumers having also secured themselves a unit in the run-up to the launch in China later on this week, we’re still not able to put a ballpark figure next to the device’s success. But given the popularity, Apple is regularly faced with imitations, and now Lenovo, which is currently in the process of purchasing Motorola from Google, has come through with a mid-range handset that appears an almost carbon copy of the mobile industry’s current must-have.

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Apple has yet another big media event scheduled for later on this week, and just as was the case in the run-up to last month’s shenanigans, tech fans and commentators are rummaging around for evidence of what might be showcased in three days’ time.

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Last week, Apple dropped the second Golden Master Candidate of OS X 10.10 Yosemite alongside the fifth Public Beta, with the third GM arriving shortly thereafter. To bring the Beta Program right up to date, OS X Yosemite Public Beta 6 has just rolled out, which should, in terms of features, be basically identical to the latest build on the Developer Program. Full details, though, can be seen right here.

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Within iOS 8, the typing experience has improved dramatically. Not only has Apple now made it possible for users to download their favorite third-party offerings like Fleksy, Swype and SwiftKey, but the native keyboard is also far superior to the lackluster native arrangement that users have endured for the past seven years. The autocomplete feature, in particular, will estimate the next word in your sentence, writing out your body of text through a combination of guesswork and learned algorithms. But while this is useful for your everyday typist, one YouTuber has taken things a step further by allowing the stock feature to essentially write its own song. The result is pretty hilarious, and below, you can check it out.

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