Details on iPhone SE Being Shown Monday; Preorders and Update for PlayStation VR

The iPhone SE will look almost identical to the iPhone 5s on the outside. says the updated 4 inch iPhone, which will be shown Monday, does have less shiny edges and slightly curved glass, but otherwise is a dead ringer for the 5s. Inside, however, it’s a whole different thing…the SE will sport the fast A9 processor and M9 chip, so it will offer ‘Hey Siri’ always on support, as well as an NFC chip for Apple Pay and a 12 megapixel camera that records 4K video. It will have 16 and 64 gig memory, and include the Rose Gold color option of the 6 and 6s. Best….it starts at $450.

Sony has announced that you can preorder the PlayStation VR starting next Tuesday. We reported earlier this week that the VR would be $399, but that’s not including camera or controllers. Now, according to, Sony has clarified that an official launch bundle will be available for $499 including PlayStation Camera, a couple Move controllers, and PlayStation VR Worlds game. The limited preorders start at 10am Eastern, 7am Pacific Tuesday, so get ready. Another preorder window will open this summer. The system should be here by the holidays 2016.


A Killer App for Apple Pay & Better Battery Life

We’ve noted that while Apple says they hope to have half the top 100 retailers signed up for their iPhone based payment system by year’s end, they’re a long way away. Something shown at WWDC may be the proverbial killer app to energize the system. points out that Apple announced a new partnership with Square. Square will make a new card reader for small businesses that will take Apple Pay by NFC, or the regular old credit card swipe.

Something long clamored for by users is better battery life. iOS 9 rolls out improvements that will give an extra hour of use without doing anything differently. In addition, reports there’s a new low power mode that Apple claims will net you an additional 3 hours of battery life on iPhones and iPads. It turns off processes under the hood, and Apple claims it won’t restrict your usage as much as the Android low power mode does. That said, Google is expected to give users more battery savings in the upcoming Android M.

The Larger ‘iPad Pro’ Will Have A New Screen

It’s rumored to be out in 2016, and reports that the so-called iPad Pro will feature a silver nanowire touch panel for its 12.9 inch screen. Apple has reportedly requested material samples from at least 3 different display makers. Silver nanowire panels are more flexible, and could better sense fingertip pressure, bringing Apple Watch style Force Touch tech to the iPad. The Pro model will also have NFC, making it useful as a receiving terminal for Apple Pay.

The C.H.I.P computer project intends to make a super cheap pocket sized computer reality. Next Thing Co. is talking ACTUAL cheap….like $9 cheap! says they planned to raise 50 grand on Kickstarter, but raked in over $664,000. The Raspberry Pi is a computer on a small, hand-sized board, and was a game changer at $35. Imagine something half the size at 9 bucks! C.H.I.P has a 1 gig CPU, 512K of RAM, 4 gigs of storage, and runs Linux.

LG’s Urbane Smartwatch Gains Independent Phoning

LG has upgraded it’s new Watch Urbane already. says it can call on LTE without a phone, make NFC payments, and use mobile data…but it has a third the battery life of a phone. It also has a two way radio feature-calling Dick Tracy! LG will show more of it at Mobile World Congress in March.

Future iPhones will be harder than ever for thieves to unload. reports that Apple has patented a feature that requires the passcode to shutdown. Otherwise, the phone LOOKS shut down, but still transmits its location to Find My iPhone.

Amazon has filed patents for actual on demand delivery. According to, they would print at a warehouse or even show up with a truck, and 3D print the item for you on the spot.

Samsung Continues to Move Out of High End Smartphones

Samsung continues to regroup, and now will drop one of their best phones,  the metal Galaxy Alpha, in favor of cheaper phones. says poor battery life and the cost doomed the model.

Riding on the success of Apple Pay in the US, the Cupertino giant is in talks to launch the smartphone based NFC payment system in Britain in the first half of 2015. reports that banks there may be an easier sell than users.

Kim Dotcom’s company Mega may be getting ready to launch a fully encrypted video call service. says the browser based service will include high speed file transfers.

Apple Pay is Growing At Warp Speed

Apple Pay is making inroads in mobile payment, and fast. says the NFC payment system on iPhone 6 and 6 Plus now will work with bank cards accounting for 90% of dollars spent.

On a related note, the reports that Samsung is planning to launch an Apple Pay competitor. They are said to be in talks with mobile payments startup LoopPay. Recode says the service will roll out next year. says Google has released its search stats for the year, and in the gadget category, 7 out of 10 were smartphones. The iPhone 6 was most searched for, followed by the Galaxy S5 and Nexus 6.

Magnetic Accessories Don’t Agree with iPhone 6 cautions to stay away from accessories with magnets for iPhone 6 and 6 plus. They interfere with the camera and NFC…better known as Apple Pay.

Indiegogo has launched a new service called Life, for funding life events and raising money for individuals…not charities. says it will be a good option to help a family in need.

Users that signed up for Skype Translator can now give it a go. says real time translation is live between English and Spanish for voice, adding to the 40 languages via instant message.

Amazon Prime Adds Free Photo Storage

You can never have too many backups, and now if you have Amazon Prime, you get unlimited photo storage in the cloud, according to Note that this will work on PCs, Android, and iOS, but not yet on Macs. Amazon says that’s coming. Keep in mind that cloud storage is great for convieninece, but do keep a local backup or 3 of your pictures.

Apple Pay has grabbed a big chunk of the pay with your phone market, even though Google Wallet was already available. Now, reports that Windows phone users can make payments at NFC retail terminals with the Softcard app.

HP is taking orders for a new gaming laptop to compete with Alienware models. says the big plus for the $1500, 15.6 inch touch screen rig is that it’s noticeably thinner than Alienware machines. It will ship this month.

New Edge Phablet Coming From Samsung

Samsung continues to roll out phones and phablets with their edge second screen. says the Galaxy Note Edge will be available November 14th. It’s basically a Galaxy Note 4 with the edge screen, then a 5.6 inch primary screen.

It’s going to get easier to pair smartphones with more car models. reports that car makers are working with NXP Semiconductor, and you should see NFC chips in 2016 model cars. Just tap and your connected…and no keys needed, either.

Speaking of no key, Starwood hotels are introducing keyless entry to rooms, and the ability to bypass checkin. says you book with an app, and get a code on your phone when the room’s ready. The service will start later this week.

Fire TV Stick-Amazon’s Answer to Chromecast & Roku

Amazon has launched Fire TV Stick. says the Chromecast and Ruku streaming stick competitor is $39, but you can preorder it for $19 the next two days if you have Amazon Prime. It will ships November 19th.

Apple is in talks to expand their NFC reach for iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. says they’re angling to integrate HID and Global building keycards, and transit fare cards. Forget your BART card or key card to get in the building…just bring your iPhone.

Your phone company will hate it, but in Britain, Swytch is building an app that allows multiple, simultaneous phone numbers on a phone with one sim card. reports the app would allow for business and personal numbers on one phone, use of a ‘burner’ number if you were selling something, etc. It will work on iOS and Android, and on tablets with cellular as well. Expect it to be here early next year.