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. TechCrunch.com 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, cnet.com 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.


Samsung Finally Going Metal

Samsung will launch it’s first all metal smartphone, the Galaxy Alpha August 4th. 9to5google.com says it will have a 4.8 inch screen and a fingerprint scanner.

With Amazon making major noise about getting into the mobile payment business, tech crunch.com reports that mobile payment power Square has rolled out a reader for the new (to the US anyway) payment cards with embedded microchips.

Three ex-Zynga developers have snagged 2.5 million for their new game studio Juicebox Games. Their first game release, HonorBound, has 3 million downloads and is already generating revenue for the startup.


Order That Takeout From Your Phone

Ordering takeout from your phone just got easier. Techcrunch.com reports that Square has launched a new app called Square Order, which lets you order from nearby restaurants, pay for your food, and then the app pings you when the food’s ready for pickup. Meanwhile, Square has quietly pulled Square Wallet from the App Store.

LG adds to their 8.3 inch tablet by rolling out no less than 3 additional sizes of the G Pad: 7, 8, and 10.1 inch versions will be available soon…maybe this month. 9to5google.com says all use the personalized ‘Knock Code’ screen lock feature.

The Microsoft morality police have struck, and removed the hidden rude emoticons from Skype. Geek.com says Microsoft has known about them, but no reason was given for pulling the trigger on them now. No more fubar or mooning, until someone comes up with a hack!


Another Tech Player Rolls Their Own With the Cloud

Another huge player is getting into designing its own chips. Gigaom.com says Amazon has picked up several ARM chip engineers as they bulk up their cloud services.

Thenextweb.com reports that Yelp has added ‘accepts Bitcoin’ to the attributes of its business listings. Bitcoin fans will be raving about this in reviews.

Speaking of payments, Square will now let merchants collect payments offline and in advance for order pickup. Techcrunch.com says they will be offering a separate Pickup app, so you could order food on the web, then swing by and pick it up.