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Apple Pay May Work with All Newer NFC Terminals, Including in Europe

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The New York Times has a helpful article that narrates writer Mike Isaac's spending a day using Apple Pay. His experience varied widely, going off without a hitch at some businesses and causing a bit of confusion at others. His best experience was at Whole Foods, where the clerk estimated that three out of every 20 customers use Apple Pay. At Babies "R" Us he never did get it to work after waving his iPhone four times. At some places the clerks were familiar with Apple Pay, at others they just gave him a blank look. Overall, he feels that there's room for improvement among the retailers.

But what really caught my attention in this article were two comments that were posted explaining that the newer "chip-and-PIN" credit card terminals apparently accept Apple Pay by default. One person posting a comment said that these terminals are universal in Europe and that he was able to use Apple Pay a number of times there. He just waved his iPhone and it worked.



Tip of the Day: How to Use Widgets

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Apple doesn’t often allow you to modify user experiences. I'm not saying that’s a bad thing, but it’s even more fun when you can! iOS users are now able to modify the “Today” view in the pull-down Notification Center in iOS 8.



ROCKI Makes Your Existing Speakers Wireless Without Bluetooth

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If you already have made an investment in speakers and want to turn them into wireless ones, there are a few options. You could get a Bluetooth adapter, but you would have to deal with the latency and distance limitations of that technology. On the high-end, there are SONOS speakers which use Wi-Fi instead of Bluetooth, but they are expensive and don't take advantage of your existing speakers.



You Can Now Analyze Wind Speed with the iPhone!

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It never ceases to amaze me what you can do with an iPhone, especially when paired with add-on accessories. Case in point, Vaavud makes a Smartphone Wind Meter ($40) that attaches to an iPhone, iPad, or Android phone. Unlike most accessories that connect via Bluetooth or Lightning, this gadget connects via the audio-in jack, just like the Square credit card reader. Because newer iPhones have the audio jack on the bottom, you flip the phone upside down and run their companion app while holding the iPhone in the air.



Roto: A Simple Puzzle Game to Test Your Wits While Having Fun

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If you are a sucker for addictive, challenging games, then you just found yourself one. Whether you are simply killing time, aiming for bragging rights, or love pushing your limits, Roto (free) can get your competitive spirits going with its simple yet challenging mechanics.



How to Follow an Interest on Pinterest (as opposed to Following a Pinner)

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Some people say that Pinterest is the new Google. People head to Pinterest to search for project ideas, recipes, and news about their favorite topics. Using the Follow Interest tool, you can easily find new pins about your favorite topics without following other pinners one at a time. Pinterest will find the most popular pins from all of of the users who are posting about the topics you love and display them in your Pinterest feed. I've used this feature to find new pinners to follow and find more great pins about my favorite topics: health & fitness, technology, and DIY. 



Tigris Shell Stand Case is a Minimalist Case With a Twist

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With a slim and elegant phone like the new iPhone 6, you might not want to keep it in a case. But that leaves it exposed to scratches or worse. In that case you might want a slim case like the Tigris Shell Stand Case from Draco Designs. This soft polymer case covers the back and most of the edges of the iPhone 6 but what I like best about it is the leather back. It adds a touch of luxury, which is especially true of the white model.



CloudOn Adds On-Device Document Editing

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CloudOn was one of the early, free, mobile-editing solutions to come to iOS (see our previous review here). The software provided access to a virtualized office suite of editors, which meant that you had to be exclusively online to use it. In terms of document editing, however, it was full featured and could sync docs to several popular cloud services like Dropbox, OneDrive, and Google Drive. In October the app was updated markedly, adding the ability to locally edit documents. Kudos are in order— it's a big plus for iOS users, but the other editors still need a bit more work.



Tip of the Day: How to Follow a Conversation Thread on Facebook Without Commenting

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There are several reasons why you might want to see comments on a Facebook post—I often want to see comments if the poster is asking a question I'd like to know the answer to.  

You can receive notifications about future comments by leaving a comment yourself—I often see people comment "following" or "commenting because I'd like to receive updates" on Facebook status updates—but Facebook recently made a change so you can easily subscribe to updates without commenting on a thread. Here's how to follow a Facebook thread and receive notifications of comments without leaving a comment.



CES 2015: What to Expect

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CES 2015 is just around the corner and the iPhone Life team will be bringing you live, on-the-ground coverage of what is the largest international gathering in the tech industry. According to the Consumer Electronics Association, this sprawling event will cover over two million square feet and is expected to attract well over 150,000 industry professionals to the city of Las Vegas. CES 2015 is sure to offer plenty of surprises as well as previews of some amazing new technology. Read on after the break for some of our CES predictions and a glimpse into what we can expect from this year's grand event.



AfterShokz Offers an Open Ear Alternative to Earbuds

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There are earbuds, on-ear headphones, and over-ear headphones, but I was surprised to see the Open Ear wireless Bluetooth headphones from AfterShokz, dubbed BLUEZ 2 ($99.95). These attractive headphones use the bone conduction technology whose origins go back to Beethoven and you might find today in a Navy SEAL's communication system. The result is, you hear the music through the inside of your head, and more importantly, your ears are uncovered. If you're riding a bicycle, for example, you can safely hear traffic with the AfterShokz. They could even help some hearing impaired users the same way Cochlear Implants can help them "hear" the world around them.



TP-LINK 10400mAh Power Bank Serves with Distinction

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There are a lot of portable battery packs out there, so to distinguish themselves, battery makers have to offer a combination of features that are unique. The TP-LINK 10400mAh Power Bank does so in a few areas. First, obviously, it offers 10,400mAh of power. That's a lot and rarely found in such a compact unit. The result is, you can recharge your iPhone up to five times. This is possible not just because of the battery size, but the energy efficiency of the charger.



The TravelCard Charger—No Bigger Than a Couple of Credit Cards

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You can never have enough power, or have a battery pack that's too thin, at least that seems to be the design methodology for the TravelCard Charger ($39), and I appreciate it. It's a simple concept, a battery charger the same size as a couple of credit cards. Many have tried, but to keep the size and weight down they don't include a Lightning cable and often use plastic which feels flimsy, and if it's to be kept in a wallet in the pocket, could break.



Tip of the Day: How to Remove Your Location From Instagram Photos

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I love Instagram because of it's fun visual nature. I can scroll through my friend's pictures, quickly double-tap to like, and even leave a comment if I want to. What I don't love about Instagram is how easy it is to accidentally add location information (longitude and latitude of the device you're posting from) to your photos, which can be dangerous—especially for teens who are using the social media network. Here's how to remove your location from Instagram photos. 



Get the Party Started With the ION Party Starter Bluetooth Speaker

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My kids wanted to setup the basement as the kid version of a Man Cave. Part of their wishlist included a disco ball and laser light show, along with a Bluetooth speaker. Fortunately, I was able to get the appropriately named ION Party Starter. At only $39.99, it provided the variety of effects we wanted in one very compact unit.



Proporta Sale Gives You a Chance to Cover Your New Gadget at a Discount

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Your new iPhone or iPad is beautiful but it should be protected. If you didn't get a case this holiday season, Proporta has got you covered, literally. In addition to a wide array of cases and sleeves for iPhones and iPads, they have a 20 percent off sale going on to make those cases more affordable.



Review: Life N Soul Bluetooth Speaker

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Life n Soul has a Bluetooth speaker that is like a mullet...business up front, party in the back. That's because the BM211 Bluetooth Speaker ($79.99) has a no-nonsense speakerphone, suitable for conference calls with multidirectional speakers, so the whole office can participate. There's a clever slot that lets you rest a phone or tablet so you can control your VoIP, phone call, Facetime, or, when it's time to party, your music playlist. I could also see using the stand, and speaker, at trade shows.



Tip of the Day: Turn Off Notifications From a Particular App

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Don’t want to get constant notifications from Facebook or a guilty pleasure game (cough cough Candy Crush)? There are two ways to adjust the settings for your app notifications. The first way is to access the app’s settings. The second way is through the notification settings on your device.



What to Expect from Apple in 2015

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As 2014 comes to a close, we're seeing lots of predictions related to Apple for the coming year. And many enthusiasts (and some market analysts) are expecting great things. It seems a safe bet that we'll see a 12.9-inch iPad in 2015. Lots of rumors have been circulating, and Apple's partnership with IBM is giving Apple's iOS devices more of a presence in the enterprise — which would be a prime market for a larger iPad. Of course, 2015 will also see the launch of the Apple Watch, with estimates suggesting Apple could sell some 30 million. Not only will the new watch make a huge splash in the wearables market, it will finally help bring out some of the potential of Apple's Health app and the HealthKit platform. Both were introduced with much fanfare, but haven't made much of an impression since the introduction of iOS 8 in September. The Apple Watch will likely change that, with its ability to feed data to the iPhone's Health app.



Polaroid Gets Into the ActionCam Game

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When it comes to Action Cams, there's more than GoPro to consider. Polaroid has an absolutely adorable little camera called the Polaroid CUBE ($99.99), which is a perfectly named product. The Polaroid CUBE has Polaroid's trademark rainbow pattern along the sides; the uninitiated might think it's a rip off of Instagram, but the truth is Polaroid had that look decades earlier—I still have my Polaroid 600 Sun camera to prove it.



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