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The mobile wallet is becoming one of the holy grails for any company even remotely tied to smartphone payments, and Thursday saw PayPal step into the fray in a big way with a completely updated version 5.0 of its iOS and Android app. Will eBay's e-commerce service be able to knock Google Wallet and Isis aside and capture the crown? Read on to find out more and then try it for yourself.
PayPal announced an all-new design for its iOS and Android apps on Thursday that reinvents the payment service as an all-in-one mobile wallet, complete with the option to pay from existing credit cards just by scanning them into your account, "vastly improved" in-store shopping and even the ability to order ahead from supported restaurants or cafes. Running low on cash? The PayPal app now includes the ability to apply for a Bill Me Later line of credit from the palm of your hand. Don't worry -- managing your existing PayPal balance is still there as well, and judging from the video app tour, it looks like Google Wallet may have an even harder time gaining any traction now.
Whether you're a musician, podcaster or audio guru, you'll need an interface to connect to iOS devices or Mac computers. The folks at IK Multimedia have just released a universal audio and MIDI interface called iRig PRO, a compact, pocketable gadget that promises to make the connection no matter what you're using. Priced at $149.99, the iRig PRO is billed as "the first full-featured compact audio and MIDI interface" that works with XLR microphones, guitars, keyboards or other line-level sources and MIDI controllers. iRig PRO even comes equipped with phantom power for pro condenser microphones, an input gain control and three types of cables -- Lightning, a 30-pin dock connector and USB, available for order now from the IK website and coming soon to music retailers nationwide.
The Google Drive Blog announced Thursday that the iOS app is getting a facelift, featuring Android-style browsing and preview of files in a "card-style thumbnail layout." The update also makes it easier than ever to copy a link to any file stored on Google Drive, and search is now more prominent than ever -- in addition to file names, the app searches text in scanned documents and even objects within images stored in the cloud. Now you might actually have a reason to fill up that 15GB of free storage the search giant generously threw your way...
Path announced Thursday a trio of new features for its latest version 3.2 update, including a Premium tier that gives paid users unlimited access to free sticker packs and camera filters. Priced at $14.99 per year or $3.99 for three months, the optional upgrade also ominously lists "support an ad-free network" among its benefits, hinting that the app may soon find other ways to monetize its users. On a more positive note, the update introduces Private Sharing with one or multiple users as well as Inner Circle, which separates your closest family or friends from the rest of the pack for an even more intimate sharing experience.
Productivity app maker Readdle announced Thursday that a brand-new version of its popular Calendars+ is on the way and will be touching down in the App Store on September 12. Calendars 5 is an entirely new universal app for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad that uses natural language input, complete with an integrated task manager that stays in sync with the built-in Reminders app. While you're waiting, the existing Calendars+ is available free until Calendars 5 goes live with a 20 percent launch discount; existing users will be required to repurchase the new version rather than download an update.
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