Apple may be planning to include facial recognition technology in its rumored Siri device, according to CNET. Sources for the report indicated that Apple has “explored putting a camera in its device” with facial recognition technology that could detect who is in a room, and could then activate personal music and lighting profiles.
Apple is “working rapidly” to launch Apple Pay farther and wider in the European and Asian markets, Jennifer Bailey, Apple’s VP of Apple Pay revealed an interview with TechCrunch. While Apple Pay is available in only six countries right now — the U.S., the U.K., Canada, Australia, China, and Singapore — Bailey stated that Apple’s goal is to have Apple Pay available in “every significant market that Apple is in. Bailey confirmed Apple’s plans to expand the service to Hong Kong and across the Asia Pacific region, noting that the company is “talking to many partners” to determine how rapidly the service can be rolled out elsewhere. Leaks in February indicated that France and Brazil may also be on the list for this year, and Apple CEO Tim Cook hinted earlier this month that Apple may also be considering a rollout in India soon.
In our iLounge Deal for today, you can pick up iShowU Instant for Mac for only $12 — that’s 50% off the regular price. This fast and feature-packed screen recorder will help you record what’s happening on your computer and quickly and easily share it. Whether you’re a teacher preparing a class presentation or a gamer wanting to show off your skills, iShowU has you covered, with the ability to share directly to YouTube, Vimeo, and other OS X services, hide your icons and other desktop clutter with a single click, and choose between a quick basic interface or a more powerful advanced mode. You can also view the camera as a classic picture-in-picture view, full screen, or completely hide it, set frame rates as low as 1 fps to create time lapses, and watermark your recordings with text or images.
A new report claims that Apple is working on a Siri-based competitor to Amazon’s Echo, but suggests that the solution will come in the form of a refreshed Apple TV set-top box, rather than the standalone speaker reported earlier this week. A source has told VentureBeat that the plan is to build on the Apple TV to “solve problems with the existing box and remote control,” noting that Apple wants the “Apple TV to be just the hub of everything.” Apple is said to have considered several options, and a standalone speaker was indeed under consideration at one point — however, that option was dropped due to the amount of money Apple has spent on the development of the new Apple TV.
Pixelmator Team’s Pixelmator ($30) has become a go-to app when it comes to editing photos — it’s significantly cheaper than the 800 lb. gorilla that is Photoshop, and delivers most of the functionality that the typical user would need. Further, Pixelmator Team keeps enhancing it, and version 3.5 adds smarter selection tools and deeper integration with the OS X Photos app. The Quick Selection Tool and Magnetic Selection Tool have both been improved to make it easier to make detailed and precise selections, and a new Retouch Extension for Photos lets you take advantage of seriously advanced retouching tools without having to leave the Photos app.
Joby’s GorillaPod Speaker Stand ($40) is designed to hold a Bluetooth speaker, whether to elevate it for a better listening angle, or to keep it away from any kind of undesirable surface. GorillaPod has three flexible, wrappable legs with rubber feet. A platform and cinch cord rest on top of the tripod to firmly hold a small speaker. Underneath that platform is a 1/4”-20 mount, which will allow mountable speakers to attach directly to GorillaPod. Joby claims the tripod can support most Bluetooth speakers weighing up to 2.2 pounds.
Apple’s SVP Eddy Cue reportedly floated the idea of Apple making a bid to buy Time Warner late last year, according to a new report from the Financial Times. Three sources who were briefed on a meeting between Cue and Olaf Olafsson — Time Warner’s Executive VP of Corporate Strategy — at the end of last year revealed that Cue broached the idea of a bid to purchase the media company, although discussions did not go beyond a very preliminary stage and never included any higher-level Apple or Time Warner executives. The purpose of the meeting, held at Time Warner’s Manhattan headquarters, was to discuss ways in which the two companies could build a business relationship, such as including Time Warner’s cable channels in the streaming service that Apple has been developing.
For Thursday’s iLounge Deal, you can get the iOS Coding Mastery Bundle for only $39 — that’s 83% off the regular price. Over 104 hours of top-rated iOS development training will help you break into the booming iOS programming game, with seven courses from Bitfountain covering iOS 9 development, design, core data, layouts, Swift, and submitting to the App Store.
Speck has entered the fray of inexpensive virtual reality viewers with its new Pocket-VR with CandyShell Grip for iPhone 6/6s. Pocket-VR is a foldable, hard plastic viewer that can accommodate an iPhone 6/6s. As part of the package, buyers get the well-reviewed CandyShell Grip case for iPhone 6/6s. Pocket-VR works with compatible VR apps, such as Jaunt and Google Cardboard-compatible apps.
Apple’s 12” MacBook is amazingly thin and portable, but for many users that comes at a cost of limited battery life. Fortunately, Kanex has your back with the GoPower USB-C Portable Battery ($100) — at 15,000 mAh portable USB-C battery pack with enough juice to deliver a full charge to your MacBook. In addition to the USB-C port, a standard USB-A port allows you to simultaneously charge an iPhone, iPad, or other mobile or tablet device, with 2.4A of power for high-speed charging.