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  • Google+ finally gets an API, doesn’t do much yet
    Google+ Platform

    That Google+ would eventually score an API was a forgone conclusion. And, while things have been far from quiet, we haven’t heard much about Moutain View’s plans to open up its social network to third-party access. Well, the first API is finally here and, while it doesn’t offer much in the way of interactivity (simply read access to public data), this is only the beginning. Check out the source links for more details and some sample code.

    Google+ finally gets an API, doesn’t do much yet originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 15 Sep 2011 17:53:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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  • MasterCard demos Google Wallet, QkR platform for mobile payments

    You’ve most likely heard plenty about NFC-capable smartphones, but little in the way of actual real-world uses for the chip. Well, MasterCard’s looking to change all of that, and throw in a few innovations of its own courtesy of its in-house R&D labs and Google. Shown off at an event today, the company demoed the Google Wallet application we first learned about back in May — which is gearing up for an official launch sometime “soon.” Running on Sprint’s Nexus S 4G — with a planned expansion to multiple devices — users can connect a Citi MasterCard account to the service, and tap-to-pay at any retail location outfitted with a PayPass station. The transactions take place as instantaneously as you’d expect, with spending alerts notated automatically in-app, as well as via text message. If you’re the paranoid type or just a spendthrift, the app offers plenty of options to set spending limits, approve / block purchases via category (i.e. dining, entertainment) and enable alerts for overseas activity. Currently, the Google Wallet service is Android-only, and that’s probably a direct result of the AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile backed mobile payment rival, ISIS.

    But the company’s also got one eye fixed squarely on the future — scheming up alternate implementations for payment on-the-go through its MasterCard Labs division. Focusing on its QkR platform (an obvious play on QR codes), these concepts ranged from television audio signals encoded with purchase data, audible to a phone running the QkR app, or fast-food tabletops embedded with NFC and QR codes that’ll allow customers to scan for coupons, order remotely and apply the discount — all without leaving their seats. The most interesting use of the new platform, however, had nothing to do with mobile phone use and everything to do with an Xbox Kinect. Utilizing the gesture recognition tech, items could be selected on-screen by holding your hand over an item and navigating through the checkout process. We know, yet another great proof-of-concept, but tuck away that cynicism for a second — a company representative confided to us that soft-pilot testing of QkR is already underway, with an official announcement slated in the next two weeks. And don’t worry about it being a Google OS-only affair, QkR’s been tested across iOS, Windows Phone Mango and even BlackBerry. Whether or not the innovative payment system’ll launch with all of these mobile OS on-board wasn’t clear, but we were assured there’d be at least two partners on board. Jump past the break to get a close-up view of our hands-on with the future of payment.

    Continue reading MasterCard demos Google Wallet, QkR platform for mobile payments

    MasterCard demos Google Wallet, QkR platform for mobile payments originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 15 Sep 2011 17:32:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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  • Samsung Epic 4G Touch review

    If you haven’t heard about the Samsung Galaxy S II by now, you’re definitely tardy to the party. But as the proverbial saying goes, it’s better late than never, right? The Galaxy S, its predecessor with myriad chassis selections and carrier variants, is still selling like hotcakes all over the world, and the sequel is no lightweight (figuratively) either — selling three million units in 55 days only seems to be rivaled by a company based out of Cupertino — and for good reason. We gave the unlocked version high marks for its excellent performance, gorgeous display and top-of-the-line camera, so it was only natural that we’d spend the next four months wondering when we’d see the powerhouse make it Stateside.

    Don’t get us wrong — we’ve seen our fair share of unlocked Galaxy S II devices proudly shown off in the US (most of them from our own editors, admittedly) because it’s already available at full retail (roughly $650-700) from multiple vendors. However, the Samsung Epic 4G Touch is the first to be offered at a subsidized cost in return for a two-year commitment, and it won’t be the last as AT&T and T-Mobile pull up the rear with their own styles of the same handset. So how does the landmark phone stand up to not only the test of time but several carrier-specific design changes? Are Sprint customers getting a “tainted” version of Sammy’s flagship Android device? These questions have been pondered for months, and we finally have the answers if you keep on reading.

    Continue reading Samsung Epic 4G Touch review

    Samsung Epic 4G Touch review originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 15 Sep 2011 17:00:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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