Posts by Ryan Faas

Major retails join forces on mobile payments system to fend of Google, PayPal, Isis, and other potential digital wallet competitors like Apple.

In a move that makes the Square/Starbucks partnership announced last week look like small potatoes, a group of national and international retailers announced plans to develop their own mobile payment network complete with mobile apps and digital wallet functionality. The move seems almost certain to shake up the nascent mobile payments market where a wide range of companies and organizations have been trying to figure out the secret sauce that will turn mobile payments into a mainstream retail system for the past couple of years.

The Merchant Customer Exchange or MCX, as the new company is known, plans to deliver a solution that offers convenience in both making purchases and in receiving customizable offers from retailers. Development of a mobile app and payment network are underway, but MCX has yet to announce any details about either the app or its network.

Don’t start your fantasy without checking out these great apps.

The NFL pre-season games are almost upon us with the regular season not far behind. If you’re a fantasy football fan, that means it’s time to join a league (if you haven’t already), research and plan your draft choices, and pick the apps that you’ll use over the course of the season to track all of your key player and team stats as well as to manage your team.

The right tools can make or break a successful season. Here are some of the best apps out there for iOS and Android that can help you keep track of everything and manage your team’s lineup on the go.

AT&T "toll free" plans will provide free access to some online content

Unlimited data plans are becoming scarce options for smartphone and tablet users. Sprint remains the only carrier to offer an unlimited data plans. Most Verizon and AT&T customers, however, need to make do with tiered data plans. Tiered data plans get more cash from customers and deter customers from overloading mobile networks with excessive data use.

As a result, a lot of us try to avoid excessive data use by limiting the types and amount of content that we access when using a device’s 3G or LTE connection. That, in turn, blocks many content companies from capturing ad or subscription revenue from mobile users. That reality is leading major content companies to complain to the carriers and which AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson recently said may lead to “toll free” data plans.

Android maintains its overall lead in the U.S. market while the iPhone gains ground

Smartphones are close to becoming the primary type of mobile phones sold in the U.S. for the first time. Market research giant Neilsen’s latest analysis of the mobile industry shows that about half of all mobile phone owners in the country now own a smartphone – up significantly from this time last year.

In addition to smartphones gaining major traction, the company also released its data on the makeup of the U.S. smartphone market that shows gains by Apple’s iPhone and significant losses for RIM’s BlackBerry. Android, however, still manages to hold the biggest share of the market overall.

It seems pretty likely that the invitation to Apple’s iPad 3 event includes a shot of the new model.

The display is particularly sharp and smooth – just like the anticipated retina display for the device.

The iPad image is also clearly of an iPad in portrait orientation, you can tell by the spacing of the icons on its screen, but there’s no sign of a home button – a design change that Apple has been allegedly been toying with for some time.

Google has already deprecated the use of physical buttons on devices and moved to software-only onscreen controls.

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