5 Great Card Readers For Your iDevice

Seriously, who carries cash any ­more? Today, 66% of in-store transactions are made with credit, debit, or pre-paid cards, and customers tend to spend more when they use credit cards over cash. If you conduct business on the go, you need to be able to accept credit cards. Luckily, there are several companies offering innovative solutions for accepting credit card payments through your mobile device—and their transaction rates are very reasonable. Here are some of the best.

Square Card Reader ($275 per month or 2.75% per swipe; squareup.com)

The Square Card Reader, which is free when you sign up for Square’s service, plugs into your iDevice’s headphone jack and securely encrypts every card swipe. Once you’ve received the card reader, you can download the Square Register app (free, app2.me/3735) and link it to your bank account. Funds from Square payments are deposited into your bank account within two business days.
With the Square Register app, you can create loyalty cards for repeat customers and send customized receipts by text or email. Your customers can buy or redeem Square gift cards to your business, leave a percentage tip with a simple tap, and, of course, sign their names with their fingertips.

PayPal Here (2.7% per swipe, paypal.com)

PayPal surprised everyone when they jumped on the mobile card reader bandwagon in 2012. Since they already handle a huge amount of transactions, it makes perfect sense. In addition to accepting credit cards, the PayPal Here card reader pairs with the PayPal Here app (free, app2.me/5974) to accept PayPal payments and checks (the latter via the camera function on your iDevice). Funds from swipes are available within minutes in your PayPal account, which you can access immediately if you have a PayPal debit card. Checks could take up to six days to clear. There’s only one fee—2.7% per swipe, which is similar to the transaction fee on PayPal payments. If you have several sales representatives  PayPal lets you connect multiple card readers to your account. Like with Square, PayPal will mail you a free card reader when you sign up for their service.

Intuit GoPayment ($12.95 per month + 1.75% per swipe, or 2.75% per swipe; gopayment.com)

The Intuit GoPayment card reader is also free, and works with the GoPayment app (free, app2.me/5975). You can add business logo and contact information to receipts, and the GoPayment app calculates sales tax based on your location. A distinct advantage of Intuit GoPay­ment is the ability to sync your transactions with QuickBooks. If you process a lot of mobile payments, the Intuit GoPay­ment card reader is a less expensive alternative in the long run than Square and Paypal Here.

ROAMpay X ($0.38-$1.58 per swipe, roamdata.com)

ROAMpay works in partnership with compatible merchant accounts—it does not sell a merchant accounts service like the other companies listed here. Through the company’s site, you can contact several merchant account providers that are compatible with ROAMpay, and they will set you up with a ROAMpay application. Like other card readers, the ROAMpay X plugs into the iDevice’s headphone jack. However, the additional plastic flaps might create an awkward fit, depending on the case you’re using.
While you have to jump through more hoops to use ROAMpay than any of the other services listed here, the potential benefit is significantly lower transaction rates. Once you’re signed up, you can use the ROAMpay X app (free, app2.me/5976) to capture transactions, signatures, and customer data. You can also use the app to email receipts, track transactions, and transfer funds to your bank account.

Flint (1.95-2.95% + $0.20 per charge, flint.com)

Flint offers a unique solution to accepting payments from your mobile device. There are no card readers or dongles, and you don’t have to worry about setting up a merchant account. Flint uses the Flint Mobile Pay app (free, flint.com) to accept payments, and it uses your iDevice’s camera to securely capture your customer’s credit card information. Some customers may feel unsafe letting you point your iPhone at their credit card as if you’re taking a picture, but they shouldn’t worry—no data or images are saved on the phone, and you have to enter card verification info with every transaction. Like with the other apps, you can also send customized email receipts with loyalty offers, and funds from mobile payments are deposited into your account within two business days. Flint also offers a secure online portal to void transactions, issue refunds, or look up customer information.

Accepting credit cards has never been easier, and these top-notch card reader choices will keep your business running smoothly and looking professional.

Karim is a professional writer and an expert in mobile technology. Many of the benefits of smartphones can be achieved with an always on data connection and with SIM free phones with iPhone SIM only plans, offering flexibility and savings with the contract.

Sound Amplifier For iPhone Fixes Poor Sound Quality

If you are a frequent visitor to the Apple Support Forums, you will not be surprised with the number of new threads from users who are dissatisfied with the sound quality on their iPhones. While I am fortunately not one of those, it certainly does help if you can play music and videos at a volume higher than your iPhone’s maximum capacity. The new Sound Amplifier for iPhone from WirelessGround is something you should then check out.

iPhone Sound Amplifier

While it is marketed as an accessory for the iPhone 4, this Sound Amplifier also works with the older models like the iPhone 3G and 3GS as well as the latest iPhone 4S model. According to the company website, this rubber accessory can add up to 12 decibels of sound to your iPhone speakers. In addition to this, the way the accessory is designed also makes it possible for the users to deploy it as a stand for your iPhone while listening to music.

I tried the Sound Amplifier with my old iPhone 3G and could readily notice the significantly improved volume from the iPhone speakers. Here is a video demo of the product although I must say that the video does not do justice to the actual improvement in sound quality that I experienced.

The Sound Amplifier for the iPhone is now available at WirelessGround for $9.95. You can check out more details about the product from their website by clicking here.

iPhone 5 Latest Rumours

The iPhone 5 is the subject to more internet rumours than 9/11 or the Kennedy Assassination. It seems if it can be dreamed up about the new Apple it has been. So what are the more likely rumours we have heard about the iPhone 5?

It will have an autumn release date

After all the rumours about summer releases, winter releases, 2012 releases – it seems the iPhone 5 will come about during the autumn/fall. Now this speculation that has seen guesses from a number of highly reputable sources like Bloomberg. They all suggest September to November release times which would also be the one we are going for.

iOS 5

The iPhone 5 will use the new Apple operating system – this is more than likely a given and probably the main reason for the later release date. The new iPhone will have all the new Apple abilities that the operating system, which was released last month, has introduced. This all comes together to form a new and more well rounded product, taking some of Android’s best abilities and combining them with Apple’s current ones as well as some new innovations to make an altogether fuller OS.

iPhone 4S

It may just be an iPhone 4S. It may be that the new iPhone 5 will not be an all new device, and just an update on the current one. This would bear a similar likeness to the leap from iPhone 3G to 3GS and in a way would make sense. This would mean no new body and not new major leaps in technology. Although with fairly reliable rumours of larger screens being ordered by Apple, perhaps it will not completely remain faithful to the design of the iPhone 4.

Dual Core

The new device is almost certainly going to be a dual core phone, keeping with the current trend of devices on the market. This would make the device even speedier and perhaps herald the call of super phone games that will utilise the devices near computer speed graphics. This dual core would be the same as the one in the current iPad 2 and this would certainly make a lot of sense.

New Camera

It looks likely that the new device will have a larger camera. Rumours suggest that it may have an 8mp snapper for use and this would certainly make sense considering the current market trends towards dual core phones with large 8mp cameras. There are rumours of 3D although this may not be the case as it could be considered a bit gimmicky for Apple’s tastes.

How To Unlock iPhone 4 On iOS 4.3.1 With UltraSn0w

Snw0breeze 2.4 now supports ultraSn0w unlock for the iPhone 4 and 3GS users (for old basebands only). Those of you who have jailbroken your iPhone 4 and 3GS (old basebands only) on the iOS 4.3.1 using Sn0wbreeze 2.4 and are dependent on an unlock can now use ultraSn0w to unlock their device on this latest firmware thus being able to use any desired carrier.

Follow the below mentioned instructions in order to unlock and jailbreak your iPhone 4 and 3GS running on the iOS 4.3.1

Points to be noted before proceeding further with the guide :

  • Sn0wbreeze 2.4 supports ultraSn0w unlock for basebands (01.59.00 / 04.26.08 / 05.11.07 / 05.12.01 / 05.13.04 / 06.15.00).
  • ultraSnow has no compatibility with the following bands (02.10.04 / 03.10.01 / 04.10.01 / 05.14.02 / 05.15.04).
  • iPhone 3GS users will now be able to upgrade to 06.15.00 under the Unlocks section in Expert.
  • You may loose your GPS if you upgrade your iPhone 3GS baseband to the 06.15.00 iPad basband.
  • If your iPhone relies on an unlock then please do not update to the stock iOS 4.3.1 yet as there is no unlock available for it.
  • Sn0wbreeze is a tethered iOS 4.3.1 jailbreak for the iPhone, iPad and the iPod Touch.

How to update iPhone 3GS to 06.15.00 baseband for unlock :

Unlocking your iPhone 3GS using ultraSn0w 1.2 requires it to be jailbroken with 06.15.00 baseband. A complete guide is available here (with PwnageTool) and here (for Redsn0w) to upgrade your iPhone 3GS baseband to 06.15.00 and jailbreak it on the iOS 4.1 or 4.2.1 before you begin following the below mentioned steps.

Step 1 :

  • Jailbreak your iPhone 4 / 3GS using Sn0wbreeze  2.4 .
  • Detailed step by step instructions are available here in order to jailbreak the iPhone 4, 3GS, iPod Touch 4G / 3G and the iPad running the latest iOS 4.3.1 firmware.

Step 2 :

On completion of the jailbreak process, you can now unlock your device on supported basebands using ultraSn0w 1.2 from Cydia :

  • Start Cydia on your iPhone.
  • Now touch on Manage tab located at the bottom.
  • Next, touch on Sources.
  • Touch on Edit and then Add.
  • On being prompted to enter a url source, enter the following : http://repo666.ultrasn0w.com
  • Now touch on Add Source.
  • Cydia will automatically update all your sources by performing a series of automated steps.
  • Once the installation is over, search for ultraSn0w 1.2 in Cydia and install the application.
  • The application works automatically to unlock your iPhone so that you can use it on any carrier of your choice.

Step 3 :

Just perform a restart on your iPhone and that’s it. You now have a fully unlocked iPhone 4 / 3GS.

iOS 4.3 GM Jailbreak Instructions For iPhone 4 Using PwnageTool

Even before its official release date of 11th march, the golden master version of the iOS 4.3 has become available and has been jailbroken already. Although this jailbreak solution is for the tethered version meaning you`ll have to boot into the jailbroken state whenever you reboot everytime.

Here is a step by step tutorial helping you go through the jailbreaking process. Just follow the instructions below in order to jailbreak the iOS 4.3 GM on the iPhone 4.

Things that you will need :

  • PwnageTool 4.2
  • Access to iOS 4.3 GM firmware.
  • iTunes 10.2
  • MAC OS X.
  • PwnageTool bundle for the iOS 4.3 GM.
  • Universal Ramdisk Fixer.
  • Tetheredboot utility.

Points to Note :

  • Cydia fully works on the iOS 4.3 GM.
  • The jailbreak is semi-tethered.
  • Your baseband won`t get upgraded during the restore process.

Step 1 :

  • Download the PwnageTool bundle for your version of the iOS device over here and extract the .zip file.
  • On extracting you will find a .bundle file.
  • Move this file to your desktop.

Step 2 :

  • Download the PwnageTool 4.2 and copy it to the /Applications directory.
  • Next, right-click and click on “Show Package Contents“.

Step 3 :

  • Now navigate to Contents/Resources/FirmwareBundles/ and paste the .bundle file that you downloaded earlier in this location.

Step 4 :

Step 5 :

  • Download the iOS 4.3 GM firmware and move it to your desktop.

Step 6 :

  • Start the PwnageTool by selecting the Expert mode followed by selecting your device.

Step 7 :

  • Now select the iOS 4.3 GM firmware for your device by browsing for the location.

Step 8 :

  • Click on Build to start creating the custom 4.3 firmware file.

Step 9 :

  • The PwnageTool now creates the custom .ipsw file for the iPhone that will be jailbroken.

Step 10 :

  • Close the PwnageTool once the custom firmware has been created.

Step 11 :

  • Now start iTunes by clicking on you iOS device icon from the sidebar in iTunes.
  • Press and hold the left alt (option) button on MAC or the left shift button if you are using the windows based keyboard.
  • Click on Restore and then release the alt button.
  • iTunes now comes up with a prompt to select the location of the custom firmware 4.3 file.
  • Select the required .ipsw file created earlier and click on open.

That’s it, the rest of the procedure will be carried out now by iTunes involving a number of automated steps so please be patient while iTunes installs the new firmware 4.3 on your device. Once this is done, your device will be then jailbroken on the iOS 4.3.

Steps to boot in tethered mode :

As i mentioned earlier in this post that no untethered jailbreak solution has arrived yet for the iOS 4.3, you will have to boot in a tethered jailbroken state.

For this, you will be requiring a file named tetheredboot for the MAC OS X which is available here in .zip format.

Follow these steps for the booting procedure :

Step 1 :

  • We will require 2 files from the custom iOS 4.3 GM firmware which are kernelcache.release.n90 and iBSS.n90ap.RELEASE.dfu.
  • In order to get these files, first make a copy of the custom iOS 4.3 firmware that you created earlier and change its extension from .ipsw to .zip
  • Now begin extracting this .zip file.
  • Copy the kernelcache.release.n90 and iBSS.n90ap.RELEASE.dfu files which are located under /Firmware/dfu/
  • Now move these files and the tetheredboot application to a new folder named “tetheredboot” on the desktop.

Step 2 :

  • Turn off your device and start the terminal from the MAC OS X followed by running the following command :

sudo -s

  • Next, enter your administrator password and after that type in :

/Users/Downloads/tetheredboot/tetheredboot

/Users/Downloads/tetheredboot/iBSS.n90ap.RELEASE.dfu

/Users/Downloads/tetheredboot/kernelcache.release.n90

  • Now Press enter.
  • You will be seeing some code running in the terminal window as well as it will be asking you to enter into DFU mode.

Please follow these steps to enter into DFU mode :

  • Hold the Power and Home buttons for 10 seconds.
  • Release the Power button but continue holding the Home button for another 10 seconds.
  • Now your device should be in DFU mode.

Wait for the device to boot now. In the meantime, the terminal will be showing the message “Exiting libpoisOn“.

Your iPhone, iPad or iPod will now boot into a jailbroken tethered mode after a couple of minutes.

Happy jailbreaking once again fellows… !!!

How To Jailbreak iPhone 3GS On iOS 4.2.1 Using PwnageTool For Mac.

Jailbreaking has become a sensation now a days right from the Play Station 3 to the Apple TV 2G and now the iPhone 3GS.

Here is one more jailbreaking tutorial for the iPhone 3Gs on the iOS 4.2.1. Please follow the below mentioned instructions in a step by step way to achieve jailbreaking success for your iPhone 3GS. The tool used in the entire procedure is the PwnageTool for the MAC system.

Step 1 :

How to Transfer Address Book Contacts To Verizon iPhone 4

We all know how irritating and frustrating it is when it comes to transferring your contacts to a new phone. This post is for all those who have purchased a new Verizon iPhone and are looking for a hassle free method to transfer their phone book from the old phone to the new Verizon iPhone 4.

Here is a short 10 minute tutorial briefing you with instructions on obtaining your address book. This guide is applicable for phones that are supported by 4 American carriers namely AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon and are having an active service on their present phone along with a gmail account (not required for Verizon wireless subscribers.)

Verizon Wireless Phones :

Transferring from an existing Verizon to a Verizon iPhone 4 is almost effortless. Verizon has a free program called Backup Assistant, so just register on Verzion`s website, install and run the application on your old phone first followed by the iPhone 4

Step 1 :

Register for the Backup Assistant application.

Step 2 :

Install it on your phone through the Get It Now store which is for feature phones or the App store for smartphones.

Step 3 :

Now load the software, log in and start backing up your contacts.

Step 4 :

Next, turn off the Wi-Fi radio on your iPhone 4 first as the application works only over a cell connection. Open the app store and install VZ Contact Manager. Now run this program and keep following the onscreen instructions.

Sprint Phones:

To transfer contacts from a Sprint feature phone, you will require a Sprint Mobile Sync and a gmail account. For a Sprint smartphone, only Google Sync is enough.

For Sprint Feature Phones :

Step 1 :

Register for Sprint Mobile Sync.

Step 2 :

Activate the software on your phone by navigating to Main Menu>Settings>Contacts>Mobile Sync>Activate.

Step 3 :

Now log in to Sprint Mobile Sync from your desktop computer and export all your contacts as .CSV file

Step 4 :

Log in to your gmail account and import the .CSV file

Step 5 :

Now install and run Google Sync on your iPhone 4.

For Sprint Smartphones :

All you need to do is just install and run Google Sync on your old phone first followed by installing and running it later on your iPhone 4.

AT&T  Phones :

For phones serviced by AT&T, if its a smartphone, the entire transfer process is free whereas a feature phone will be costing you around $1.99 for AT&T Mobile Backup.

For AT&T Feature Phones :

Step 1 :

Navigate to AT&T`s Mobile Backup Web Site which will be sending a link to your phone for installing the software.

Step 2 :

Load Mobile Backup from your phone and backup all your contacts.

Step 3 :

Log on to AT&T Mobile Backup from your desktop computer and export the contacts as  a .CSV file.

Step 4 :

Now log in to your gmail account and import the .CSV file.

Step 5 :

Lastly, install and run Google Sync on your iPhone 4.

For AT&T Smartphones :

Step 1 :

Install and run Google Sync on your old phone followed by the iPhone 4.

T – Mobile Phones :

Once again, transferring contacts from a smartphone is simpler whereas the same procedure becomes a bit more complex for a feature phone. The companies free contact backing software restricts you from exporting your contacts, but there is still a way to tackle this situation.

For T – Mobile Feature Phones :

Step 1 :

There is a preloaded application called Mobile Backup. Just load it and select “One Time Sync”.

Step 2 :

From your desktop computer, log on to the Mobile Backup Website and follow these instructions for exporting your contacts to a .CSV file.

Step 3 :

Log in to your gmail account and import the .CSV file.

Step 4 :

Now install and run Google Sync on your iPhone 4.

For T – Mobile Smartphones :

Just install and run Google Sync on your smartphone followed by the iPhone 4.

Verizon iPhone Unlimited Data Plans In The Offing?

By now, it is getting very clear that Verizon Wireless shall be making the official announcement about its iPhone plans this week – on Tuesday to be precise. The device is expected to launch by February 3rd according to several sources. Now, the Wall Street Journal offers some more interesting tidbits about this new release. In a recently published report, the newspaper has claimed that Verizon Wireless could be mulling over an unlimited data plan option – similar to the one offered by AT&T initially and that was retracted last year – to its iPhone users.

This could be a double-edged sword for Verizon since such an offering could attract a lot of users to sign up for their unlimited offering which is an attractive alternative to AT&T’s capped pricing structure. However, it is also worth noting that such an offering was primarily responsible for clogging the AT&T infrastructure – a problem that has afflicted Ma Bell’s network to this day.

It will be interesting to see how Verizon can cope up in a similar scenario.

8GB iPhone 3GS Price Dropped

AT&T have announced a drop in the price of the 8GB iPhone 3GS. Starting today, users can get hold of a new iPhone 3GS at a price of $49. That is just half of the original price of $99. The new iPhone 3GS price shall be applicable on all units purchased off the online channel as well as on the AT&T and third party retail outlets across United States. Of course, as you may have guessed, this new price comes with the caveat that users must sign up for a new two year contract with Ma Bell.

The timing of this announcement is interesting considering that AT&T normally announces a drop in iPhone prices just a week or two ahead of new iPhone launches. It is possible that this move is being made ahead of the iPhone’s launch on Verizon that is speculated to happen in under a few weeks from now.

New Prices Of iPad, iPhone & iPod Touch In UK After VAT Hike Announced

If you are in the UK, you may be aware of the increased VAT rates that consumers now have to pay for their goods. Electronic items like the iPhone and iPad has attract VAT charges of 20% – up from 17.5% that was levied last year. One may have expected Apple to absorb the hike to maintain their original price points. However, Apple has now announced that the prices of their devices will now be priced higher in order to keep up with the new VAT charges.

Consequently, a 16GB iPhone 4 will now cost £510 instead of the earlier £499. Also, the entry level iPad – the 16GB Wi-Fi only model – will now cost £439 instead £429. Prices of Apple’s iPod devices too will see an increase. The new starting prices for iPod Touch, iPod Classic, iPod nano and iPod Shuffle will now be £193, £197, £131 and £40 respectively.

Apple prices in UK