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Apple Card takes on credit cards, offers lower fees with better app

It also comes with a physical titanium card

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The titanium Apple Card | Image credit: Apple

Part of Apple‘s ecosystem expansion is the new Apple Card. As its name implies, Apple Card is the company’s very own credit card which is right inside the iPhone’s Wallet app and works like Apple Pay.

According to Apple, they created Apple Card as a new kind of credit card designed to help their customers have a healthier financial life. By using Apple’s expertise in making things simpler, Apple Card brings together the company’s hardware, software, and services to create a new credit card experience. Since the Apple Card is a digital-first credit card, everything is done within an iPhone.

Apple is delivering this service in partnership with Goldman Sachs and Mastercard as the issuing bank and global payments network.

Apple Card is built into the Wallet app on iPhone | Image credit: Apple

Apple Card works like any credit card, but with seamless integration to the iPhone; it’s practically a credit card designed for the iPhone. The Apple Card and Wallet app make everything easy to understand and record detailed transactions in real-time. Also, support is available 24/7 by simply sending a text from the Messages app.

To entice customer’s to try it out, Apple will offer a rewards system called Daily Cash. Customers will receive a percentage of their every purchase: two percent for items bought with Apple Pay or three percent if the transaction is made directly with Apple. What’s unique about Apple’s rewards system is it’s added daily to the customer’s account (hence its name) and can be used right away.

To top that, Apple Card has no annual, late, international, or over-the-limit fees. Paying off the balance is made simpler too through the Wallet app. This helps customers make better and more flexible payment terms.

Each Apple Card has a unique number which is stored in an iPhone’s Secure Element, a special security chip used by Apple Pay. Of course, Face ID or Touch ID is used to authenticate each purchase.

When shopping at locations where Apple Pay is not yet available, Apple has designed a physical titanium Apple Card. It’s a minimalist and secured piece of metal for purchasing. It has no card number, CVV security code, or any crucial information printed since all these are accessible within the Wallet app.

Privacy and security are taken seriously by Apple, and they assure that neither them nor Goldman Sachs will share or sell data to third parties for marketing and advertising.

For now, only US customers can sign up for the Apple Card. It’ll be available in the coming months to qualified customers.

SEE ALSO: Magazines finally come to Apple News

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Ultrahuman is an all-in-one fitness app

Workout, meditate and sleep soundly

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Staying physically and mentally fit is extra challenging during a pandemic, but it’s become essential now more than ever. Ultrahuman is a fitness app launched that offers a very convenient platform that targets the three main health points: physical exercise, meditation and sleep. It helps you stay fit from the moment you wake up until you go to bed!

This newest app, which debuted on CES 2021, features different content per category. It includes home workouts and yoga programs from world-class athletes and professional trainers to focus on your physical strength. You can choose from various workouts — from running and yoga to weightlifting and HIIT. The app is designed for all fitness levels.

With the app’s biofeedback technology, you can also track your heart rate and calories burned in real-time.

There’s also content focusing on mindfulness, including guided meditations, bedtime stories, calming meditation music, nature and sleep sounds, breathing exercises, among others. Manage stress and anxiety better by improving your mental health and sleeping patterns with the help of this series.

You can also listen to “brain music”, a section where you can find songs curated by “neuro-musicians” that aids focus, sleep and productivity.

Ultrahuman also partnered with UCLA, Mindsize, and Unified Mindfulness to bring the best of mind science and technology together.

The app is available on iOS and Android, and is already rolled out across 50+ countries globally. It’s been recognized by Apple as one of the top apps they love. Apple Watch users can also integrate their app to track their health progress real-time.

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Prepare your meals through your phone, fridge using Samsung SmartThings

The kitchen, simplified

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With everything going on in the world, it’s no surprise that people are spending more time in the kitchen and looking out for new recipes.

The good news? Samsung has just the thing to get it sorted quickly and easily. They’re bringing in Family Hub features into mobile users through the SmartThings app.

Samsung’s SmartThings Cooking service helps bring all of your Samsung kitchen appliances together. How? It lets you search, plan, purchase, and meal prep seamlessly through your phone or fridge through the SmartThings app.

On top of that, it recommends customized recipes based on your taste and preferences while considering ingredients available to you. You can scroll through recipe collections when you’re undecided or quickly zero-in on meals that suit your cravings.

SmartThings Cooking, powered by Whisk, is accessible through Samsung’s SmartThings. If you’ve got the Family Hub in your smart kitchen arsenal, there’s no need to fret.

The fridge keeps tabs of what you have and don’t, adding missing ingredients directly to your online grocery cart for at-home deliveries. Not to mention, you can shop through Walmart, Kroger, Instacart, and Amazon Fresh, using the Whisk network.

With SmartThings added to the Family Hub smart fridge, you get to enjoy all the cool features and more! You get to access your other smart kitchen gadgets through widgets on the screen, prioritize most used apps, and feature family photos, notes, and recipes.

And, if cooking is what you’re worried about, Samsung has you covered for even that. SmartThings guides you through easy cooking steps and lets you control cooking modes, temperatures, and time settings with one touch. Leaving you with little room for error.

So, with all that in mind, was it really a surprise to see Samsung’s Family Hub win its sixth consecutive CES Innovation Award this year? For us, not quite.

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Adobe starts blocking Flash content for all users

The final death blow to the once-popular software

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Do you still use Adobe Flash?  Then, you might have to stop using that sooner. Starting January 12, Adobe will all Flash content from running, bringing an end to the once-popular software platform.

Adobe’s process of discontinuing Flash actually began a few years ago, with end-of-life (EOL) notice dating back to 2017. Popular browsers began to drop support for it, with Firefox the first to do so last December 2020.

Adobe officially dropped support for the Flash player by December 31, 2020. Users were still able to run Flash content after that aforementioned date, however. That changes this January when Adobe blocks all content from running.

For most users, the effect will be minimal since Flash players are already disabled on most browsers. Also, most companies have already migrated to alternatives. Web developers, for example, are already using standard HTML5 to provide interactivity for their websites.

Popular in an instant, gone in a flash

This 2021 is the final death blow for the once-popular Adobe Flash. In the early part of 2000, Flash gained widespread adoption thanks to the rich interactivity it provides to the user. Most games found on the web during those times were built with it. Miniclip, for example, used to have a large library of games built with Flash.

The turning point for Flash came during the early 2010s with the adoption of HTML5. This HTML version introduced interactive elements which made Flash redundant in most use cases. Some also believe that Steve Jobs actually played a role in its downfall by not letting earlier versions of iOS support it by default. It also doesn’t help that Adobe had to issue numerous security updates over the course of its development.

So, if you’re still sticking to those old .swf or .flv files, now is the time to move on. Sure, Flash animations were great and quirky (and are still today) but you shouldn’t also risk your device to malware caused by an outdated software. If you are somewhat missing those days of viewing Flash right from your browser, you should check out the Internet Archive’s archive library with hundreds of animation that you can enjoy.

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