Tag: purchases

14
Oct
2020
Posted in technology

Apple bundles free three-month Apple Arcade trial with new device purchases

Anyone who buys a new iPhone, iPad, Mac, iPod touch, or Apple TV after October 22nd gets free three-month trial of Apple Arcade, Apple has announced. Apple’s games subscription service normally costs $4.99 a month, and gives you access to over 100 downloadable games with no ads or in-game purchases.



a hand holding a cell phone


© Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge


Apple has long used lengthy free trial periods to advertise its subscription services. When it launched Apple TV Plus last year it gave customers a whole year of the service for free with the purchase of an eligible device, and recently extended these trials by up to three months. Three months is also the standard trial period for Apple Music. Until now, however, Apple has only offered a one month free trial of Apple Arcade with new sign-ups.

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Apple Arcade normally costs $4.99 a month

The company’s year-long Apple TV Plus trial is also continuing this year, Apple says, though 9to5Mac notes that you can’t claim the Apple TV Plus trial again if you already claimed it last year. Both trials must be claimed within three months of activating an eligible device, and only one Apple Arcade trial can be claimed per Family Sharing group. However, each family group allows you to share a trial with up to five people. In both cases, the $4.99 per month subscription enables automatically at the end of the trial period.

Later this year Apple will start offering a new bundle of subscription services called Apple One. This will include subscriptions to Apple Music, Apple TV Plus, Apple Arcade, Apple News Plus, and iCloud storage in bundles ranging in price from $14.95 to $29.95 a month.

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12
Oct
2020
Posted in website

Invoca Study Finds Increased Role of Website Experience and Customer Service in Big-Ticket Purchases During COVID-19

SANTA BARBARA, Calif., Oct. 12, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — There’s no denying that the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted our lives: it is changing the way we work, how we interact with family and friends, and the way we shop. A new report from Invoca, “High-Stakes Purchases and Consumer Confidence in the COVID Era,” highlights data from a survey of 500 U.S. adults to understand specifically how consumers are approaching expensive and complex purchases in this new environment. The data uncovers important findings for businesses aiming to give consumers confidence in making these complicated purchases online. 

Despite the economic downturn brought on by COVID, Invoca’s report finds people are still making high-stakes purchases, such as cars, insurance policies, wireless plans, and big-ticket home improvement items. However, they’re changing the way they research and buy these items, in many cases moving entirely online. For example, the survey found online purchases in automotive grew 115% since March and increased 85% in home services. That said, consumers have important concerns when shopping online: People are most concerned that they won’t be able to verify the product or service quality before purchasing (36%), that they’ll choose the wrong product or service (22%), that refunds will be complicated (21%) and that they won’t get the best deal (19%).

Given the level of cost and complexity these types of purchases require, the report uncovered how brands can help consumers feel more confident when it comes to making these purchases online.

  • Brands must create a smooth online experience with options to get live help: For consumers making complex purchases online, it’s just as important to provide them with an option to get live, expert sales assistance as it is to have a fully functional website across devices. 81% of consumers said that just having a
08
Oct
2020
Posted in technology

Apple made ProtonMail add in-app purchases, even though it had been free for years

On Tuesday, Congress revealed whether it thinks Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google are sitting on monopolies. In some cases, the answer was yes.

But also, one app developer revealed to Congress that it — just like WordPress — had been forced to monetize a largely free app. That developer testified that Apple had demanded in-app purchases (IAP), even though Apple had approved its app without them two years earlier — and that when the dev dared send an email to customers notifying them of the change, Apple threatened to remove the app and blocked all updates.

That developer was ProtonMail, makers of an encrypted email app, and CEO Andy Yen had some fiery words for Apple in an interview with The Verge this week.

We’ve known for months that WordPress and Hey weren’t alone in being strong-armed by the most valuable company in the world, ever since Stratechery’s Ben Thompson reported that 21 different app developers quietly told him they’d been pushed to retroactively add IAP in the wake of those two controversies. But until now, we hadn’t heard of many devs willing to publicly admit it. They were scared.

And they’re still scared, says Yen. Even though Apple changed its rules on September 11th to exempt “free apps acting as a stand-alone companion to a paid web based tool” from the IAP requirement — Apple explicitly said email apps are exempt — ProtonMail still hasn’t removed its own in-app purchases because it fears retaliation from Apple, he says.

He claims other developers feel the same way: “There’s a lot of fear in the space right now; people are completely petrified to say anything.”

He might know. ProtonMail is one of the founding partners of the Coalition for

08
Oct
2020
Posted in technology

Jack Dorsey’s Square Purchases $50 Million Worth Of Bitcoin

Minutes ago as of this article’s writing, leading financial technology company Square
SQ
revealed that it had deployed $50 million of capital on its balance sheet to purchase Bitcoin. The company purchased over 4,709 coins, reports indicate.

As of the end of the second quarter of 2020, $50 million represents around one percent of Square’s total assets. The company currently has $2.69 billion worth of cash, data from Yahoo Finance shows.

Square’s Chief Financial Officer, Amrita Ahuja, made the following comment on the news:

“We believe that bitcoin has the potential to be a more ubiquitous currency in the future. As it grows in adoption, we intend to learn and participate in a disciplined way. For a company that is building products based on a more inclusive future, this investment is a step on that journey.”

This wasn’t exactly unexpected: Jack Dorsey, CEO of both Square and Twitter, has long been a supporter of Bitcoin. He has branded the leading cryptocurrency the most likely asset to become the “internet’s native currency.”

Square itself has also long been a supporter of Bitcoin. Since the last cryptocurrency bull market, Square’s Cash App has allowed users to purchase and sell BTC within the application.

The fintech company also has a branch called Square Crypto, which supports development in the Bitcoin space by directly hiring and distributing grants to programmers and designers. At the start of this year, Square Crypto rolled out a Lightning Development Kit to ease the integration of the Lightning Network technology into wallets and other services.

Following MicroStrategy’s Lead

Square’s decision to deploy $50 million into Bitcoin comes after MicroStrategy, an American business services company, made a similar move in August and early in September.

In a move led

29
Sep
2020
Posted in technology

Amazon One uses your palm to approve store purchases

Amazon is putting contactless payments in the palm of your hand. No, seriously. Today, the company has revealed Amazon One, a service that uses your unique palm signature to authenticate purchases and let you into gated locations, such as offices, gyms and stadiums. For now, palm reading is restricted to two Amazon Go stores — the type that doesn’t require you to interact with a cashier or self-service checkout — in Seattle. You’ll need to ‘enroll’ on your first visit by inserting your credit card and following the scanner’s on-screen instructions. Once your card and palm have been paired, you’ll able to enter the Seattle stores simply by holding your hand above the device “for about a second or so,” according to a blog post.

For now, it feels like a pilot. Amazon has big plans for the technology, though. The company says it will “start” in select Amazon Go stores before expanding to “additional Amazon stores,” which could mean bookshops or Whole Foods Market locations, “in the coming months.” It will also offer the service to third-party retailers and other businesses that might find the technology beneficial. I know what you’re thinking: why palms? Well, Amazon believes that it offers more privacy than other biometric methods because you can’t figure out a person’s identity with a palm image alone.

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