Xiaomi managed to impress everybody with its low-cost $30 Mi Band 4 that easily kept up with much costlier products from Fitbit, Garmin, and Co. (as long as you're not a swimmer, that is). Exactly a year after its introduction, the company has released a follow-up in the form of the Mi Band 5, packing a slightly bigger screen, a much-improved charger, more tracking capabilities, and a ton of new animated watchfaces.
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If you're less than excited to whip out our credit cards or touch a PIN pad at the store, you're not alone: contactless payments are on the rise in America, especially right now. You might have heard about one or both of the major contactless payment providers on Android, Google Pay and Samsung Pay, but you might be familiar with what makes each distinct. While both do offer the same basic tap-to-pay NFC functionality, there are some differences in their ease of use, support for alternate contactless payment standards, and in the apps themselves. Here's how to figure out which one is best for you.
Wireless charging is great, but the large coils that are required for the Qi standard can take up a lot of space inside smaller electronics and increase costs. That's why products like smartwatches, fitness bands, wireless earbuds, and so on typically only support wired charging. However, there might be a new easier way to include wireless charging on low-power devices: NFC.
There's a lot to like about mobile NFC payments. They can prevent identity theft by giving stores alias card numbers, they're faster than chip readers, and most importantly right now, you don't have to physically touch the payment terminal. That last bit is probably why contactless payments have jumped 40%, according to financial services company Mastercard.
The ongoing coronavirus outbreak has thrown a wrench into Chrome's release schedule. Chrome 81 took longer than usual to complete, and Google is skipping version 82 altogether. Thankfully, version 81 has finally moved to the stable channel, and there are a few new features worth talking about.
Chrome 80 was just released earlier this month, which means it's time for Chrome 81 to move up to the beta channel. This update doesn't have as many user-facing changes, but there are new APIs for creating powerful web apps. Let's take a look!
Transact's main business is switching schools to NFC-based ID cards for students and faculty, with several major universities enrolled in the program. While ID cards from Transact-partnered schools can already be added to Apple's Wallet app, Google Pay didn't support them — until now.
A number of transit systems worldwide have signed contracts with fare solutions vendor Cubic to modernize their collection methods — that includes accepting contactless payment mediums like Google Pay. But for those who rely on a weekly or monthly pass to commute on the metro, they've still had to resort to a physical Oyster or Clipper or what-have-you card. Now, Cubic and Google are working together to allow Google Pay to take in transit cards.
One significant detail regarding Nokia's newly-announced mid-range 6.2 and 7.2 slid under the radar yesterday, but it turns out the company's published spec sheets were in error. Although Nokia's website initially claimed the devices wouldn't get NFC in the US, Latin America, or India, those details were apparently incorrect. Only India will be missing NFC support.
Money changes hands — so it goes with capitalism. But there are plenty of ways to make that happen. Square, for example, makes smartphone and tablet peripherals for businesses to take payments from magstripe cards. Other people will use the emoji-ridden Venmo service from PayPal for entirely digital transactions. Samsung, however, is testing out a way to conduct in-person payments via phone or card using its phones and it's calling this new system SoftPOS.