Must Read Bits & Bytes

Tim Cook on Apple Watch battery life: expect to charge daily

Tim Cook on Apple Watch battery life: expect to charge daily

Apple's Tim Cook is on stage right now at the WSJD Live conference, and as expected he has a lot to say about the company's new Apple Watch wearable and its conjoined Apple Pay service, among other things. The conference has only just begun, but Cook has already touched on both topics, and amidst them had a thing or two to say about the wearable's battery life, something that has thus far been kept a close secret.

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Here’s why Rite Aid, CVS don’t accept Apple Pay

Here’s why Rite Aid, CVS don’t accept Apple Pay

This week, and really since inception, Apple Pay has had a lot of attention. The recent chatter surrounds Apple Pay problems, where some retailers are sidestepping the service due to their allegiance elsewhere. The problems are significant, but not insurmountable. Now Apple is responding, and a hashtag (#PayItSafe) has been created to unify fronts. Though Apple Pay isn’t new to mobile payments, they did rally the most of banners in a unified direction. Here’s why their opposition is significant, and might actually be a problem.

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Amazon Fire TV Stick takes on Chromecast

Amazon Fire TV Stick takes on Chromecast

Amazon may have been a late entrant into the set-top box space, but that hasn't stopped it already pushing out a second model, with the Fire TV Stick taking a leaf out of Chromecast's playbook by slotting straight into a spare HDMI port behind your TV. Undercutting the original Fire TV box at $39 - though Prime members will, temporarily at least, get an even better deal than that - the stick promises 50-percent more power than Google's dongle as well as 1080p Full HD video and Dolby Digital Plus surround sound, together with three options for remote control.

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Google shuffle: CEO Larry Page transfers product power to Pichai

Google shuffle: CEO Larry Page transfers product power to Pichai

Sundar Pichai has been moving up in the world over the past several years. Word this afternoon is that Google CEO has done some reorganizing of staff duties, putting Pichai in charge of core Google products. While he'd had responsibilities with Android, Chrome, and Google Apps before, Pichai will now take control of search, maps, Google+, commerce and ads, research, and infrastructure. Page has suggested that these powers - until now his - would be transferred so that he might focus on the "bigger picture" - instead of these slightly smaller duties, that is to say.

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Amazon App Store now on Google Play (sort of)

Amazon App Store now on Google Play (sort of)

Google might not be pleased when they realize the implications of Amazon's newest app update. Instead of Amazon relying on you to head to their webpage to download the Amazon App Store app, you've only to download the Amazon App from Google Play. The big deal here is not that Google forbids apps outside their own store - they certainly do not. The big deal here is App Updates. Google forbids that apps that come from the Google Play app store be updated through any other means than the Google Play app store itself.

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iPad Air 2 registers with “secret” NFC? Not so fast…

iPad Air 2 registers with “secret” NFC? Not so fast…

Signs of NFC hardware in the iPad Air 2 have prompted speculation that Apple could turn the tablet into an Apple Pay cash register replacement, though it's almost certain not to be something the company could enable in this generation. A recent teardown of the new 9.7-inch tablet found that it contains the same NFC chip as the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. Since Apple doesn't list NFC among the iPad Air 2's connectivity options, that has led to chatter that it's a feature-in-waiting; however, it's unlikely to pan out that way.

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Ford could make a Tesla-beater insists CEO (but will it?)

Ford could make a Tesla-beater insists CEO (but will it?)

Ford execs have set tongues wagging about a possible Tesla-rivaling luxury electric car from the marque, after CEO Mark Fields described the idea as "consistent with our product philosophy." The tease came as Ford revealed its quarterly financial results, recording $1.2bn in Q3 profit - down a hefty $1.4bn year-on-year - as Fields was pressed into referring to the Silicon Valley EV startup and what investigations into the Model S' strengths his own company had performed. Still, while some have interpreted Fields' comments as telegraphing a true Tesla alternative might be in the pipeline, there's a good chance that too much is being read into the chief executive's words.

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Nexus 9 hands-on – Google’s tablet grows up

Nexus 9 hands-on – Google’s tablet grows up

A new HTC tablet has been a long time coming, and so the Nexus 9 takes no chances, HTC partnering up with Google to make not only the Android retort to the iPad Air 2 but a showcase for what Lollipop can do when given more than a smartphone screen. Replacing the Nexus 7 with a larger, more premium - and more expensive - version, not to mention retiring the Nexus 10 in the process, the Nexus 9 is also the first true 64-bit tablet running Android. I caught up with HTC for some early playtime ahead of its November release.

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Inbox from Google re-imagines how we use email

Inbox from Google re-imagines how we use email

Google has re-imagined email. Today, the company is introducing Inbox, and app that takes email to a different level, and will have some interesting features for power users. Inbox is a bit like Google Now, Keep, and email rolled into one. You can set reminders, and even teach the app to create bundles of information — like bills and receipts (a financial bundle), or flights and train tickets (a travel bundle!). If you’re interested in giving it a shot, we’ll tell you how to get an invite below.

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iPad Air 2 Review – Apple builds a new flagship

iPad Air 2 Review – Apple builds a new flagship

Apple is bullish on tablets and, for all it may be the slimmest and lightest of its breed, the iPad Air 2 is undeniably its new heavyweight champion. Dropping weight and bulk while simultaneously gaining power, the iPad Air 2 also dips into the best-selling iPhone 6's pockets for features like Touch ID and Apple Pay. Question is, though, has the new Air done enough to make itself a must-have upgrade?

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