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Apple Releases Statement Regarding Rite-Aid/CVS Apple Pay Controversy

As you might recall from today’s Morning Report, word got around this weekend that both Rite-Aid and CVS had dropped Apple Pay only a few days after they started supporting the service in favor of the merchant-friendly but cumbersome CurrentC service. This afternoon, Apple released a statement to Business Insider in response to the news expressing optimism despite the loss of two powerful retailers.

“The feedback we are getting from customers and retailers about Apple Pay is overwhelmingly positive and enthusiastic,” Apple said in its statement. “We are working to get as many merchants as possible to support this convenient, secure and private payment option for consumers. Many retailers have already seen the benefits and are delighting their customers at over 220,000 locations.”

The rival CurrentC system, still in development, is decidedly less simple for customers to use as it centers on taking photos of QR codes with your smartphone’s camera. Unfortunately, it could get worse for Apple before it gets better. Merchant Customer Exchange (MCX), the group behind CurrentC, works with such diverse and recognizable retailers as Hobby Lobby, Best Buy, Lowe’s, Old Navy, Walmart, Southwest Airlines, Target, 7 Eleven, and Dunkin Donuts.

You won’t get that kind of reluctance from many of the banks involved. Wells Fargo even launched a promotion today that actually credits its credit card users with just for trying out Apple Pay, and it’s extending in credit to any Wells Fargo customers who use their debit or prepaid cards to buy goods with the service within 45 days. The chief attraction of Apple Pay appears to be the safeguards involved, which renders the service much more safe than traditional credit cards.

Follow this article’s writer, Leif Johnson, on Twitter.

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Adobe Releases Lightroom 5 in Standalone, Creative Cloud Editions

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5 - Advanced Healing Brush

After an exceptionally brief public beta period, Adobe is now shipping Photoshop Lightroom 5, the latest version of its midrange photography software which adds a handful of slick new features.

Adobe announced the availability of Photoshop Lightroom 5 on Monday, available for download immediately by Creative Cloud members or in standalone full or upgrade versions.

The previous edition of the cross-platform Lightroom arrived just over a year ago, and version 5.0 appears to be another reminder of Adobe’s commitment to a faster pace of innovation, available a week before the company rolls out new versions of the rest of its Creative Cloud software.

One of the standout features of Lightroom 5 is Smart Previews, which creates smaller, more portable DNG versions of image files for use on the latest generation notebook computers with limited solid-state storage. With Smart Previews, images can be manipulated using the Develop mode even when full-resolution files are offline, and all of your work will be carried over once the external hard drive is available again.

Lightroom 5 also borrows a trio of features from recent versions of the full Photoshop. Advanced Healing Brush makes it a snap to remove unwanted objects from an image just by painting over them, while the Upright tool helps create perfect images by correcting perspective with only a few clicks. If you want to put a little more focus on only part of an image, the new Radial Gradient tool makes it easier than ever to create a vignette effect with a wider range of control.

The latest version also allows videos to be intermixed with still images on slideshows, as well as improving on the photo book feature added in Lightroom 4. In addition to customizable templates, users can now add page numbers as well as captions for individual photos or even entire pages, with complete control over the text thanks to Adobe InDesign-style text tools.

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5
is now available at no additional cost for Creative Cloud subscribers as part of their existing membership, with a full standalone edition priced at 9 ( for users of any previous version of Lightroom).

Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter

 

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Adobe Releases Lightroom 5 in Standalone, Creative Cloud Editions

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5 - Advanced Healing Brush

After an exceptionally brief public beta period, Adobe is now shipping Photoshop Lightroom 5, the latest version of its midrange photography software which adds a handful of slick new features.

Adobe announced the availability of Photoshop Lightroom 5 on Monday, available for download immediately by Creative Cloud members or in standalone full or upgrade versions.

The previous edition of the cross-platform Lightroom arrived just over a year ago, and version 5.0 appears to be another reminder of Adobe’s commitment to a faster pace of innovation, available a week before the company rolls out new versions of the rest of its Creative Cloud software.

One of the standout features of Lightroom 5 is Smart Previews, which creates smaller, more portable DNG versions of image files for use on the latest generation notebook computers with limited solid-state storage. With Smart Previews, images can be manipulated using the Develop mode even when full-resolution files are offline, and all of your work will be carried over once the external hard drive is available again.

Lightroom 5 also borrows a trio of features from recent versions of the full Photoshop. Advanced Healing Brush makes it a snap to remove unwanted objects from an image just by painting over them, while the Upright tool helps create perfect images by correcting perspective with only a few clicks. If you want to put a little more focus on only part of an image, the new Radial Gradient tool makes it easier than ever to create a vignette effect with a wider range of control.

The latest version also allows videos to be intermixed with still images on slideshows, as well as improving on the photo book feature added in Lightroom 4. In addition to customizable templates, users can now add page numbers as well as captions for individual photos or even entire pages, with complete control over the text thanks to Adobe InDesign-style text tools.

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5
is now available at no additional cost for Creative Cloud subscribers as part of their existing membership, with a full standalone edition priced at 9 ( for users of any previous version of Lightroom).

Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter

 

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iStoryTime Releases The Croods Movie Storybook, 99¢ for Limited Time

The Croods Movie StorybookThe Croods invaded movie theaters this past weekend, racking up .6 million in box office receipts, and now iStoryTime is bringing the fun home with a movie storybook based on the DreamWorks Animation hit.

iStoryTime has announced the release of The Croods Movie Storybook app on Tuesday, a narrated and interactive app for iOS and Android that ties directly into the latest DreamWorks Animation box office smash.

As usual for iStoryTime, The Croods Movie Storybook isn’t just about flipping pages — the app features “Croods Couture” and “Survival Gear” activities, allowing the reader to customize character outfits and includes Auto Play, Read to Me and Read to Myself narration options with highlighted text and actual character voices from the film.

The Croods Movie Storybook
is now available on the App Store as a universal app for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad at an introductory price of only 99 cents.

Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter

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Apple Releases iOS 6.1.2, Still No Fix for Passcode Bug

iOS 6.1.2The latest update for iOS, 6.1.2, is now live for all devices. The update fixes an Exchange bug that was affecting networks and battery life. But unfortunately, the update does not address a recently discovered hack which allows anyone to access your iPhone despite a passcode being set up.

Apple’s release notes simply state the update “fixes an Exchange calendar bug that could result in increased network activity and reduced battery life.” But just last week, word spread of a workaround that allows someone to bypass your iPhone’s lock screen with the press of a few buttons in the Emergency Call screen.

At the time, Apple had promised to fix the exploit in a future update. But according to Ars Technica, 6.1.2 has not resolved the problem. Looks like you’ll need to keep a close eye on your iPhone for the time being.

The 6.1.2 update is available over-the-air or through iTunes. All iOS 6 devices are compatible, unlike 6.1.1.

 

Follow this article’s author, Matt Clark, on Twitter.

 

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