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Posts Tagged ‘Mobile Service’

Samsung’s Galaxy S II named best smartphone in the world, and Samsung is just getting started

Friday, March 2nd, 2012

This year’s Mobile World Congress is now behind us. And it was quite a show. Android phones got a bump to four cores, camera phones got a bump to 41 megapixels, and reporters and bloggers were run ragged as the wireless industry gave us a glimpse at the stars of their respective portfolios for the first half of 2012. The highlight of the show for us was definitely Microsoft taking the wraps off its Windows 8 Consumer Preview, and our favorite smartphones introduced at the show were HTC’s ultra-sleek One X and its ultra-slim One S. But Mobile World Congress isn’t all about looking forward, it’s also about looking back at some of the mobile technology that has changed our lives in recent history. With that in mind, the GSMA handed out its Global Mobile Awards for 2012 earlier this week. Read on for more.

A number of top companies received honors at this year’s awards. Nokia’s C3-00 won best feature phone of the year, Apple’s iPad 2 won best mobile tablet, Google Maps for Android was named best consumer mobile service, WhatsApp was named best overall mobile app of the year and Rovio’s Angry Birds Rio was named best mobile app for consumers.

Top honors, however, went to Samsung this year as the South Korea-based consumer electronics giant took home awards for best device manufacturer of the year and for best smartphone thanks to its wildly popular Galaxy S II series of handsets.

“We are pleased to receive this honor from GSMA and believe that it’s a testament to Samsung’s innovation, quality products, and attention to consumer preferences,” Samsung’s mobile boss JK Shin said in response to the awards. “We sold over 97 million smartphones in 2011, demonstrating that this is the right approach.”

The Galaxy S II was undoubtedly an iconic smartphone that sent Samsung’s smartphone business soaring in 2011, but the company is hardly done leading the pack. The world’s top Android vendor is expected to launch its next-generation Galaxy S III smartphone in April and according to an exclusive report from BGR earlier this week, Samsung has no plans to slow down in 2012.

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Exent’s GameTanium Mobile launches for Android tabs

Tuesday, February 28th, 2012

OnLive users may have been dining at the all-you-can-eat gaming table since December, but now it’s time for the GameTanium crew to pull up a chair. Game provider Extent has brought its subscription platform to Android tablets and offers unlimited access to titles such as Fruit Ninja, Baseball Superstars and T-Racer HD. The service rolls in at a cent under six dollars a month, and there’s a three-day free trial for those with commitment issues. The new mobile service is available right away via a direct .apk, so if you want in, skip past the Android Market and take a peek at the press release after the break instead.

Continue reading Exent’s GameTanium Mobile launches for Android tabs

Exent’s GameTanium Mobile launches for Android tabs originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 28 Feb 2012 21:16:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Skype adds Groupme to social portfolio, sets sights on mobile market

Sunday, August 21st, 2011

Skype adds Groupme to social portfolio, sets sights on mobile marketSure, we’re still waiting for that Microsoft-Skype deal to close, but it looks like Redmond’s about to get more than it initially bargained for. Skype announced today that it has reached an agreement to snatch up Groupme, the mobile group messaging service that made a splash at Google I/O. Outfit head honcho Tony Bates told TechCrunch that Skype needs to invade the mobile space if it hopes to reach its goal of scoring one billion users, and cites Groupme’s “sticky group messaging experience” as the ideal mobile addition to the Skype family. But don’t take our word for it, hit the break and dig the PR for yourself.

Continue reading Skype adds Groupme to social portfolio, sets sights on mobile market

Skype adds Groupme to social portfolio, sets sights on mobile market originally appeared on Engadget on Mon, 22 Aug 2011 01:58:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Verizon to integrate American Express’ mobile payment solution into phones, tablets

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2011

Verizon Wireless and American Express announced on Monday that Verizon Wireless will begin to integrate American Express’ “Serve” mobile payment solution into its phones and tablets. The agreement will allow Verizon Wireless customers to make mobile payments from their phones, provided that they have an existing Serve account. “Our collaboration with Verizon highlights the speed at which Serve is evolving to reach a wide audience,” said Dan Schulman, group president, Enterprise Growth, American Express. “Verizon Wireless customers will soon be able to complement their busy lifestyle with a trusted payment platform that delivers a fast, flexible and secure way to manage their day-to-day mobile purchases, and together we’re taking the necessary steps to make mobile commerce a reality.” Serve is similar to PayPal and allows users to send or receive money for goods and services. American Express announced the service in March in tandem with Serve apps for Android and iOS. Read on for the full press release.

Verizon to Integrate American Express’ Serve on Wireless Phones and Tablets

Verizon Wireless customers to have access to simple and easy mobile payments powered by Serve, American Express’ new digital payment platform

NEW YORK & BASKING RIDGE, N.J.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–American Express (NYSE: AXP) and Verizon Wireless today announced they will integrate Serve, a next-generation digital payment and commerce platform, on many Verizon mobile phones and tablets. Over the coming months, Verizon Wireless customers will be able to establish Serve accounts that will enable them to make payments and redeem offers for goods and services directly from their mobile phones and tablets using Serve.

“Serve provides a quick and intuitive way for our customers to use their mobile service in a refreshingly convenient way. Our commitment to building the entire mobile payments ecosystem, through our Isis joint venture and now with Serve, gives customers incredible new ways to use their mobile devices.”

Serve simplifies the online checkout experience by authenticating a mobile number, then allowing a customer to make a purchase on-screen. Verizon Wireless customers who use Serve can expect to buy goods and services on their mobile phone in just a few clicks. Merchants who accept Serve mobile payments will enjoy a streamlined option for processing and settlement. The Serve card is currently accepted by the millions of merchants in the United States who accept American Express.

American Express and Verizon Wireless will also collaborate to source, distribute and simplify redemption of online and mobile offers with participating merchants through the use of the Serve account. For example, as customers redeem certain offers or coupons using their mobile phones, the credit may automatically appear in their Serve account.

The two companies are also working with Payfone to support Serve checkout on Verizon Wireless devices. Payfone’s pre-authorization and intelligent routing features will help Verizon Wireless customers who use the Serve application make mobile payments simply and securely.

“Our collaboration with Verizon highlights the speed at which Serve is evolving to reach a wide audience,” said Dan Schulman, group president, Enterprise Growth, American Express. “Verizon Wireless customers will soon be able to complement their busy lifestyle with a trusted payment platform that delivers a fast, flexible and secure way to manage their day-to-day mobile purchases, and together we’re taking the necessary steps to make mobile commerce a reality.”

Greg Haller, president, Enterprise & Government for Verizon Wireless, said, “Serve provides a quick and intuitive way for our customers to use their mobile service in a refreshingly convenient way. Our commitment to building the entire mobile payments ecosystem, through our Isis joint venture and now with Serve, gives customers incredible new ways to use their mobile devices.”

Merchants who are interested in accepting mobile payments through Serve and Verizon can learn more at www.serve.com/billmyphone.

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Microsoft shutting down Windows Mobile market, My Phone service

Friday, June 10th, 2011

While Microsoft was one of the last to launch an app store on Windows Mobile 6, the company will be the first to shut one down as well. Microsoft has alerted Windows Mobile 6 customers that the company plans to shut down the entire service, including the ability for new developers to submit new applications on July 15th. Though customers will still be able to purchase and redownload apps, we’re guessing that’s coming to a close pretty soon as well. Additionally, Microsoft’s My Phone service — the software and service that backs up data on your phone including multimedia — will be going offline as well on August 7th. The goods news is that there’s Windows Phone, and this is a logical step towards shifting consumers over to the new ecosystem.

Thanks, Joshua!

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Bank of America trialing Mobile Wallet program, uses NFC-enabled BlackBerry smartphones

Friday, February 25th, 2011

According to a BGR source, Bank of America has started inviting select customers to trial its new Mobile Wallet payment service program based on NFC technology. The program only works with BlackBerry smartphones at this point, and in order to make your existing phone NFC-capable, Bank of America is sending testers a new battery cover in addition to a microSD card. The BlackBerry Curve 8520 and 8530; BlackBerry Bold 9000, 9650 and 9700; and BlackBerry Tour 9630 are all supported devices. Payments can be made at any location where Mastercard’s PayPass is accepted, and the program will become active very shortly “this Spring.” We have a couple shots of the program materials after the break!

Thanks, Dylan!

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Verizon iPhone isn’t bringing new users to iOS, developer speculates

Monday, February 21st, 2011

According to the founder of Instapaper, a popular Web and mobile service that allows users to read website content offline, the introduction of Verizon Wireless’ iPhone 4 may not be pulling many new customers into the iOS ecosystem. Marco Arment speculates that sales of his popular Instapaper app are likely a good barometer for iOS device sales. Arment finds that app sales see “huge spikes” when Apple releases new iPhone handsets, thanks to the flood of new iOS customers that purchase the phone. When Verizon launched its iPhone 4 earlier this month, however, Instapaper sales were unaffected. Arment poses three possible explanations: Verizon hasn’t sold many iPhones, Verizon iPhone owners don’t purchase many apps compared to other iPhone owners, or Verizon iPhones have been sold mostly to individuals who had previously owned iOS devices and therefor are able to simply transfer previously bought apps to their new phones. He feels the third scenario is the most likely. Arment’s theory is not necessarily supported by sales data revealed exclusively by BGR earlier this month. Alongside launch-weekend sales figures from five major Apple Store locations, we revealed that only about 14% of Verizon iPhone 4 buyers had previously owned AT&T’s version of the Apple smartphone. It is worth noting that data from our exclusive report did not include sales made at Verizon Wireless store locations, however, and it also did not include buyers who had previously owned the iPad or iPod touch.

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Intuit now offering GoPayment service without fees through February, also throws in a free card reader

Wednesday, January 12th, 2011

Perhaps just to show that it is not hip to be a Square, Intuit has rolled out a serious incentive for businesses to jump on the GoPayment bandwagon. Since we last saw the mobile payment service, the company has decided to offer customers a free card reader (while supplies last) and no monthly service fees in an effort to expand its user base. Primarily aimed at those processing low sales volume, the deal includes $0.15 per-transaction fee. That’s half the $0.30 fee for high-volume users, who still get the complimentary reader for signing up, but have to pay $12.95 monthly for the privilege. The offer is exclusively available to new customers, and the gratis reader only works with some phones (far fewer than the number of phones that work with the app itself), but hey, free is free. Let’s just hope Intuit’s system doesn’t suffer from the security problems of its rival.

Continue reading Intuit now offering GoPayment service without fees through February, also throws in a free card reader

Intuit now offering GoPayment service without fees through February, also throws in a free card reader originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 12 Jan 2011 05:54:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Google Nexus S now available from Best Buy

Thursday, December 16th, 2010

The hour is upon us. Eager Android fans are finally able to get their mits on the latest and greatest Android smartphone (for now, at least) — Google’s Nexus S. The Nexus S is the first Android-powered device to ship with Android 2.3 (Gingerbread), which means it’s also the first Android phone with NFC onboard. While it is highly unlikely that anything truly interesting will materialize with NFC in the U.S. during this particular phone’s lifetime, the technology is something we should look forward to seeing in all Android devices down the road. Google has made it pretty clear that NFC is a big part of its strategy as the company looks for new revenue streams from its mobile business. Beyond NFC, the Nexus S features a 4-inch Super-AMOLED display, a 1GHz Hummingbird processor, a 5-megapixel camera, a front-facing secondary camera for video chat and plenty more. It became available online and in Best Buy stores starting at 8:00am Eastern this morning for $529.99 unlocked or $199.99 with a two-year T-Mobile service contract.

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AT&T, Microsoft offer free perks to Windows Phone 7 buyers

Wednesday, October 20th, 2010

Microsoft announced last week that it would be giving away free 3-month Zune Passes to customers who sign up for Windows Phone 7 pre-order notifications and then go on to place pre-orders. AT&T apparently wants in on the action as well, as the carrier plans to give away a free “Entertainment Pack” with each Windows Phone 7 device purchase. The pack consists of a 1-month Zune Pass with 10 free song downloads, a month of U-verse Mobile service and a free copy of the 3-D puzzle game ilomilo. The deal sounds pretty sweet, though takers should note that unless the service is canceled, they will automatically get charged a $10 monthly subscription fee after their free 30-day U-verse Mobile trials expire. Ahhh… nothing like a good old fashioned Columbia House scam to welcome people to the new Windows Phone 7 family.

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Verizon announces Fivespot global, mobile hotspot

Monday, October 4th, 2010

Today, Verizon Wireless announced the availability of the ZTE Fivespot global hotspot. The internationally-compliant mobile hotspot will support the following frequencies: CDMA 1xEV-DO Rev. A/Rev. 0: 800/1900 MHz, WCDMA/HSDPA/HSUPA: 850/1900/2100 MHz, and GSM/GPRS/EDGE: 850/900/1800/1900 MHz. The device will be available starting on October 7 for $99.99 with a 2-year service contract (after a $100 mail-in rebate).Available domestic and international data plans offered will be as follows:

Domestic

  • $39.99 monthly access for 250 MB monthly allowance and $0.10/MB overage
  • $59.99 monthly access for 5 GB monthly allowance and $0.05/MB overage

Prepaid Mobile Broadband plans are also available:

  • $15 for 100 MB (one day of use)
  • $30 for 300 MB (one week of use)
  • $50 for 1 GB (30 days of use)
  • $80 for 5 GB (30 days of use)

International

  • $129.99 monthly access (5 GB allowance for the United States and Canada, $0.05/MB overage), 100 MB allowance in select countries ($0.005/KB after allowance)
  • $219.99 monthly access (5 GB allowance for the United States and Canada, $0.05/MB overage), 200 MB allowance in select countries ($0.005/KB after allowance)
  • GlobalAccess Pay Per Use for occasional use must be purchased with a $59.99 Mobile Broadband service plan in the United States. The Pay Per Use rate is $0.002/KB in Canada, $0.005/KB in Mexico, and $0.02/KB in more than 200 other destinations.

The device will work in over 200 countries; 120 of them with 3G speeds.

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More details about Walmart Family Mobile

Saturday, September 18th, 2010

We’ve just been given a little more information about the Walmart Family Mobile service we told you about several days ago. Here are all the details — some new and some old — that we’ve been given: The phone service will cost $45 for the first line (which includes unlimited calling and texting) and $25 for each additional line; you can add up to five lines. The web portion of the plan will be a shared bucket that rolls over from month to month. If you have a 200 MB allowance, and only use 50 MB in the first month, your 150 MB of leftover data are still available. Data allowances will be purchased on pre-paid data cards named WebPakTM cards. Calling to 14 major international cities (including cities in Canada, Mexico, and Japan) will be billed at 5-cents per minute (the $0.05 is billed against the value of your WebPakTM card). You will be allowed to activate any unlocked U.S. GSM cell phone on Family Mobile for a $25 activation fee and you can pre-pay your bill with a credit or debit card at any Walmart store nationwide. On Monday September 20th, the service will launch with the following phones: Nokia 1661 for $35, Samsung t139 for $50, Samsung t749 for $150, and the Motorola Cliq XT for $250. There will also be a Samsung slider-device, similar to the Gravity, available for $100. The ability to BYOP (bring your own phone) seems pretty generous. What do you think? Perfect spot for a Nexus One?

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Verizon launching new Mobile Recovery service tomorrow

Wednesday, September 15th, 2010

We’ve just been tipped by one of our Verizon ninjas that VZW will be launching a new service called Mobile Recovery, for smartphones, starting tomorrow. Mobile Recovery will provide several functions, including:

  • Device location using GPS
  • Sound alarms
  • Remote device lock
  • Remote device wipe

The option will be a free add-on for those customers who subscribe to a Total Equipment Coverage (TEC) plan and have an Android, Windows Mobile, webOS, or BlackBerry device. We’ve also been told that: “Once enrolled in TEC, which is complete coverage against loss, theft, accidental damage and defects after the manufacturer’s warranty expires, customers can visit www.MyMobileRecovery.com to download the Mobile Recovery application, or text getmr to 6967 for download instructions.”

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Best Buy Connect mobile broadband service launching soon

Monday, June 28th, 2010
Best Buy launching Connect mobile broadband service

We’ve been hearing wind of a new mobile broadband service coming next month from Best Buy for a few days now, and it looks like the company went ahead and spilled the beans in its own Sunday flyer. The service offers a variety of tiers ranging from a contract-free 250MB per month for $30 all the way up to 5GB monthly on a 24 month contract for $60 a month. Interestingly, 5GB monthly contract-free costs the same $60 monthly — you just get the $35 activation fee waived. At this point we don’t know what the hardware looks like, but we’re told Sprint is providing those bits and bytes wirelessly and that this new service will work with 4G. The employee news image after the break indicates that Connect will be launching on July 11 in all but 75 of the company’s stores. Sometimes living out in the country is a drag.

[Thanks, Jameil and Tyler]

Continue reading Best Buy Connect mobile broadband service launching soon

Best Buy Connect mobile broadband service launching soon originally appeared on Engadget on Mon, 28 Jun 2010 08:12:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Mobilicity launches service in Toronto: all plans unlimited, no contracts to speak of

Sunday, May 16th, 2010

My, talk about a breath of fresh air. Canadian wireless subscribers have long since dealt with inhumane three-year contracts on mainstays like Rogers and Bell, signing over their cellular soul on a whim in order to get a marginally subsidized phone and a guaranteed bill for 36 months. We’ve heard for awhile now that Mobilicity was jonesing to change things up in the Great White North, and change it has. Shortly after receiving an all-important green light from the CRTC, the company has gone live with mobile service in Toronto, with a number of other large Canadian cities to follow in the months ahead. What’s most unique about the service, however, is that every single plan it sells is unlimited in nature, and there’s nary a contract to be found — you simply pick the phone you want, the plan you want, and then you pay upfront. It’s most akin to the various prepaid options here in the States (Virgin Mobile, Boost Mobile, etc.), but still — it’s a lovely alternative to have if you’re a Canuck. Unlimited calling and texting can be had for just $35 per month, while $65 per month nets you unlimited everything (including global texting, US long distance calling and data usage). The phone selection ain’t half bad either, with the only major “gotcha” being that extra roaming fees can apply if you use your mobile outside of metro Toronto (or in the future, away from the carrier’s specific coverage cities). Hit up the source link to get the facts straight from the horse’s moose’s mouth.

[Thanks, Endi]

Mobilicity launches service in Toronto: all plans unlimited, no contracts to speak of originally appeared on Engadget on Sun, 16 May 2010 04:37:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Sprint and Walmart introduce Common Cents Mobile

Wednesday, May 12th, 2010

common-cents-mobile

Sprint and Walmart have announced they’ve banded together to launch a brand new, low-cost carrier…say hello to Common Sense Mobile. Service will be lit up on May 15th and the carrier will be featured –exclusively — in over 700 Walmarts across the country. Minutes are billed at 7¢ a pop, but thanks to “Round Down” billing, a “minute” can last up to 119 seconds. This allows the $20 refill to be good for up to 565 minutes and the $30 up to 848 minutes. Nifty. Also coming in at 7¢ each are text messages, although there is an option for a $20 unlimited messaging package. Data will be available for $1 per megabyte per day. Being a no-frills carrier, Common Sense doesn’t offer a lavish line-up of handsets, but what it does carry is very affordable. The cheapest most affordable of the pack is LG 101 which sells for $19.77, followed closely by the Samsung M340 at $39.77. The most expensive handset is the Kyocera S2300, which has a full-QWERTY keypad, and retails for $69.77. Minute refills can be purchased at select Walmart stores; alternatively, Common Sense subscribers can register their credit card, debit card, or PayPal information at CommonSenseMobile.com to get more minutes.

Catch the press spiel after the break.

NEW COMMON CENTS MOBILE ANSWERS THE CALL FOR PAY-AS-YOU-GO INNOVATION WITH UNIQUE ROUND DOWN™ MINUTES

Sprint and Walmart launch no nonsense prepaid service with industry-leading 7-cent minutes and 7-cent text messages ideal for budget-conscious, no-frills customers

WARREN, N.J. (May [13], 2010) – Now more than ever, Americans are searching for smart and simple ways to cut unnecessary costs. Sprint (NYSE:S) and Walmart [NASDAQ:WMT] today announced the launch of Common Cents Mobile, the newest member of Sprint’s powerhouse prepaid portfolio with 7-cent minutes that Round Down and 7-cent text messages to provide the greatest value for budget-conscious consumers. The new brand, part of Sprint’s prepaid multi-brand strategy, debuts May 15 exclusively in more than 700 Walmart stores in markets such as Birmingham, Ala., Detroit, Houston, Orlando, Fla., and more.

“In recent months, consumers seeking no-frills, pay-by-the-minute plans have been somewhat overlooked with the popularity of unlimited plans in the market,” said Dan Schulman, president of Sprint’s prepaid group. “These customers want to stay connected — to a point — but don’t want to waste time or money on services they don’t use. The addition of Common Cents combines easy-to-use handsets with a simple pay-by-the-minute service that can save them money.” Unlimited monthly plans without contracts helped re-energize the prepaid business last year but pay-by-the-minute customers still represent the majority [63 percent] of prepaid market share, and almost half [49 percent] of prepaid gross adds.

Unique new features

Round Down – Exclusive to Common Cents Mobile, Round Down minutes offer straight-forward pricing as consumers pay only for what they use – or less. The concept is simple: other carriers round up to the nearest whole minute; if you talk, for example, for 1 minute and 46 seconds, you will pay for 2 minutes for the call.

But Common Cents will “Round Down” your call of 1:46 minutes to 1 minute, allowing consumers to pay for less than what they actually use. With minutes that Round Down after the first minute, not up, consumers get more minutes for their money.

Handsets – Common Cents Mobile offers handsets with simple, basic functions – voicemail, text messaging, caller ID – that appeal to cost-conscious consumers. The easy-to-use, affordable and stylish units are priced to highlight the 7-cent-minute pricing and include the LG101® priced at just $19.77, the Samsung® M340 at $39.77, and the Kyocera® S2300 for $69.77.

Offers – Developed for consumers who seek ease and simplicity, Common Cents Mobile lets customers activate and add money to their account with two service options:

  • $20 Refill card = 30 days of service, up to 565 minutes of talk
  • $30 Refill card = 60 days of service, up to 848 minutes of talk

Consumers may also add unlimited messaging for $20 per month and data access for $1/megabyte per day. Adding to monthly balances is accomplished by buying Refill cards or by registering a credit or debit card or PayPal account online at CommonCentsMobile.com. With Common Cents Mobile, there are no activation or termination fees and no long-term contracts.

As part of the launch, Common Cents Mobile will introduce a new regional ad campaign and “jingle” that speaks to turning back to a simpler time, like the Common Cents Mobile plans.

Handsets and Refill cards will be available beginning May 15 at select Walmart locations. For more information or to locate a Walmart store that carries Common Cents Mobile, please visit the store locator.

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Square’s mobile payment service officially launches

Tuesday, May 11th, 2010

square

If you are not familiar with Square, it is a mobile payment service (hardware and software) that hopes to change how mobile transactions are processed. Now available for iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, and Android devices, all you need to get going and accepting credit card payments is Square’s credit card reader. If you have been down the merchant account road before, you are probably asking how much the device costs, right? Square is giving out the reader, which plugs into the 3.5mm headset jack on your smartphone, for free. Their transaction rates are also pretty competitive at 2.75% of the transaction + $0.15 for all major credit cards. If you have always wanted to pay that shady guy off of Craigslist with plastic instead of paper, your dream might finally come true as this propagates throughout the wild. Check out a video of the service after the jump!

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