New iPhone Payment System

Self Edge NYC, a New York supplier of denim clothing and other accessories, has launched a new payment system based on Apple’s iPhone. The system is named ‘Square’ and it requires no ink or paper to complete a credit card transaction between a store employee and a customer.

This new payment processing method basically consists of having a small card reader inserted in the headphones jack of your iPhone (or iPod Touch) that will transfer the card data to a specific application on the iPhone. The store employee is supposed to enter the total cost of the merchandise purchased, while the customer adds his/her signature using the touchscreen and an email address as a destination for the receipt (the receipt also includes a map with the location of the transaction).

The transaction is processed by Square which currently has a percentage fee (2.5%) and also a fixed fee of 50 cents per transaction. The money is transferred directly to the store’s bank account. The system is supposedly in its alpha-testing phase, but it seems the majority of people that have used it are satisfied so, should it prove successful once released on a large scale, it might be the start for a whole new experience with credit card transactions.

New iPhone Payment System (card reader): [Link]

June 23rd, 2009

Inside the iPhone 3G S

Inside The Iphone 3G S

June 19th marked the launch of Apple’s “fastest, most powerful iPhone yet”, the iPhone 3G S. Not sure what the S stands for (I’ve came across some guesses while surfing the web, speed, sex, sucks just to name a few), but according to Apple’s official website it should be “up to 2x faster” than the old iPhone 3G and should have a digital compass that reorients the map as you change the direction you’re facing, a 3.0 megapixel camera that can also record VGA video in 30 frames per second and voice control for calling and playing music.

On the outside, the new iPhone remains true to the traditional design of Apple – minimalistic, elegant and slim. As we unfold its shell, the new smartphone from Apple reveals a few interesting improvements. First, the PCB is more compact than before, with nearly every component on the top side of the board. Second, the CPU has changed – iPhone 3G S features the ARM A8 Samsung S5PC100 processor, which runs at 600Mhz with 32KB L1 cache memory instead of 412Mhz with 16KB cache like the ARM 11 Samsung S3C6400 used in the previous model. The new iPhone 3G S also features the PowerVR SGX graphics accelerator that runs at 200Mhz.

The smartphone has a Toshiba NAND flash memory and a new combo in the wireless department: the BCM4325 from Broadcom. It also received an important upgrade to the battery, from 1150mAH to 1219mAH, and it is rumored that the iPhone 3GS’ battery life will be 15-20 percent longer than the iPhone 3G’s. A great and necessary improvement for all iPhone 3G S users.

The most important upgrade of the new Apple device is clearly its Applications Processor Core. With a clock speed of 600Mhz, 256MB DDR SDRAM and the PowerVR SGX graphics processor, the new smartphone has the muscle to manage all kinds of demanding applications and, with the help of the SGX, that includes some serious gaming. The longer battery life also supports this idea and the iPhone 3G S might turn out to be quite a powerful mobile device.

Inside the iPhone 3G S: [Link]

June 20th, 2009

Under Surgery: iPhone 3G S

Under Surgery iPhone 3G S

What could be 50% faster than iPhone 3G? The new iPhone 3G S! However this could be just a rumor and some good guys decided to have a look inside. On the outside seems pretty much identical to its older brother. To open the case you still need to get passed those two screws at the bottom and to use a suction cup for the front panel. You must be careful again to remove it nice and easy not to damage the connectors. There is one more connector in the lower right corner.

Detaching the LCD from the front panel is done like in the iPhone 3G, you must remove the screws and use a sharp tool to release it. On the other half the main board is shielded from EMI. First the board comes off with the shields, then you must remove the two shields to look at the chips. Once the iPhone shows its intimate parts we can see that the rumors are true. Instead of S3C6400 now there is a S5PC100 Samsung microprocessor running at 600Mhz instead of 412Mhz like the older 3G.

This PCB alone is some piece of layout engineering. The other big chip next to the microprocessor is a 16GB Toshiba flash memory. Under this PCB hides a 3.7V/ 1219 mAh battery just slightly higher than older one.

In the end, with the new microprocessor the 3G S is definitely an upgrade and it seems this new iPhone will be able to face bigger gfx challenges so that’s good news for gamers.

Under Surgery: iPhone 3G S: [Link]

DIY Solar Charger for iPhone

Here is a multifunctional charger that you can use with your iPhone or iPod or many other devices. The main feature is solar charging using a 4.5V/100mA solar cell but it can also accept voltage input varying from 3.7V to 7V from a wall wart for example. Having a 3.7V 2000mAh Lithium Polymer battery inside it can also be used as a power reserve in your travels.

To build this you will need a Minty Boost Kit which is a USB charger and to this USB port you will connect the device who’s internal battery is depleted. You will also need a charger for the LiPo battery. The Minty Boost will be connected to this LiPo charger along with the solar cell.

Depending on the solar cell you will be using, you might need to put a diode between the cell and the charger to prevent the draining of the LiPo battery when the light is low. All it needs now is a case. All parts used are very compact, the solar cell is 3.7″x2.4″. Using a bigger one however will decrease the charging time.

It can’t take more than one hour to build it and considering the usability of this charger i wish you all good luck with your build.

DIY Solar charger for iPod/iPhone: [Link][Via]

Replace iPhone front panel

“Operator?! I need an exit!” I bet if iPhone existed when they shot The Matrix they would’ve used it. It’s a great device and can really get you on antidepressants when it gets damaged somehow. There are however some problems that you can fix yourself, for example a cracked front panel. The iPhone is a little more difficult than regular phones to open so you will need some tools but nothing very exotic.

Since you will be dealing with small and sensitive mechanical and electronic parts you must be very careful and meticulous. Specially when you are using metallic tools that can scratch or slip and damage some other component. If you tried to open the older iPhone you will be pleased to know the newer iPhone 3G is more friendly in that matter. The display can now be detached from the front panel with little care.  The front panel glass is glued to the rest of the case, but the glue gets soft if you heat it.

It is very well suggested to put the screws and other parts that come off on some scotch tape so you don’t lose them. A magnet also works very well for screws.

With some care the results can be excellent and your iPhone will be back in shape. So get to work and enjoy.

Learn how to replace iPhone’s front panel: [Link]

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