Time for our Wednesday feature that highlights some of the latest iPhone news! The holidays are approaching and that means the college kids are nearly done with this semester’s studies. Since they’re nearly done with their textbooks as well, the timing of an iPhone app to buy back books is serendipitous too. The software from BookCircus takes either the ISBN number or title of a textbook and returns a buy-back price. Once you select which books are worth the sale, BookCircus will mail you a packing slip and mailing instructions. Too bad you can’t scan the ISBN with the iPhone’s camera, no? That’s OK, just a little text input can return some green to your pockets if you’re looking to unload those texts.
Another Swiss Army use of the iPhone cropped up today as well — a $188 dock that turns the iPhone into a Universal Remote Control. The RedEye personal remote control device won’t pause or mute the world “Click” style, but you can channel your inner Adam Sandler by controlling home electronics with it. The Red Eye hardware and software convert touch actions on your iPhone or iPod Touch from Wi-Fi to infrared signals using a special base dock. Codes can be programmed in for different devices and you can skin the remote on your handheld as well.
Probably the biggest new iPhone function noticed this week is the credit card payment system called Square. This small card reader attaches to the iPhone through a headphone jack and scans credit cards. The card information is converted to an audio signal on the iPhone, encrypted and sent to the Square servers for payment processing. Although many are expressing security concerns, I see Square as an innovative and cost-effective solution to payment processing for both consumers and merchants. I’ll be curious to see if Square develops any harsh angles as it evolves.