Apple plans to make everyone your local ATM

Cash stuffed in a wallet

We’ve all been there: When you least expect to need cash, you realize your wallet’s empty – the restaurant won’t accept cards, you’re catching a bus, you wanna tip the hotel maid – but there isn’t a bank or ATM around for miles. What do you do in that circumstance? According to a new patent published yesterday by Apple, the answer in the near future might be “pull out your phone and transmit a request for a stranger to give you some money.”

The patent is for what Apple calls an “ad-hoc cash-dispensing network” that would allow members to broadcast their location and amount of cash they desire. The requests are then visible to other members within a certain distance. Once an agreement has been reached between the borrower and lender, the two can arrange to meet at a particular location where the money will change hands, with their reimbursement coming in the form of a payment via the borrower’s iTunes account.

At least, that’s one of the variations on the idea listed in the patent application; others include loans via social networking, electronic transferring of funds, and GPS location of lenders/borrowers. The patent explains that “the ad-hoc cash-dispensing network includes a cash-dispensing server, a network, and a plurality of client terminals that connect to the cash-dispensing server through the network,” describing in detail the “embodiment” of the idea as detailed above.

“Most businesses accept payment through credit, check, or other forms of non-direct cash payments,” Apple says. Although there are benefits to using credit – i.e. fraud alert, theft protections, rewards programs – sometimes you just really need cold hard cash. “For example, some smaller businesses do not accept payment with credit cards because of the charges the proprietor of the business must pay to the credit card companies. Accordingly, there is a need for a cash-dispensing network that allows users to exchange cash as needed.”

The idea brings a familiar online notion – crowdsourcing – to a real world problem. There are obvious potential pitfalls (What if the borrower had an iTunes account that he or she had defaulted upon? What if the iTunes account was fake, or stranger still, the lender was fake and wanted to abuse the system), but the potential for change that it brings can’t be discounted. If Apple manages to make this model of crowdsourcing lending work, then it’d be interesting to see what will happen to banks as a result.

Social Media

How to send money on Facebook

In case you weren't already aware, you can now use Facebook Messenger to send or request money, which will allow you to skirt the fees oft-associated with services like Venmo. Here's how to use it.
Movies & TV

September brings 'The Dragon Prince,' an animated war series, to Netflix

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
Mobile

From true crime to comedy, here's our list of the best podcasts around

When you aren’t in the music mood, podcasts can be your ear candy. Whether you love to stay up-to-date on the latest news or want to know what’s happening in sports, you’ll find something on our must-listen-to podcast roundup.
Music

Apple Music vs. Spotify: Which service is the streaming king?

Apple Music is giving Spotify a run for its money, but which service is best for you? In our Apple Music vs. Spotify showdown, we compare and contrast all we know about the two streaming music services.
Mobile

Memoji in iOS 12 lets you create an avatar that looks and moves just like you

Apple's Memoji feature on iOS 12 allows you to send a customize Animoji that looks exactly like you. In comparison to other apps that allow you to make your own custom avatar, Memoji doesn't overcomplicate it.
Mobile

Here’s how to use Apple’s augmented reality Measure app in iOS 12

Included within iOS 12, the Measure app uses Apple's ARKit to measure objects and spaces in the real world with your camera. Using the app, you can measure a piece of furniture, the distance between points, and more.
Mobile

How to downgrade your iPhone or iPad from iOS 12 to iOS 11.4

Apple's iOS 12 may be the latest and greatest version of the mobile operating system, but perhaps it's not right for you right now. If that is the case, thankfully there are some ways to go back to iOS 11.4.
Mobile

Not sure about updating to iOS 12? Here are five reasons why you should

If you’re on the fence about whether to install iOS 12 or not, allow us to explain why the update is worthwhile. Here are five of our favorite features from Apple’s mobile platform.
Mobile

Google Maps is available on Apple CarPlay with iOS 12

After months of betas, the final version of iOS 12 is here to download. The new OS comes along with tons of new capabilities from grouped notifications to Siri Shortcuts, here are all the features you'll find in iOS 12.
Mobile

Find out how Apple's new iPhones measure up to the most bezel-less designs

As the smartphone industry marches toward a bezel-less future, we compare the shrinking bezels on the latest and greatest devices. Find out which manufacturers have the smallest bezels on their smartphone as we measure them side by side.
Mobile

iOS 12's Siri Shortcuts help Apple close the digital assistant gap

Siri may be lagging behind the competition, but Apple is finally supercharging the digital assistant with Siri Shortcuts, which allows you to perform tasks quickly and easily. Here's how to use iOS 12's new Siri Shortcuts app.
Mobile

Apple iPhone XS vs. Samsung Galaxy S9: 2018’s biggest flagships clash

The iPhone XS has been revealed, and it's one of the best phones of the year. But even though it's Apple's latest and greatest, it's up against a lot of competition. Is the iPhone XS better than the Samsung Galaxy S9?
Mobile

The best weather apps for the iPhone

Don't rely solely on your local meteorologist to stay up to date on the weather. Take matters into your own hands with one of these weather apps, each of which brings something unique to the table.
Mobile

Be an online phantom and web surf safely with Ghostery’s mobile browser

Keeping your private information to yourself has become progressively harder in the internet age. If you're worried about your personal information, check out the new version of the Ghostery browser for iOS and Android.