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New apps said to make iPod touch more prominent in Apple stores

post #1 of 44
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In addition to the the EasyPay iPod touch application used for checkouts, numerous Apple-created, task-specific applications are allegedly coming to Apple retail employees, AppleInsider has been told.

Apple store employees will reportedly be provided with at least three exclusive, separate applications that will accomplish a variety of tasks. One of those applications will allegedly allow employees to swap iPhones and iPods on the store floor. Previously, replacements could only be done at the store's Genius Bar.

Another proprietary application is said to assist employees who work in a store's stock room. The applications will reportedly be used to ease and simplify necessary tasks done in all of Apple's retail locations.

The Cupertino, Calif., company apparently plans to roll out all of the applications at the same time for its employees. They will be bundled with the Apple-written "Easy Touch" application that combines the software with a magnetic stripe reader and advanced barcode scanner on an iPod touch to speed credit card and cash transactions.

Earlier this month, AppleInsider gave an exclusive look at the iPod touch-based EasyPay checkout system. It is already used in some Apple stores for processing credit card, debit card and cash purchases.

Apple allegedly plans to roll out the proprietary software "very soon" across all of its stores, in both the U.S. and Europe.

The Mac maker previously used Pocket PC-based EasyPay devices for checkout, allowing any employee to act as a cashier. The clunky Windows CE-based systems drew complaints from employees about software crashes, sluggish operation, and the need to frequently reboot.

The EasyPay Touch checkout system utilizes Apple's iPod touch.

The introduction of the iPhone's 3.0 software allows applications on the device to utilize external hardware plugged in to an iPhone or iPod touch. That change paved the way for Apple to create its own point of sale system.

On the customer side, AppleInsider reported this week that Apple also plans to release a new "Concierge" application on the App Store. The software will allegedly allow anyone to view memberships and make appointments for services at retail stores, like the Genius Bar or One to One.
post #2 of 44
now if they would sell this setup to other stores I'd never have to wait in line again.
post #3 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by jkuhns View Post

now if they would sell this setup to other stores I'd never have to wait in line again.

I prefer waiting in line to standing about in an aisle trying to randomly catch the eye of a guy who is walking and moving around the place serving the pretty girls first. Just my opinion
post #4 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by stuffe View Post

I prefer waiting in line to standing about in an aisle trying to randomly catch the eye of a guy who is walking and moving around the place serving the pretty girls first. Just my opinion

I've never found that to be the case - they seem to want to get me out of the store as quickly as possible.
post #5 of 44
just stay close to the pretty girls
post #6 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by stuffe View Post

I prefer waiting in line to standing about in an aisle trying to randomly catch the eye of a guy who is walking and moving around the place serving the pretty girls first. Just my opinion

Ya I agree there I remember one time I went in to buy me and my wife new MacBook Pros (old ones outdated) I stood around for like 30 minutes and employees would walk right by me... I would have two employees just sitting there talking to each other.. I then pulled out a bunch of cash waving saying I got money I wanna spend can I please get some help over here... A few employees looked over and went back to what they were doing... I then pulled out my cell phone called the store number and lady answered phone... I told her I been waiting for like over 45 minutes can I get some damn help now please... Finally a guy came over to help me... for my troubles though I got an extra $200 off even though was already getting a Military Discount....
post #7 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by jkuhns View Post

now if they would sell this setup to other stores I'd never have to wait in line again.

I never had to wait before with the original express checkout, the one Apple copied the concept from - you know the one that ran on Windows from Microsoft.
post #8 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

I never had to wait before with the original express checkout, the one Apple copied the concept from - you know the one that ran on Windows from Microsoft.

Oh you mean the Windows one which was copied from the Newton?
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post #9 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by jkuhns View Post

just stay close to the pretty girls

Isn't that close to stalking? \

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post #10 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveLV702 View Post

Ya I agree there I remember one time I went in to buy me and my wife new MacBook Pros (old ones outdated) I stood around for like 30 minutes and employees would walk right by me... I would have two employees just sitting there talking to each other.. I then pulled out a bunch of cash waving saying I got money I wanna spend can I please get some help over here... A few employees looked over and went back to what they were doing... I then pulled out my cell phone called the store number and lady answered phone... I told her I been waiting for like over 45 minutes can I get some damn help now please... Finally a guy came over to help me... for my troubles though I got an extra $200 off even though was already getting a Military Discount....

This keeps coming up, but I never understood why people have so many issues paying. I'm a shy guy, but really? The employees generally don't bother you until you talk to them, which is low pressure and refreshing. When you're ready to pay all you do it walk up to ANYONE who works there and say "I need to pay." It's not enough to just look at them, "use your words mini-me!" They either help you or get someone who can and within 2 minutes you're out the door. It's really not a difficult process.
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post #11 of 44
I went in to replace my iPhone headset, which was on its last legs. I picked it out and was happy to find a checkout guy with one of the new systems. Gave him my CC and he ran it... oops, it didn't read the card. So that's bad. But he said no problem and we went over to a corner of the store where there was a real CC reader. He punched something in his unit to tell it to transfer the sale to the CC unit on the table, typed an access code (just like authorizing the Remote app to control your iTunes library) and completed the transaction.

So while it worked as a whole, there was still a glitch.
post #12 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by bloggerblog View Post

Oh you mean the Windows one which was copied from the Newton?

Really? Which retail store ever utilized the Newton. Fill me in- I missed that part of tech history.
post #13 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

Really? Which retail store ever utilized the Newton. Fill me in- I missed that part of tech history.

because you can only steal ideas from mass marketed and utlised things.

And from your posts, its clear you missed many parts of tech history
post #14 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by joelsalt View Post

because you can only steal ideas from mass marketed and utlised things.

And from your posts, its clear you missed many parts of tech history

Thanks for the non-answer.
post #15 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

... the Apple-written "Easy Touch" application that combines the software with a magnetic stripe reader ...

I still don't understand why they went with the old fashioned "swipe" technology and the signature. Are they completely unaware that outside of the USA this is kind of old technology? it makes them look a little old fashioned, which is a weird thing to have to say about Apple.
post #16 of 44
I don't understand why they don't have a way to just allow me to walk in with my iPhone. Have them send me some sort of confirmation/receipt via text message and allow me to pay with my Apple account. The whole "swipe your card" tech seems to be a little lame at this point.

I'm sure there are security issues, but what if we just went online, paid for the item on the website and did a pickup at the store?
post #17 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveLV702 View Post

Ya I agree there I remember one time I went in to buy me and my wife new MacBook Pros (old ones outdated) I stood around for like 30 minutes and employees would walk right by me... I would have two employees just sitting there talking to each other.. I then pulled out a bunch of cash waving saying I got money I wanna spend can I please get some help over here... A few employees looked over and went back to what they were doing... I then pulled out my cell phone called the store number and lady answered phone... I told her I been waiting for like over 45 minutes can I get some damn help now please... Finally a guy came over to help me... for my troubles though I got an extra $200 off even though was already getting a Military Discount....

Man, you sound like a total ass. The kind of guy that all store employees desperately try to avoid.

I bet you snap your fingers at waiters also.

I do get ignored in stores myself though and it usually comes down to my appearance. If you are wearing old clothes or "look poor" (puts hand up), you will often be ignored.

Another thing that stands out from your account, is that it seems like you were just standing there in the middle of the store waiting. It's a bit of a myth that staff actively look for customers to help, they only do that when they are not busy and even then it's hard to get them to do it 100% of the time, even at a high end place like the Apple store.

Staff look for people perusing products and people trying to engage them, standing in the middle of the store and hoping a staff member will ask if you need help is not a good way to go.
post #18 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

Thanks for the non-answer.

to paraphrase Obi-Wan Kenobi

"which is worse? The non-answer, or the non-answer that follows it"
post #19 of 44
I've had problems getting someone to check me out when I just pick something off the shelf and want to pay for it on several occations. A line is at least a queue that serves the first comes, whereas a random gathering of people and a random gathering of store employees just doesn't cut it. There must be a better way, like have both systems in effect.
Otherwise I love my Apple Store.
post #20 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

I still don't understand why they went with the old fashioned "swipe" technology and the signature. Are they completely unaware that outside of the USA this is kind of old technology? it makes them look a little old fashioned, which is a weird thing to have to say about Apple.

Because they don't want to have people unable to pay for something, which costs them money.

People still swipe!
post #21 of 44
ATTN Apple,


Please sell your POS software to retailers. Our family business/retail store is completely run on iMacs POS/CRM/Back-end/Accounting. But Apples own software would surely be optimal!
post #22 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dogcow View Post

This keeps coming up, but I never understood why people have so many issues paying. I'm a shy guy, but really? The employees generally don't bother you until you talk to them, which is low pressure and refreshing. When you're ready to pay all you do it walk up to ANYONE who works there and say "I need to pay." It's not enough to just look at them, "use your words mini-me!" They either help you or get someone who can and within 2 minutes you're out the door. It's really not a difficult process.

This has worked for me in Apple Stores across three states. When I'm ready to pay I walk up to pretty much anyone, and if they can't ring me up (there's specific people who do this) they set aside a moment to find me someone, give me their name, and send me in their direction. I sometimes have to wait for one customer to be finished first. Usually the person's working around the Genius Bar. It has never been a pain.
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post #23 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by joelsalt View Post

to paraphrase Obi-Wan Kenobi

"which is worse? The non-answer, or the non-answer that follows it"

They had a real answer to express checkout which worked flawlessly for 3 years but had to change it for OBVIOUS reasons.

To quote Yoda - "Much to learn, you still have."
post #24 of 44
Look at that picture with this article!

The iPod Touch custom Apple applications are using a PEN STYLUS !

After year's of poo pooing a pen stylus for the iPhone, Apple is finding that for their OWN applications, finger gestures for input, does not cut it!.

HOW ABOUT FOR THE REST OF US?

Writing with a pen is SO much more natural than typing on a virtual keyboard, and is SO much better for graphics than finger painting.

Give us a real PEN STYLUS option too!
post #25 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

I never had to wait before with the original express checkout, the one Apple copied the concept from - you know the one that ran on Windows from Microsoft.

I suppose in excepting cash transactions, they copied that concept as well?

There are many standard ways of doing business and handling transactions, if a company chooses to use one or the other, it doesn't mean they're copying anyone. Like putting the registers at the back of the store when most have them up front. Apple used the idea from clothing boutiques because it encourages browsing. And also the showroom concept of keeping most of the stock in the back and out of sight so that the items for sale can stand out.

And yes, as a rule all business oriented machines run Windows. IBM not Microsoft is originally responsible for that.


And I think the original comment implied Apple selling the new iPod Touch checkout system to companies of other retail stores where for the most part, you are waiting in line to make your purchase. The comment had nothing to do with the Apple's older system.
Disclaimer: The things I say are merely my own personal opinion and may or may not be based on facts. At certain points in any discussion, sarcasm may ensue.
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Disclaimer: The things I say are merely my own personal opinion and may or may not be based on facts. At certain points in any discussion, sarcasm may ensue.
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post #26 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by joelsalt View Post

Because they don't want to have people unable to pay for something, which costs them money.

People still swipe!

Outside of the USA people use chip and pin which is a lot easier and more secure. God knows why the USA haven't adopted it properly. Swiping is sooo 90s! Hopefully outside the USA they'll have chip and pin.
post #27 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikepane View Post

ATTN Apple,


Please sell your POS software to retailers. Our family business/retail store is completely run on iMacs POS/CRM/Back-end/Accounting. But Apples own software would surely be optimal!

This is what I was referring to in my original post, not waiting in line at apple, but every other store. Granted finding a person to help you at most stores is a pain, but imagine if best buy used this setup during the holidays, rather than waiting in the cattle corral they have setup....
post #28 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by mjtomlin View Post

I suppose in excepting cash transactions, they copied that concept as well?

There are many standard ways of doing business and handling transactions, if a company chooses to use one or the other, it doesn't mean they're copying anyone. Like putting the registers at the back of the store when most have them up front. Apple used the idea from clothing boutiques because it encourages browsing. And also the showroom concept of keeping most of the stock in the back and out of sight so that the items for sale can stand out.

And yes, as a rule all business oriented machines run Windows. IBM not Microsoft is originally responsible for that.


And I think the original comment implied Apple selling the new iPod Touch checkout system to companies of other retail stores where for the most part, you are waiting in line to make your purchase. The comment had nothing to do with the Apple's older system.

Right Lily- and I forgot Apple never copies anything from anybody. How stupid of me. Thank you for that waste of a disertation trying to point out my misunderstandings.
post #29 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrr View Post

Look at that picture with this article!

The iPod Touch custom Apple applications are using a PEN STYLUS !

It is only used for customers to sign their names. Most people have never signed their name with their finger, so Apple lets them use the stylus for it.


Quote:
After year's of poo pooing a pen stylus for the iPhone, Apple is finding that for their OWN applications, finger gestures for input, does not cut it!.

HOW ABOUT FOR THE REST OF US?

Multi-touch is impossible with a stylus, so no, Apple is not finding that their finger based method does not cut it.


Quote:
Writing with a pen is SO much more natural than typing on a virtual keyboard, and is SO much better for graphics than finger painting.

Signing your name is much more natural using a pen than using your finger tip.


Quote:
Give us a real PEN STYLUS option too!

You can go buy that pen stylus if you really want it, I have one for writing notes, it's called a Pogo Sketch and it works great. It also works while wearing gloves as well.
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post #30 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by jkuhns View Post

just stay close to the pretty girls

But not too close!
post #31 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

Right Lily- and I forgot Apple never copies anything from anybody. How stupid of me. Thank you for that waste of a disertation trying to point out my misunderstandings.

I never said Apple never copies anything. I'm saying you misunderstand a lot of things and post responses that do not apply or make much sense. I'm really beginning to think you're suffering from brain damage. And having tried to discuss things with you before, I know it's pretty much like talking to a child because of your inability to stay on track just as you've done here. Instead of an intelligent response, you completely move the discussion towards something I never implied, then call yourself stupid for thinking it.
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post #32 of 44
Man oh man...this is yet another, 'just the beginning' moment for Apple.

Can you imagine the Touch to be the 'go to' machine for retail instant checkout, instant emailed paperless receipts, instant inventory control/auto reordering, etc., and instant sales data capture and analysis.

Not being in retail that's all I can think of.

One more, employee motivation/rewards program right on the Touch. Lance Armstrong comes on and says, 'Congratulations, this is your best sales day yet! You will be getting a $50 Apple gift Card mailed to you.' Or better yet, just Stevo saying, 'Good job, worker bee!'

I can see this being a mandatory piece of equipment for easy registration at Universities among other applications to aid Universities to efficiently take your money!

And what about hospitals?
post #33 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by mjtomlin View Post

I never said Apple never copies anything. I'm saying you misunderstand a lot of things and post responses that do not apply or make much sense. I'm really beginning to think you're suffering from brain damage. And having tried to discuss things with you before, I know it's pretty much like talking to a child because of your inability to stay on track just as you've done here. Instead of an intelligent response, you completely move the discussion towards something I never implied, then call yourself stupid for thinking it.

i don't think your post is fair to children...
post #34 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by christopher126 View Post

Can you imagine the Touch to be the 'go to' machine for retail instant checkout, instant emailed paperless receipts, instant inventory control/auto reordering, etc., and instant sales data capture and analysis.

That has already been already implemented on WinMobile platform. Welcome back to real life!

Quote:
Originally Posted by christopher126 View Post

And what about hospitals?

They have already used WinMo PDA.
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post #35 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrr View Post

Look at that picture with this article!

The iPod Touch custom Apple applications are using a PEN STYLUS !

After year's of poo pooing a pen stylus for the iPhone, Apple is finding that for their OWN applications, finger gestures for input, does not cut it!.

HOW ABOUT FOR THE REST OF US?

Writing with a pen is SO much more natural than typing on a virtual keyboard, and is SO much better for graphics than finger painting.

Give us a real PEN STYLUS option too!

It's for the signature, not for using the application. I've never once missed having a stylus with the iPhone.
post #36 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by mjtomlin View Post

I never said Apple never copies anything. I'm saying you misunderstand a lot of things and post responses that do not apply or make much sense. I'm really beginning to think you're suffering from brain damage. And having tried to discuss things with you before, I know it's pretty much like talking to a child because of your inability to stay on track just as you've done here. Instead of an intelligent response, you completely move the discussion towards something I never implied, then call yourself stupid for thinking it.

Good try- but FAIL.
post #37 of 44
Apple does need to re-think their check-out procedures, and it feels like they have far too many employees being far to unproductive on the floor.

I think you need one counter that is always available as a check-out location, which is clearly marked. You then get idling employees to pick customers off that line to keep things moving.

When you are buying accessories that you can grab yourself, the current system doesn't seem to work well. I don't know if that will get better if the transaction time drops, but even just the CC auth phase takes a bit of time.

Some people (think they) know exactly what they want. Their (my) personality is to walk into a store, grab what you need, pay, and leave. Don't need a whole lot of hand-holding, have more improtant things to do than spend another 10 minutes in the store. If you create that added value of follow-on sales, well, that might be ok... but once you start cc auth that game is over.
post #38 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by joelsalt View Post

Because they don't want to have people unable to pay for something, which costs them money.

People still swipe!

You missed my point entirely. "People still swipe" in the USA only. In Europe for example they don't even accept cards that way anymore. You are not allowed to pay for things with a signature, yo u*must* have the PIN method. Most other developed countries are either 80 to 90 percent converted to the new way or like Europe, don't allow the swiping and the signing thing at all.

If they are trying to go global, they need to get with the latest technology and allow for PINs to be used. I'm saying the hardware should have been designed to allow both methods as it's currently useless for any of the stores outside of the USA and (for about six more months) Canada.
post #39 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by stuffe View Post

I prefer waiting in line to standing about in an aisle trying to randomly catch the eye of a guy who is walking and moving around the place serving the pretty girls first. Just my opinion

Worked fine for me the other day when I stopped in the local Apple Store for a Magic Mouse that I picked off the shelf - only the staffer who checked me out (!) was a cute girl. Painless and much quicker than the old system - scan the package bar code, swipe the card and sign the screen. By the time we'd walked over to a table with a tape printer hidden underneath, my receipt was ready, though I could have skipped the hard copy and Apple would have emailed it to me. Literally done and gone in 60 seconds.

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post #40 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

Good try- but FAIL.

You still can't come up with an intelligent, reasoned response to anything at all, can you? It's like reading responses from an I Ching program from 1983.
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