Square Reader gets a makeover

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Square Reader, a gadget that transforms iPad, iPhone and Android smartphones into credit-card accepting machines, has been redesigned to feature a slimmer body and eliminate the need for a battery.

The redesign, which is its first ever, incorporates more custom parts, enabling the reader to perform better and provide it with a more elegant look.

Launched in 2009, Square allows small businesses such as retail shops and contractors to easily complete their transactions with customers.

The new reader features a faster chip for swipe accuracy as well as an enhanced audio plug.

Charging 2.5 per cent for every transaction, Square aims to build a card reader that will work with as many devices as possible. Instead of using ports specific to particular brands, the reader plugs into an audio jack.

However, the reader’s biggest update is that it now derives its power from the device into which it is plugged. This eliminates the need for a battery while increasing its lifetime.

Without the battery, the reader is now 45 per cent thinner, seamlessly blending with the slimmer form factor of phones such as the iPhone 5S.

“We designed the new Square Reader for functionality,” explained a Square spokesperson.

“In an industry with historically uninspired design, Square is pushing its design forward to help businesses grow and feel good when they’re doing it.”

Jesse Dorogusker, Square’s VP of hardware who was responsible for the redesign, spent eight years in Apple’s accessories division. The new Square Reader emulates the simple design approach of the Cupertino company.

Square has also revamped its website, squareup.com, to underscore how it uses design.

Meanwhile, users can get the updated reader for free in the mail once they sign up for Square and access the app.


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