Tag - Repair
Apple may face some legal trouble in the future, if lawyers decide to proceed with plans to launch a class action suit against the company. Law firms are apparently considering taking action against Apple over the "Error 53" controversy, where third-party repairs of the Touch ID button on iPhones would trigger an Apple-produced security measure that effectively makes the smartphone completely inoperative.
If you ever need to get your Touch ID-enabled home button repaired, be sure to have it done by Apple Authorized Service Providers or Apple directly only: UK newspaper The Guardian reports that "thousands" of users who have had their Touch ID button repaired by third parties and found that their iPhone would then "brick" itself (become inoperative) after the next iOS update. The notorious "Error 53" that causes this, according to Apple, is a security measure to prevent low-level hardware hacking.
Following a successful campaign to legalize cellphone unlocking -- winning key exemptions from the Copyright Office for repair, and strong support for repair-friendly state legislation -- repair information repository iFixit has assisted in launching The Repair Association. The new group has been created to represent the other three million professional device servicers and consumer-level repairers as well.
The MacNN Podcast road trip continues, with host and Editor Charles Martin bringing the discussion to you live from Pine Mountain, Georgia. Joining him is Malcolm Owen in Wales and William Gallagher in Birmingham (but on his way to Paris), so the gallivanting continues unabated (but this week with much better sound). On the 40th episode, we talk about changes -- from El Capitan to Star Trek -- and some of the Mac apps we can't live without, as well as a discussion on how to determine if its time to replace -- or just repair -- your older Mac. All this plus "App of the Week" in just a hair over 60 minutes.
The latest version of the 21.5-inch iMac, now sporting a new 4K-capable Retina display, has been torn down by repair tool sellers iFixit and given an expected low score for repairability (1 out of 10) due to Apple's production techniques on the line. The examination revealed little in the way of new information, confirming that the new custom Retina-quality panel was made by LG and that the design of the Wi-Fi antenna had been secured and changed slightly.
This is what happens when you need Apple to repair your Apple Watch: this is also the article I didn't want to write, partly because it required me to be without my Watch for a considerable time, but mostly because, oh, come on, didn't I just do this? Previously on MacNN... I took my Watch off for one week so I could write about whether I even noticed its absence, whether this device was actually useful, or just a new toy. Short version: I noticed, boy did I notice, and the Apple Watch is both useful and a permanent, constant new toy. Shortest version: I honestly suffered. You still don't look sympathetic -- but that's okay. Lets talk about what happens when the Apple Watch has to go back to the shop, and what Apple does, and what you have to do.
A new teardown of the iPad Air 2 has confirmed much of what was speculated about the device, but has also revealed some minor surprises. The team at iFixit have rated the new iPad a "two" on a scale of 10, with 10 being the most repairable. The company says that while the new "fused" display is better visually, and sturdier when opening up the iPad, it will also increase the cost of repair for a cracked screen. The teardown also revealed that the latest full-size iPad features a smaller battery and more RAM.
The Australian branch of repair specialists iFixit has obtained an iPhone 6 Plus, and has naturally opted to risk destroying it in the name of doing a teardown for the benefit of its users and gadget fans. The biggest discovery is the confirmation that the iPhone 6 Plus, a 5.5-inch version of the iPhone 6, uses a 2915mAh battery -- twice the capacity of the one found in the iPhone 5s -- to power the larger screen and yet provide better runtime life.
Apple has initiated a repair program for a subset of its iPhone 5 devices that may have issues with the sleep/wake button on the top of the unit. The company says "a small percentage" of the units, which were manufactured between the debut of the smartphone on September 21, 2012 and March of 2013, are prone to have the issue (not caused by abuse or other factors). If a buyer's iPhone 5 has a qualifying serial number, Apple will fix the unit and supply a loaner iPhone while it is being repaired.
As previously reported, Apple has now made available a service to repair damaged iPhone 5c screens rather than replacing the units outright in a number of its US stores. The new service prevents users having to change over to another phone, or send the device away to a remote repair facility. The service, which costs $149 for customers who do not have AppleCare+ on their iPhones, can take as little as one hour thanks to new, specialized equipment.
Now AAPL Stock: 93.4 ( -2.7 )
WhatsApp now handles over 100M calls daily
WhatsApp is celebrating that it is being used for over 100 million calls every day. In a brief notice, the Facebook-owned messaging platform advises the voice-calling feature it rolled out to its users last year now deals with an average of over 1,100 calls initiated per second. Earlier this year, it increased the security of its calls and other messages, by introducing end-to-end encryption on all platforms. http://bit.ly/292HqCX
Adele's '25' album now streaming
Recording artist Adele has "pulled a Kanye" after saying that her current album "25" would not be available for streaming. The seven-month-old record, which has yielded a number of hit singles, is now available for streaming on all the major streaming services, such as Apple Music and Spotify, as of today in most major markets, with worldwide distribution to come. Reportedly, the singer had demanded streaming be limited to paid subscribers -- a condition that has hurt some streamers with artists, who aren't paid royalties for free or trial listens . Apple pays performers its normal royalty rates during its free trial, avoiding the issue -- and having repeated success in both signing up exclusives and placing those exclusives into the top of the charts. http://ti.me/28U7NOu
SanDisk iXpand case has battery, storage
A new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s case from SanDisk appears to be the "holy grail" of accessories: a stylish and protective case that offers both extra storage as well as the option of extra battery power as well. The iXpand Memory case offers either 32GB, 64GB, or 128GB of additional storage incorporated into the case, and an optional add-on battery pack (sold separately) adds up to an extra day or more of charge. Through the associated iXpand app, camera photos and videos can be automatically stored on the extra storage, optionally password-protected, The cost for the case is (in order of storage capacity) $60, $100, and $130. The battery pack's release data has not yet been announced, but the add-on should retail for an additional $30. http://bit.ly/291epHu
Fifth Hong Kong store to open June 30
The 46th official Apple store in what the company calls the "Greater China" region will open at 10AM local time in Hong Kong's New Town Plaza in the Sha Tin district on Thursday, June 30, according to a new page on Apple's retail website. Despite slowing growth due to economic turmoil in China, the country is still Apple's fastest-growing market. The new story will be the fifth for Hong Kong, a lucrative market for Apple thanks to the high concentration of wealth there and a thriving "gray" market. Normal store hours for the new store will be 10AM to 10PM every day. http://apple.co/291diaT
Apple Music bug bites very short songs
There appears to be a reproducible bug in the current version of iTunes -- version 12.4.1, running on OS X 10.11.5, both the current non-beta versions of the respective software -- that causes a streamed song to become "stuck" in endless buffering if the streamed item just before this happened was 60 seconds or less in length. The problem appears to stem from code in iTunes that signals the next track to start downloading one minute before the currently-playing track is done, and thus songs shorter than one minute don't trigger the download. Locally-stored music is unaffected by the bug, and the problem does not appear to exist in either the macOS Sierra developer beta or versions of iTunes earlier than 12.4, and does not affect the iOS Music app at all. http://bit.ly/291cN0l
Walmart Pay expands to 15 states
Walmart, one of the key progenitors of the failed CurrentC mobile payment system that was distinguished from Apple Pay by its ability to collect and share customer financial and buying data among its participants, has expanded the soft rollout of its alternative solution "Walmart Pay" to an additional 15 US states following a pilot program in Arkansas and Texas last month. Walmart continues to resist adding Apple Pay. The system, built into the Walmart app for iOS and Android, works with a complicated system of the camera scanning a purchase code at the register, then generating a QR code which is then scanned by the register. The system is available now in Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia, and Washington, DC. http://apple.co/28SqZfu
Amazon refreshes entry-level Kindle
Amazon has added a new Kindle to its ebook reader range, one that is thinner and lighter than the previous entry-level model. Offering a six-inch 167-dpi touchscreen display, a doubled 4GB of storage, and an option for a white casing, the new model also adds in the ability to export highlights and notes to an email account as a PDF. Two versions of the all-new Kindle are available, priced at $80 including "Special Offers" and $100 without. http://amzn.to/28Q4c3R