It only took a scandal blowing up in its face and getting hit with more than 20 different lawsuits, but it seems at long last, Apple will finally give people the option to disable the performance throttling that was slowing down older iPhones.
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Seven people received medical attention on Tuesday after an iPhone battery overheated in a Swiss Apple store. Police in Zurich, Switzerland evacuated around 50 customers and staff from the store after an iPhone 6S battery overheated and started spewing smoke. The small fire happened as an employee tried to repair the device. The man was treated for minor burns to his hand.
After Apple admitted to slowing down older iPhones, the company tried to calm frustrated customers by dropping the price of out-of-warranty battery replacements from $119 to $39. Unfortunately, even that discount came with a catch, because unless your phone's battery failed a diagnostic test at the Genius Bar, you wouldn't actually be eligible for a cheaper replacement battery.
Earlier this week, Apple admitted that it is deliberately throttling the performance of older iPhones running newer versions of iOS, explaining that artificially limiting the speed of those devices was necessary to prevent ageing lithium ion batteries from failing. While users have long suspected the slowdowns were intended to cajole them into upgrading their phones to a newer, more expensive model, Apple says it is just trying to smooth out power draw on the batteries to prevent them from randomly shutting down.
A few weeks ago, I tested almost every one of Apple's wired charging solutions to find out which one was best. Job done, right? Well not quite, because this year's crop of iPhone's are Apple's first handsets to have built-in wireless charging too! Then, to make things even more confusing, Apple's most recent software update for iOS 11.2 came along and changed the amount of juice Apple's iPhone's could suck up wirelessly. So to figure out what's really going on, we tested a range of wireless chargers priced from $US12 to $US90 to see how much cable-free charging you're really getting for your money. And don't worry, in the process we found one that stands well above all the rest.
Now that Apple has actually admitted to using software updates to limit the performance of older iPhones, people are pissed. So naturally they went and did what any angry American would do: sue.
More than a year after its initial launch, Pokemon Go is often remembered for its rabid players that overwhelmed parks and swarmed streets looking for cute little pocket monsters. But people tend to forget that Pokemon Go was also many people's first experience with augmented reality. And while today's trainer count is down from peak numbers last summer, Pokemon Go creator Niantic says the game's augmented reality features were noticeably improved thanks to an integration with Apple's ARKit on iOS.
After poor performance in older iPhones prompted an investigation by a number of Reddit users and additional testing by benchmark app maker Primate Labs, Apple has finally weighed in on the controversy surrounding its ageing handsets. The verdict? It seems the people were right.
For years, people have complained about declining performance in their ageing iPhones, an issue that's commonly attributed to Apple's software updates. Something beyond a rumour percolated just last week, when a Reddit thread suggested that the cause for the slow performance could be due to Apple throttling phones with degraded batteries. This inspired the makers of Geekbench, a widely used synthetic benchmarking app, to give data gathered from thousands of phones using Geekbench a closer look. The data, according to Geekbench, indicates that there may actually be a link between software updates and old batteries when it comes to poor performance.
Let's face it, even though phones continue to get faster and companies continue to cram even more tech into people's pocket computers, you wouldn't be wrong if you said smartphones have gotten a little boring to the casual consumer. Much of the time, it seems people are much more concerned with making sure there's a little fruit logo on the back of their handset or a small green robot man running things on the inside.
Last week, a Google security researcher announced that he'd be releasing the goods that are needed to jailbreak the latest iPhones. For years, it was pretty easy to get all the customisation options of Android on iOS, but the developer scene has since dried up. Even if you don't plan on jailbreaking your phone, there's reason to celebrate.
People who use phone cases love to drag me for going naked, pointing out how foolish and vulnerable I'm being. And yes, phones are stupid expensive now and the cost for replacing one pains me to think about. But I have gone caseless for years, only cracking my screen once a few years back because I drunkenly dropped it face down on concrete.
You did it. You waited out all the announcements during Mobile World Congress and the deluge of new handsets that debuted in the last few months. But now, after upstarts such as Essential have had a chance to shine and giants like Apple and Samsung are done plying their latest wares, there's a big question worth asking: What's the best phone out right now?
For those of us that prefer our handsets on the smaller size, the iPhone 6's change in form factor was disappointing. Fortunately, Apple didn't abandon fans entirely, providing upgraded guts inside an iPhone 5s chassis with the SE. It appears the SE was popular enough for Apple to consider a refresh, which should be with us before mid-2018 if reports are true.
Your iPhone can charge a lot faster than you thought. When Apple announced the new iPhone 8 and iPhone X, the company glossed over the fact that all three of its new handsets were capable of fast charging - similar to what Android phones have been doing for years. Even now, if you go the spec page for Apple's latest phones, all you get is a single line saying fast charging can add up to a 50 per cent charge in 30 minutes, but without getting a magnifying glass out and reading item nine of the fine print, you would have no idea how you're actually supposed to accomplish that.
Hon Hai Precision Industry, more commonly known as Foxconn, came into the public consciousness earlier this decade when a salvo of exposés described the degrading and often dangerous conditions its poorly-paid workers endured to build expensive trinkets such as the iPhone. Today, the Financial Times reports that illegal labour practices persist.
Apple's new Face ID security for the iPhone X has sparked a number of concerns, with the biggest being how secure the biometric system really is. The tech giant says that while the facial recognition system is intended for convenience rather than absolute security, it's less vulnerable than its Touch ID predecessor - though testing has shown that the system generally works, but has a number of faults and unexpected behaviours.
Apple is working on a redesigned, high-end iPad for as early as 2018 that incorporates key iPhone X features such as slimmer edges and facial recognition, according to people familiar with the matter.
However, the new version of the tablet is unlikely to include an OLED screen, which provides more vivid colours and sharper clarity, the people said. They asked not to be identified talking about private product development.