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Will Off-Branded iPhone Chargers Put You At Risk

December 14, 2017 by  
Filed under Around The Net

Many of the fake or look-alike iPhone chargers put consumers at risk of lethal electric shock. 

So says experts at Electrical Safety First who, in a study carried out with Apple, found that 49 out of 50 ‘lookalike’ chargers purchased in the UK failed safety tests.

One in three chargers tested failed every part of the safety screening, while almost half failed an electric strength test, which means they post a “severe risk” of electric shock.

What’s more, internal examination of the knock-off cables revealed that almost half ailed basic safety requirements and contained sub-standard internal components or inadequate spacing.

“We tested a range of fake iPhone chargers and found that 98 per cent of them had the potential to cause a lethal electric shock or start a fire,” Electrical Safety First said in a blog post.

“It’s a scary thought, especially when you think about how often we continue to use our phones while they’re charging. And if you leave yours to charge overnight, you have even more reason to be concerned.”

The outfit has offered up some advice on how to spot a fake Apple charger. For example, a look-a-like cable could take twice as long to charge your iPhone’s battery, will likely be missing markings or contain spelling errors, and the USB port could be upside down or in a different place.

This latest warning comes just weeks after Trading Standards has warned consumers to bite the bullet and pay for official Apple charges after discovering that fake alternatives are just as dangerous as they are cheap. 

The consumer advice outfit earlier this year bought up 400 fake Apple chargers, likely costing it approximately £396, and found that 397 of them failed to pack enough insulation to protect users’ against electric shocks.

Courtesy-TheInq

Did Consumer Report Give The iPhone X A Cold Shoulder

December 13, 2017 by  
Filed under Mobile

Consumer Reports has rated Apple’s iPhone X as rubbish and claims that Apple’s iPhone 8 was a better phone despite being much cheaper.

The publication published its results from testing the iPhone X’s display, camera, battery life, and durability.

While Consumer Reports called the phone an “innovative device with a fantastic camera and beautiful display” the iPhone X lost to the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus in a full comparison of the phones because it was flimsy.

The iPhone 8 proved “hardier” when it came to drops and damage. The iPhone X performed well in the initial drop tests, but it didn’t fare so well after more extensive testing.
Consumer Reports found: “We tumbled three samples of the iPhone X. The first was fine after 50 drops, but the glass on the back was significantly cracked after 100. The other two phones ended up with malfunctioning displays after 50 drops. Though the front glass didn’t crack, several bright green bars stretched across the screens from top to bottom.”

The iPhone X performed about the same as two other flagship phones, the Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+, Consumer Reports said.

The Tame Apple Press has rushed to defend their favourite overpriced toy. After all many of them have already bought the expensive turkey.

They say that Consumer Reports’ findings differ from other iPhone X and iPhone 8 drop tests. In drop-test videos by EverythingApplePro, PhoneBuff, and JerryRigEverything, the iPhone X was found to be more durable than the iPhone 8. And drop tests published right after the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus released in September showed that the phones were more durable than Samsung’s flagship phones, but still prone to easily cracking and shattering when subjected to drops or tumbling.

However, Consumer Reports has considerably more status than EverythingApplePro, PhoneBuff, and JerryRigEverything. The last time Consumer Reports complained about something, Apple actually did something about it.

There is the serious matter that the iPhone X is hugely more expensive than its predecessors. You should, in theory be getting more for your dollar or kidney, not less.

Courtesy-Fud

Apple’s iOS 11.2 Adds Apple Pay Cash

December 5, 2017 by  
Filed under Mobile

Apple’s new iOS 11.2 software update became available on Saturday, adding Apple Pay Cash and faster wireless charging to supported iPhones.

For anyone with an iPhone 6 or later, the update’s Apple Pay Cash feature opens up the ability to send cash to friends and family over iMessage. While I didn’t see the feature immediately turned on after updating my own iPhone to iOS 11.2, when it does appear it should work similarly to Paypal’s Venmo service.

Anyone with the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus or iPhone X can look forward to faster wireless charging, with the update release specifically noting improvements when using third-party chargers. That’s pretty much every Qi wireless charger currently out, as Apple’s own AirPower charging mat is planned for a 2018 release.

Other improvements and fixes listed by Apple include:

  • Improves video camera stabilization
  • Adds support in Podcasts to automatically advance to the next episode from the same show
  • Adds support in HealthKit for downhill snow sports distance as a data type
  • Fixes an issue that could cause Mail to appear to be checking for new messages even when a download is complete
  • Fixes an issue that could cause cleared Mail notifications from Exchange accounts to reappear
  • Improves stability in Calendar
  • Resolves an issue where Settings could open to a blank screen
  • Fixes an issue that could prevent swiping to Today View or Camera from the Lock Screen
  • Addresses an issue that could prevent Music controls from displaying on the Lock Screen
  • Fixes an issue that could cause app icons to be arranged incorrectly on the Home Screen
  • Addresses an issue that could prevent users from deleting recent photos when iCloud storage is exceeded
  • Addresses an issue where Find My iPhone sometimes wouldn’t display a map
  • Fixes an issue in Messages where the keyboard could overlap the most recent message
  • Fixes an issue in Calculator where typing numbers rapidly could lead to incorrect results
  • Addressed an issue where the keyboard could respond slowly
  • Adds support for real-time text (RTT) phone calls for the deaf and hard of hearing
  • Improves VoiceOver stability in Messages, Settings, App Store and Music
  • Resolves an issue that prevented VoiceOver from announcing incoming Notifications

Apple Delays Launch of HomePod Smart Speaker

November 20, 2017 by  
Filed under Consumer Electronics

Apple Inc has delayed the launch of its HomePod smart speaker, pushing it to early next year from December, the company said, missing the holiday shopping season as the market for such devices becomes increasingly competitive.

“We can’t wait for people to experience HomePod … but we need a little more time before it’s ready for our customers. We’ll start shipping in the U.S., UK and Australia in early 2018,” an Apple spokeswoman said via email.

 Apple introduced the voice-controlled HomePod in June. The speaker, which can make music suggestions and adjust home temperatures, takes aim at Amazon.com Inc’s Alexa feature and Echo devices.

Apple has forecast between $84 billion and $87 billion in revenue for the holiday – mostly driven by sales of its $999 iPhone X – so it’s unlikely that missing a few weeks of sales of its $349 speaker will affect its financial results, Bob O‘Donnell, founder of Technalysis Research, said.

People use voice assistants more often on smart speakers than on phones, so even if owners of Amazon or Google speakers also have an iPhone, there’s a good chance that they’re talking to Alexa or Google Assistant as much or more than Siri.

“Last holiday season, smart speakers were huge, and this season they’re going to be huge,” O‘Donnell said. With Apple’s delay, “there will now be some people who make a different choice. The market’s getting more and more competitive.”

Apple is also counting on HomePod to boost subscriptions to Apple Music and block the rise of rival Spotify. Smart speakers from Google and Amazon let users give voice commands to play Spotify, but Apple Music does not work on the rival devices.

Apple’s main pitch for its HomePod smart speakers was superior audio quality, but that advantage appears to be slipping: Sonos, which also pitches its speakers’ audio quality for music lovers, now features support for the Alexa voice assistant.

Earlier this year, Amazon announced the Echo Plus, a smart speaker with better audio quality, and Google confirmed to Reuters that its Home Max speaker with improved speakers will ship in December, though it has not given a specific date.

 But Apple could still have a surprise or two in store. The company gave scant details about its speaker in June, leaving it room to announce exclusive music content or other unexpected features, said Brian Blau, an analyst with Gartner.

“When HomePod comes out, you’ll probably hear some great content from artists that are familiar and popular, and there’s probably going to be some other special aspects as well,” he said.

Did Apple Rush The iPhone X

November 17, 2017 by  
Filed under Mobile

There seem to be more local problems popping up on Apple’s latest super expensive iPhone X.

According to Macrumors, one of the bugs is related to audio. Some people rich enough to own the latest phone are reporting buzzing and crackling from the stereo speakers.

Some people rich enough to own the latest phone are reporting buzzing and crackling from the stereo speakers.

One customer took his crackling iPhone X back to the Mac shop where he bought it and Apple replaced it with another phone which had the same problem.

So far Apple hasn’t publicly commented on the latest problem to afflict the shiny device but according to some reports the difficulty isn’t down to the hardware but to the operating system.

If that’s true, then the problem may well be fixable.

Over the weekend other buyers of the bright and shiny gadget claimed their phones were showing a green line on the devices display.

Meanwhile other news reports claim that you can beat Apple’s Face ID system by wearing an elaborate mask.  And it is an elaborate mask that you probably couldn’t knock up in your bedroom in a thrice.

Courtesy-Fud

Apple’s Latest iOS Update Increases Wireless Charging Rate

November 16, 2017 by  
Filed under Mobile

Apple’s latest iOS update has enhanced wireless charging on the iPhone 8iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X making it 50 percent faster.

Currently, the three iPhones wirelessly charge at a rate of 5 watts, but the iOS 11.2 update allows them to charge at a rate of 7.5w, which is a 50 percent increase. The charging update was spotted and tested out by MacRumors.

Although wireless charging is new to the iPhone, it’s been around on Android devices for several years. iPhones use the Qi wireless charging standard, which maxes out at a rate of 15w. Samsung’s Galaxy Note 8, for example, supports 15-watt fast wireless charging.

You won’t need to buy a new charger to take advantage of faster speeds. The Mophie and Belkin wireless chargers that Apple sells are already capable of delivering 7.5w of power. Apple has said on the chargers’ listings since their releases that it will enable “fast wireless charging” with a later software update — it’s likely that iOS 11.2 is that update.

Apple is also planning on releasing its own wireless charging mat, AirPower, that’s designed to charge multiple Apple products at once. It isn’t clear if AirPower would use the faster charging speeds.

To push those charging speeds, the iPhone X, 8 and 8 Plus will charge even faster with a USB-C to Lightning cable setup. The configuration requires buying a handful of accessories, but it can reach top charging speeds if you don’t mind the wires. If you want to stay wireless, you’re stuck at 7.5w for now.

Apple didn’t respond to a request for comment on this story.

Is The iPhone X Too Fragile

November 9, 2017 by  
Filed under Mobile

The iPhone X is so fragile it will break the first time you drop it

 Cnet has just discovered to its horror that for some reason having two breakable glass surfaces makes the hugely expensive phone rather fragile.

In its breakability tests Cnet found that the glass on either side the iPhone X has more potential surface area to scratch. On the plus side, at least the stainless steel frame should, in theory, be tougher to scuff than the aluminium on previous models.

The tester rubbed the screen with medium grain sandpaper, the scratches were visible, and slightly more pronounced on the Space Gray version. Doing the same on the stainless steel frame left no visible scuffs.

“When I turned over the phones though, I noticed their screens already had some additional tiny dents and scratches just from rubbing up against the ceramic surface I was testing them on. They key test didn’t do much, and the sandpaper left a similar mark as on the back glass.”

The drop test from 3 feet (0.9 m) showed showed visible damage.

The back hit first, but it then did a flip and landed screen-side down with the back facing me so the tester could see the damage immediately. The glass from three of the four corners cracked at different degrees of severity and scuffed up the side of the camera mount. The bottom right-hand corner took the biggest hit and had the largest fracture flanking the corner. Even the stainless steel on the frame looked chipped on this side where the phone hit the floor. The top right corner also had a small tear and scuff on the frame, and another tiny bump on the bottom left hand corner of the glass.

If the phone was dropped on the screen it was destroyed.

There were deeper fractures extending diagonally across the entire back of the phone from the impact. There were new cracks on the bottom edge of the screen.

Everything still worked fine, but this iPhone X definitely looked banged up.

Of course Cnet loves Apple, so the writer did not warn users not to waste their money on such a lemon. Instead he advised wasting more money on Apple’s insurance.  A better solution would be to save money, and buy a phone at half the cost which is a little more robust.

Courtesy-Fud

Apple Debuts Reserve And Pick Up Program For iPhone X

November 2, 2017 by  
Filed under Mobile

Unless you really enjoy standing in lines waiting to buy the iPhone X come Nov. 3, you may want to hold off for a day to reserve the new iPhone.

Starting Nov. 4, Apple will bring back its Reserve and Pick up program for the iPhone X. The process lets you go online, reserve the phone for purchase, and then head to the store during your assigned time slot to pay for the phone. To take advantage of the program, you’ll need to go to the specific page that Apple set up for each participating country (see below). You won’t be able to get a jump on the reservation program early, though. You’ll have to wait until Nov. 4 to do that.

Apparently, the US didn’t make the cut, according to MacRumors. Apple has not responded to our request for comment.

Some form of the Reserve and Pick up program has been around since at least the iPhone 4S as a way of managing the flow of people coming in and out of an Apple Store.

It’s also a way to help iPhone X buyers who live near an Apple Store get their phones faster. If you preorder the iPhone X right now, you’ll be waiting 5 or 6 weeks for it to arrive. You could of course still preorder for an in-store pickup, but you have to pay for the phone beforehand and then wait for the device to ship to the store. Reserving an iPhone X lets you cut out this waiting period depending on when your appointment time is.

The reservation program also doesn’t require you to pay for the device until you pick it up. You’ll just show up during your scheduled time slot with a valid ID.

Apple Boasts That iPhone X Pre-orders Are ‘Off The Charts’

October 30, 2017 by  
Filed under Mobile

Apple Inc swatted away concerns of muted demand for its iPhone X on Friday, saying pre-orders for the 10th-anniversary phone were “off the charts”.

The company’s shares, which have fallen steadily since it announced in early September it would launch two iPhones within two months, rose nearly 3 percent in response.

Pre-orders for the much-anticipated 10th-anniversary phone started from 12.01 am PT (0701 GMT) on Friday.

 “We can see from the initial response, customer demand is off the charts,” an Apple spokeswoman told Reuters.

“We’re working hard to get this revolutionary new product into the hands of every customer who wants one, as quickly as possible.”

IPhone X’s launch follows weeks of concerns among analysts about the production of the new phone, which for the first time includes new facial identification software to replace the fingerprint used on previous phones.

Analysts have cautioned that production of the phone was below target, due to difficulties in producing the TrueDepth camera system, which houses sophisticated cameras and sensors making it possible to unlock the phone using Face ID.

Wireless carriers in the United States and Canada have reported slow third-quarter customer upgrades.

Major promotions on the iPhone X from U.S. carriers have yet to materialize, and in some cases, the offers have been even less generous than what was available for the iPhone 8, said Walter Piecyk, an analyst at BTIG in a research note on Thursday. The base price for the phone is $999.

He noted that Sprint Corp’s iPhone X promotion of $350 in savings for trading in an eligible device was the most aggressive but still lower than what it offered for last year’s launch of the iPhone 7.

However, electronics retailer Best Buy Co is charging shoppers an extra $100, if they wish to buy an unactivated iPhone X outright.

 If customers order the phone on an installment billing plan, they will pay the same price charged by Apple and the carriers.

“Our prices reflect the fact that no matter a customer’s desired plan or carrier, or whether a customer is on a business or personal plan, they are able to get a phone the way they want at Best Buy,” Best Buy spokeswoman Carly Charlson said.

“Our customers have told us they want this flexibility and sometimes that has a cost.”

Apple Buys Wireless-charging Firm PowerbyProxi

October 26, 2017 by  
Filed under Mobile

Apple is embracing the world of wireless-charging.

The tech giant recently acquired PowerbyProxi, a designer of wireless-charging systems, Apple said Tuesday, confirming an earlier report by New Zealand website Stuff. Financial terms of the transaction weren’t revealed.

Dan Riccio, Apple’s senior vice president of hardware engineering, called the acquisition a “great addition as Apple works to create a wireless future,” according to Stuff. “We want to bring truly effortless charging to more places and more customers around the world,” he added.

The acquisition comes after Apple jumped into the wireless-charging fray last month with the introduction of the new iPhone X, iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus. The iPhones use the same Qi wireless-power standard as Samsung’s Galaxy devices.

New Zealand-based PowerbyProxi was founded in 2007 to develop technology that would let people charge smartphones and other devices without having to plug them in to a power source. One of the company’s products is Proxi-Module, a modular wireless-power system that can be adapted and integrated into other products.

The company will remain in Auckland, New Zealand, Apple said in a statement.

PowerbyProxi couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.

T-Mobile Subsciber Base Grows, Merger With Sprint Still On Radar

October 24, 2017 by  
Filed under Mobile

T-Mobile the “Un-carrier” posted third-quarter results — usually a chance for John Legere to jump on a conference call to boast about the company’s performance or bash its competitors. But aside from a video Q&A segment and a quote in a press release, Legere is remaining mum.

“With all the rumors and speculation out there, we decided that we wanted to make sure you all saw and focused the Q3 results, and not just on the rumors and speculation that seem fill the news everyday,” Legere said in the video blog.

That’s because T-Mobile is that close to a deal to merge with Sprint, and Legere and Co. would probably like to skip out on questions that they wouldn’t be able to answer.

T-Mobile and Sprint, and their respective parents, German carrier Deutsche Telekom and Japanese carrier SoftBank, all still expect to announce a deal, according to a person familiar with the talks. Bloomberg reported on Thursday that the merger would be delayed for a few weeks.

So for now, T-Mobile is focusing on its quarterly results, which saw the nation’s third-largest carrier add 595,000 post-paid phone subscribers, or customers who pay at the end of the month, and typically boast higher bills and credit scores. It added a total of 817,000 post-paid customers when factoring other connected devices like tablets and wearables.

The results mark the seventh quarter in which the company has led the rest of the industry in growth, a product of aggressive marketing and a continued rollout of perks. The company has continued to turn heads with freebies like its T-Mobile Tuesday giveaway program, free international data and its all-in, tax-free pricing. Its latest deal gives Netflix away to family customers on its unlimited data plan.

The moves have benefited consumers even if they aren’t with T-Mobile. Verizon has reintroduced an unlimited data plan, and AT&T bundles HBO with its unlimited data offering. Sprint offers a year of service for free.

That competitive spirit has had an impact on T-Mobile’s results, which marked a decline from a year ago. T-Mobile blamed rival promotions, a split in the release of the iPhones (the iPhone X is due to hit markets next month) and the impact from the hurricanes.

The big question is whether things change with a T-Mobile-Sprint merger. Critics warn the industry may get less competitive, resulting in fewer perks and discounts for consumers. Integrating two national carriers may also prove to be a distraction for the combined company. Sprint itself is the product of a disastrous merger between the original Sprint and Nextel.

T-Mobile has the benefit of a strong track record of execution.

In total, T-Mobile added a net 1.3 million new customers in the period, its 18th straight quarter where it exceeded the 1 million mark.

The company posted a third-quarter profit of $550 million, or 63 cents a share.

Revenue rose 8 percent to $10 billion.

Apple May Introduce Face ID To All iPhones By Next Year

October 16, 2017 by  
Filed under Mobile

Apple’s Face ID will officialy debut on the iPhone X on November 3, and it looks like the new tech may be here to stay. According to KGI Securities analyst and known Apple commentator Ming-Chi Kuo (via MacRumors), all 2018 iPhones will likely have Face ID.

Thanks to Apple’s TrueDepth camera system, the X gets all sorts of new tricks like Face ID, AR, and (yes) Animojis. This makes facial recognition a standout feature on the phone and also one of the big differences between the X and the more traditional iPhone 8 and 8 Plus.

Kuo suggests that iPhones released in 2018 are likely to abandon the fingerprint sensor, which might mean it’s the end of the line for Touch ID on the iPhone. Touch ID has been used for certain situations like unlocking your phone or Apple Pay, but if Face ID works as intended, we may see the end of Touch ID (at least in its current form).

Kuo also claims that the TrueDepth camera gives Apple a competitive edge and differentiates the iPhone X from other phones on the market. He says that Android competitors are still years behind with their facial recognition tech. Releasing more iPhones with this technology in the near future could help Apple bank on this advantage.

This doesn’t mean Touch ID is dead just yet. A handful of Apple products (like the MacBook Pro) still use Touch ID, but Kuo has predicted that soon other devices could start using Face ID — possibly the next iPad Pro.

It’s worth noting that the facial recognition tech is reportedly causing slowdowns in iPhone X production. If that’s the case, Apple will need to speed things up if it wants to include facial recognition in next year’s iPhones.

You’ll be able to test Apple’s facial recognition when the iPhone X hits stores Nov. 3.

Is Apple Face-ID on The iPhone X Secure

October 9, 2017 by  
Filed under Mobile

Apple’s face scanning software can be broken by anyone under the age of 13 and the fruity cargo cult has been forced to admit that it does not really work for kids.

Apparently, the Face ID facial recognition system thinks kids look the same – it’s fair enough really – I think they all look the same, and all babies look like Winston Churchill no matter what their mums think.

However, in a security guide, Apple recommends that children under the age of 13 do not use Face ID due to the probability of a false match being significantly higher for young children.

It is the kids’ fault of course. Apple says this was because “their distinct facial features may not have fully developed”. We assume they are talking about the children and not Apple’s face scanning software.

The Tame Apple Press claims that it does not matter as few young children are likely to be given a $999 iPhone, false matches are also more likely for twins and siblings. In all those situations, the company recommends concerned users disable Face ID and use a passcode instead.

Another area where Apple is having problems is facial coverings. Apple says that “Face ID is designed to work with hats, scarves, glasses, contact lenses and many sunglasses”. 

But if the coverings must be transparent to infrared light and the system can see the eyes, nose and mouth. While some fabrics are more transparent to infrared than they may seem, that means iPhone users who cover their faces may be forced to rely on a passcode when out and about.

Courtesy-Fud

Will Apple Delay The iPhone X

September 29, 2017 by  
Filed under Mobile

The iPhone X, which is already late, probably will not see the light of day until next year, according to a leading financial services company.

Apple needs the iPhone to go out on October 27 so that it can go into the Christmas stockings of extremely rich spoiled kids.

Financial services company Raymond James thinks the iPhone X might come much, much later, around December. But to make matters worse that is the time that the orders are possible and it might be a few months after that the iPhone X will ship.  This means that the lucrative Christmas market will have come and gone.

Raymond James’ chip analyst Christopher Caso claims that production on the phone has not begun yet. If the iPhone X is supposed to ship in late October or even early November, production should have already begun.

Caso’s survey of key “supply chain players” seems to suggest that things haven’t ramped up at all. No reason has been given yet as to why that is the case, whether it’s from difficulties in acquiring components or the low yield of the components themselves.

The Tame Apple Press is doing its best to discredit Caso’s comments, saying wacky things like “suppliers are not supposed to talk to analysts so he can’t know”.

However, the comments tally with what we have been told about problems Apple is having with the yield for the screens.

Apple’s dull iPhone 8 – which is more or less an iPhone 7 which was more or less an iPhone 6 – will go out as expected and Apple fanboys will have to make do with that.

The iPhone X is already about 18 months behind Samsung and other premium Android phones so when it does finally come out it will be more dated than a 1970’s sitcom.

Courtesy-Fud

Did Qualcomm Inadvertently Help Apple

September 21, 2017 by  
Filed under Computing

Qualcomm has published a blog post that praises itself and its Android partners for inventing all the industry firsts that Apple is claiming to have invented in its iPhone X.

These include wireless charging, dual-camera systems, OLED smartphone screens, edge-to-edge displays, and more features that the upcoming iPhone X has.

The blog is a reminder to Apple about how dependent the fruity cargo-cult is on Qualcomm technology.

Inventions from Qualcomm lay the foundation for so many technologies and experiences we value in our smartphones today — on Android and other platforms, Qualcomm said. One great example is Gigabit LTE. The latest Gigabit LTE-enabled Android smartphones can download content from mobile networks 135 times faster than the first Android phones could nine years ago, it continued. “Meanwhile, we’ve been inventing foundational technologies for Gigabit LTE for well over a decade.”

Apple and Qualcomm are currently embroiled in what’s turning into a vicious, global patent licensing dispute and its modems are at the centre of the dispute.

Apple believes it should be allowed to pay Qualcomm what it likes for the technology it invented and it should be allowed to make huge profits while other companies do all the research.

Qualcomm never mentions Apple by name in the blog – the closest the company ever comes is with this line: “Inventions from Qualcomm lay the foundation for so many technologies and experiences we value in our smartphones today – on Android and other platforms.” 

Courtesy-Fud

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