Apple’s $29 iPhone battery offer ends Dec. 31

This time last year, Apple was preparing to offer out-of-warranty iPhone battery replacements for just $29 compared to the usual price of $79. The offer would last a year and applies to the iPhone 6, 6 Plus, 6s, 6s Plus, SE, 7, or 7 Plus models. We're now almost a year on from that date, … Continue reading “Apple’s $29 iPhone battery offer ends Dec. 31”

This time last year, Apple was preparing to offer out-of-warranty iPhone battery replacements for just $29 compared to the usual price of $79. The offer would last a year and applies to the iPhone 6, 6 Plus, 6s, 6s Plus, SE, 7, or 7 Plus models. We're now almost a year on from that date, which means there's just three weeks left to take advantage of the offer.

Apple would love for you to buy an iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, or an iPhone XR instead of replacing your existing iPhone battery. There's even an incentive to do so in the form of up to an extra $100 for trading in your old iPhone. But it's nearly Christmas and money needs to be spent on other things, so a battery replacement makes more sense for a lot of people.

There's two ways to get your iPhone battery replaced: visit an Apple Store or mail in your iPhone. The Apple Store visit is the quicker of the two options, simply make an appointment at a Genius Bar via Apple's website or support app and then visit for a same-day repair. Alternatively, visit Apple's website and get a mail-order box for your iPhone. This method means you'll be without a smartphone for 3-5 business days and costs an extra $6.95 for shipping.

Apple officially states that 80 percent battery degradation is required for the $29 replacement to be carried out. However, as Business Insider points out, if you're close to that, for example, 83 percent, then the Genius Bar will likely still offer to do the replacement. If you aren't sure, make the appointment and see what happens. You'll probably leave the store with a new battery.

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  • If you have an iPhone that's an older model than the iPhone 6, don't worry, it's still possible to get a $29 battery replacement through iFixit. You'll have to carry out the battery replacement yourself, but the models included in the offer extend to the iPhone 4s, 5, 5s, and 5c.

    This article originally appeared on PCMag.com.

    Struggling Apple is slashing the price of the new iPhone XR

    Apple is pulling out all the stops as it scrambles to prop up sputtering sales of its new iPhone XR.

    The Silicon Valley giant on Tuesday took the unprecedented step of advertising a trade-in deal on its website that gives the new iPhone XR an effective price as low as $449.

    That’s despite the fact that the XR hit the market just five weeks ago, and its retail markup of $749 makes it by far the cheapest of this year’s stratospherically priced iPhone lineup — $250 less than the next cheapest model.

    Separately on Tuesday, Apple launched a dedicated online portal for active duty military and veterans, with popular gadgets including iPhones and iPads getting a 10 percent discount. It will work much the same way as Apple’s student and corporate shopping portals do.

    The Cupertino, Calif.-based company said in a statement that the veterans discounts are its way of expressing “our gratitude for their brave service.”

    Nevertheless, Apple watchers took it as another signal that Apple may have miscalculated consumers’ willingness to pay increasingly jacked-up prices for iPhones.

    Indeed, the new marketing gimmicks surrounding the iPhone XR have been described by one Apple insider as a “fire drill,” according to a Tuesday Bloomberg report, as the company grapples with middling sales.

    Apple has assigned members of its marketing team to work full-time on boosting sales, and has upped the amount it is willing to pay for devices traded in towards the purchase of a new iPhone, according to the report.

    The discounting follows weeks of reports of Apple suppliers slashing sales forecasts. Most recently, Cirrus Logic, which makes audio chips for the iPhone, cut its sales forecast by 16 percent, citing “recent weakness in the smartphone market.” Apple accounts for just over 80 percent of Cirrus’ revenue, according to its most recent 10-K filing.

    Apple’s iPhone XR, which boasts the edge-to-edge display, albeit using older LCD pixels instead of the X’s high-resolution OLED screen, was widely expected to fuel a massive wave of upgrades from users of the iPhone 6S or earlier models.

    Apple also stoked iPhone sales worries last month when it told analysts and investors that it will no longer break down unit sales for iPhones, iPads and Macs.

    Shares of Apple finished the day down 4.4 percent, at $176.69.

    This story originally appeared in the New York Post.

    Apple’s Tim Cook: Violence, hate and division have ‘no place’ on his platform

    Apple CEO Tim Cook said his company is no place for hate, violence and division during a speech in New York.

    In remarks Monday night at the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), which honored Cook with its first Courage Against Hate award, the CEO said that technology companies have a mandate to "not be indifferent." He also decried the "stubborn and constant evils of anti-Semitism, violence and hate," referencing the mass shooting at Pittsburgh's Tree of Life synagogue that claimed 11 lives.

    "We've only had one message for those who seek to push hate, division and violence," Cook said. "You have no place on our platforms. You have no home here."

    Apple, which Cook said has always prohibited music with a message of white supremacy, was the first tech company to fully banish conspiracy theorist Alex Jones in early September. Although Twitter followed shortly thereafter, it has been criticized for not responding strongly enough to the spread of hate speech. Facebook, where several pages for Jones still exist with links to his podcast, has also been hit for not doing enough to police content that lives on its platform.

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    Cook also seemingly took a swipe at large tech platforms, such as Google's YouTube, Facebook and Twitter without mentioning them by name in his speech.

    "At Apple, we are not afraid to say that our values drive our curation decisions," Cook said. "And why should we be?"

    The 58-year-old, openly gay CEO added: "Doing what's right — creating experiences free from violence and hate, experiences that empower creativity and new ideas — is what our customers want us to do."

    Cook shared the story of Rush Lansing, a 100-year-old woman who witnessed the anti-Semitic violence of Kristallnacht, known as the night when Nazis looted and destroyed Jewish neighborhoods and murdered Jews in Germany. Recently interviewed by the BBC on the 80th anniversary of the attack, Lansing was asked if she had anything to say to the world on her birthday.

    "Yes, I do have a message," Lansing, whose parents and sister perished in Auschwitz, told the BBC. "We only have one life, so why not use it to make the world a better place."

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    Cook said that Apple strives to never forget that its devices and products are "imagined by human minds, built by human hands and are meant to improve human lives."

    "I believe the most sacred thing that each of us is given is our judgment. Our morality. Our own innate desire to separate right from wrong," Cook said. "Choosing to set that responsibility aside at a moment of trial is a sin. We, as individuals, have the power to know and feel and act — and we ought to use it."

    That power to regulate content has troubled tech companies this year, especially Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.

    Facebook has touted its use of artificial intelligence, beefed up content moderation and eventually an independent oversight committee, but a report in the Daily Beast claims the social network is allowing users to post about killing migrants and minorities. YouTube, which has been accused of allowing terrorist, hateful and conspiracy-filled videos, pledged to hire up to 10,000 new content moderators this year.

    Twitter has updated its various policies around hateful conduct and abuse over the last year.

    In October, a coalition of civil rights groups released a report recommending a range of changes for tech platforms to adapt in the battle against hateful speech.

    Christopher Carbone covers technology and science for Fox News Digital. Tips or story leads: christopher.carbone@foxnews.com. Follow @christocarbone.

    Apple offers veterans 10 percent discount via new online store

    Apple has launched a new online store for US veterans and active military members that offers a 10 percent discount on company products.

    The special store went online on Monday and contains all of the company's newest gadgets, including the iPhone XS, iPad Pro and Apple Watch Series 4, in addition to Macs.

    "At Apple we are deeply grateful to the men and women of our armed forces," the company told PCMag. "We're proud to offer active military and veterans a new dedicated online store with special pricing as an expression of our gratitude for their brave service."

    Apple had been offering the military discount through the company's federal government purchase program. However, the new store goes beyond offering a 2 percent to 6 percent discount, and raises it to 10 percent. Eligible buyers can now get access to the iPhone XS starting at $899 or the iPhone XR for $674.

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  • The new store is also available to immediate family members of veterans who reside in the same household. Buyers can also get discounts on AppleCare protection plans. However, eligible customers are limited to purchasing up to three unlocked iPhone devices, three iPad devices and three Macs for each calendar year.

    Apple told PCMag that eligible customers who buy from the store must also agree that they are current or past members of the US Military, National Guard or Reserve. What the company will do to stop potential abuse isn't totally clear. But the company can rescind an order if it suspects the buyer is trying to resell the product.

    If you don't qualify for the discount, but want access to cheaper Apple products, you can consider buying a refurbished product from the company. Apple also has a special discount store for college students, but it only offers price cuts for Mac and iPad devices, not the iPhone or the Apple Watch.

    This article originally appeared on PCMag.com.

    New Apple AirPods design expected in 2020, report says

    Well-known Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has some new predictions for what's next for Apple's AirPods wireless earphones, but there's not much to get excited about until 2020 if he's right.

    As AppleInsider reports, we should expect a minor refresh of the AirPods in the first quarter of 2019. Kuo believes AirPods are going to receive a Bluetooth upgrade, which would mean the adoption of Bluetooth 5.0. That would bring them in line with the latest iPhone models and the HomePod. The main advantage of Bluetooth 5.0 for earphones being a higher broadcasting capacity.

    Other expected improvements include a new W-series chip and the introduction of support for wireless charging. That sounds like Apple is going to switch out the existing AirPods charging case (which requires a Lightning cable for recharging) for a wireless version. So rather than plugging it into to charge you can simply place it on a wireless charging pad such as the Belkin Boost Up.

    The update doesn't sound like enough for existing AirPods owners to make the upgrade, but it would be nice to see battery life extended beyond five hours and wireless charging for the case. Will the price increase because of that? Probably. We heard reports of "Hey Siri" AirPods back in February, so that could also be a feature in next year's refresh.

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  • Looking further ahead, Kuo believes Apple is planning an all-new design for the AirPods in 2020. The focus is apparently on producing AirPods that all existing AirPods owners would desire enough to upgrade immediately. How you do that with something as small and simple as the AirPods is unclear. Better battery life, enhanced sound quality, the introduction of many color options, and some kind of new health and fitness features may put in an appearance come 2020. Noise cancellation has also been mentioned in the past.

    Kuo's sales predictions for AirPods seem overly generous. The figures for 2017 and 2018 are 16 million and 28 million respectively. However, for 2019 Kuo sees that jumping to 55 million, then 80 million for 2020, and 110 million for 2021. Kuo's reasoning seems to be that iPhone owners will be upgrading their AirPods much more regularly than their smartphones. Even so, those sales figures seem very high.

    One thing everyone would like to know, and which relates to wireless AirPods, is what happened to the AirPower wireless charging mat? It was meant to launch back in March, then got delayed until September. It still hasn't appeared and there's no sign it ever will. Triple-device charging seems like a step too far for Apple's engineers right now. Meanwhile, Samsung will happily wirelessly charge two devices for you.

    This article originally appeared on PCMag.com.

    iOS 12 stops police unlocking your iPhone

    Apple is constantly working to improve the security on its devices and protect our data. This has led to improved encryption and a shift from simple passcodes to fingerprint and most recently facial recognition on its smartphones. The security measures are so good, police seizing an iPhone have to be careful not to look directly at it.

    There is one thorn in Apple's side when it comes to security, though, and that's the company Grayshift. Founded in 2016, it offers law enforcement agencies around the world an iPhone unlocking device called GrayKey. It works, or at least it did until now, and has won Grayshift many customers. However, that all changed with iOS 12.

    As Forbes reports, with the release of iOS 12, Apple finally managed to stop GrayKey from working. It has been confirmed that any iPhone running iOS 12 can no longer be unlocked using a GrayKey device. The details of how Apple managed to block the device are unknown, but the last we heard about Apple's efforts to better secure its devices was a plan to close a Lightning port security hole back in June. Clearly that happened, but it's unlikely the only measure required to lock out Grayshift's system.

    For consumers, it's a clear reminder that they should keep their mobile devices up-to-date. Upgrading to iOS 12 will better protect your device, and that protection now covers any attempts by law enforcement to unlock you phone. But for how long?

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  • Hardware security has always been a cat and mouse game. When one security hole closes another is eventually found and exploited. It could be months before GrayKey starts working again, or it could be days. iPhones are very secure devices, but they aren't perfectly secure, no hardware is.

    This article originally appeared on PCMag.com.

    Apple faces Supreme Court in App Store monopoly battle

    The Supreme Court is considering whether Apple's App Store is a monopoly and if consumers can sue the company over it.

    On Monday, the court heard oral arguments in a long-standing legal battle that could shake up Apple's strict control over the iOS ecosystem. Currently, the App Store is the only official way to download apps for your iPhone or iPad. But in 2011, a group of consumers filed a class-action suit, alleging the model was an antitrust violation.

    "Our assertion is that, with multiple sellers, multiple suppliers of the apps, we would be able to buy them [the apps] at a lower price," David Frederick, an attorney representing the consumers, told the high court, according to an official transcript.

    Apple, however, wants the Supreme Court to dismiss the suit. Its argument: the company is merely providing a marketplace for the apps.

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  • During oral arguments, the justices focused on how Apple extracts revenue from the App Store: With each sale, the company takes a 30 percent cut from the developer. Frederick claims this fee structure can cause consumers to overpay for their apps when there's nowhere else to buy them.

    In its defense, Apple said the company plays no role in setting an app's price; that decision is up to the app's developer. "Consumers do not pay the 30 percent commission," the company's attorney, Daniel Wall, told the court.

    However, a few of the justices expressed some skepticism with Apple's arguments. The plaintiffs "are claiming their injury is the suppression of a cheaper price," Justice Sonia Sotomayor told Wall.

    Justice Elena Kagan also said that all app purchases occur through Apple, not through the developer. "I pay Apple directly with the credit card information that I've supplied to Apple. From my perspective, I've just engaged in a one-step transaction with Apple," she said.

    Apple requested that the Supreme Court hear the case in 2017 after a lower federal court overturned an earlier attempt by the company to overturn the class-action lawsuit against it. If the Supreme Court rules against Apple, the company risks facing more antitrust lawsuits and the prospect of paying millions in damages.

    This article originally appeared on PCMag.com.

    Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak says don’t expect a self-driving car anytime soon

    Driverless cars are tipped to be the world-changing technology on the cusp of revolutionizing our lives but Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak’s personal experience has led him to believe it won’t happen anytime soon.

    In a TV interview with CNBC, the beloved former Apple engineer said the self-driving car industry is far from ready for consumer use.

    “I do not believe in auto-driving cars,” he said. “I don’t really believe it’s quite possible yet.”

    Mr Wozniak was initially excited about the prospect and purchased a Tesla to be “a part of the crowd” ushering in the era of autonomous driving. But he is critical of how the company has progressed to that goal in the intervening years.

    “Tesla has no autopilot,” he said. “They call it beta, wait I’m sorry, what kind of company puts out a feature and calls it beta? That doesn’t count.

    “Tesla makes so many mistakes, it really convinced me that autopiloting and auto-steering cars driving themselves is not going to happen.”

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    Tesla’s autopilot technology does a really good job of driving the car and can carry out maneuvers like changing lanes in traffic on its own but it still requires the driver to keep their hands on the wheel.

    Such technology is great for assisted driving and can do things like spot red lights and stop signs to “avoid some of the accidents today,” Mr Wozniak said but he warned consumers “not lose sight of the fact you’re not going to get a car that drives itself”.

    When asked if there was a time he wished Apple had bought Tesla, the co-founder admitted there was a time when he thought such an idea was desirable because Tesla was “making a real statement” for electric cars.

    But while he gives major credit to Tesla for kickstarting the electric vehicle revolution, he has since grown disillusioned with the company that has come to be synonymous with self-driving consumer vehicles.

    “I’ve just been fed too many hopeful wishes and lies about the future and I’ve given up on Tesla and Elon Musk and believing anything they say,” he said in October.

    Apple’s own self-driving car program — initially known as Project Titan — is shrouded in secrecy and has reportedly been plagued with problems in recent years, prompting the company to shed jobs in the sector and rethink its strategy.

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    The industry leader in the race to get a genuine self-driving car on the road is said to be Waymo, owned by Google’s parent company Alphabet. It has been quietly working on self-driving for the past decade.

    Overnight Bloomberg reported the company is planning to launch the world’s first commercial driverless taxi service in early December to compete with the likes of Uber and Lyft — but without having to pay the driver. The rollout won’t be met with any fanfare and is expected to initially include just dozens of vehicles in suburbs around the city of Phoenix, Arizona.

    Waymo’s efforts are also tightly guarded but reports suggest the company is still facing major hurdles such as the ability for its cars to merge into busy traffic from a standstill.

    According to a 2017 report conducted by market researcher Navigant, Waymo ranked as the second most likely company to achieve the successful development of autonomous vehicle technology behind General Motors. In the same report, Tesla lagged far behind and did not make the top 10.

    THIS STORY ORIGINALLY APPEARED ON NEWS.COM.AU

    iOS 12 stops police unlocking your iPhone

    Apple is constantly working to improve the security on its devices and protect our data. This has led to improved encryption and a shift from simple passcodes to fingerprint and most recently facial recognition on its smartphones. The security measures are so good, police seizing an iPhone have to be careful not to look directly at it.

    There is one thorn in Apple's side when it comes to security, though, and that's the company Grayshift. Founded in 2016, it offers law enforcement agencies around the world an iPhone unlocking device called GrayKey. It works, or at least it did until now, and has won Grayshift many customers. However, that all changed with iOS 12.

    As Forbes reports, with the release of iOS 12, Apple finally managed to stop GrayKey from working. It has been confirmed that any iPhone running iOS 12 can no longer be unlocked using a GrayKey device. The details of how Apple managed to block the device are unknown, but the last we heard about Apple's efforts to better secure its devices was a plan to close a Lightning port security hole back in June. Clearly that happened, but it's unlikely the only measure required to lock out Grayshift's system.

    For consumers, it's a clear reminder that they should keep their mobile devices up-to-date. Upgrading to iOS 12 will better protect your device, and that protection now covers any attempts by law enforcement to unlock you phone. But for how long?

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    This article originally appeared on PCMag.com.

    Apple faces Supreme Court in App Store monopoly battle

    The Supreme Court is considering whether Apple's App Store is a monopoly and if consumers can sue the company over it.

    On Monday, the court heard oral arguments in a long-standing legal battle that could shake up Apple's strict control over the iOS ecosystem. Currently, the App Store is the only official way to download apps for your iPhone or iPad. But in 2011, a group of consumers filed a class-action suit, alleging the model was an antitrust violation.

    "Our assertion is that, with multiple sellers, multiple suppliers of the apps, we would be able to buy them [the apps] at a lower price," David Frederick, an attorney representing the consumers, told the high court, according to an official transcript.

    Apple, however, wants the Supreme Court to dismiss the suit. Its argument: the company is merely providing a marketplace for the apps.

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  • During oral arguments, the justices focused on how Apple extracts revenue from the App Store: With each sale, the company takes a 30 percent cut from the developer. Frederick claims this fee structure can cause consumers to overpay for their apps when there's nowhere else to buy them.

    In its defense, Apple said the company plays no role in setting an app's price; that decision is up to the app's developer. "Consumers do not pay the 30 percent commission," the company's attorney, Daniel Wall, told the court.

    However, a few of the justices expressed some skepticism with Apple's arguments. The plaintiffs "are claiming their injury is the suppression of a cheaper price," Justice Sonia Sotomayor told Wall.

    Justice Elena Kagan also said that all app purchases occur through Apple, not through the developer. "I pay Apple directly with the credit card information that I've supplied to Apple. From my perspective, I've just engaged in a one-step transaction with Apple," she said.

    Apple requested that the Supreme Court hear the case in 2017 after a lower federal court overturned an earlier attempt by the company to overturn the class-action lawsuit against it. If the Supreme Court rules against Apple, the company risks facing more antitrust lawsuits and the prospect of paying millions in damages.

    This article originally appeared on PCMag.com.