ICYMI: Apple’s March 2016 Special Event

In case you missed Apple’s special event on March 21, 2016, here are the highlights:

Apple CEO Tim Cook kicked off the announcement with a brief statement about its ongoing battle against the FBI regarding the San Bernardino iPhone case.

“We believe strongly that we have a responsibility to help your protect your data and protect your privacy,” he said. “We will not shrink from that responsibility.”

Research and devs

Shifting quickly to other civic causes, Apple’s VP of Environment Lisa Jackson announced that 93 percent of its facilities worldwide run on renewable energy, and reached its goal of 100 percent in 23 countries, including China and the United States. She also said 99 percent of its packaging is now made from recycled paper.


In a quick video, Apple showed off its new Research and Development project called Liam, a robot designed to deconstruct old iPhones into reuse materials. Pretty neat!

Apple also announced CareKit – a new research tool for people to better understand data for various health conditions. iPhone users can now better track vitals like temperature, heart rate or range of motion if they have Parkinson’s Disease or have just undergone surgery, for example. This data can then be shared with their loved ones or doctors to adjust treatments.

CareKit will be available this April.

Small updates to Apple Watch & Apple TV

Nothing majorly exciting with Apple Watch updates during this announcement except a price cut – now down as low as $299 – and some new watch bands, such as a woven nylon bands with some funky color choices. Apple’s also added new Sport and leather bands.


Since the new Apple TV shipped late last year, Cook says there are now more than 5,000 Apple TV apps. He also mentions a few new updates coming to the OS, such as folders and voice dictation so you can say your password to sign in, and check out your Live Photos from the device.

Expect to kick your loved ones out of the room if you are too lazy to type your password in.

iPhone SE is real!

Screen Shot 2016-03-21 at 1.33.12 PM

Here it is: a smaller iPhone. Apple even made a small joke about the fact that the product was heavily rumored and leaked.

The iPhone SE is a 4-inch device that comes with a 64-bit A9 chip and an M9 motion coprocessor – making it equivalent to the iPhone 6s. It has a 12-megapixel camera with all the standard features, such as panorama, time lapse, slow-motion, 4K video capture, and Live Photos. The selfie cam has a true-tone flash as well.

Apple claims the iPhone SE offers LTE speeds 50 percent faster than the iPhone 5s. It’s got Touch ID and Apple Pay built in, too.

The iPhone SE starts at $399. Without a contract, you can purchase the device via its monthly payment plan starting at $17.

Pre-orders will start on March 24 and will be available in stores on March 31. Apple plans for the device to be in 110 countries by the end of May.

iOS 9.3 brings small, useful updates

Apple announced some new updates to iOS 9.3, such as password protection on notes, a night shift sleep-friendly lighting mode, and app suggestions for Health apps.


Apple News will now feature top stories and suggest Editor’s Picks for easy browsing. CarPlay gets a few updates too – with song suggestions and Maps locating nearby points of interests such as gas stations and rest stops.

Lastly, Education gets an update with more features for students, teachers and administrators.

A smaller iPad Pro

Here’s another device we were expecting – an update to the iPad Pro. Today, Apple announced a 9.7-inch Retina display iPad Pro that weighs less than one pound.

ipad pro smart keyboard

The new iPad Pro has a Oxide TFT display for high contrast ratio, and is 47 percent less reflective than the iPad 2 – the lowest reflectivity of any tablet, Apple says. The device also has the brightest screen with the widest color gamut Apple ever built. It’s designed to recognize ambient light to adjust the colors onscreen to best cast the tones for the most natural hues.

It also comes with four audio speakers, A9X chip, M9 motion coprocessor, a graphics drive as powerful as an Xbox 360, and a ‘Hey Siri’ handsfree compatibility.

iPad pro colors

The camera’s got 5MP front facer, 12MP rear camera and can shoot 4K videos.

Apple says it made a smaller iPad Pro to cater to those who want a powerful but more commute-friendly devices. It also admits it wants to attract Windows users over with the new iPad Pro as an “ultimate PC replacement.”

Accessories include a smart keyboard, Lightning SD card reader, USB camera adapter, and, of course, the Apple Pencil. The iPad Pro comes in four colors, including the new Rose Gold shade.

The device starts at $599 for 32GB and Wi-Fi and goes all the way up to 256GB of storage. That configuration applies to the original 12.9-inch iPad Pro as well.

Pre-orders start on March 24 and ships on the 31st.

[Adapted from thenextweb]
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Error 53 UPDATE

Apple has released a new version of iOS 9.2.1 that will remedy bricked iPhones affected by ‘error 53‘ after servicing hardware with Touch ID. iOS 9.2.1 is the same version number released last month, but the updated build from 13D15 to 13D20 reflects the resolution for bricked iPhones.

Don’t expect to see this iOS update appear over-the-air if you’re already running iOS 9.2.1, however, as it’s only intended to make restoring via iTunes possible for affected iPhones.

Error 53 gained attention earlier this month as a large number of iPhone users with third-party home button repairs were reporting issues after updating to newer versions of iOS, namely no longer being able to use the device.

The error was put in place by design to protect fingerprint data on the Secure Enclave found on iPhones with the Touch ID sensor, but the issues created by it caught enough attention to lead to a potential class action lawsuit in the U.S.

For Apple’s part, it reacted somewhat quickly to the controversy with today’s fix. The company offered the following statement to TechCrunch regarding the issue:

Some customers’ devices are showing ‘Connect to iTunes’ after attempting an iOS update or a restore from iTunes on a Mac or PC. This reports as an Error 53 in iTunes and appears when a device fails a security test. This test was designed to check whether Touch ID works properly before the device leaves the factory.

Today, Apple released a software update that allows customers who have encountered this error message to successfully restore their device using iTunes on a Mac or PC.

We apologize for any inconvenience, this was designed to be a factory test and was not intended to affect customers. Customers who paid for an out-of-warranty replacement of their device based on this issue should contact AppleCare about a reimbursement.

Apple has also updated its support document detailing error 53 for iPhones.

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iOS Date Brick

There are many ways iPhone users can unintentionally brick their devices, but YouTuber Zach Straley may have just discovered the quickest way to turn your beautiful iPhone into a worthless slab of metal, glass, and silicone.Simply set your iPhone’s date to January 1, 1970 and your device will become nothing better than a paperweight. The bug was supposedly found by a Chinese iPhone users who was trying to solve a date issue with iOS 9.3 beta 3. Not even a DFU restore will bring the device back to life once you set the time back to 1970 and reboot.
Straley posted a video of the bug in action. Needless to say, don’t try this at home:

It appears that the bug affects all iPhones with a 64-bit CPU — A7, A8, A8X, A9 and A9X chips — but it doesn’t matter which version of iOS is running.

Some users have tried changing the date on their device and were still able to boot their device. For those who got away with trying this and it not bricking your device, there’s a reason why – time zones.

In some time zones, setting the date to 1 Jan 1970 will set the internal clock to a number less than zero, as the time is stored in GMT (as the number of seconds since midnight on that date) and then the offset is applied before display. In other time zones, setting the clock will result in a positive time value. Best guess is that this is triggered by having the time value less than zero.

How to fix this:

At the moment, the only way to make sure no one, purposely or accidentally, bricks your phone is to have a jailbroken iPhone and install the BrickingDate tweak.

All you have to do is to install the tweak on your jailbroken device. You’ll first have to add a new source to Cydia by opening the Sources tab and tapping Edit -> Add. A new pop-up appears where you’ll have to enter the following repository: http://repo.ziph0n.comOnce added, search for the tweak’s name and install it on your iOS device.

It is most likely that Apple will fix this issue in iOS 9.3, so until then all the non-jailbroken users will have to be extra careful and wait.


Good news for non-jailbroken device!

It was found that disconnecting the battery and reconnecting it will allow the iPhone to reboot, however take caution while disconnecting the battery.

Follow these instructions to properly disconnect the battery from your device without causing damage:

iPhone 5s battery replacement

iPhone 6 battery replacement

iPhone 6 Plus battery replacement

iPhone 6s battery replacement

iPhone 6s Plus battery replacement

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Error 53?

If you see ‘Error 53’ on your iPhone 6 or 6 Plus,  prepare yourself for some bad news.

The message has been popping up on iPhones since the release of the recent iOS 9 update and it’s essentially a death sentence for any more recent Apple devices you own which have undergone third-party repairs, The Daily Mail reports.

Apple claim the error will protect customers, but thousands of users have said the update has essentially bricked their iPhones, and meant that any data kept within is lost with no hope of retrieval.

In a statement made to AppleInsider, Apple explained the security purposes behind the move and apparently the issue lies in the security measures of the Touch ID sensor.

The statement said:

We take our customer security very seriously and Error 53 is the result of security checks designed to protect our customers. iOS checks that the Touch ID sensor in your iPhone or iPad correctly matches your device’s other components.

If iOS finds a mismatch, the check fails and Touch ID, including for Apple Pay use, is disabled. This security measure is necessary to protect your device and prevent a fraudulent Touch ID sensor from being used.

If a customer encounters Error 53, we encourage them to contact Apple Support.

If You See Mysterious Error 53 On Your iPhone, Prepare For The Worst image

Basically the touch ID sensor is what records your fingerprints, and it keeps that data protected with a ‘secure enclave,’ an Apple spokeswoman explained in an earlier statement to The Guardian.

So it seems, any third-party repair work done that affects the home button and possibly the screen could mean that you might be get this message.

Kyle Wiens, head of the electronics-repair site iFixit.com, claims the policy is harsh, and ‘ridiculous.’ He even likens the Error-53 related crashes to the car company Ford, saying: ‘we’re not going to let any mechanics work on our cars because they’ll change the key.’

An Apple spokeswoman explained that ‘faulty screens or other invalid components,’ can disrupt the unique pairing methods of the touch ID, disabling the phone so it remains secure.

Worst of all, the error message has also popped up for users who had damaged their phones, and gone on using them without seeking repair.

If You See Mysterious Error 53 On Your iPhone, Prepare For The Worst image

Apple recommends taking the error-struck phones to an Apple Store, but not all iPhone users have access to official Apple repair centers. Even then, the Wall Street Journal has reported that some customers have gone to the Apple Store only to be turned away as the error message was like ‘the plague,’ and unauthorized repairs void the device warranty.

For many, the only solution has been to throw away the bricked phone, and buy a new one.

Unfortunately, Apple has its back covered on this as iPhone users did agree to this in the terms and conditions.

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Upgrade your iPhone memory from 16GB up to 128GB for $60!

Ever since Apple chose not to offer iPhones in 32GB flavors anymore, many users were forced to stick with the 16GB variant for cost savings.

iPhones with 16GB of memory report available memory any where between 11GB and 12GB  of actual user-available memory which, to be honest, isn’t quite much.

With apps growing in size and iPhones coming with better equipped cameras and therefore producing images with larger sizes, 16GB just isn’t going to cut it anymore.

Apple offers its iPhones in 3 memory options priced $100 apart from each, so the 128GB iPhone is 200$ more expensive than the 16GB iPhone.

So, what to do?

A local company in Shenzhen called BeSound will upgrade your iPhone from 16GB to 128GB for $60!

For those not wanting to go up to 128GB, there are other options:

16GB -> 32GB     $20

16GB -> 64GB     $35

16GB -> 128GB $60

This sounded too good to be true, so make sure you check out the video below and don’t forget to leave your comments in the comments section on whether or not you’d go through with this!




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Apple Releases iOS 9.1 & OSX El Capitan 10.11.1

Less than an hour ago, Apple released iOS 9.1 for all compatible devices.

IMG_5313Here are the full release notes as per Apple:

  • Live Photos now intelligently senses when you raise or lower your iPhone, so that Live Photos will automatically not record these movements
  • Over 150 new emoji characters with full support for Unicode 7.0 and 8.0 emojis
  • Improved stability including CarPlay, Music, Photos, Safari, and Search
  • Improved performance while in Multitasking UI
  • Fixes an issue that could cause Calendar to become unresponsive in Month view
  • Fixes an issue that prevented Game Center from launching for some users
  • Resolves an issue that zoomed the content of some apps
  • Resolves an issue that could cause an incorrect unread mail count for POP mail accounts
  • Fixes an issue that prevented users from removing recent contacts from new mail or messages
  • Fixes an issue that caused some messages to not appear in Mail search results
  • Resolves an issue that left a gray bar in the body of an Audio Message
  • Fixes an issue that caused activation errors on some carriers
  • Fixes an issue that prevented some apps from updating from the App Store

iOS 9.1 also lays the groundwork for some other iOS devices that are launching soon. One is the new Apple TV, which ships with the iOS-based “tvOS.” The other is the iPad Pro, which brings with it support for the Apple Pencil and its Smart Keyboard cover. The Apple TV ships next week, while the iPad Pro is due sometime in November.

Apple also released an update for OSX El Capitan with the following release notes:

This update:
– Improves installer reliability when upgrading to OS X El Capitan
– Improves compatibility with Microsoft Office 2016
– Fixes an issue where outgoing server information may be missing from Mail
– Resolves an issue that prevented display of messages and mailboxes in Mail
– Resolves an issue that prevents certain Audio Unit plug-ins from functioning properly
– Improves VoiceOver reliability
– Adds over 150 new emoji characters with full Unicode 7.0 and 8.0 support

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Has Your iPhone Data Consumption Skyrocketed?

The introduction of iOS 9 brought on a lot of new and useful features. From search in settings, to low power mode, many of these new features fit in perfectly with our daily routine.

However, one feature, that was designed with good intention, has spelled disaster for many users.

Wi-Fi Assist

Wi-Fi assist is a feature in iOS 9 designed to aid a poor Wi-Fi connection with your data connection. This means that if you are connected to a slow Wi-Fi connection, your iPhone will automatically use its data connection to complement the slow Wi-Fi.

This is very beneficial for users on unlimited data plans, but for users who have a monthly limit, Wi-Fi assist will (most probably) be responsible for the price hike in your next bill.

Now that you you know what Wi-Fi assist is, you can choose whether or not to keep it enabled. If you decided to disable it, navigate to Settings -> Cellular, scroll all the way down and disable the Wi-Fi assist toggle.



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iPhone 6s Digital Image Stabilization vs iPhone 6s Plus Optical Image Stabilization

When Apple launched the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus last year, the latter received Optical Image Stabilization (OIS) whereas the former did not. That trend has continued with the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, with the new Plus handset now capable of using OIS when recording video as well, while the iPhone 6s is still only capable of digital stabilization.

The big question that such a thing brings about is obvious: just how much of a difference does OIS make to video? We already know that the improved stabilization capabilities of the iPhone 6 Plus made it a better camera for shooting stills, especially in low light conditions, but what about the iPhone 6s Plus, and what about with video?

iPhone 6s or 6s Plus

While Apple has obviously touted the quality of video recorded on the new handset, you never really know how good it is until you see video recorded by someone that isn’t the company behind the phone itself. With iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus now on sale, some people have been comparing the new handsets with each other as far as stabilization is concerned. Which is best, the iPhone 6s with its digital image stabilization or the iPhone 6s Plus with its optical solution?

The video, released by Giga Tech YouTube channel, should give you an idea, and if you take a lot of video or perhaps take video of your kids then the extra stabilization capabilities of the iPhone 6s Plus may well be worth the extra expense and tradeoff in pocketability. Check the video out in 4K resolution for yourself, but ask yourself this question: if you have the choice of which iPhone to get and think there may be a time when OIS makes its presence known, why wouldn’t you go for the iPhone 6s Plus?

Assuming it’s not too big for your hands. Or your pockets!

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Apple Releases iOS 9.0.1 With Security Patches

Apple released iOS 9.0.1 just under an hour ago for all compatible iDevices with the following release notes:

This update contains bug fixes including:

– Fixes an issue where some users could not complete setup assistant after updating
– Fixes an issue where sometimes alarms and timers could fail to play
– Fixes an issue in Safari and Photos where pausing video could cause the paused frame to appear distorted
– Fixes an issue where some users with a custom APN setup via a profile would lose cellular data

For information on the security content of this update, please visit this website:

No mention, however, about other bugs that many users have encountered since updating to iOS 9.

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September 9, 2015 Apple Event Roundup

Apple was on stage at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco today to announce several new products, including the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, iPad Pro, iPad mini 4, fourth-generation Apple TV and new Apple Watch bands and finishes. It also announced that iOS 9 and watchOS 2 will be released on September 16.


iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus

Design: iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus look the same as the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, with 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch screen sizes respectively, although Apple did make the switch to stronger ion-strengthened glass and slightly thicker Series 7000 aluminum. A new Rose Gold color option was introduced to the iPhone 6s lineup alongside existing Space Gray, Silver and Gold models.

3D Touch: 3D Touch builds upon both Apple’s patented Multi-Touch and pressure-sensitive Force Touch technologies, enabling users to make “peek and pop” gestures on the screen with their fingers to access actionable shortcuts or preview content, such as text messages, flight information, calendar appointments and more.

A9 Chip: iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus are powered by a 64-bit Apple A9 chip and embedded M9 motion coprocessor that deliver up to 70% faster CPU performance and up to 90% faster graphics compared to the A8 chip inside the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.

Improved Cameras: iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus have 12-megapixel rear-facing iSight cameras with 4K video recording (3840×2160) and 5-megapixel front-facing FaceTime cameras with display-based Retina Flash. Optical image stabilization is now available for both photos and videos, but remains limited to the iPhone 6s Plus.

Faster Touch ID: iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus have a second-generation Touch ID fingerprint scanner that is up to two times faster compared to Touch ID on previous iPhones.

Pricing and Availability:

iphone6s-6sp-select-2015iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus start at $199 and $299 with a new two-year contract respectively. Alternatively, the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus will start at $649 and $749 respectively when purchased outright.

Financing and lease programs that break the full price down into monthly installments are available from AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile and many other carriers. Apple also introduced a new iPhone Upgrade Program aimed at customers who upgrade their iPhone each year.

The prices listed below are in U.S. dollars.

iPhone 6s
16GB: $199 (On Contract), $649 (Full Price)
64GB: $299 (On Contract), $749 (Full Price)
128GB: $399 (On Contract), $849 (Full Price)

iPhone 6s Plus
16GB: $299 (On Contract), $749 (Full Price)
64GB: $399 (On Contract), $849 (Full Price)
128GB: $499 (On Contract), $949 (Full Price)

iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus pre-orders begin on Saturday, September 12 at 12:01 AM Pacific ahead of a Friday, September 25 launch in the United States, Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand, Puerto Rico, Singapore and the United Kingdom. The new iPhones will be available in over 130 countries by the end of the year.

New Apple TV

apple-tv-4th-genThe fourth-generation Apple TV is a significant overhaul of the set-top box that aims to greatly improve the current TV experience. The new Apple TV features a redesigned user interface centered upon apps, gaming and universal search, with an all-new Siri Remote in tow.

Design: The new Apple TV has a similar appearance compared to the previous model, retaining its black hockey puck design, but it is somewhat thicker and heavier to accommodate the set-top box’s complete internal overhaul. The device’s exact dimensions are 1.3 inches x 3.9 inches x 3.9 inches and it weighs just under 1 pound (425 grams).

New User Interface: Apple TV has a new iOS 9-style user interface that is flatter and simpler. You can double-click the Home button on the Siri Remote to view apps that you’ve recently used, customize the Home screen, set new cinematic screen savers, search from virtually anywhere and more.

Siri and Touch Remote: Siri integration is a key part of the new Apple TV interface, as it lets users ask Siri to bring up content. It’s possible to search through multiple apps to find a TV show or movie, and at launch, supported apps include Netflix, iTunes, Hulu, HBO, and Showtime.

Siri can answer questions about who’s starring in a movie, bring up extraneous information like the weather outside, and ask Siri to replay parts of a movie that were missed or fast forward through content. For example, asking Siri “What did she say?” will rewind a movie 15 seconds and temporarily bring up subtitles.

The new Apple TV is bundled with a redesigned remote control that includes a glass touch surface for swiping through content as you would on an iPhone. There’s also a built-in button and dual microphones for activating and speaking to Siri.

The remote control also has Bluetooth 4.0, an IR transmitter, accelerometer and gyroscope, Lightning connector for charging and a rechargeable battery lasting months on a single charge.

App Store and Gaming: Apple TV has moved from a “hobby” product to a viable Nintendo, Xbox and PlayStation competitor in the living room with the addition of an App Store and native tvOS SDK and Metal for developers to create apps and games for the television.

The new Siri Remote doubles as a game controller for the Apple TV, with the glass touch surface serving as a virtual directional pad, while the fourth-generation set-top box also supports MFi-certified third-party Bluetooth controllers and joysticks.

Pricing and Availability:

The new Apple TV will be available at the end of October for $149 (32GB) and $199 (64GB). Developers can request an Apple TV Developer Kit by September 11 at 12 PM Pacific.


iPad Pro

ipad_pro_roundupThe iPad Pro is a 12.9-inch tablet with a resolution of 2732×2048 at 264 PPI, which is 5.6 million pixels — more than any iOS device and even the MacBook Pro with Retina display. The tablet has a fully laminated display with both fingerprint-resistant oleophobic and antireflective coatings.

The iPad Pro has a 64-bit A9X processor that delivers up to 1.6 times faster performance over the iPad Air 2, with up to twice as fast graphics. Apple also says the tablet has 80% faster performance and 90% faster graphics over portable PCs, allowing users to run apps such as iMovie with desktop-class performance.

The iPad Pro measures 6.9mm thick and weighs 1.57 pounds. The tablet features a four-speaker audio system — two stereo speakers on each side — that balance frequencies and put out up to three times the audio level of the iPad Air 2. It is also equipped with an 8-megapixel iSight camera, Touch ID, Smart and Lightning connectors, dual microphones and 3.5mm headphone jack.

Apple introduced two accessories for the iPad Pro. The first is a Microsoft Surface-like Smart Keyboard, which is built into a Smart Cover accessory and connects magnetically to the iPad Pro’s new three-dot Smart Connector. The second is Apple Pencil, a stylus built using technology that can detect position, tilt and force.

Apple Pencil also calculates angle and orientation to produce both broad or shaded strokes. The Pencil also enables precision that allows artists to touch a single pixel. Apple says the Pencil’s battery lasts for hours and that it can charge by connecting to the iPad Pro’s Lightning charger.

Pricing and Availability:

iPad Pro launches in November in Silver, Space Gray and Gold, starting at $799 for a 32GB Wi-Fi only model. A 128GB Wi-Fi only model will also be available for $949 and a Wi-Fi + LTE 128GB model will retail for $1,079.

Apple Pencil will retail for $99 while the Smart Keyboard will retail for $169. Both will be available alongside the iPad Pro.

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