The iPhone 8’s glass back costs way more to repair than the front

Over the last couple of weeks, the price of AppleCare+ has gone up for Plus model iPhones and screen repair for the 6s and newer models has gotten $ 20 more expensive. However, while screen replacements for phones under AppleCare+ warranty are still $ 29, that’s not the case for replacing the back glass of the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, according to AppleInsider.

A number of Apple employees have told AppleInsider that the back glass isn’t covered under screen repair and is instead qualified as “other damage,” the fee for which is $ 99. This is likely because removing the glass back is markedly more difficult than swapping out a screen. Unlike the front glass, the back glass is glued in really well, requiring much more effort to remove. AppleCare+ allows for two incidents of accidental damage, after which your repair price jumps up to $ 349 for the iPhone 8 and $ 399 for the Plus for anything other than a screen repair.

So be careful with that iPhone 8. Between higher AppleCare+ costs and higher damage repair fees, that new phone could turn out to be much pricier than you bargained for.

Source: AppleInsider

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Apple Watch Series 3 first look: So far, no LTE problems

The Apple Watch Series 3 started shipping today, and our definitive review is still in the works. In the meantime, we wanted to give you a taste of what life is like with the company’s first LTE-connected watch, so when we got it in for review, we said eff it: let’s use nothing but the Watch all day. I was going to respond to every text, email and Slack message from my wrist, use it for listening to music on the subway and talk into it as much as I would with my usual iPhone. To be fair, Apple doesn’t seem like a huge advocate of this idea — it treats the Series 3 as an occasional substitute for an iPhone rather than a day-to-day replacement. That said, this is the first Apple Watch with cellular connectivity. How could we not try this?

Ditching the phone takes a little time, though; you’ll need an iPhone to completely the initial setup, which thankfully seemed much faster than on previous models. Well, until it came time to set up the cellular connection, anyway. I’m an AT&T customer, so this meant the Watch app kicked me into a browser window where I had to enable the carrier’s $ 10-a-month NumberSync feature. For whatever reason, the process seemed to fail the first time, but a subsequent attempt let me pick up where I left off after logging in again. At last, with NumberSync ready and LTE ostensibly ready to go, I took a moment to behold the Watch itself.

At its launch event, Apple said the crystal housing for the heart rate sensor is just “two sheets of paper” thicker than last year’s Series 2. The difference is subtle — the crystal pressed into my wrist a little more noticeably than before, but not enough to get worked up over. The weight hasn’t changed much, which is pretty impressive considering the stuff Apple had to squeeze inside to make the cellular connections work.

The more I thought about it, the less sense the cellular Series 3’s red dot makes. I’m told it serves no technical purpose; it’s just there to add a fun little splash of color, and serve as a reminder that this watch can indeed make phone calls. Whether or not Apple intended it, the visual metaphor is apt: The dot looks like the red notification indicator that pops up on-screen, a subtle, persistent suggestion that the Series 3 is always connected to the rest of your world. That said, the dot straight-up clashes with certain Watch bands. Yeesh.

After that, it was time to actually use the thing. I killed Bluetooth on the iPhone and waited for about 10 seconds until the Watch transitioned to… Wi-Fi. Oops. I’d need to be outside for the rest of this process. It took about 35 seconds for the Watch to acquire an LTE signal, and when messages started rolling in, I was honestly a little surprised how easily I could manage them all. Unlike other reviewers, I haven’t noticed any hiccups in network performance so far, but I’ll keep my eyes peeled.

The constant throbbing of notifications rolling in gets old quickly, but so far, the excellent voice recognition was tremendous in helping me get back to everyone. I’ve always liked the idea of “scribbling” out letters with my finger to respond to incoming messages, but it the process of figuring out what letter you’ve drawn takes just a tick more time. Voice recognition is the way to go, even if I looked like sort of a doofus using it.

Ditto for talking into the Watch, but at least it sounded pretty good, or so said the people I was chatting with. Of the four friends I called using the Watch, three of them had no idea I was talking into my wrist. Still, as far as the built-in speaker goes, you’re going to want a decent set of Bluetooth earbuds to get the best audio quality on your end. I should also mention that I didn’t notice the widely-reported issue where the Series 3 tries to latch onto open WiFi networks it shouldn’t. That’s probably because I’m kind of anal about what WiFi network settings I actually keep saved on MacBook and iPhone; I generally clear out everything but my home and work configurations. I’m going to be a little more lax about this, though, and see what happens from there. Moving on.

Using Siri was also a pleasant surprise — it typically gets a bad rap, but my experience so far has been great. It very quickly got to the point where I could ditch the precise pronunciation I reserve for virtual assistants and just talk like myself. There was one moment when I was walking around downtown Manhattan and Siri failed to connect, but she’s otherwise turning out to be the Series 3’s MVP. The other contender for that title is the updated chipset inside; it makes the Series 3 much more capable. Switching between apps (accessible using the flat side button) was the smoothest experience as I’ve had yet on an Apple Watch.

I kept up with work for about four hours, and while my co-workers could probably tell I wasn’t quite as responsive as usual, I was still managing to get things done. It was getting pretty late at this point, so I decided to wind down my night with a leisurely run along the East River, using the GPS to track my route. The Watch seemed to do a fine job here, except it basically obliterated what was left of my battery life. After six hours, the Watch was down to 10 percent and dipped into Power Reserve mode.

So far, the Series 3 has been a mixed bag. The big performance gains mean it’s much more pleasant to actually use, but most people don’t need what amounts to a second, more limited phone lashed to their wrists. I’m going to keep testing the Series 3 for a few more days, so stay tuned for our full review.

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iOS 11’s Control Center buttons don’t fully turn off Bluetooth or WiFi

If you’ve updated to Apple’s new iOS 11, you might have played around with the new Control Center. You also might think that toggling Bluetooth and WiFi “off” in the Center might actually, you know, turn them off. Turns out, you’d be wrong. As noted over at Motherboard, hitting these buttons really only disconnects you from any WiFi or Bluetooth devices you might be connected to.

To be fair, Apple says this in its own documentation, but that doesn’t mean the toggles aren’t confusing to many users. The idea is that when you use the Control Center toggles, your iPhone will still be able to connect for AirDrop, AirPlay and Location Services. It can also stay connected to Apple’Pencil, Apple Watch and use Continuity features like Handoff and Instant Hotspot. If you want to turn off WiFi and Bluetooth for real, something that can help your iPhone use less battery and avoid some security bugs, you’ll need to drop into the Settings app.

We’ve reached out to Apple for comment on this matter and will update the post when we hear back.

Via: Motherboard

Source: Apple

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iOS 11 is here with improved multitasking and AR

With multitasking, ARKit and more AI smarts, iOS 11 is one of Apple’s biggest iOS updates yet. It just started rolling out around the world, so don’t be surprised to see a message on your iPhone or iPad soon. If you’ve been procrastinating, now would be a good time to backup your photos, videos and other precious data — in the past, iOS updates have been buggy, gone less than smoothly and eaten up precious storage.

Warnings aside, you’re probably going to like it, especially if you have an iPad Pro and use it to do work. iOS 11’s marquee feature is better multitasking, with a macOS-style dock on the bottom of your screen that lets you seamlessly switch between apps or run two side-by-side. That will particularly handy for, say, programmers or graphics professionals.

Apple is also keying in on AI with iOS 11, with a better, more natural-sounding version of Siri and Core ML machine learning for developers. It will also usher in the age of augmented reality on iPhones with ARKit. Though that app is mostly just useful for developers, you’ll soon get games and apps that use the tech, and what we’ve seen so far looks promising.

Another feature that takes advantage of the new smarts and sensors is animated emojis — it basically maps your face in real time and transfers your expressions to the characters. That only works on the iPhone X, however, since it requires the dedicated front-facing depth sensor.

There’s a lot more, including things like screenshots during Facetime calls, a “do not disturb” setting for driving and a blue banner that shows when apps track your location (for more see our preview). Now, back to the nagging. Remember that the install could take a while, so be sure you’re not expecting a job interview callback when doing it. And things do go wrong — Apple has released many a buggy iOS update in the past — so make sure everything you value is saved. If Apple stays true to past form, it should arrive around 1PM ET (10 AM PT) today.

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Apple slowly lets its ‘TV’ streaming app expand beyond the US

Apple’s ‘TV’ app has begun showing up outside the US, signaling the start of the rollout it promised during its latest iPhone event. According to MacRumors and 9to5Mac, the app has already appeared for some users in Australia and Canada ahead of tvOS 11’s official release later today, September 19th. Apple launched the TV app in 2016 to serve as a browsable hub for all the shows from your other apps, such as Hulu and HBO Now. It was designed to give you a way to easily find movies and series to watch without having to switch streaming services.

Based on some social media posts, the app still isn’t working properly and is stuck loading for a lot of people. Apple might have merely released it to prepare for its streaming device’s OS update, so it will likely start working once tvOS 11 arrives. While the ongoing rollout seems to be for Canada and Australia only, Apple also promised to bring the app to the UK, France, Germany, Norway and Sweden before the year ends.

Source: 9to5Mac

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Apple’s iPhone screen repair prices are now $20 higher

Some Reddit users reported yesterday that Apple has increased its screen repair prices for certain iPhone models. Fixing a broken iPhone 6s or 7 screen will now cost $ 149, up from $ 129. And repairs for iPhone 6s Plus and 7 Plus screens has increased from $ 149 to $ 169, according to Apple’s service pricing page.

Those prices are for phones not covered under an AppleCare+ warranty. Screen repairs on phones that are covered under the extended warranty will still cost $ 29. But AppleCare+ has gone up as well, with larger phones like Plus models costing $ 149 and the new iPhone X warranty priced at $ 199.

The new iPhone 8 models are priced under the new screen repair plan — the 8 will cost you $ 149 and the 8 Plus, $ 169 for a new screen. There’s no price on Apple’s site for an X screen repair, but we can probably expect it to be even higher. We’ve reached out to Apple about the new pricing and we’ll update this post if we receive any additional information.

Via: The Verge

Source: Apple

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Virgin Mobile’s US stores get the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus a week late

Virgin Mobile’s US stores will get both the standard iPhone 8 and Plus models on September 29th. That’s a full week after every other major American carrier gets the device, which is rough for Virgin Mobile in particular since it now only offers iPhones.

The carrier gave no reason for the delay, which also affects preorders: Its customers can reserve an iPhone 8 or 8 Plus on September 22nd, when the other big American carriers start getting their shipped. It’s possible that Virgin Mobile got bumped lower in priority, as that delayed schedule is in line with Apple’s global shipments to Greece, Poland and Russia, Apple Insider observed.

Virgin Mobile’s website states that customers can reserve the iPhone X on October 27th, when everyone else can, but it’s not clear if that smartphone’s delivery will also be delayed.

Via: Apple Insider

Source: Business Wire

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The Engadget Podcast Ep 42: Everything Apple

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that Apple held a keynote at its glass-empaneled new “spaceship” campus this week, during which it announced a boatload of stuff. So much stuff, in fact, that my colleague Chris Velazco and I devoted an entire episode of the Engadget Podcast to it. Join us as we talk about the new iPhones (all three of them), plus the Apple TV 4K and LTE-enabled Apple Watch Series 3.

Relevant links:

  • Live from Apple’s iPhone X event!
  • Our first look at Apple’s new ‘spaceship’ campus
  • iPhone X hands-on
  • The iPhone X vs. the competition
  • iPhone 8 and 8 Plus hands-on
  • Apple TV’s 4K movie pricing is exactly what the 4K world needs
  • Apple Watch Series 3 hands-on
  • The iPhone 8 won’t get lost in the shadow of the iPhone X
  • When there’s the iPhone X, why bother with the iPhone 8?
  • The iPhone X leaves a home-button-shaped hole in my heart

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The Wirecutter’s best deals: Harmony Elite and Google Home bundle is now $280

This post was done in partnership with The Wirecutter, a buyer’s guide to the best technology. When readers choose to buy The Wirecutter‘s independently chosen editorial picks, they may earn affiliate commissions that support their work. Read their continuously updated list of deals here.

You may have already seen Engadget posting reviews from our friends at The Wirecutter. Now, from time to time, we’ll also be publishing their recommended deals on some of their top picks. Read on, and strike while the iron is hot — some of these sales could expire mighty soon.

ThermoWorks Thermapen Mk4

Street price: $ 103; MSRP: $ 103; Deal price: $ 83

This is a nice deal on our upgrade instant-read thermometer at $ 79. The ThermoWorks Thermapen Mk4 is seeing more regular sales, though they only seem to last a few days each at most. This deal ends at the end of the day on September 15th, so you don’t have too much time to take advantage of this deal. The Mk4 comes with a 2-warranty from ThermoWorks and the discount is available for all colors. $ 4 flat-rate shipping brings the total up to $ 83.

The ThermoWorks Thermapen Mk4 is our serious upgrade pick in our guide for the best instant-read thermometer. Kevin Purdy wrote, “If you’re looking for more precision in your cooking, you should upgrade to the Thermapen Mk4. Like the “classic” Thermapen, the new model hits a close temperature in two seconds, then a precise temperature in about three seconds. It has a long fold-out probe and large display, and it’ll last a very long time with only rare calibrations. The few features added were smart: an automatic backlight, screen rotation, and motion-based sleep and wake-up. It’s also more waterproof than the prior model, and it switched from drawing power from a coin battery (that you never have on hand) to a single AAA battery.”

Harmony Elite + Google Home Bundle

Street price: $ 355; MSRP: $ 479; Deal price: $ 280

If you’re interested in jumping into the world of smart home technology, this bundle is a great way to do so. It features two of our picks, the Harmony Elite universal remote and the Google Home. For those who want control of their AV system, voice command functionality for smart elements around the house and more, this pairing is very worth picking up. The Harmony Elite currently has a street price of nearly $ 250 and the Google Home nearly $ 110, so you’re getting a savings of around $ 75 with this bundle. Shipping is free.

The Logitech Harmony Elite is our theater enthusiasts pick in our guide to the best universal remote conrol. Darryl Wilkinson and Grant Clauser wrote, “If the relative ease of programming, vast control database and smart activities of the Companion just isn’t enough for you, and what you really want is a cool touchscreen to let you tap your home theater into action, and you’d like to integrate even more of your smarthome devices into your system, then you’ll want to investigate the Harmony Elite, the top dog remote in the Logitech lineup.”

The Google Home is recommended in our guide on it. Grant Clauser and Brent Butterworth write, “If you are already invested in the Google ecosystem and want a voice-controlled speaker for listening to music or controlling smart-home devices, the Google Home is an easy recommendation. Despite being new to the game compared with Amazon’s Echo, the Home feels surprisingly polished and complete, both in design and abilities.”

Anker PowerCore+ 26800 PD Battery Pack and Charger

Street price: $ 110; MSRP: $ 120; Deal price: $ 88 w/ code KINJA879

Here’s a good price on our recommended battery pack for USB-C laptops. Usually $ 110, use code KINJA879 to knock the price of this battery pack (which includes a separate accompanying wall charger) down to $ 88. As so far this charger bundle hasn’t seen significant discounts and battery packs capable of effectively powering USB-C laptops are still hard to find, this is a nice deal. Shipping is free.

The Anker PowerCore+ 26800 PD Battery pack and charger bundle is our battery pack pick for USB-C laptops in our guide to the best USB-C battery pack and power banks. Mark Smirnotis wrote, “If you want to charge a USB-C–powered laptop away from a power outlet, the Anker PowerCore+ 26800 PD Battery Pack and Charger Bundle is the best way to do that. This battery pack can provide more power, for longer, than our smaller mobile-device pick, extending the battery life on USB-C laptops such as the most recent MacBook Pro models, and the Dell XPS 13. The Power Delivery (PD) standard delivers twice as much power as standard USB-C outlets—at least 30 W instead of just 15 W—but twice the power comes at around four times the price at this writing, so it’s important to confirm that you need the benefits before you plunk down the cash. Non-PD devices such as smartphones, tablets, and speakers will still charge from this pack, but not any faster than they would from much less expensive standard USB battery packs.”

Apple iPhone 7 Leather Case

Street price: $ 45; MSRP: $ 45; Deal price: $ 30

With preorders for the iPhone 8 starting 9/15 and iPhone X arriving in early November, iPhone 7 accessories are predictably seeing some of the best prices we’ve noted for them. The Apple branded iPhone leather case, usually $ 45, is down to $ 30, a new low. It’s available in all colors except midnight blue ($ 35) at the deal price, but saddle brown is backordered. Shipping is free.

The Apple iPhone 7 Leather Case is our pick for the best leather case in our guide to the best cases for iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. Nick Guy writes, “If you prefer the look and feel of leather over plastic or silicone, Apple’s iPhone 7 Leather Case is the best option. It isn’t as protective as our overall favorite, but we like it anyway. It offers enough coverage to guard against the majority of scuffs and minor drops, and even though it’s thin and light, it still has an adequate lip protecting the screen. The Leather Case is available in seven classy color options, and while the lighter colors may show dirt and wear sooner than you might like, one person’s “dirt” is another’s patina, the coveted accumulation of wear that makes the case unique. Most important, though, Apple’s Leather Case just looks and feels great.”

Because great deals don’t just happen on Thursday, sign up for our daily deals email and we’ll send you the best deals we find every weekday. Also, deals change all the time, and some of these may have expired. To see an updated list of current deals, please go to The Wirecutter.com.

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AT&T’s buy one get one free deal on the iPhone 8 has a big caveat

With the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus models ready for pre-order on Friday, various carriers are letting their respective deals loose. AT&T has a couple of options for its customers. The first, beginning Friday, the carrier will run a buy-one-get-one-free deal on a number of smartphones, including the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus. Of course, that comes with a few caveats. You’ll have to get both with the AT&T Next payment plan and you’ll have to already have or sign up for DirecTV or U-Verse subscriptions. However, if you only want one of the new phones, AT&T is also offering a 32GB iPad for $ 100 if you get the phone on AT&T Next.

Sprint’s deal also includes a discount on the iPhone 8, but only on the lease. The company is offering 50 percent off of the price of a 18-month lease, bringing the monthly cost to just under $ 15 per month. But to get the deal, you’ll also have to trade in a high-end smartphone like a recent iPhone or Samsung model.

Pre-orders for the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus begin at 3AM Eastern, September 15th.

Source: AT&T, Sprint

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