Some iPhone X displays have a nasty green line

The iPhone X’s design revolves around its all-encompassing OLED display, so you can imagine the heartbreak when that display is glitchy… and unfortunately, it looks like a handful of owners are going through that pain. People on Apple’s forums, Reddit and elsewhere are reporting a glitch where a green line runs down the left or right edge of the display, regardless of what’s happening on-screen. This doesn’t appear to affect the functionality, but it’s clearly annoying.

We’ve asked Apple for comment on the issue. It doesn’t appear that restarts or other common software solutions fix it, though, and this might be strictly a hardware problem. It’s not necessarily an overscan line like you might see on a TV, either. No matter what, it’s safe to say that you can get a replacement if the usual troubleshooting proves fruitless.

It’s unclear how many people are affected by the green line, although it doesn’t appear to be a widespread issue. Between this and the (software-fixable) cold weather responsiveness issue, though, it appears that the iPhone X has some teething troubles. That’s not entirely surprising. It’s Apple’s first phone to use an OLED screen, and it’s using a custom (Samsung-manufactured) panel at that — there may be a learning curve involved as the companies master their production techniques. As it is, Samsung has had problems with its own OLED phones. Provided the iPhone X flaw is a hardware issue, it illustrates the broader issues with manufacturing cutting edge OLED screens.

Via: 9to5Mac

Source: Apple Communities, Reddit, Lejia Peng (Twitter)

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Soderbergh’s experimental ‘Mosaic’ HBO series hits iPhone and Apple TV

Director Steven Soderbergh has made a name for himself by pushing cinematic boundaries, so it’s no surprise that his upcoming series for HBO, Mosaic, isn’t your usual TV fare. Today, he’s launching the Mosaic app on iPhone and Apple TV (with Android and web versions to follow soon), which will let you decide how you watch the show. It’s not quite “choose your own adventure,” since you’re not making any decisions on the show’s outcome. Instead, the app, which was developed by PodOp, lets you determine how Mosaic’s narrative flows.

The first episode introduces you to Olivia Lake, an author played by Sharon Stone. After viewing that, the narrative path branches into two episodes. You could just watch them in parallel, or you could follow the path down all the way to the end, then go back and catch up on what you’ve missed. You can also unlock additional clips, documents and recordings to flesh out the story. HBO is making all 7.5 hours of the series available in the app, but it’s also going to air a six-hour version of the series edited by Soderbergh (naturally) on January 22nd.

“While branching narratives have been around forever, technology now allows, I hope, for a more elegant form of engagement than used to be possible,” Soderbergh said in a statement. “At no point were we reverse-engineering the story to fit an existing piece of technology; the story was being created in lockstep with the technical team. The fluidity of that relationship made me feel comfortable because I wanted it to be a simple, intuitive experience.”

Conceptually, Mosaic sounds similar to what Arrested Development creator Mitch Hurwitz attempted with the fourth season of that show on Netflix. He originally said you’d be able to watch those episodes in any order, but then later backtracked on that suggestion. Francis Ford Coppola also tried something similar with Twixt in 2011, a film that he could “remix” narratively with an iPad. He wanted to tour with the movie and edit it live, but eventually settled for a traditional release.

HBO

For Soderbergh, Mosaic is just the latest in a string of TV experiments. His Cinemax series, The Knick, tackled the early days of medical surgery with an anachronistic synth-heavy score. Soderbergh’s film The Girlfriend Experience is now a TV show, as well, and its second season is also dabbling with branching narratives. Soderbergh says he’s working on two more series using the Mosaic platform. Eventually, he hopes to open it up to other directors.

I’ve only seen part of Mosaic’s first episode, but I’ll definitely be devouring the entire series as soon as I can. It’s unclear if the app will appeal to anyone beyond Soderbergh fans and cinephiles, though. In the age of bingewatching, it seems like more viewers simply want to sit back and consume hours of content without lifting a finger.

Via: TechCrunch

Source: Mosaic (iTunes Store), HBO

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Samsung trolls every generation of the iPhone in one video

If you want to start your week with a little bit of tech shade, check out Samsung’s new Galaxy commercial. The ad follows a young man through the years as he meets and falls for a young woman. However, the focus of each touching moment in their blossoming relationship is how his iPhone is inferior to her Samsung Galaxy and Samsung makes sure to put every single downside of owning an iPhone on blast. That includes waiting in lines for the new model, inadequate photo storage space, lack of water resistance and, of course, the headphone dongle. There’s even a not-so-subtle swipe at the iPhone X’s notch. And if all of that wasn’t enough, there’s the ad’s title — “Samsung Galaxy: Growing Up.”

You can watch the ad below and if you want to compare the latest iPhone and Samsung Galaxy models yourself, you can check out our reviews of the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, the iPhone X, the Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus and the Samsung Galaxy Note 8.

Source: Samsung

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Apple reminds iPhone X owners they’re using an OLED display

Apple’s bezel-less “X” is the first iPhone with an OLED screen — a technology known for its greater contrast and saturation, but also for its tendency to get burn-in. To make sure customers understand that their $ 1,000 phone might suffer from image persistence in the future, the tech titan has updated the iPhone X’s display support page to explain how an OLED screen works.

The company explains that the “slight shifts in color and hue” when viewing the screen off-angle (read: not straight on) are perfectly normal. It also says OLEDs exhibit slight visual changes with long-term use, such as showing remnants of a high-contrast image displayed on the screen for extended periods of time even when it’s already showing another image.

Those two are also the most common issues Pixel 2 XL owners have with their Android Oreo devices. By pre-empting potential complaints, Apple is most likely trying to avoid facing a similar debacle. In Google’s case, though, some customers’ complaints might be warranted, since they reportedly got burn-in as soon as a week after their purchase.

Despite the warning, Apple assures customers that their pricey new phones aren’t going to have less-than-perfect displays anytime soon. The company says it “engineered the Super Retina display to be the best in the industry in reducing the effects of OLED “burn-in.” And, as AppleInsider notes, iPhone X uses OLED made by Samsung. The Korean conglomerate also manufactures OLED screens for Pixel 2, which doesn’t suffer from the same issues as its bigger sibling.

Via: Apple Insider

Source: Apple Support

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Take a peek inside the iPhone X

As they tend to do, the folks at iFixit have descended upon Apple’s latest creation to pull it apart piece by piece. While we didn’t spot any fairie dust spilling out of the iPhone X, they did dig into its TrueDepth camera system (above) that enables all those new recognition features like FaceID and Animoji. Interestingly, Apple decided to rely on a dual-celled battery design to better utilize space behind the nearly-all-screen OLED display. In total, it packs 2,716mAh, which is just a bit larger than the iPhone 8 Plus (2,691mAh) but smaller than the iPhone 7 Plus (2,900mAh) and Galaxy Note 8 (3,300 mAh).

Source: iFixit

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iPhone, Mac and iPad sales all increased this quarter

One day before Apple’s most important product launch in years, the company has released its quarterly earnings info. As usual, Apple’s fiscal Q4 doesn’t contain a full three months of iPhone sales, so it’s hard to tell how the launch of the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus affected the company, let alone the iPhone X. But, the company did manage to sell 46.7 million iPhones in the last three months, good for a slight 2.6 percent growth compared to a year ago.

iPhones weren’t the only hardware Apple released in the last quarter, though — in fact, most of the company’s product line got a pretty big shake-up. The combo of new iPad Pro models alongside the inexpensive but excellent standard iPad led to 10.3 million tablets sold for Apple, up 11 percent year-over-year. This marks the second consecutive quarter of iPad growth after years of slipping sales. Updated MacBook Pro models helped move 5.3 million Macs, up 10 percent from a year ago. Across the board, it’s a strong quarter for all of Apple’s major product categories.

Apple’s services business continues to be the second-strongest part of the company, however. This quarter, the company made $ 8.5 billion in services revenue, up 34 percent from a year ago. On today’s call with investors, CFO Luca Maestri noted that the services revenue included a one-time $ 640 million adjustment in Apple’s favor; excluding that, services were still up 24 percent. He mentioned a few highlights, as well: Apple Music subscriptions are up a whopping 75 percent year-over-year, App Store revenue set a new all-time record, and iCloud continues to grow in the “strong double-digits” range. Between those three, the company’s services business is becoming a juggernaut.

Surprisingly, that’s not the fastest-growing category for Apple — that would be the “other products” category that includes hardware like the Apple Watch, AirPods and Apple TV. Revenue hit $ 3.23 billion in the last quarter, up 36 percent year-over-year. It’s the smallest revenue category for Apple, so it’s easier to make big percentage gains in that fashion, but it does point to strength in the company’s smaller products. If only we’d get Apple Watch or Apple TV sales numbers.

This strong performance led to total revenue of $ 52.6 billion, up 12 percent from one year ago; net income of $ 10.7 billion was likewise up 19 percent year-over-year. In a quarter that’s typically the calm before the holiday storm, Apple has to be happy with these results.

Source: Apple

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Apple might share iPhone X face data with developers

Despite Apple claiming it securely stores your encrypted face info on the iPhone X, Reuters is reporting that the company permits developers to access “certain facial data” with user permission. This includes a visual representation of your face, and over 50 facial expressions.

Face ID was always going to be the iPhone X’s most talked about feature. With it, the days of fingerprint authentication could be numbered, replaced by face biometrics. But, there’s something about your mugshot being stored with Apple that’s (understandably) got people shook up. Senator Al Franken already pressed the firm on the security concerns the tech raises — prompting a response. Now, it’s the turn of privacy advocates. In the report, the American Civil Liberties Union and the Center for Democracy and Technology warn that the info could fall into the hands of marketers.

We know Apple’s Face ID tech works by using a mixture of camera sensors and neural networks to grab a mathematical model of your face. And, like Touch ID before it, Apple is granting developers access to its Face ID API, enabling them to use the unlock mechanism on all your fave apps — including secure banking and payment apps. But, the latest revelations suggest Apple is allowing devs to make off with more data than it is letting on. The same data reportedly cannot unlock the phone, because that functionality is limited to the overarching mathematical model. Reuters adds that Apple’s developer agreement forbids app makers from sharing the info with marketers. And, that those who break the rules risk getting kicked from the App Store.

But, privacy groups fear the company won’t be able to adequately police how devs use the info, which could lead to it finding its way to marketers. That, in turn, would result in more targeted ads, but these would use the tech to track your facial reactions (like a smile, or a raise of an eyebrow). Naturally, that kind of tracking data would be a goldmine for advertisers. But, it’s also important to note that Apple’s app review policy makes it extremely difficult for bad actors to get away with violations. Yet, with more than 2 million apps in the App Store, privacy experts warn that some may slip through the cracks. We reached out to Apple for comment, but did not immediately receive a response.

Source: Reuters

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Best Buy stops selling full-price iPhone X following backlash

Last Friday, when the iPhone X became available for preorder, would-be Best Buy customers found that to buy the phone upfront through the retailer, they would have to pay $ 100 more than what Apple itself was charging. Rather than $ 999 or $ 1,149 depending on what amount of storage was wanted, Best Buy was charging $ 1,099 and $ 1,249. Now, as Bloomberg reports, Best Buy has stopped selling the iPhone X upfront and is only offering it through carrier-specific billing plans.

Last week when customers began complaining about the increased prices of the already expensive phones, a Best Buy spokesperson told Bloomberg, “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. Our customers have told us they want this flexibility and sometimes that has a cost.” They added that having multiple purchasing options “has a cost” and the different prices were a reflection of that.

The customer backlash appears to have had an effect. “Although there was clearly demand for the un-activated iPhone X, selling it that way cost more money, causing some confusion with our customers and noise in the media,” a Best Buy spokesperson told Bloomberg today. “That’s why we decided a few days ago to only sell the phone the traditional way, through installment billing plans.” Now, customers can only get the iPhone X from Best Buy if they do so through Verizon’s, AT&T’s or Sprint’s plans.

Apple’s iPhone X hits stores on November 3rd.

Source: Bloomberg

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Apple fires employee after daughter’s iPhone X video goes viral

Just because a tech company has announced a product doesn’t mean employees are free to share or talk about it before release — just ask Microsoft. And unfortunately, one Apple engineered has learned that the hard way. Apple has reportedly fired a iPhone team member after his daughter Brooke posted a hands-on video showing off his iPhone X before launch. Brooke took down the video as soon as Apple requested it, but the takedown came too late to prevent the clip from going viral, leading to seemingly endless reposts and commentary. We’ve asked Apple for comment on the firing.

In a follow-up video (below), Brooke said she and her father understood the decision and weren’t angry at Apple. And it’s important to stress that this wasn’t a garden variety iPhone X. As an employee device, it had sensitive information like codenames for unreleased products and staff-specific QR codes. Combine that with Apple’s general prohibition of recording video on campus (even at relatively open spaces like Caffè Macs) and this wasn’t so much about maintaining the surprise as making sure that corporate secrets didn’t get out. Apple certainly didn’t want to send the message that recording pre-release devices was acceptable.

All the same, it’s hard not to sympathize — the engineer had poured his heart into the iPhone X, only to be let go the week before the handset reaches customers. And while he’s likely to land on his feet (“we’re good,” Brooke said), his daughter is clearly distraught by the abuse hurled toward her and her father. The outcome isn’t going to change here, unfortunately. However, the incident might be helpful if it helps others avoid losing their jobs simply because they were a little too eager to share their work.

Via: Anthony Quintano (Twitter)

Source: Brooke Peterson (YouTube)

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Best Buy bets you’ll pay $100 extra for an iPhone X

After half an hour of iPhone X preorders going live, the first ship date of November 3rd had already filled up. New owners were told they would have to wait 4-5 weeks for their new Apple device to ship. Maybe that has something to do with Best Buy’s surprise price hike of $ 100 extra for folks who pre-ordered either model of iPhone X on the retailer’s site.

Apple priced its iPhone X at $ 1000 for the base model, or $ 1150 for more storage. Best Buy is charging $ 1100 and $ 1250 for the same models, respectively. Best Buy defended its higher prices, which are identical to what Apple quoted would be charged to customers on carrier installment plans. Basically, if you were going to pay monthly for a phone, it would end up being the same price as what Best Buy is charging up-front for the same device.

“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 spokesperson Danielle Schumann told Bloomberg in an email. “Our customers have told us they want this flexibility and sometimes that has a cost.”

Via: Bloomberg

Source: Best Buy – iPhone X

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