Apple’s new ‘battery health’ feature is a great reminder that my iPhone will be a piece of trash some day

Everything dies.
Image: Lili Sams/Mashable

My iPhone isn’t even two years old, and it’s already dying.

That’s the upshot of Apple’s new “Battery Health” feature, introduced in iOS 11.3 Thursday. Though the device assures me it’s operating at “peak performance,” it also indicates that the battery can only hold 93 percent of the charge it once did.

So it goes. Every battery degrades over time, and there’s not a lot Apple can do about that. In fact, this new feature is a step in the right direction: it’s a sort of mea culpa after the tech giant was caught slowing down old devices without user consent, supposedly to combat unexpected shutdowns. The more information users have to counteract — or at least anticipate — the negative effects of iPhone aging, the better.

… Right?

Perhaps not! Though I’m certainly against secret iPhone throttling and generally in favor of information that helps consumers make good choices, this new battery indicator seems destined to result in two things: anxiety and iPhone-related purchases. That my iPhone now only operates at 93 percent of its original capacity is empty knowledge at best. It makes me extremely aware that my iPhone will eventually tick down to uselessness, and, yikes, it kind of makes me want to buy a new battery.

Conceded: This is extremely obsessive. (I am extremely obsessive.) But If you want to do something about your battery, your options are limited. Apple’s temporarily offering a great price on battery replacements for certain models, though you’ll typically shell out $79 for the company to handle this for you.

And folks, you will most likely need the company to handle this for you. iPhones are sealed shut and locked down with proprietary screws — not uncommon in the electronics industry — and they require specialized knowledge to take apart. We are an awfully long way from the Samsung Galaxy S4, which, back in 2013, allowed users to pop off a plastic back with their fingers, take the battery out, and slot another in. Apple has never allowed such a thing with its iPhones.

Replacing a battery on the Galaxy S4 was easy.

Image: ifixit.com

Which is to say, if Apple was serious about making this information useful to consumers, it would make devices that were easier to repair when things go wrong. When my battery capacity hits 50 percent, say, it would be nice to buy a battery from a third-party source (they retail for about $25) and slide that sucker in without completing a minor feat of techno-surgery.

We can applaud Apple for informing consumers, but this information will in fact be most valuable to Apple itself, which will profit when we buy new iPhones or the AppleCare+ plans that give us discounted battery replacements. 

Thanks, but no thanks.

Read more: https://mashable.com/2018/03/30/iphone-battery-health-feature/

Apple releases iOS 11.3 with new Animojis

Apple just released an iOS update for your iPhone and iPad. 11.3 introduces a ton of bug fixes but also a bunch of new features. If you forgot about Animjois, today is your lucky day as Apple is adding four new Animojis — a dragon, a bear, a lion and a skull.

But that’s not all. Apple already shared a preview of iOS 11.3 a couple of months ago. There’s a big ARKit update to ARKit 1.5. It can recognize more objects and surfaces.

And iOS 11.3 is also the battery update we’ve all been waiting for. There’s some new info in the settings about the status of your battery. It tells you the overall capacity and if it’s time to change your battery.

You can also choose to disable Apple’s controversial decision to throttle performance with old batteries. Apple says it’s a beta feature for now.

Apple is also introducing a new feature in the Health app. You can now centralize all your health records in the app. It’s only limited to a handful of clinics for now.

Apple is adding customer support conversations to Messages. You can initiate a conversation with a business to order something, book a table and more. Discover, Hilton, Lowe’s and Wells Fargo are already on board. Health Records and Business Chats are only available in the U.S. as a beta for now.

You’ll also see a new privacy icon across the operating system. A new website to export all your data is coming in May as well. Apple needs to add those features to comply with GDPR.

Finally, Apple Music is getting a new video clips section, the App Store Updates tab now shows you the size of each update and more tiny little things. And if you care about security, it’s always a good thing to update to the latest version of iOS. Unfortunately, iOS 11.3 still doesn’t include iMessage in iCloud.

Back up your iPhone or iPad to iCloud or your computer using iTunes before updating. You can then head over to the Settings app, then ‘General’, then ‘Software Update’. macOS, watchOS and tvOS updates are also available today.

Read more: https://techcrunch.com/2018/03/29/apple-releases-ios-11-3-with-new-animojis/

The Apple Watch is being used to test confirmed cases of diabetes

Apple continues to prove the Apple Watch is more than just your average wearable. Through a study with Cardiogram and the University of California San Francisco, the Apple Watch has now been shown to detect diabetes with 85 percent accuracy.

The study used heart rate data from 14,000 Apple Watch users, as well as knowledge of whether that individual had diabetes. Thanks to the 2015 Framingham Heart Study, the researchers knew that two data points, resting heart rate and heart rate variability, could very accurately predict cases of diabetes and hypertension.

With that information, Cardiogram was able to develop parameters for detecting the signs of diabetes, and train its deep learning network, DeepHeart, on those parameters. By testing against individuals known to have the disease, DeepHeart was then able to correctly detect diabetes in 462 cases.

Late last year, researchers were also able to use the Apple Watch’s heart rate sensor data and step count to similarly identify both hypertension and sleep apnea. DeepHeart was able to spot hypertension with 82 percent accuracy and sleep apnea with 90 percent accuracy. Its diabetes-detecting abilities, with an 85 percent success rate, fall within that same accuracy range.

At this point, Cardiogram’s efforts are merely proofs of concept: The company’s founder, Brandon Ballinger, cautions that his team isn’t using an algorithm to detect diabetes (or hypertension or sleep apnea) in the population at large.

More than 100 million Americans have either diabetes or pre-diabetes, according to the CDC. Most of the individuals with diabetes have Type 2 diabetes, a condition that develops over many years, usually after a stage as a pre-diabetic patient. Better awareness of heart health, diet, and exercise—all of which the Apple Watch can help with—could help wearers in that period to improve their lifestyle and either stall or reverse the onset of this disease.

Cardiogram’s work could eventually prove useful in acting as a pre-screen for these kind of conditions. Perhaps a future Apple Watch app could use this data to warn users that their vital stats indicate they may have diabetes or hypertension, and urge them to see a physician for a checkup and diagnosis. While some argue that preventative care efforts like this won’t save money in the long run, it could still help save lives.

H/T TechCrunch

Read more: https://www.dailydot.com/debug/detect-diabetes-apple-watch/

Apple employees are reportedly walking into walls at the companys fancy new glass office

People in glass offices should probably watch where they’re going. Collisions have been one very clear downside of Apple’s $427 million spaceship office in Cupertino, according to a story out of Bloomberg.

The “people familiar with the incidents” won’t say how widespread a phenomenon all of this is, but there’s a definite potential downside to glass walls in a setting where occupants are regularly staring down at their phones. In an effort to combat the phenomenon, some have apparently taken to sticking Post-Its on potential hazard zones — a sort of primitive form of augmented reality. 

As someone who regularly runs into stuff, I can personally confirm that walls, not people are to blame in this situation, and likely the whole things is more a source of brief personal embarrassment for those involved. As the story points out, none of the impacts have warranted a post to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Transparency, after all, is the key to addressing these issues.

This does, however, reflect a story from 2012, in which an 83-year-old woman filed suit against the company after injuring herself after bumping into a glass surface at an Apple Store. The suit, which was later settled out of court, claimed  the company “was negligent … in allowing a clear, see-through glass wall and/or door to exist without proper warning.”

Likely these reports, however, won’t result in a black eye for the company.

Read more: https://techcrunch.com/2018/02/16/apple-employees-are-reportedly-walking-into-walls-at-the-companys-fancy-new-glass-office/

In 2017, the Apple Watch became the most important wearable in the world

Apple is victorious in the wearable wars at least for now.
Image: bob al-greene/mashable

The Apple Watch conquered all comers and became the most important wearable in the world in 2017.  

The iPhone maker flexed its muscles to take over the young wearable space in a relatively short period. Apple only released its first smartwatch in April 2015, and its latest, the Series 3, is just the third iteration of the device. 

“Apple has shipped 34.4 million smartwatches worldwide since it entered the category in 2015,” said Canalys analyst Vincent Thielke in an email to Mashable. “In other words, Apple accounts for 51.6 percent of all smartwatches ever shipped.” 

These numbers comes from Canalys’ estimates, not an official tabulation from Apple itself, since the company doesn’t publicize total Apple Watch sales — but the estimates still point to dominance in the wearables space, where smartwatches currently reign supreme

The Apple Watch’s success is certainly a result of the company’s status as one of the most popular (and valuable) brands in the world, but it wasn’t Apple’s branding presence alone that made it the wearable king in 2017. 

Third time’s the charm

The biggest reason Apple won the wearable war this year was the realization of the Apple Watch’s potential as a standalone device. 

The addition of LTE connectivity finally showed skittish consumers that the company was willing to cut the link between the smartwatch and the iPhone. Standalone functionality has long been a point of contention for those who couldn’t justify such an expensive device that only served as an extension of the smartphone in their pocket.

That new feature appears to have paid off. Demand for the new Series 3 devices has reportedly outpaced supply, and Apple is primed to sell even more in 2018 as it brings more devices to market. 

Apple isn’t the first with smartwatch with LTE connectivity — LG and Samsung have both released their own standalone devices — but Apple’s market clout helped the feature make more of an impact. Thielke thinks the brand was helped by its strong ties with all of the major wireless carriers, which he said has been essential to showcase the new functionalities.

The Apple Watch Series 3.

Image:  LILI SAMS/MASHABLE

Another of the keys to Apple’s success has been its ability to expand its focus beyond fitness and into wider health categories. 

“We’re flipping the page and looking at health,” IDC Research Manager Ramon Llamas told Mashable on a phone call. “People want to know more about themselves and how they can lead a better life.” 

Llamas said an industry-wide focus on health features is giving consumers more value and functionality than the simplistic fitness trackers that once dominated the market, and Apple is leading the charge.

The company teamed up with Stanford researchers for a heart health research study, and the FDA just cleared a mobile electrocardiogram (EKG) band accessory for the Apple Watch from AliveCor. Apple’s top-secret health facility is centered around collecting data for the smartwatch, and rumors about Tim Cook sporting a special glucose-tracking prototype could hint at even more revolutionary features.  

Thinning of the herd

But the Series 3 isn’t perfect. The device is expensive, and a monthly data plan costs extra on top of the already steep purchase price. Apple even admitted in a rare moment of fallibility there was a glitch in how the service worked at launch, although the issue has since been fixed.

The Apple Watch’s shortcomings were trivial compared to the issues faced by other wearable makers during 2017. Competitors faced bigger challenges throughout the year, and some were eliminated from the space entirely. 

Fitbit began the year with layoffs and didn’t release the smartwatch CEO James Park promised until October, while old stalwarts like Jawbone, Motorola, and TomTom totally killed off their operations at various points. Android Wear, meanwhile, is a mess that got no better with version 2.0, which was released in February.

More skirmishes on the horizon

Just because Apple won the war in 2017 doesn’t mean that other companies are totally eliminated from relevancy. Llamas isn’t fully convinced of Apple’s dominance, or if its reign will be permanent. 

“We’re still only talking about a couple million units quarter in and quarter out,” he said. The war might be over, so to speak, but there’s room for other companies to carve out their own space and take a shot at the king.

Apple wasn’t always on top this year, showing that there is space for other makers. Xiaomi topped the wearables market twice during the year with its cheap fitness trackers, and Fitbit clung on stolidly though its ups and downs.

Fitbit Ionic

Image: Raymond Wong/Mashable

Fitbit’s Ionic smartwatch didn’t drop until October, but it just received a slick new OS update that could actually give consumers a reason to check it out. The company, like Apple, is working to develop health-focused technologies for its smartwatch. 

Samsung’s Gear watches could find their own audience, and if Google can find a way to make Android Wear better, other makers like LG could still have a shot at success. The rise of AI could be a major boon here, since Assistant is becoming more ingrained in consumers’ lives through Google’s most recent round of hardware products, and it would make sense for users in the Google ecosystem to open up a spot for it on their wrists.  

For now, though, Apple is on top. 2017 was a good year for the company’s wearable efforts, and the future looks bright. 

Every editorial product is independently selected by Mashable journalists. If you buy something featured, we may earn an affiliate commission which helps support our journalism.

Read more: http://mashable.com/2017/12/12/apple-watch-won-the-wearable-war/

You can get that $29 battery replacement, regardless of your iPhones health

Apple hasn’t been super specific when it comes to those $29 iPhone battery replacements. After all, the company would no doubt like to the whole business behind it. What precisely it would take to qualify one’s out-of-warranty handset for the $50 discount hasn’t been spelled out, but it seems to be easier than anticipated. 

The company had previously mentioned the threshold of “anyone with an iPhone 6 or later whose battery needs to be replaced,” which seemed to apply to the in-house diagnostic tests it was running on handsets, recommending a replacement once the battery drops below 80-percent its initial capacity. The actual bar, however, is apparently quite a bit lower, with the company allowing for replacement regardless of testing.

The news was first spotted by iGeneration by way of an internal memo, and has since been confirmed by MacRumors. We’ve reached out to Apple as well, and will update as soon as we hear something official. It seems likely the company’s simply looking to cause as little friction as possible, in the wake of bad publicity surrounding its policy of slowing down older handsets to preserve battery.

Many of its chief competitors jumped on the news — Samsung, HTC, LG and Motorola all issued statements noting that they had not implemented similar policies. iFixit, meanwhile, offered its own $29 battery replacement, which, unlike Apple’s apology offering, is good on phones older than the iPhone 6.

Apple’s own offering runs through this December. More details are available on Apple’s site, where you can also schedule a trip to the Genius Bar. 

Read more: https://techcrunch.com/2018/01/02/you-can-get-that-29-battery-replacement-regardless-of-your-iphones-health/

When Your Activity Tracker Becomes a Personal Medical Device

Fitbit spent its first decade selling activity trackers. With its latest moves, the company is starting to look less like a gear maker selling pricey accessories to fitness buffs and more like a medical-device company, catering to hospitals, patients, and health insurers. The company’s business-to-business arm, called Health Solutions, is now addressing four health conditions—sleep disorders including sleep apnea, diabetes, cardiovascular health and mental health—for employers, health insurers, healthcare providers, and researchers.

Fitbit has deals with insurers like UnitedHealthcare, which pays its clients up to $1,500 a year for hitting step-count goals. United has done years of research to calculate its return on these payouts, says Fitbit CEO James Park. “The business models are finally catching up to the data we have been collecting.” The next stage is to add in heart rate data, he says.

Fitbit’s newest product, the Ionic smartwatch, uses a blood-oxygen sensor to screen for sleep apnea and detect a type of heart arrhythmia. The company has completed clinical trials on the use cases and will submit them to the US Food and Drug Administration for approval. If it receives approval, Fitbits could replace expensive chest patch scanning to perform initial screenings for atrial fibrillation on some patients, Park says. The company’s data has been popular with cancer researchers.

There are plenty of reasons behind the company’s transition: For one, Fitbit will always battle high abandonment rates. (“Fitbit? More like Quitbit,” The Atlantic once quipped.) Fitbit’s sales of fitness trackers, and in turn, its stock price, have reflected that fatigue; revenue fell 22% last quarter and its stock is trading at a 77% discount to its opening price in 2014. But most important, the company needs to differentiate its offerings from the Apple Watch, which debuted in 2015 and has studies that address some of the same areas Fitbit is chasing. Fitbit beat Apple in the third quarter in terms of devices shipped, taking 13.7% of the market, according to IDC. Apple, which took 10.3% of the market, experienced a dramatic increase in sales, while Fitbit continues its decline.

Fitbit believes its position as a neutral player that works with any phone makes it desirable to insurance companies and hospitals. Apple Watches only work with iPhones; if an employer, hospital or insurer wants its clients to use them, it won’t be able to reach people who have Android phones.

Fitbit’s push into medicine is not without risks. Park agrees that over time the company’s products will become a form of medical device, but he’s reluctant to call them that outright. The company’s brand is valuable because of its association with fitness and self-improvement, and consumer psychology is a critical component in making sure something like a step tracker is successful, he says.

“There is a dramatic difference in consumer acceptance and engagement when you say, ‘Hey, here is a medical device from Medtronic, go wear it,’ versus, ‘Here’s a Fitbit, wear this instead,’ ” Park says. “One is aspirational, the other implies that you’re sick. Consumers just go in with a different mentality based on how it’s portrayed and that is actually really, really important.”

That’s why Fitbit is participating in a new FDA precertification program aimed at digital health products, announced in September. “The FDA recognizes that there is this potentially new class of devices that’s not a consumer device and not a traditional medical device, but somewhere in between, and that there needs to be a new regulatory pathway,” Park says. Fitbit’s rival, Apple, is also a participant.

CORRECTION, 12:55PM: Fitbit plans to seek approval from the US Food and Drug Administration to use data from its devices to screen for atrial fibrillation. An earlier version of this article said Fitbit was awaiting FDA approval.

Read more: https://www.wired.com/story/when-your-activity-tracker-becomes-a-personal-medical-device/

Apple apologizes for not telling customers iPhones with older batteries would slow over time

Apple has today posted a letter on its website and a technical article in its Knowledge Base apologizing for not being more transparent about how it handles performance on iPhones with older batteries. Last week, Apple issued a statement that made it clear that changes it made a year ago were indeed slowing down the maximum performance of iPhones with older batteries.

It will now also offer a battery replacement for older devices affected for a reduced $29.

“We’ve been hearing feedback from our customers about the way we handle performance for iPhones with older batteries and how we have communicated that process,” the letter reads. “We know that some of you feel Apple has let you down. We apologize. There’s been a lot of misunderstanding about this issue, so we would like to clarify and let you know about some changes we’re making.”

Apple is now apologizing for not being clearer about how the changes it made to eliminate sudden shutdowns of iPhones would affect iPhone performance. When I published my piece on this last week, even though I clearly, and forcefully, noted that Apple must be more transparent with its users on this issue, readers were incensed over the fact that a long-held conspiracy theory appeared to be confirmed. Apple was slowing down old iPhones and the reason didn’t matter. It is clear that some people will still feel that the reason Apple is giving here is not enough, which is understandable given the intense passion people have for their phones and how much they use them.

Interestingly, Apple says that it has attributed feedback about iPhone slowness to the process of updating to a new operating system and some bugs that were evidently present in iOS 11 that caused slowdowns.

“Over the course of this fall, we began to receive feedback from some users who were seeing slower performance in certain situations,” Apple says. “Based on our experience, we initially thought this was due to a combination of two factors: a normal, temporary performance impact when upgrading the operating system as iPhone installs new software and updates apps, and minor bugs in the initial release which have since been fixed.”

Apple says that it now believes, in addition to these other factors, that slower older iPhones are also being negatively affected by aged batteries which trigger their power smoothing.

“We now believe that another contributor to these user experiences is the continued chemical aging of the batteries in older iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s devices, many of which are still running on their original batteries.”

A year’s worth of issues with no reason given from Apple on this also makes it difficult for the company to re-build trust with its users. It’s much easier to be as transparent as possible up front about complex technical fixes than it is to try to explain the adverse effects of those fixes later. That’s a consequence Apple will have to live with.

And they were right, as I noted, that Apple should have been very direct and forthcoming with them as a consumer — person to person, so to speak. The effects of the shutdown fix were not explained fully to the press or the customer.

Apple is doing three things in response to customers concerned that older batteries are making their iPhone run slower.

  • Apple is reducing the price of an out-of-warranty iPhone battery replacement by $50 — from $79 to $29 — for anyone with an iPhone 6 or later whose battery needs to be replaced, starting in late January and available worldwide through December 2018. Details will be provided soon on apple.com.
  • Early in 2018, we will issue an iOS software update with new features that give users more visibility into the health of their iPhone’s battery, so they can see for themselves if its condition is affecting performance.
  • As always, our team is working on ways to make the user experience even better, including improving how we manage performance and avoid unexpected shutdowns as batteries age.

The letter explains that Apple will be adding ‘visibility’ in the the health of their iPhone’s battery, a fix I suggested in my original article. Though it is not  specific about what that visibility will mean. An age indicator? A notification of some sort, like this mockup we made last week, that tells you when the ‘smoothing’ kicks in?

We don’t know yet. But I’d assume we’ll see it in testing in early January.

Apple will also lower the cost of battery replacements to $29 for anyone with an iPhone 6 or later beginning in January. I don’t know if this battery replacement policy will be quite enough, I’d imagine that it would depend on the success or failure of the various class action lawsuits that has sprung up in the week since the original revelation. I think a free replacement might be an option, especially for older devices.

But I’d love to see this be permanently implemented as an ongoing policy for all iPhones. I don’t know what Apple’s margins are on this but given that independent facilities often charge this I’d assume that it can swing this amount with official replacement parts. This could extend the life of iPhones and mitigate a lot of the complaints about battery replacement costs that cause people to call for user replaceable batteries.

Apple’s position on the performance issues, as outlined in the letter, is that it felt that limiting the peak performance of iPhones and spreading out processor load over time was worth preventing iPhones from shutting down suddenly.

“About a year ago in iOS 10.2.1, we delivered a software update that improves power management during peak workloads to avoid unexpected shutdowns on iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, and iPhone SE,” reads the letter. “With the update, iOS dynamically manages the maximum performance of some system components when needed to prevent a shutdown. While these changes may go unnoticed, in some cases users may experience longer launch times for apps and other reductions in performance.”

Apple says that this had the intended effect, reducing the amount of times that older iPhones suddenly shut off. Nonetheless, there has been some criticism regarding the way Apple handles aging lithium-ion batteries, the shortcomings of which are very well known in engineering circles.

Indeed, Apple is now reportedly working on its own power management controllers for iPhone, perhaps to have a better handle on how CPU and battery components work together. Apple notes that iPhones return to full performance once the batteries are replaced.

Apple’s Knowledge Base article goes deeper into both the expected behaviors of lithium-ion batteries and what, exactly, is and is not affected by the shutdown fix that came with iOS 10.2.

A TL;DR and a little meta commentary here: Apple will soon warn you when your battery is so old it starts affecting performance. It will not change the behavior that smooths out power curves and slows down iPhones with older batteries because this would cause them to shut down and it believes it’s the right thing to do. Battery replacements for these phones will cost a reduced $29 temporarily, though I think there’s a strong argument to make this the permanent price. The reasons Apple gives here and its response are reasonable, but it will take a reputational beating over this and has lost an amount of user trust that it will have to regain.

Here is the full letter:

December 28, 2017

A Message to Our Customers about iPhone Batteries and Performance

We’ve been hearing feedback from our customers about the way we handle performance for iPhones with older batteries and how we have communicated that process. We know that some of you feel Apple has let you down. We apologize. There’s been a lot of misunderstanding about this issue, so we would like to clarify and let you know about some changes we’re making.

First and foremost, we have never — and would never — do anything to intentionally shorten the life of any Apple product, or degrade the user experience to drive customer upgrades. Our goal has always been to create products that our customers love, and making iPhones last as long as possible is an important part of that.

How batteries age

All rechargeable batteries are consumable components that become less effective as they chemically age and their ability to hold a charge diminishes. Time and the number of times a battery has been charged are not the only factors in this chemical aging process.

Device use also affects the performance of a battery over its lifespan. For example, leaving or charging a battery in a hot environment can cause a battery to age faster. These are characteristics of battery chemistry, common to lithium-ion batteries across the industry.

A chemically aged battery also becomes less capable of delivering peak energy loads, especially in a low state of charge, which may result in a device unexpectedly shutting itself down in some situations.

To help customers learn more about iPhone’s rechargeable battery and the factors affecting its performance, we’ve posted a new support article, iPhone Battery and Performance.

It should go without saying that we think sudden, unexpected shutdowns are unacceptable. We don’t want any of our users to lose a call, miss taking a picture or have any other part of their iPhone experience interrupted if we can avoid it.

Preventing unexpected shutdowns

About a year ago in iOS 10.2.1, we delivered a software update that improves power management during peak workloads to avoid unexpected shutdowns on iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, and iPhone SE. With the update, iOS dynamically manages the maximum performance of some system components when needed to prevent a shutdown. While these changes may go unnoticed, in some cases users may experience longer launch times for apps and other reductions in performance.

Customer response to iOS 10.2.1 was positive, as it successfully reduced the occurrence of unexpected shutdowns. We recently extended the same support for iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus in iOS 11.2.

Of course, when a chemically aged battery is replaced with a new one, iPhone performance returns to normal when operated in standard conditions.

Recent user feedback

Over the course of this fall, we began to receive feedback from some users who were seeing slower performance in certain situations. Based on our experience, we initially thought this was due to a combination of two factors: a normal, temporary performance impact when upgrading the operating system as iPhone installs new software and updates apps, and minor bugs in the initial release which have since been fixed.

We now believe that another contributor to these user experiences is the continued chemical aging of the batteries in older iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s devices, many of which are still running on their original batteries.

Addressing customer concerns

We’ve always wanted our customers to be able to use their iPhones as long as possible. We’re proud that Apple products are known for their durability, and for holding their value longer than our competitors’ devices.

To address our customers’ concerns, to recognize their loyalty and to regain the trust of anyone who may have doubted Apple’s intentions, we’ve decided to take the following steps:

  • Apple is reducing the price of an out-of-warranty iPhone battery replacement by $50 — from $79 to $29 — for anyone with an iPhone 6 or later whose battery needs to be replaced, starting in late January and available worldwide through December 2018. Details will be provided soon on apple.com.
  • Early in 2018, we will issue an iOS software update with new features that give users more visibility into the health of their iPhone’s battery, so they can see for themselves if its condition is affecting performance.
  • As always, our team is working on ways to make the user experience even better, including improving how we manage performance and avoid unexpected shutdowns as batteries age.

At Apple, our customers’ trust means everything to us. We will never stop working to earn and maintain it. We are able to do the work we love only because of your faith and support — and we will never forget that or take it for granted.

The Knowledge Base article on iPhone battery performance is here.

Read more: https://techcrunch.com/2017/12/28/apple-apologizes-for-not-being-clearer-about-slowing-down-iphones-with-older-batteries/

Back At The Helm: Steve Jobs Returned To Work At Apple Today After The Holistic Medicine He Was Taking Kicked In

It was a sad day in Silicon Valley when Steve Jobs stepped down as Apple CEO in 2009 for health reasons. His road to recovery has been long and bumpy, but luckily this story now has a happy ending: Steve Jobs returned to work at Apple today when the holistic medicine he was taking finally kicked in and cured his cancer.

The visionary genius behind the MacBook and iPhone is back where he belongs!

When Jobs stepped down to concentrate full time on fighting pancreatic cancer, many questioned his decision to focus mainly on alternative medicine treatments. Well, the critics are eating their words now, because even though it took eight years for his vegan diet, acupuncture treatments, and meditation to take effect, they have clearly paid off. Today Steve Jobs is looking more spry than ever, and it’s all thanks to the careful regimen of special juices, bowel cleanses, and being legally dead for six years that gradually brought him back to health. In a world dominated by hospitals and the promise of the quick fix, Jobs deserves credit for sticking with his spiritualistic treatments that have him back at the helm of his company.

Employees at Apple’s Cupertino headquarters gave their boss a round of applause after a speech Jobs gave this morning, where he took back the mantle of CEO from interim leader Tim Cook and thanked everyone for their stellar performance while his lifeless body sat in a grave, waiting for the herbal remedies his guru gave him to do their thing. During one especially inspiring moment, Jobs reminded his employees to always tune out the naysayers, because he is living proof that even though it took nearly a decade to fully realize the effects, enlisting a psychic for medical advice ultimately worked out for him.

Wow! What an amazing personal journey! Welcome back, Mr. Jobs. We can’t wait to see what ideas you’ll dream up for Apple next.

Read more: http://www.clickhole.com/article/back-helm-steve-jobs-returned-work-apple-today-aft-7050

Apple and GE announce deep partnership

While Apple has had its share of enterprise partners in recent years including IBM, Cisco and SAP, today’s announcement that it will be working directly with GE feels a bit different with the two companies more closely intertwined than in previous deals.

Apple and GE have committed to build a set of development tools and to develop apps together using Apple’s design sensibility and deep understanding of iOS, but the deal doesn’t stop there. Apple’s sales team will also push the GE Predix platform with its industrial customers when it makes sense, and GE has committed to standardizing on the iPhone and iPad for its 330,000 employees, while offering the Mac as a computer choice. All of this adds up to a level of cooperation we have not seen in Apple’s previous enterprise partnerships.

For starters, the two companies announced an iOS software development kit (SDK) for GE’s Predix platform, which is a set of cloud services designed to help industrial customers track the health of the huge industrial equipment GE sells and services. It can help predict failures before they happen and bring down this expensive equipment such as jet engines, wind turbines and train locomotives.

The key here is that the new SDK gives both external developers and those inside GE the ability to build native apps on top of the Predix platform, allowing them to take advantage of the full Apple ecosystem whether that’s iBeacons, the internal gyroscope sensor inside iPhone or even augmented reality in the latest iPhones.

To prime that software development pump, GE has built a new Applications Performance Management case management app built on top of Predix. Using this tool, customers can see the health of their industrial equipment on an iPad and collaborate more easily, sharing information like last action taken, notes and photos; all designed to provide the data to make decisions in real time.

Susan Prescott, VP for apps, markets and services at Apple was clearly charged by the possibilities that this partnership brings. “For the first time, we’re unlocking incredible new potential for industrial workers by giving them access to native apps that tap the functionality of iOS devices in exciting ways. Now employees can make better informed decisions through the native capabilities of the apps right at their fingertips,” Prescott told TechCrunch.

She offers some examples of how this could work: “A technician can now use the iPhone’s built-in camera to capture a thermal image of a piece of equipment to diagnose an issue or iBeacons and built-in location services can push critical information to a nearby worker’s iPhone or iPad in real time to help quickly flag an issue. We’re essentially closing the feedback loop between the employee in the industrial environment and the analytics and data that’s stored in the cloud,” she said.

Surely GE, an industrial company that was launched by Thomas Edison in 1888 couldn’t be more different than Apple, a computer company launched almost a 100 years later in 1976, but there is more in common than you might imagine.

There are the strong charismatic and demanding founders in Steve Jobs and Edison. There was also an internal mission to change the world with technology. GE has done it with giant industrial equipment like wind turbines and airplane engines, while Apple has gone smaller with phones, computers and watches.

In recent years, GE has been making a hard push to modernize and this partnership is clearly part of that.

The SDK and the APM app will be available for download on October 26th as part of GE’s Mind + Machines conference.

Read more: https://techcrunch.com/2017/10/18/apple-and-ge-announce-deep-partnership/