Archive for the ‘apple’ Category

Apple’s T2 chip will block some third-party repairs of new devices

November 13th, 2018
Apple’s T2 chip will block some third-party repairs of new devices

Enlarge (credit: Samuel Axon)

Small repair shops and tech enthusiasts who attempt to fix their new Apple devices may be taking a serious risk in doing so. According to a report from The Verge, Apple confirmed that its new T2 security chip is designed to lock down devices after repair if it doesn't recognize certain authorized replacement parts.

Word of this new policy came out last month in an Apple document circulated among authorized service providers. In order to replace certain hardware components, such as the Touch ID sensor or the logic board on new Macs, the provider must run a specific piece of diagnostic software.

This program, called "AST 2 System Configuration," works in conjunction with the T2 security chip. If this step isn't performed on devices with the T2 chip, it could result in an inoperable machine.

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Posted in apple, Apple T2, Macs, T2, Tech | Comments (0)

Tinkerers, repair shops will have mixed feelings about this iPad Pro teardown

November 12th, 2018
Tinkerers, repair shops will have mixed feelings about this iPad Pro teardown


Following the controlled destruction of the Mac mini and the MacBook Air, iFixit turned its gaze to the new 11-inch iPad Pro. Its teardown reveals lots of adhesive, even more magnets, and only a few surprises inside the newest Apple tablet.

Unsurprisingly, the super-narrow bezels make the new iPad Pro harder to get into than the previous models. Awkwardly positioned display ribbons make removing the display more difficult, but underneath it we find the usual suspects: the logic board, speakers, TrueDepth camera array, and batteries, to name a few components.

The new iPad Pro should be an entertainment powerhouse thanks to a total of eight speakers, composed of four woofers and four tweeters. Combine those with the Liquid Retina display with a 120Hz refresh rate, and you have a stellar music and video consumption device. However, the speakers proved impossible to remove without destroying a portion of them, thanks to their housings being carved into the aluminum case. Magnets also live under the speakers, and those are just a fraction of the magnets present inside the iPad Pro.

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Posted in apple, apple pencil, Face ID, iFixit, ipad pro, teardown, Tech, TrueDepth | Comments (0)

Apple to replace unresponsive iPhone X touchscreens for free

November 12th, 2018
Apple to replace unresponsive iPhone X touchscreens for free

Enlarge (credit: Samuel Axon)

If you've had problems with the touch responsiveness of your iPhone X's display, you may be in luck. According to a support document, Apple identified a problem with some iPhone X devices that may cause a component of the display module to fail. The company has now launched a program to replace affected screens for free.

Apple claims that failed display components have caused touch response issues on some iPhone X devices. Part, or all, of the affected displays may not respond to touch input, or, in some cases, they may only respond intermittently. In other instances, displays react to touch even when they have not been touched.

Under the repair program, users can go to Apple or to an authorized service provider to get an iPhone X examined. If they verify that the device is eligible for the repair, the display module will be replaced free of charge.

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Posted in apple, iOS, iPhone X, repair program, Smartphone, Tech, touchscreen | Comments (0)

iFixit tears down the Mac mini and MacBook Air

November 9th, 2018


On schedule as always, iFixit has documented teardowns of the new Mac mini and MacBook Air and given them each a repairability score. The Mac mini is an improvement over the 2014 model in a few ways. The MacBook Air has some positive points for user serviceability, but it requires a significant teardown to do much.

Starting with the Mac mini, iFixit found that after opening the enclosure, you just have to unscrew and remove the fan to get inside. The logic board can be removed without special tools. Unlike the 2014 Mac mini's RAM, the RAM in this model can be replaced. It's covered by a metal cage, but once you unscrew and remove that, it's easy. The power supply can also be removed and replaced, but you'll want to use a tool for it. On the negative side, the CPU cannot be replaced, and damage to any of the ports would require a logic board replacement.

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Posted in apple, iFixit, Mac mini, MacBook Air, teardown, Tech | Comments (0)

Apple walks Ars through the iPad Pro’s A12X system on a chip

November 7th, 2018
The 2018, 12.9-inch iPad Pro.

Enlarge / The 2018, 12.9-inch iPad Pro. (credit: Samuel Axon)

BROOKLYN—Apple's new iPad Pro sports several new features of note, including the most dramatic aesthetic redesign in years, Face ID, new Pencil features, and the very welcome move to USB-C. But the star of the show is the new A12X system on a chip (SoC).

Apple made some big claims about the A12X during its presentation announcing the product: that it has twice the graphics performance of the A10X; that it has 90 percent faster multi-core performance than its predecessor; that it matches the GPU power of the Xbox One S game console with no fan and at a fraction of the size; that it has 1,000 times faster graphics performance than the original iPad released eight years ago; that it's faster than 92 percent of all portable PCs.

If you've read our iPad Pro review, you know most of those claims hold up. Apple’s latest iOS devices aren’t perfect, but even the platform’s biggest detractors recognize that the company is leading the market when it comes to mobile CPU and GPU performance—not by a little, but by a lot. It's all done on custom silicon designed within Apple—a different approach than that taken by any mainstream Android or Windows device.

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Posted in A12X, Anand Lal Shimpi, apple, ar, CPU, Features, GPU, Interview, ipad, ipad pro, ISP, machine learning, Neural Engine, Phil Schiller, silicon, Tech | Comments (0)

2018 iPad Pro review: “What’s a computer?”

November 7th, 2018

Samuel Axon

Early this year, Apple ran an ad that featured a young girl using an iPad as her primary computing device. An older woman asked the girl a question about her computer, and she responded, "What's a computer?"

The ad was widely mocked. For starters, an iPad is a computer. But also, the hypothetical future when kids don't even know what a desktop or laptop are seems very distant at best. Yes, tablets and smartphones have replaced laptops and desktops among large numbers of young people for personal uses like social media, Web browsing, and games. But despite some high school students who sometimes write their college papers on their smartphones, mobile devices are still not where the real work gets done. Real work is done on a laptop or desktop.

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Posted in 2018 iPad Pro, A12X, apple, apple pencil, Apple Smart Keyboard Folio, Features, Gadgetology, iOS, ipad pro, Tech | Comments (0)

iPhone XR review: Keeping compromises to a minimum

November 5th, 2018

Samuel Axon

Steve Jobs famously believed the devices his company produced would bring technology to the masses, but he was rarely willing to make the compromises necessary to bring that vision to fruition. Apple has only sometimes released products that were priced for everyone.

That trend continued in late September with the release of the flagship iPhone XS, a compelling, envelope-pushing product that is nonetheless priced out of range for many consumers. Enter the iPhone XR, a close sibling to the XS that trades the latter’s expensive OLED display for an LCD and a dual-camera system for a single camera among other things—all to bring the price down just enough so more people can buy it.

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Posted in apple, Features, Gadgetology, iOS, iOS 12, iphone, iPhone XR, Liquid Retina, Smart HDR, Tech | Comments (0)

While iPhone sales remain stagnant, Apple services hit $10 billion in revenue

November 1st, 2018
One of several styled Apple logos associated with the October 30 event.

Enlarge / One of several styled Apple logos associated with the October 30 event. (credit: Apple)

Apple announced on its earnings call today that it had surpassed its revenue estimates for Q4 2018. The iPhone maker boasted $62.9 billion in revenue, slightly more than the $60-62 billion it previously estimated, as well as $14.1 billion in profit, up from $11.5 billion in the previous quarter.

"We're thrilled to report another record-breaking quarter that caps a tremendous fiscal 2018, the year in which we shipped our two billionth iOS device, celebrated the 10th anniversary of the App Store, and achieved the strongest revenue and earnings in Apple's history,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said in a statement.

Apple sold 46.8 million iPhones, 9.6 million iPads, and 5.2 million Macs in the final quarter of 2018. While that represents a 14 percent increase in iPhone sales when compared to last quarter, it's about the same number of iPhones sold this time last year. However, year-over-year revenue from iPhone sales was up by 29 percent, thanks to the increase in iPhone prices.

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Posted in apple, iOS, ipad, iphone, Mac, MacOS, Q4 2018, quarterly earnings, Tech | Comments (0)

Helium implicated in weird iPhone malfunctions

October 31st, 2018
Helium-filled balloons.

Enlarge / Helium-filled balloons. (credit: Warren Rohner)

Reddit user harritaco discovered something rather unusual about the iOS devices used at their place of work. iPhones and Apple Watches stopped working unexpectedly, completely locking up and recovering only days later, sometimes suffering long-term harm.

The failures appeared to coincide with the installation of a new MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) machine. MRIs use powerful magnetic fields and helium-cooled superconductors, and something about the presence of this new machine was upsetting the Apple hardware. That magnets can be a problem for electronic devices is no big surprise—they can damage magnetic media, confuse compasses, and induce electric currents in harmful ways—but surprisingly, it's not the magnets that seem to be the problem this time—it's the helium.

The iPhone user guide warns that proximity to helium can impair functionality and that to recover, devices should be left to air out for a week or so in an environment far away from the rogue helium. Harritaco discovered that, during installation of the MRI machine, some 120 litres of liquid helium leaked and vented into the environment. This created a relatively high helium concentration, and any Apple hardware exposed to that helium stopped working.

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Posted in apple, Helium, iOS, iphone, science, Tech | Comments (0)

Apple to offer MacBook Pros with AMD Vega graphics starting in November

October 31st, 2018
The 2018 MacBook Pro next to the 2017 MacBook Pro

Enlarge / This is the 2018 MacBook Pro next to the 2017 MacBook Pro. Can you tell the difference? Didn't think so. (credit: Samuel Axon)

Amidst the iPad Pro, MacBook Air, and Mac mini announcements yesterday, Apple also quietly updated its MacBook Pro lineup with more graphics power. Apple will offer new versions of the MacBook Pro with AMD Radeon Pro Vega graphics chips, marking the first time Vega GPUs have been used in Apple's premium laptops.

Apple claims the new GPUs will provide up to 60 percent better graphical performance than the existing offerings. Currently, the best GPU available in a MacBook Pro is the Radeon Pro 560X.

Vega 56 and 64 graphics cards are already available in Apple's iMac Pro, a machine designed for creative professionals and power users. Offering Vega graphics cards (like the Vega 16 and 20 CPUs) in the MacBook Pros brings more consistency to the high-end Mac lineup, as well as the graphics power some users need to complete complex and creative projects.

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Posted in AMD Vega, apple, Blackmagic eGPU Pro, Gaming & Culture, GPU, MacBook Pro, MacOS, Tech | Comments (0)