Everything you need to know about iOS’ crippling ‘Error 53’

Apple is in the midst of an all-new controversy, thanks to the mysterious “Error 53” message that is bricking iPhones without warning. The problem can hit DIY types or anybody who has ever had a Touch ID sensor (or other iPhone hardware) replaced by a repair shop not authorized by Apple. When they update iOS, […]

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Everything you need to know about iOS’ crippling ‘Error 53’

Law Firms Consider ‘Error 53’ Lawsuits Against Apple as Some Stores Authorized for Repairs

Several law firms are considering lawsuits against Apple following news that the company disables iPhone 6 models that have third-party repairs that affect Touch ID, reports The Guardian. The „Error 53“ controversy started last week when news circulated about customers who have had their iPhones disabled and rendered unusable by a mysterious „error 53“ message.

It turns out Apple disables the iPhones of customers who have had unauthorized repairs on their devices. As explained in a thorough post from iFixit, a repair made by a third-party service using non-original components cannot pass a Touch ID validation check because mismatched parts don’t sync up properly.

According to an Apple spokesperson, when the iPhone’s parts can’t be properly validated because of a repair done to a component affecting the Touch ID sensor, the error message is triggered in an intentional effort to keep Touch ID and the secure enclave that stores fingerprint information safe. Damaged phones also have the potential to give the error.

„We protect fingerprint data using a secure enclave, which is uniquely paired to the touch ID sensor. When iPhone is serviced by an authorised Apple service provider or Apple retail store for changes that affect the touch ID sensor, the pairing is re-validated. This check ensures the device and the iOS features related to touch ID remain secure. Without this unique pairing, a malicious touch ID sensor could be substituted, thereby gaining access to the secure enclave. When iOS detects that the pairing fails, touch ID, including Apple Pay, is disabled so the device remains secure.“

A UK barrister told The Guardian disabling iPhones „could potentially be viewed as an offense“ under the Criminal Damage Act 1971, which covers the destruction of property, and a Seattle-based law firm, PVCA said it wants to bring a class action lawsuit against Apple, calling on affected customers to get in contact. PVCA is planning to represent customers for free and has outlined the issue on its website, suggesting Apple is violating consumer laws by forcing customers to use Apple-sanctioned repair services.

We believe that Apple may be intentionally forcing users to use their repair services, which cost much more than most third party repair shops. Where you could get your screen replaced by a neighborhood repair facility for $50-80, Apple charges $129 or more. There is incentive for Apple to keep end users from finding alternative methods to fix their products.

Apple may be planning to proactively head off lawsuits and assuage customer outrage. MacRumors has heard from a retail source that certain Apple Stores have received the go ahead from Apple to replace third-party screens and other third-party components to resolve the error 53 issue. The standard out-of-warranty fee is charged for the repairs and the replacement of non-genuine parts with Apple parts is limited to those affected by the error.

It is not yet clear if all Apple Stores have been authorized to repair error 53 iPhones as Apple’s only official statement is that it’s a security measure required to prevent fraudulent Touch ID sensors from being installed.

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Law Firms Consider ‘Error 53’ Lawsuits Against Apple as Some Stores Authorized for Repairs

Apple’s 4-Inch iPhone to Be Called ‘iPhone 5se’ With Design Modeled After iPhone 5s

Rumors suggesting Apple is working on an updated 4-inch iPhone have been circulating since the launch of the iPhone 6, but information that’s leaked out about the device has varied quite a bit between news sources. While some rumors pointed towards a 4-inch iPhone equivalent in power to the iPhone 6s, others suggested it would be a lower-end device modeled after the iPhone 5s.

New information shared by 9to5Mac and Chinese website MyDrivers [Google Translate] adds to the growing body of evidence pointing towards an iPhone 5s-style device that’s a step down from the iPhone 6s, potentially set to be called the „iPhone 5se“ to denote its position as an upgraded version of the iPhone 5s.

With the iPhone 5se, Apple may be aiming to introduce a device that’s going to deliver up-to-date features to customers who prefer smaller devices while still refraining from competing with its flagship 4.7 and 5.5-inch iPhones.

The 4-inch iPhone in development is rumored to look like an iPhone 5s

Recent rumors have suggested the 4-inch iPhone will have a body that’s similar enough to the iPhone 5s that the two devices will be able to share cases and other accessories, but there will be some design differences. The shiny edges that were featured on the iPhone 5s will be replaced with a curved cover glass like the iPhone 6 and 6s.

The iPhone 5se is expected to incorporate the same 8-megapixel rear camera and 1.2-megapixel front camera used in the iPhone 6, along with an improved autofocusing ability, support for larger panoramas, and the ability to capture Live Photos (but no 3D Touch). As has been rumored, it will include an NFC chip to enable Apple Pay, and features like Bluetooth 4.2, VoLTE, and 802.11ac WiFi. It may be available in Silver, Space Gray, Gold, and Rose Gold, or just three of those colors. Rumors are unclear.

According to 9to5Mac, the iPhone 5se will use the same A8 and M8 chips that are in the iPhone 6, while the report from MyDrivers suggests it could come with an A9 chip. Rumors about Apple’s 4-inch iPhone have consistently disagreed on the chip that it will use, split between the A8 and the A9.

MyDrivers supplies additional information on RAM, pricing, and battery life. In a somewhat questionable claim, the site says that Apple is sourcing 1GB and 1.2GB RAM from two suppliers. Previous rumors have said the 4-inch iPhone will include 1GB RAM.

The iPhone 5se may include a 1,624 mAh battery, which would last longer than the battery in the iPhone 5s, and according to MyDrivers, it may only be available in 16 and 64GB capacities at prices that start at 3688 Yuan or $560.

Mass production on the 4-inch screen for iPhone 5se is said to have kicked off this week, and while iPhone 6c/5se rumors have disagreed on many prospective features, all rumors have pointed towards an early 2016 release date. Apple is said to be planning a March event to unveil new products, and it’s possible that could be where Apple is planning to debut its 4-inch iPhone.

Related Roundups: iPhone 5se (2016), iPhone 6c
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Apple’s 4-Inch iPhone to Be Called ‘iPhone 5se’ With Design Modeled After iPhone 5s

OS X 10.11.4 Beta Adds Live Photos Support for Messages

Alongside the iOS 9.3 beta seeded to developers earlier this week, Apple also provided an OS X 10.11.4 beta with some minor updates to the OS X El Capitan operating system. OS X 10.11.4 was overshadowed by all of the features introduced in iOS 9.3 so it’s taken a few days for people to dig into the release to find out what’s new.

One of the new additions to OS X 10.11.4 is improved Live Photos support in the Messages app. When Live Photos were introduced with the launch of the iPhone 6s, the only place to view them on a Mac was within the Mac Photos app. As of OS X 10.11.4, Live Photos can also be viewed directly in the Messages app on a Mac running the operating system update.

When a message containing a Live Photo is received on OS X 10.11.4, it will have the familiar concentric circles icon that marks a Live Photo. Clicking on a Live Photo will open up the mini photo viewer as is standard procedure with viewing any photo within Messages on a Mac, and in this view, the Live Photo will now play when the Live Photo icon is clicked.

The ability to view Live Photos directly within the Messages app is a useful change that makes it possible to see Live Photos content sent from friends and family without needing to open it up on an iOS device or save it to Photos on the Mac. In the future, Apple could expand Live Photos support even further, making them viewable in other apps like Mail, Safari, notes, and more.

For those unfamiliar with Live Photos, it’s an iPhone 6s feature that adds a hint of motion to still photos, not unlike the magical animated photos from the Harry Potter universe. Live Photos capture 3 seconds of video around a still image, which is played back when a photo is touched using a 3D Touch gesture on an iPhone 6s. Live Photos can only be taken with an iPhone 6s or 6s Plus, but they can be viewed on any iOS device running iOS 9 or any Mac running OS X El Capitan.

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OS X 10.11.4 will likely come out alongside iOS 9.3, which Apple says will be released in the spring. As for other new features, the update also includes support for password protected notes in the Notes app.

Related Roundup: OS X El Capitan
Tags: Live Photos, OS X 10.11.4
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OS X 10.11.4 Beta Adds Live Photos Support for Messages

iOS 9.3 brings all-new 3D Touch shortcuts

3D Touch gets a big boost in iOS 9.3, the latest version of Apple’s mobile operating system. On top of the various other “what to expect” features we’ve told you about, the iOS update, which arrived yesterday, also adds a host of new shortcuts you can use from the home screen for all standard pre-installed apps. […]

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iOS 9.3 brings all-new 3D Touch shortcuts

What’s New in iOS 9.3: Night Shift, New Quick Actions, Improvements to Apple News, Notes, CarPlay and Health

Apple’s iOS 9.2.1 update is still in testing, but that didn’t stop the company from surprising us with an iOS 9.3 beta this morning. The iOS 9.3 beta is one of the biggest updates to iOS 9 yet, introducing a new Night Shift feature and improving several existing apps, including Notes, Apple News, Health, CarPlay, and more.

We’ve gathered up a full list of the changes and new features in iOS 9.3, to give MacRumors readers a clear picture of what they can expect to see when iOS 9.3 is released to the public.

Night Shift – Night Shift is a new feature that’s designed to automatically cut down on the amount of blue light an iOS user is exposed to at night by shifting to more yellow tones for the iPhone or iPad’s display. Studies have suggested blue light exposure at night can disrupt the circadian rhythm, making it more difficult to fall asleep.

Night Shift settings are available in the „Display & Brightness“ section of the Settings app. In this section, there’s a new option to toggle on „Blue Light Reduction“ and set the display to be Cooler or Warmer. A Schedule option lets users set a custom schedule or choose to turn on Night Shift from sunset to sunrise.

Quick Actions – On the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, there are new 3D Touch Quick Actions for several of the stock apps, including Weather, Settings, Compass, and Health. Weather’s Quick Actions allow you to see the weather at your current location or for saved locations in the app. Settings includes useful shortcuts for accessing Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, Battery, and Wallpaper options. Health’s Quick Actions provide access to the Medical ID or a user’s dashboard, while Compass now features options to open directly to the compass or the level.

There are also new Quick Action options for the App Store and iTunes Store apps. For the App Store app, Quick Actions now include „Update All“ to update all apps at once from the Home screen, and „Purchased“ for opening up to a list of all purchased apps. For the iTunes Store, new options include „View Downloads“ and „Purchased.“

Notes – There’s a new option to use Touch ID or a password to protect notes within the Notes app. With this enabled, Notes will ask for either the user’s password or a fingerprint when opening Notes that have been protected with a password. Password Protection for Notes can be set on a note-by-note basis within the Notes app. There are also new options in Settings to organize notes by Date Edited, Date Created, or Title.

News – Apple has improved the news app in iOS 9.3 to make it more tailored to each person’s interests. The For You section is also incorporating trending topics and specific picks from Apple editors to help users better discover content. Other new features include a new landscape view for News on the iPhone, in-line video playback for videos in news stories, and faster content updating when opening the news app.

Health – In the Health app, when viewing the Weight, Workouts, and Sleep categories, Health now links to apps you can download that will allow you to collect this data. Health also mirrors the Apple Watch move, exercise, and stand data in a new „Activity“ interface, and it displays your goals. The new Health features in iOS 9.3 may not be functional yet, as the new interface and the app suggestions were not available on our iOS devices running iOS 9.3.

CarPlay – Several CarPlay apps have been updated to bring them in line with iOS apps on iOS 9. The Apple Music CarPlay app now includes New and For You sections for better music discovery, and a Nearby feature in Maps offers better access to information about what’s close by, providing suggestions for local gas stations, restaurants, coffee shops, and more.

Alongside iOS 9.3, Apple’s also provided a comprehensive list of all the cars in the United States and other countries that offer CarPlay support. Apple’s list includes more than 100 2016 and 2017 models from 22 auto manufacturers like Audi, Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Citroën, DS Automobiles, Ferrari, Ford, GMC, Honda, Hyundai, Mercedes-Benz, Mitsubishi, Opel, Porsche, Peugeot, Seat, Škoda, Suzuki, Volkswagen and Volvo.

Education – iOS 9.3 includes multiple Education-oriented features including shared iPads for students, a new Classroom app, an Apple School Manager, and improved Apple ID management features.

Apple Watch – With iOS 9.3 and watchOS 2.2, the iPhone is able to pair with more than one Apple Watch. Both updates are required, with each watch running watchOS 2.2 and the iPhone running iOS 9.3. WatchOS 2.2 was seeded to developers alongside iOS 9.3.

Live Photos – On the iPhone 6s, there’s a new option to save a full resolution photo from a Live Photo. When using the Share Sheet, choosing „Duplicate“ now gives an option to create a Still Photo duplicate of a Live Photo.

Wallet/Apple Pay – In Wallet and when using Apple Pay, there’s now an option to open an app that’s linked to a pass or credit card. For example, on a Southwest boarding pass, there’s a new icon that will open the Southwest app when tapped.

Siri – Siri has been updated in iOS 9.3 to include the following languages: Malay (Malaysia), Finnish (Finland), and Hebrew (Israel).

App Switcher – iOS 9.3 includes haptic feedback when using the Force Touch app switcher on an iPhone 6s or 6s Plus. „Peek“ feedback is provided when first opening the app switcher, and a full „Pop“ feedback is given when pressing further to open it fully.
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What’s New in iOS 9.3: Night Shift, New Quick Actions, Improvements to Apple News, Notes, CarPlay and Health

Galaxy S7 to Feature Pressure-Sensitive Display Similar to 3D Touch

Samsung’s flagship Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge due early next year will feature a pressure-sensitive display that functions similarly to 3D Touch on iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The next-generation Android-based smartphones will reportedly also feature high-speed USB-C ports that provide up to a full day’s charge in under 30 minutes, and improved cameras that are optimized for low-light photography.

The report claims the Galaxy S7 will look similar to the Galaxy S6, but the rear-facing camera is said to be flush with the back of the device. The handset may also feature a retina scanner for new biometric features involving a user’s eyes.

The Wall Street Journal says the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge will launch in the U.S. in March, possibly around the time Apple introduces the so-called „iPhone 6c“ and next-generation Apple Watch. Samsung is expected to announce the new devices around the Mobile World Congress trade show in Barcelona in late February.

Samsung’s Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge would compete with the rumored „iPhone 7,“ which could ditch the 3.5mm headphone jack in favor of an all-in-one Lightning connector alongside a faster A10 chip, new Intel LTE modem and possibly thinner design. Apple’s next flagship smartphones will likely be released next September.

Tags: Samsung, Galaxy S7, Galaxy S7 Edge
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Galaxy S7 to Feature Pressure-Sensitive Display Similar to 3D Touch

Pro Tip: How to get quick info in Apple Maps with 3D Touch

Maps is shaping up to be a pretty great navigational tool with its tight integration in iOS 9 and OS X El Capitan, as well as with much more error-free data. I use Maps as a sort of mobile, digital yellow pages, finding businesses in town and looking up their phone number, hours of operation, […]

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Pro Tip: How to get quick info in Apple Maps with 3D Touch

New Update Makes Tumblr First Major Social Network to Support Live Photos

While iPhone 6s and 6s Plus users can share Live Photos with each other through services like iMessage, the hybrid image / video can’t be easily shared to social networks. Today, Tumblr updated its iOS app with Live Photos support, making it the first major social network to do so.

As TechCrunch notes, Tumblr users tend to upload, share, and re-share GIFs and other kinds of animated images, including memes, at a rapid rate, likely making Tumblr the first place where Live Photos would be widely seen and viewed.

The app was also updated with 3D Touch support. Now, users can press down on the app’s icon to search the service from their home screen, activate Live Photos, and peek and pop into other users’ Tumblrs by clicking on their name or avatar. While Tumblr does support Live Photos, they’re only viewable within its iOS app. Other updates to the Tumblr app include the ability to send a post to any Tumblr user and messaging.

Tumblr for iOS is available in the App Store for free. [Direct Link]

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New Update Makes Tumblr First Major Social Network to Support Live Photos

4 features the Apple Watch 2 doesn’t need

After the rumblings and grumblings that we’ll get our first look at the Apple Watch 2 in as soon as three months, the Internet is ablaze with all of the great features the update “should” have. But let’s not go overboard, here, because not all of these suggestions would make the new wearable better. We […]

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4 features the Apple Watch 2 doesn’t need