December 28, 2017

News: Apple Issues Statement on iPhone Batteries and Performance

Apple issued a statement today about the controversial decision to adjust performance on older iPhones with worn batteries…

December 20, 2017

Link: Apple Clarifies Throttling Concerns on Devices with Aged Batteries ☍

Matthew Panzarino:

Here’s a statement that Apple provided when I inquired about the power profile that people were seeing when testing iPhones with older batteries:

“Our goal is to deliver the best experience for customers, which includes overall performance and prolonging the life of their devices. Lithium-ion batteries become less capable of supplying peak current demands when in cold conditions, have a low battery charge or as they age over time, which can result in the device unexpectedly shutting down to protect its electronic components.

Last year we released a feature for iPhone 6, iPhone 6s and iPhone SE to smooth out the instantaneous peaks only when needed to prevent the device from unexpectedly shutting down during these conditions. We’ve now extended that feature to iPhone 7 with iOS 11.2, and plan to add support for other products in the future.”

The whole piece is pretty good and explains the choices Apple had to make when devices with older batteries were running into issues under heavy load. Inevitably, there will be people who think this is a conspiracy that Apple is trying to make them buy new phones, and what that argument fails to realize is that they may not buy new iPhones, but rather offerings from Samsung, LG, HTC, Google, or others.

Apple should’ve communicated this better, even with a “your battery is still functional, but not optimal. Here’s what that means” with a link. Either way, as others relating the story have pointed out, official replacement batteries are $79 from Apple (free with AppleCare) and have a warranty. If there was some kill-old-iPhones plot from Apple I doubt they’d let you get a new battery so easily.

December 14, 2017

Article: The Future We Might Deserve?

Some time today, the FCC is expected to vote to repeal most of the 2015 net neutrality regulations. These rules prevented broadband providers from blocking or slowing down web sites or apps. This apps prevented companies from making deals to give certain kinds of traffic priority over others. The only thing that will remain is that providers must disclose what they do with web traffic…

December 9, 2017

Link: Mark Crump’s iPad Pro Usage Post-MacBook Pro Purchase ☍

Mark Crump:

Fraser Speirs — a long-time iPad-only advocate — is leaning towards getting another MacBook Pro. Fraser is famous for a piece he wrote about going iPad-only entitled: Can the MacBook Pro Replace Your iPad? It was an interesting reverse take on the whole “Can your iPad replace your laptop” argument that is bandied about.

I am both glad and disheartened to hear this. I was glad because it’s easy to get into a situation where taking a stance on something like going iPad-only is tough to back off from. Your identity can be wrapped up in “that guy who went iPad-only”. Inevitably, you hear from all the people who gave you grief about it two years ago with an extra helping of “told you so.” So, being able to publicly and critically assess whether a tool works for you, and change course if it isn’t, is a good trait. It’s disheartening that Fraser feels that iOS 11 doesn’t meet his needs anymore and he needs to use a Mac again.

Regular readers know I mostly use iOS for both personal and work tasks, but I’m not afraid to admit when I have to reach for a Mac or PC. I considered going back to a Mac at work for improved speed on some tasks, but after digging my old Mac out of the loaner pile, I found that things felt a bit awkward and cumbersome. Apparently I had retrained myself to be faster in iOS. Still, Crump’s argument that being able to reasses your tools is important, and the rest of his article is a good read.

Link: DirecTV’s Price Hikes ☍

Chris Mills for BGR:

2017 has been a standout year for cord-cutting. In July, August, and September, cord-cutters set a new record for ditching traditional pay-TV, with an estimated 1.2 million people ditching their cable or satellite subscription in those three months alone.

So how is AT&T, one of the biggest providers of cable and owner of satellite service DirecTV, going to deal with this existential threat? By raising prices, of course.

[…]Depending on what package DirecTV subscribers have, the price increase on the plan will be anywhere from $2 to $8. Some areas are also getting a hike of up to $1 on the “Regional Sports Fee,” a neat way of charging customers twice for the content they’re paying for.

The article also mentions possible DirecTV Now price increases, despite some quirks and bugs and no DVR even a year after launch. While I generally like the service, something tells me that AT&T will find a way to ruin it or morph it into something that looks even more like regular pay TV. As for traditional DirecTV, the way to keep people on a service that is losing customers is to raise prices, obviously.