Glass-Bodied iPhone 8 Shatters Repeatedly in Drop Tests

According to Apple, the glass used for its new iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 devices is the most durable glass ever used in a smartphone, but that hasn't helped the device resist shattering in a series of drop tests.

SquareTrade, a company that provides extended warranties for electronic devices, conducted drop tests on the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and, for comparative purposes, the Galaxy Note 8, which also has a glass body.

Both of the iPhone 8 models and the Galaxy Note 8 shattered on all sides in every single drop test, including front and back drops at a distance of six feet, a 22-foot shot drop test, and a tumble test. Each test was conducted using the same equipment.

Ultimately, Square Trade gave the iPhone 8 a breakability score of 67, the iPhone 8 Plus a breakability score of 74, and the Galaxy Note 8 a breakability score of 80. At 67 and 74, iPhone 8 and 8 Plus are at "medium risk" of breakage from a drop, while the Galaxy Note 8 is at "high risk." The Galaxy Note 8 fared worse because it was non-functional after some of the tests, while the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus remained usable despite the broken glass.

YouTuber JerryRigEverything also did a drop test on the iPhone 8 in a case and without a case. It survived a drop from knee height and was okay after one fall from waist height because it landed on the aluminum frame, but the glass broke after a second waist-high drop. The iPhone 8 in a case unsurprisingly fared better.

Another YouTube drop test that compared the iPhone 8 Plus to the iPhone 7 Plus, and the iPhone 8 Plus shattered on the first drop. The iPhone 7 Plus survived a drop on its back, of course, as it has an aluminum body.

Drop tests are never scientific and are not a reliable measure of durability because of the many variables involved when a device is dropped, but it's clear that even with the most durable glass used in a smartphone, the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus are more prone to catastrophic breakage than previous-generation iPhones.

While both sides of the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus are now made of glass, the display and the body don't appear to share the same repair costs, so if you drop it on the wrong side, it's going to be an expensive fix.

With AppleCare+, Apple charges $29 for replacement for a broken display, but a broken glass body is subject to the $99 "other damage" repair fee rather than the screen replacement fee. Sans AppleCare+, a display repair for the iPhone 8 costs $149 and an "other damage" repair costs $349. iPhone 8 Plus repairs are even more expensive at $169 for the display and $399 for the body.

Apple is also charging more for its AppleCare+ plans this year, with AppleCare+ for iPhone 8 priced at $129 and AppleCare+ for iPhone 8 Plus priced at $149. AppleCare+ covers two incidents of accidental damage.
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Apple Shares ‘8 Things to Love About iPhone 8’ Video

Apple this morning published a new iPhone 8 ad to its YouTube channel, highlighting eight things to love about the new device.

In the 46 second spot, set to the song "Namesake" by Tunde Olaniran, Apple lists the following features as reasons to get an iPhone 8:

- Most durable glass in a smartphone
- Portrait Lighting (the new Portrait Mode feature)
- Wireless charging with Qi inductive chargers
- The A11, the smartest most powerful chip in a smartphone
- The world's most popular camera
- Water resistant
- New Retina HD display with True Tone
- Augmented Reality support

Apple's new iPhone 8 ad comes just as the device is launching. The iPhone 8 and the iPhone 8 Plus went on sale today, with pre-order customers receiving deliveries and retail stores beginning to offer the devices for purchase.

This is Apple's third iPhone 8 video, following two that were shown on stage during the September 15 keynote event. One of those videos described the iPhone 8 in 8 seconds, and the other was a 40 second unveiling video.
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Netflix for iOS Updated With HDR Support for iPhone 8, 8 Plus, and X

Netflix today updated its iOS app to add support for iOS 11 and Dolby Vision high dynamic range (HDR) video on compatible devices.

According to Netflix, Dolby Vision is available on iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone X, and the 12.9 and 10.5-inch iPad Pro models. Netflix's HDR content is also available on the new Apple TV 4K.

Netflix first promised to introduce HDR quality content for mobile viewing back in March, and support comes just as the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus are launching.

HDR titles can be found on Netflix by searching for "HDR." There is a limited amount of HDR content available on Netflix, and much of it limited to Netflix-created television shows and movies.

To view HDR content, Netflix requires subscribers to have a premium plan, priced at $11.99. The $11.99 price provides access to HD and Ultra UD content along with the ability to watch on four screens at once and download videos on four phones or tablets.

Netflix can be downloaded from the App Store for free. [Direct Link]
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New Apple Pay Tutorial Video Highlights Peer-to-Peer Payments

Apple this evening introduced a new series of tutorial videos, this time highlighting Apple Pay on the iPhone.

One of the videos, which is unlisted, goes through the steps necessary to use Apple Pay Cash, the peer-to-peer Apple Pay feature Apple plans to add in a future iOS 11 update. Apple has already demonstrated most of these steps, but it's interesting to see the simplicity of it in action from end to end.

As described by Apple, users simply need to open the Messages app, go to the App Drawer, tap Apple Pay, enter an amount, and approve the payment with Touch ID.

Apple also mentions approving Apple Pay Cash payments with Face ID, the facial recognition feature on the upcoming iPhone X. Payments received can be accessed through the Apple Pay Cash card in Wallet. There's no word on when Apple Pay Cash will be released, but it could come in the next major iOS update ahead of when the iPhone X launches.

Given that this Apple Pay Cash video is unlisted, it could potentially be removed from YouTube or made private.

The other two videos videos walk users through how to add a card to the iPhone's Wallet app to use with Apple Pay and how to pay in stores with a Touch ID-equipped iPhone.

Like all of Apple's previous tutorial videos, the Apple Pay tutorials are short, to the point, and primarily designed for users who may not often use these features. Apple has also done a series of tutorial videos on iOS 11 features new to the iPad Pro and iPhone 7 camera features.
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Apple to Donate $1 Million to Earthquake Recovery Efforts in Mexico

Apple CEO Tim Cook this afternoon announced on Twitter that Apple plans to donate $1 million to recovery efforts in Mexico. "While there is life, there is hope," Cook wrote in the tweet announcing the donation.

On Tuesday, a powerful 7.1-magnitude earthquake hit Central Mexico, causing widespread devastation in Mexico City and surrounding states. Hundreds of people died in the disaster as buildings and structures collapsed. The earthquake followed a magnitude 8.1-earthquake that hit the southern coast of the country earlier this month.

Apple's $1 million donation to help recovery efforts in Mexico comes following Apple's efforts to raise more than $8 million for hurricane relief efforts in states and countries affected by Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma.

As of August, Apple had raised more than $3 million both through its own donations, donations from employees, and donations from customers, and on September 8, Apple donated another $5 million to Hand in Hand, a benefit held for hurricane relief. Apple is still accepting Hand in Hand donations through iTunes.
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Reminder: How to Pre-Sign for Your Delivery of New Apple Products Tomorrow

If you have an iPhone 8, Apple Watch Series 3, or Apple TV 4K scheduled for delivery tomorrow, be aware that Apple requires its courier partners like UPS and FedEx to collect a signature upon delivery since they are valuable items.

Fortunately, if you won't be home during the day, Apple offers the option of printing, filling out, and affixing a pre-signed notice to your door, allowing the courier to leave the package without someone being there to sign for it.

How to Pre-Sign for Delivery

  1. Open your shipment notification email from Apple.

  2. Click on the blue Pre-Sign for Delivery button.
  3. Click on the gray Pre-Sign for Delivery button on Apple's order status page.

  4. Check the "I accept the above terms and conditions" box and click the blue "Continue" button.

  5. Click the blue "Print this page" button on the Release Authorization page.

  6. Fill out the form with your complete address information and phone number.
  7. Indicate whether you would like the delivery at the front door, back door, or somewhere else.
  8. Print your first and last name, sign, and date the form.
  9. Affix the form somewhere near the designated place of delivery.
There is also the option to authorize delivery to a neighbor or building manager, but the person must be present to sign for the package. If you prefer this option, make sure to include the person's address on the form.

To ensure that packages are not stolen once the courier leaves, all deliveries are subject to the discretion of the driver. If a delivery is not completed, the driver will leave a door tag detailing the steps you can take to receive your package.

As a point of emphasis, be aware that your shiny new products could be stolen before you get home, and Apple would not be responsible. For this reason, delivery to a back door or other obscure location, or to a neighbor, is the best option.

If you opt not to pre-sign at all, and the package arrives while you are away from home, the driver may attempt delivery again later or, as mentioned, leave a door tag detailing the steps you can take to receive your package.
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How to Use Emergency SOS on iPhone in iOS 11

In iOS 11, Apple added a new emergency feature to the iPhone, which is designed to allow you to quickly and discreetly place a call to emergency services. In the United States, SOS dials 911, and in other countries, it works with local emergency responders.

When you press the sleep/wake button on the iPhone five times on a device running iOS 11, it brings up a slider menu that allows you to quickly slide a finger against the screen to place the emergency call. The extra step makes sure you don't accidentally place a 911 call, but if you want to disable it, there's an "Auto Call" feature you can toggle on to bypass the swipe.

On the iPhone X, launching in November, Emergency SOS will be activated by pressing the side button and the volume up button simultaneously, rather than pressing the side button five times.

When you use Emergency SOS on an iPhone, the feature also disables Touch ID, preventing a would-be thief or other person with malicious intent from accessing your device without entering your passcode. It also automatically alerts any emergency contacts you've set in the Health app, sending them an iMessage with your location.

Enabling Auto Call

SOS is automatically included on every iPhone running iOS 11 and there is no disabling it. Activate it by pressing on the sleep/wake button five times in rapid succession to bring up the swipe interface. If you want the feature to call emergency services automatically without the need for an extra gesture, here's how to toggle it on:

  1. Open the Settings app.

  2. Scroll down to "Emergency SOS."

  3. Toggle on "Auto Call."

  4. To turn it off, simply toggle off Auto Call.

With Auto Call enabled, your phone will dial "911" (or your country's emergency line) after a three second countdown that gives you enough time to cancel the call if it's placed accidentally.

SOS on the Apple Watch

There's also an SOS feature on the Apple Watch, which was first introduced in watchOS 3. On the Apple Watch, an emergency call can be placed when you press and hold down on the side button for several seconds in a row. When you set up your Apple Watch, Apple prompts you to turn it on, but if you didn't, you can still choose to do so later.

On the Apple Watch, it's a lot easier to accidentally make an emergency call if something presses against the side button, so many people may not want this feature on. Here's how to turn it on:

  1. Open the Apple Watch app on the iPhone.

  2. Scroll down to General and tap it.

  3. Look for Emergency SOS. It's the sixth option.

  4. Tap to the Emergency SOS interface.

  5. Toggle on "Hold to Auto Call."

  6. To turn it off again, toggle off Hold to Auto Call.

Setting Emergency Contacts

As mentioned above, whenever you use the SOS feature, Apple will automatically notify your emergency contacts if you have them set. Emergency contacts can be set up in the Health app:

  1. Open the Health app.

  2. Choose Medical ID.

  3. Select "Edit" in the top right corner.

  4. Scroll down to the Emergency Contacts section.

  5. Tap the "+" button to add an emergency contact.

You can add multiple emergency contacts, each of which will receive a text message with your location if you ever use the Emergency SOS feature.
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T-Mobile Subscribers Can Now Use 50GB of Data Before Facing De-Prioritization

T-Mobile today announced that its prioritization point is being increased from 32GB to 50GB, allowing customers to use more data before facing slower speeds during periods of high network congestion.

As the company explains, it uses a prioritization system to manage network traffic and prevent a small subset of its most active users from affecting other users. After a customer has used 50GB of data during a month, their data is de-prioritized when connected to a cellular tower that's experiencing congestion. In these situations, a customer who uses a lot of data will experience slower speeds than customers who have not hit that 50GB cap.

Even when the 50GB cap is reached, no de-prioritization takes place if the network is not congested.

All of the major carriers have a similar system in place for their unlimited data plans. Both AT&T and Verizon de-prioritize customers after 22GB of data usage, while Sprint does so after 23GB of data usage. At 50GB, T-Mobile offers more than twice the data before any network de-prioritization takes place.

According to T-Mobile, 50GB of data usage represents the top 1 percent of data users.
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Belkin Debuts 3.5mm Audio + Charge RockStar for Charging an iPhone While Listening to Music

Belkin today announced the launch of its new 3.5mm Audio + Charge RockStar adapter, which joins its existing Lightning Audio + Charge RockStar adapter to allow users to charge their devices and listen to music at the same time.

The Audio + Charge RockStar is designed for iPhones that lack a 3.5mm headphone jack, which includes the iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and upcoming iPhone X.

A Lightning connector on the adapter plugs into the Lighting port of an iPhone, providing both a 3.5mm headphone jack for use with standard headphones and a Lightning port where you can plug in a Lightning cable to charge at the same time that you listen.

Belkin has built 12W pass-through charging into the Audio + Charge RockStar, so your iPhone will be able to charge at maximum speed. It supports any audio jack that uses a 3.5mm connector and is compatible with most cases.

Belkin's 3.5mm Audio + Charge RockStar adapter can be purchased from the Apple Store for $34.95 or directly from Belkin for $34.99.
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Apple Watch Series 3 LTE Doesn’t Work With Prepaid Wireless Plans

Customers who want to purchase an LTE Apple Watch Series 3 model will need a postpaid plan to enable LTE connectivity, meaning it won't be available to those who use prepaid cellular plans. Prepaid plans are often more affordable, but don't support the number sharing features the Apple Watch Series 3 requires.

On AT&T's website, for example, the company says Apple Watch Series 3 connectivity requires the NumberSync feature. NumberSync, which allows one phone number to be used for multiple devices, requires a postpaid wireless account.

Apple Watch Series 3 models on Verizon use the NumberShare feature to allow Apple Watch users to accept calls on either device. NumberShare requires a "standard monthly plan" to work. On T-Mobile, the Apple Watch uses the DIGITS number sharing feature, not available to prepaid customers.

Sprint's website only lists an "active handset" as a requirement, but Fortune this week received word that all four carriers will require a standard monthly plan, including Sprint. Regular monthly plans will be needed for all customers who want an LTE Apple Watch.

Because the Apple Watch Series 3 does not get its own phone number, there's a second requirement on all carriers -- a cellular plan that already includes an iPhone 6 or later.

Sprint, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon all plan to charge customers $10 per month to add an LTE Apple Watch to their accounts. Three of the four, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon will be waiving their activation fees, and all are offering three free months of connectivity either up front or through service credits.

The LTE Apple Watch became available for pre-order last night, and the first orders will begin arriving to customers on Friday, September 22, the official launch date for the device. Pricing on the LTE Apple Watch Series 3 starts at $399.
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