At the end of 2017, Apple acknowledged that it throttled older iPhones to prolong the life of the device. iOS 11.3 rolled out in early 2018 and added a “Battery health” section to the iPhone’s Settings menu. The feature allowed users to monitor the life of their handset’s battery.
Now, a report by former How-To Geek writer, Craig Lloyd, now at iFixit, claims that Apple is blocking users from viewing the Battery health section if the phone’s battery was replaced by anyone other than an Apple Genius or an Apple Authorized Service Provider. Instead, users are seeing an “Important battery message” claiming the iPhone cannot verify the authenticity of the battery.
One thing to note is that this isn’t just a problem with installing third-party batteries. According to The Art of Repair, Apple’s batteries include a Texas Instruments microcontroller which reports battery capacity, temperature, and more. In newer iPhones, this chip also stores and reports a unique authentication key that’s paired to the device’s logic board. Even if an authentic Apple battery is used as a replacement, if the key isn’t the one the board is expecting, the phone will display the error message. [iFixit]
In Other News:
- Microsoft Uses Human Review to Improve Cortana and Skype’s Translation Feature: Amazon, Apple, and Google have received public backlash after customers found out that each company uses employees to review voice recordings. Microsoft is now in the limelight as a contractor has come forward with voice recordings that were meant to be used to improve Skype’s translation feature and possibly Cortana. Microsoft acknowledged the practice and stressed that it focuses on protecting user privacy. [Motherboard]
- Nintendo Might Be Preparing a High-End Switch Console: In July, Nintendo unveiled a dock-less version of its hit videogame console called the Switch Lite. Now, a report claims that the Japanese company isn’t done. If the rumor is to be believed, Nintendo plans to use Sharp’s IGZO display panels in a premium version of the Switch that would include a higher-resolution screen and better specs. [WSJ]
- Samsung Galaxy Note 10 and Note 10 Plus Announced: Samsung officially unveiled the 6.3-inch Galaxy Note 10 and 6.8-inch Note 10 Plus. In addition to the previously-leaked premium specs, the handsets include an updated S Pen that adds gesture controls, new AR features built into the camera, and more. The Galaxy Note 10 and Note 10 Plus are both available for pre-order starting at $949 and $1,049 respectively. [Samsung]
Scientists in New Zealand have discovered the fossils of what is now the largest-known parrot. Named Heracles inexpectatus, it’s believed that the bird weighed roughly 15 pounds (7 kilograms) and stood up to 3 feet (1 meter) tall. If accurate, the extinct animal would be about double the size of New Zealand’s biggest giant parrot, the kakapo.
The fossils were dug up in 2008 but were stored to be examined at a later date because the scientists believed the bones belonged to an ancient eagle. Over a decade later, graduate student Ellen Mather from Flinders University rediscovered the fossils during a research project led by paleontologist Trevor Worthy. [Science Alert]