Apple Investigating Issue With AirPods Randomly Disconnecting During Calls

Apple is investigating multiple reports from iPhone owners of AirPods randomly disconnecting and reconnecting during calls, MacRumors has learned.

A long thread on Apple’s Support Communities website has been generated by AirPods users who are regularly experiencing Bluetooth connection dropouts during phone calls, despite the fact that the wireless earphones almost never lose their connection when used to listen to music or anything else.

At present, the issue appears to be limited to iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus devices, with several users reporting no such problems after upgrading to an iPhone 7. MacRumors was also unable to replicate the problem on Apple’s latest handset.

Initial reports suggested the dropout issue only occurs if users also have an Apple Watch paired to their iPhone, but MacRumors was able to replicate the problem with a Fitbit Blaze, suggesting a more general conflict when other Bluetooth devices are also connected.

Unpairing and then repairing the AirPods does not appear to solve the problem, neither does rebooting nor resetting the iPhone. Until Apple offers a solution, users are advised to use only one AirPod for conducting calls, as the dropouts only seem to occur when both earpieces are in use.

By Tim Hardwick -MacRumors

Apple and Foxconn weighing $7 billion display plant in U.S., report says

Apple’s main manufacturing partner, Foxconn, is considering the possibility of a $7 billion joint investment in an automated display production facility in the U.S., the latter company’s chairman said on Sunday.


“Apple is willing to invest in the facility together because they need the [panels] as well,” Terry Gou told the press following a year-end party in Taiwan, according to Nikkei. The proposed facility, first rumored earlier this month, would allegedly create between 30,000 and 50,000 jobs.

Although U.S. electronics manufacturing is typically more expensive — due to currency values, and higher labor and operational costs — Gou claimed that growing demand for bigger display panels makes U.S. production a better option than importing parts from China.

Foxconn is also said to be planning a new molding plant in the U.S., with Pennsylvania being a possible target in the wake of investment talks with the state. In fact, a representative from Pennsylvania’s trade office is said to have attended Sunday’s party.
The decision to increase U.S. manufacturing is potentially a response to President Donald Trump, who campaigned on a promise of growing domestic jobs, and has threatened to renegotiate NAFTA as well as make it expensive to import Chinese goods. Gou noted that a Canadian interactive display company, Smart Technologies, could be relocated to the U.S. because of Trump’s NAFTA plans.

He urged the U.S. government to offer concessions on land and electricity to encourage manufacturing, warning that products could otherwise become unaffordably expensive.

“In the future they [shoppers] may be paying some $500 more for products, but those do not necessarily work better than a $300 phone,” he said.

Trump has claimed that Apple CEO Tim Cook could bring iPhone manufacturing to the U.S., perhaps lured by the promised of a “very large tax cut” for relocating jobs. In November Nikkei said that Apple had asked Foxconn to consider the possibility.
Gou commented however that Foxconn will continue expanding in China. One such effort is believed to be an Apple prototype facility located in Shenzhen.

By Roger Fingas – AppleInsider

Prank crashes iPhones with rainbow emoji messages

Jokers are exploiting a bug in iOS and are sending messages stuffed with 🌈 emojis which cause recipients’ iPhones or iPads to freeze

Boobytrapped emoji messages filled with white flags and rainbows are causing Apple iPhones and iPads to crash. Photograph: Alvy / Microsiervos/Flickr


A bug in iOS is being exploited in a prank aimed at crashing iPhones and iPads using the power of simple text, flag and rainbow emojis.

The bug has two variants. One text string includes a waving white flag emoji, a zero, a rainbow and a hidden character called a variation selector, which can be copied into an iMessage conversation and sent to anyone. The other is the same string of characters, but embedded within a contacts file, which can be shared via iCloud Drive to an iMessage contact.

Both will crash and iPhone or iPad to varying degrees, although the text string sent via a standard iMessage only appears to affect iPhones and iPads with iOS 10.1 or below. The boobytrapped contact card affects all versions of iOS 10, including the latest iOS 10.2, the Guardian can confirm.

The bug was originally reported by YouTuber EverythingApplePro, which has a history of reporting on iPhone crash pranks.

Watch here to see how it’s done
French iOS developer Vincent Desmurs, who claims to have discovered the bug, suggested that the issue is caused by Apple’s handling of the variation selector and the emojis beside it. He said: “What variation selector 16 (VS16) does in this case essentially is tell the device to combine the two surrounding characters into one emoji, yielding the rainbow flag.

“The text you’re copying is actually a waving white flag, VS16, zero, rainbow emoji. What I’m assuming is happening is that the phone tries to combine the waving white flag and the zero into an emoji, but this obviously can’t be done.”

Users sent either the emojis via iMessage or the contact card see their iPhone or iPad crash after a short period of time, either resulting in a full lock up requiring a reboot, or a partial lockup that triggers a quick reboot. The irony of the prank this time is that by using the contact card it is quite difficult to avoid crashing the sender’s smartphone or even Mac computer, if sent through the desktop Messages app.

Users will need to delete their iMessage conversation with whichever prankster sent them the booby-trapped emoji to avoid repeated crashes on opening the messages. Some users have reported having their iPhones repeatedly lock up without being able to delete the conversation. Some have reported being sent a new message, or creating one with Siri before opening Messages to clear the block.

Apple’s iOS has a history of abnormal strings of text or videos causing crashes, which are then used to prank iPhone and iPad users, crashing their devices and in some cases preventing them from re-opening certain apps without clearing the prank messages.

Apple declined to comment.

By Samuel Gibbs – The Guardian

The iPhone 7s might also get the iPhone 8’s biggest new feature

By Amy Huerta
about 13 hours ago


Apple is widely expected to adopt OLED displays for the iPhone, a first for its flagship product. Multiple reports said so far that only one of Apple’s three anticipated new iPhones for 2017 will have an OLED screen, the iPhone 8. The iPhone 7s and iPhone 7s Plus, the logical successors of the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, should still use LCD screens, the same reports said.

However, there’s a chance that some iPhone 7s versions will also have OLED screens.

The new development comes from a research note from Cowen and Company seen by Apple Insider.

Analyst Timothy Arcuri said that Apple’s iPhone 8 will feature a 5.8-inch OLED screen with a wraparound screen unlike anything else seen on a phone so far. The iPhone 7s will retain the expected 4.7-inch screen, and the iPhone 7s Plus will have a 5.5-inch display.

Arcuri says that Apple may yet choose to use OLED displays in the iPhone 7s models. Two factors may influence this decision, including Samsung’s capacity to deliver the enough OLED screens that match Apple’s requirements, and consumption of Apple’s existing LCD inventory.

Recent reports said that Samsung will be the only OLED display manufacturer for the iPhone, but even the South Korean giant can’t possibly meet Apple’s demand. That’s why only the iPhone 8 will get the new OLED screens.

Furthermore, reports claimed that other smartphone makers have been taking notice of iPhone 8 OLED rumors and are looking to secure OLED supply for their own handsets.

Apple’s switch to OLED for the iPhone should significantly improve the overall screen performance. Samsung’s Galaxy S7 and Galaxy Note 7 have been widely praised for their OLED screens, which offer superior features to the iPhone’s LCD screen.

Credit: Clotheshorse

Apple Might Offer iPhone 6 Users Replacement Due To Faulty Battery

There are rumours swirling about that tech giant Apple might be planning to offer replacements to iPhone 6 users.
Lots of people have complained that their battery died at only 30 per cent and I think we all know that misery.
The Five Worst Times Your Battery Can Die

1. When you’re lost, it’s dark and late and using Google Maps to find your way. It’s not that you’re scared or anything but WHAT THE FUCK WAS THAT NOISE?!

2. When it’s 3am and you’ve locked yourself out of your flat. It’s so cold outside, sniff.

3. When you’re about to swipe right on your perfect woman on Tinder. Shit, you’ll never find her again! You were sure to be a match.
4. Following the live updates of a match on the train – someone was about to score! You’ll have to wait until you get home to find out who won.

5. When you lose your friends at a music festival. Oh well, you’ll just have to make new friends.
Apple admitted last year there was a problem with the 6s, and set up a programme to replace iPhone 6s with battery problems. The issue was only in China, however, and Apple said it was only a few phones.

Apple said: “We found that a small number of iPhone 6s devices made in September and October 2015 contained a battery component that was exposed to controlled ambient air longer than it should have been before being assembled into battery packs.

“As a result, these batteries degrade faster than a normal battery and cause unexpected shutdowns to occur.”

I think we can all agree that all Apple iPhone batteries “degrade faster” than they should do.

In 2014, there was a similar problem with the iPhone 5 and Apple set up a scheme to replace faulty phones. It seems that it’s only the iPhone 6 that doesn’t have its own programme to replace phones – but now that people are reporting battery issues, that might be set to change.


The rumours are allegedly coming from within Apple itself – so we’ll have to wait to see if they officially say anything.
Words by Laura Hamilton

Featured Image Credit: PA Images

Redhead Emoji Update

Redheads are on the agenda at the next Unicode Technical Committee meeting, hosted by Apple next week.
A new proposal (PDF)1 from the Emoji Subcommittee seeks to clarify which approach Unicode would prefer to take when it comes to implementing a redhead emoji.

The lack of a redhead emoji has been the most frequent complaint from Emojipedia users in the past three months2, and this document aims to move the discussion forward on how this can be addressed.

Above: A redhead emoji would be simple to implement, but would it be enough? Image: Apple/Emojipedia composite.


Possibilities available to Unicode range from a new “person with red hair” emoji (which would likely come as a man and a woman); right through to custom hair “tags” which could be applied to any existing emoji, such as the runner, dancer, or facepalm.

Above: One option being assessed involves a new skin tone, which would have pale skin and red hair. Image: Emojipedia mockup.


With a slim 1-2% of the population having red hair, it’s yet to be determined if this would justify every emoji having a redhead version made available.

Also undetermined is whether an implementation which limits redheads to a single redheaded man or woman emoji would satiate demand.

Above: A hair color tag option would permit red hair on any emoji and skin tone combination. Image: Apple/Emojipedia composite.


It should be noted that no formal decision has been made on whether a redhead emoji should or would be approved at all.

The outcome of this discussion may shed more light on if this will happen, and if so, how extensive the redhead support will be.
With Unicode 10.0 just months away from release, the redhead emoji would likely appear in 2018 at the earliest.

Credit: Jeremy Burge – Emojipedia
https://twitter.com/jeremyburge

Apple App Store prices rise in UK, India and Turkey

Apple is to put up the price it charges for apps in the UK, India and Turkey.UK costs will numerically match those of the US, meaning that a program that costs $0.99 will now be 99p.

That represents a 25% rise over the previous currency conversion, which was 79p.

“Price tiers on the App Store are set internationally on the basis of several factors, including currency exchange rates, business practices, taxes, and the cost of doing business,” it said.

“These factors vary from region to region and over time.”

The rise will also affect in-app purchases but not subscription charges.

A spokeswoman for Google was unable to comment about whether it had plans to alter prices on its Play store for Android apps.

Publishers’ choice

Apple had already adjusted the UK prices of its iPhones and iPads in September and then its Mac computers in October by a similar degree.

Other tech firms to have announced price rises in the country in the months following the Brexit vote – which has been linked to a fall in sterling’s value – include Microsoft, Dell, Tesla and HP.

To mitigate the impact of the latest increase, Apple is introducing new lower-price tiers.

Publishers will be able to charge users 49p or 79p for purchases but will have to re-price their products to do so.

“I don’t think many publishers will respond to that change,” commented Ben Dodson, an app consultant and developer of Music Tracker among other software.

“It’s just throwing money away and there’s no reason to give people in the UK a discount.

“I won’t be discounting my own apps.”

At present, $1 trades for 82p.

India is facing the biggest rise in app prices on Apple’s store [credit: Apple]


“It was certainly inevitable that Apple would change the price point for apps in the App Store to reflect currency changes,” commented Ian Fogg from the IHS Technology consultancy.

“But this is a normal part of the way the store works because it does not have dynamically changing prices that would change gradually.”

The cost of a $0.99 app will become 80 rupees in India, representing a 33% rise from the previous price of 60 rupees.

In Turkey it will change from 2.69 to 3.49 lira, which is a gain of 30%.

The news site 9to5Mac was first to report the development.

It said the change would occur over the next seven days.

Apple has also altered the cost of apps in Romania and Russia to take account of local changes to VAT made at the start of the year.

Published by: BBC News