Apple released its fourth betas for both iOS 10.3 and watchOS 3.2 to registered developers today. iOS 10.3 for iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch contains the Find My AirPods feature, among other changes, while watchOS 3.2 features the upcoming Theater Mode for Apple Watch. A new public beta for iOS 10.3 should be released in the near future.
Third-party screen replacements no long void an iPhone warranty according to an internal memo recently issued by Apple, MacRumors reports. Until now iPhones with a non-original display weren’t eligible for any warranty repairs. Neither Apple’s standard one-year warrant nor AppleCare+ will cover issues with third-party displays or batteries, but now Apple Stores and Apple Authorized Service Providers have been instructed to offer replacements or repairs for in-warranty problems, as long as they’re not specifically issues with the new display itself. There are also a few catches — if the third-party display causes the technician to somehow break the iPhone or otherwise causes the repair process to fail, customers will be required to pay the out-of-warranty cost to replace the broken display, or even the cost of the entire device, if the damage is bad enough.
In today’s iLounge Deal, we’re offering a Lifetime Subscription to OneVPN for only $49.99 — that’s 89% off the regular price. OneVPN will provide you with an ad-free and completely secure Internet experience, while maintaining high speeds and offering a variety of other services, including exit points in 21 different countries for accessing streaming content across geographical boundaries.
For those who aren’t quite comfortable living entirely on the web, Apple’s macOS Mail is actually a pretty capable e-mail app, providing a nice, clean user interface and all of the features that most users would need. However, like most Apple apps, power users will probably find Apple Mail to be a bit light on more advanced features, which is where third-party developers come in with to fill the gaps with plugins to extend Mail’s functionality while preserving it’s straightforward design. SmallCubed’s Mail Act-On ($30) is at the top of our list of indispensable plugins that add significant power to the Apple Mail experience — allowing you to file messages into folders using only the keyboard, set up sophisticated “macros” using standard Apple Mail rules that can be triggered using keyboard shortcuts, and even creating rules that can be applied to outgoing messages. As if all of that wasn’t enough, Mail Act-On also bakes in the ability to create templates for quickly sending canned replies.
iDevices has released a major update to iDevices Connected, the company’s app for controlling HomeKit-based devices, including its own Switch, Socket, and Thermostat devices. Version 3.0 of iDevices Connected adds support for HomeKit location triggers, as well as “characteristic” triggers that can initiate HomeKit scenes when another HomeKit device is controlled, such as activating an “arriving home” scene when unlocking a HomeKit-enabled door lock. The new version also adds new services and characteristics to expand Scene capabilities, and brings a number of enhancements to scheduling, including a visual timeline the presents schedules in a calendar-like view, the ability to save and re-apply schedules across multiple scenes, and an initial setup assistant to create a baseline schedule for iDevices’ connected thermostat. The app also allows individual iDevices products to be scheduled without having to create single-device scenes, and makes some nice improvements to energy reporting. Firmware updates for iDevices’ accessories are also included as part of this update, improving responsiveness and addressing several minor stability bugs pertaining to certain Wi-Fi configurations.
In a statement provided to TechCrunch, Apple has indicated that improvements made in iOS 10.2.1 have addressed most of the problems with unexpected shutdowns that some iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s users were experiencing. Apple notes that approximately 50 percent of iOS devices are already using iOS 10.2.1 and that Apple has been receiving diagnostic data from users on that version revealing a reduction of over 80 percent on iPhone 6s devices, and over 70 percent on iPhone 6 devices. Apple notes that in the unlikely event users are still experiencing unexpected shutdowns, with iOS 10.2.1 the iPhone can now restart without needing to be connected to power. In its statement, Apple emphasizes that these shutdowns are not a safety issue, however the company naturally wants to mitigate the inconvenience of the issue for its users. iPhone 7 models are not affected by the issue.
In Friday’s iLounge Deal we’re offering a lifetime license for Disk Drill PRO 3 for Mac for only $34.99 — that’s 70% off the regular price. Disk Drill Pro makes it easy to recover documents, music, photos, videos, or even whole partitions that have gone missing from your computer, and with only a single push of a button, Disk Drill can ferret out and recover over 200 types of files on your computer. You can even recover deleted files from iPhone and Android devices, and add additional tools for cleanup, duplicate finding, disk health, data protection, and more, absolutely free. Best of all, this lifetime license means that all future updates and major upgrades are included at no extra charge.
Mobiata has announced that it is shutting down its popular FlightTrack 5 and FlightBoard apps, effective Mar. 1, 2017. Although the company admits that it hasn’t provided many updates to the two apps in recent months, FlightTrack was one of the first and best flight tracking apps on the App Store, and quickly became a mainstay for iPhone travellers. Mobiata was acquired by Expedia in 2010, and although it continued to run largely as an independent unit in developing its FlightTrack and FlightBoard apps over the past six years, a recent “critical assessment” by the larger parent company regarding the demand for travel app products suggests that a decision was made to focus Mobiata’s resources on implementing the technology in FlightTrack and FlightBoard into the main Expedia app in order to provide a “one-stop shopping” travel app solution.
Harman has announced the first successful commercial implementation of Apple CarPlay over a wireless connection, allowing vehicles using Harman’s infotainment systems to use Bluetooth and Wi-Fi to connect to an iPhone for CarPlay rather than requiring a wired USB/Lightning connection. Harman’s press release notes that the solution is currently “being deployed in the market on HARMAN infotainment systems for a luxury German automaker,” and although it does not mention a specific automaker by name, it likely that it’s referring to BMW as this is the only automaker that is including wireless CarPlay support on current model vehicles. Although Harman has not disclosed plans to roll out wireless CarPlay to other automakers, it gave a statement to MacRumors noting its business relationships as a tier 1 supplier of infotainment systems to other automakers including Audi, Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz, Chrysler, Dodge, and Jeep, suggesting that it could expand wireless CarPlay to other car makers in the future.
Henge Docks’ Horizontal Docking Station ($499) remains one of the coolest and most powerful docking stations we’ve seen for the MacBook Pro. While it doesn’t come cheap, you’re getting what you pay for here, providing your MacBook Pro with Retina Display with a solid and attractive “home base” on your desk and a ton of extra ports to go with it. If you regularly hook up your MacBook to an external monitor in your home or office and have a lot of external accessories, it’s a much more elegant solution than juggling cables and smaller hubs — you just drop your MacBook Pro into the Horizontal Dock’s base and all of the necessary connections automatically extend from the sides into the appropriate ports on your MacBook. When you’re ready to hit the road, a press of the button or click of a menu bar app will automatically eject all of your mounted external drives from within macOS and then retract the connectors to disconnect from the dock. It’s so slick and effortless that it borders on magical.