Apple Begins Selling Refurbished iPhone X Models Starting at $769

Apple today began selling refurbished iPhone X models for the first time since the device was released in November 2017. Stock will likely deplete quickly, so we recommend using Refurb Tracker to monitor inventory.


Unlocked models in Space Gray and Silver are available with 64GB and 256GB of storage for $769 and $899 respectively in the United States, down from Apple's original pricing of $999 and $1,149 respectively for the equivalent brand new models. Orders placed today are estimated to arrive later this week.

Apple is also offering refurbished, unlocked iPhone X models in the United Kingdom, with prices starting at £769.

Apple says all refurbished iPhone models are thoroughly inspected, tested, cleaned, and repackaged with a new white box and all manuals and accessories. Apple also installs a new battery and replaces the outer shell, making it nearly impossible to distinguish between a refurbished and brand new iPhone.

Any refurbished iPhone model comes with Apple's standard one-year warranty effective on the date the device is delivered. The warranty can be extended to up to two years from the original purchase date with AppleCare+ for iPhone X, at a cost of $199 in the United States and £199 in the United Kingdom.

Note that the original prices that Apple lists for the iPhone X are based on the current price of the device at select resellers.

Apple began selling refurbished iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus models in November.


This article, "Apple Begins Selling Refurbished iPhone X Models Starting at $769" first appeared on MacRumors.com

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CES 2019: Mophie Launching iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR Juice Pack Battery Cases in Early 2019

Mophie, a popular Apple-certified accessory maker, has today announced that all-new Juice Pack Access battery cases for the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR will be available in the first quarter of 2019.


The juice packs extend the battery life of the iPhone XS by up to 25 hours, and the iPhone XS Max and iPhone XR by up to 31 hours, according to Mophie. The cases can be charged with an included USB-C cable or wirelessly on any Qi-certified mat. With pass-through charging, the iPhone charges first, then the case.

The cases have battery capacities of 2,000 mAh for the iPhone XS, 2,200 mAh for the iPhone XS Max, and 2,000 mAh for the iPhone XR. Four LEDs on the back of each case indicate the charged level of the battery pack.

Each case features an impact-resistant polycarbonate exterior with a soft-touch finish, while raised corners provide added protection against scratching and cracking the display. The open-bottom design provides full access to the Lightning connector on each iPhone for normal use of headphones and other accessories.

Mophie says built-in protection circuitry prevents overcharging and overheating, and each juice pack is very likely certified by Apple under its Made for iPhone program, but we're reaching out to the company for confirmation.

The new Juice Pack Access cases for the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR will each retail for $119.95 in the United States on Mophie's website, where customers can sign up to be notified when orders begin. The cases will be available in a variety of colors, including black, gold, navy, and red.

Mophie is showcasing the new Juice Pack Access lineup at CES 2019 in Las Vegas. The iPhone XS version is also compatible with the iPhone X.

Related Roundups: iPhone XS, iPhone XR

This article, "CES 2019: Mophie Launching iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR Juice Pack Battery Cases in Early 2019" first appeared on MacRumors.com

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3D Printed Head Fools Android Face Recognition, iPhone X ‘Impenetrable’

Forbes recently challenged a variety of smartphone face-recognition systems with a 3d printed head modeled after the author's head.
The head was printed at Backface in Birmingham, U.K., where I was ushered into a dome-like studio containing 50 cameras. Together, they combine to take a single shot that makes up a full 3D image.

The final model took a few days to generate at the cost of just over £300. With it, the author tested it out against four Android smartphones and the iPhone X. All Android phones tested were able to be unlocked with the fake 3d printed head.
If you're an Android customer, though, look away from your screen now. We tested four of the hottest handsets running Google's operating systems and Apple's iPhone to see how easy it'd be to break into them. We did it with a 3D-printed head. All of the Androids opened with the fake. Apple's phone, however, was impenetrable.
The Android phones tested included the LG G7 ThinQ, Samsung S9, Samsung Note 8 and OnePlus 6.

It's been long known that many implementations of facial recognition amongst Android phones have been less secure than Apple's Face ID system. Some of those face recognition systems have been fooled with simple photographs. Apple's Face ID, however, also includes IR depth mapping and attention awareness technology. The attention awareness alone may be enough to explain the inability for a static 3d printed head to unlock the iPhone X. That said, the iPhone X's Face ID has been fooled in the past with more sophisticated printed 3d heads.


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Apple Potentially Working on Smart Battery Case for Latest iPhones

It's been three years since Apple first debuted the $99 Smart Battery Case for iPhone 6, 6s, and eventually 7, which included a rear-facing protrusion that held a 1,877 mAh battery. Apple may be working on a similar accessory for newer iPhone models, according to a discovery made by 9to5Mac in the second beta of watchOS 5.1.2.


In previous versions of watchOS, Apple Watch had an icon that displayed a battery case with a bottom chin and horizontal camera, indicating this as the Smart Battery Case for iPhone 6, 6s, and 7. In the latest beta of watchOS 5.1.2, things have been changed and this icon now displays a battery case with no bottom chin and a vertical camera.

Image via 9to5Mac

While far from a confirmation, this suggests that Apple could be working on a Smart Battery Case for the latest set of iPhones with vertically aligned cameras, which would include iPhone X, iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR. For previous generations, Apple never made Smart Battery cases for "Plus" iPhones, presumably because a major selling point for those devices was increased battery life sans battery case.

Unless Apple changes tune, this means we'd likely see a Smart Battery Case for iPhone X/XS. Still, the launch window for such an accessory -- if there even is one -- remains unclear.

Related Roundup: iPhone XS
Buyer's Guide: iPhone XS (Buy Now)

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Apple Launches iPhone X Display Module Replacement Program to Address Touch Issues

Apple today announced a new display replacement program for the iPhone X, which will see the company replacing iPhone X displays that exhibit touch issues.

According to Apple, some iPhone X displays can experience issues due to a display module component that can fail. Affected devices will feature a display or part of a display that does not respond or responds intermittently to touch or a display that reacts without being touched.


Apple says that customers experiencing this issue can get a free display replacement module from an Apple retail store or Apple Authorized Service Provider.

There is no serial number check nor specific time period that outlines when affected devices were sold, so presumably this component failure can affect any iPhone X device.

iPhone X users with a display that has these symptoms should visit a retail store location, find an Apple Authorized Service Provider, or contact Apple Support to arrange mail-in service.

Apple recommends customers back up their iPhones to iTunes or iCloud before sending it in for repair, and the company warns that other damage, such as a cracked screen, may need to be addressed before the display repair can be completed.

This Apple program does not extend the standard warranty coverage of the iPhone X, and repairs may be restricted or limited to the original country of purchase. The program covers affected iPhone X devices for three years after the first retail sale of the unit.

Apple says that if customers affected by this issue already paid for a repair, they can contact Apple for a refund.
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How to Get Siri to Play a Daily News Digest

If you own an Alexa smart device, you'll likely have used the "What's new?" or "What's happening?" voice command to hear your daily news briefing, which can be customized to include your own interests.


Siri has a similar feature that uses the Podcasts app to bring you a daily news digest, which you can also customize to an extent. It can be invoked on HomePod, Apple Watch, and any iPhone or iPad running iOS 11.2.5 or later.

There are a couple of things to note before using Siri's news brief feature. The last time we checked, it was limited to users based in the U.S., the U.K., and Australia, and it isn't available on Siri for Mac, regardless of where you're based. With those caveats in mind, here's how to get it working.

  1. To get a news briefing on your Apple device, say "Hey Siri, tell me the news." Alternatively, on an iOS device, hold down the Home button or Side button and say "Tell me the news" or "Play the news."

  2. On iPhone and iPad, tap Open Podcasts to launch the Podcasts app and see which news show is currently playing or to pause the episode. You can also control audio playback from the Control Center.

  3. To change Siri's default news source, you can say "Switch to Sky News" or "Switch to Washington News," for example.

  4. To hear a one-off news brief from a different source, you can say "Play news from NPR" or "Play news from Fox News," for example.

  5. To hear a news brief for a specific topic, you can say "Play business news" or "Play sports news," for example.

  6. To hear a topical news brief from a specific source, you can say "Play business news from Bloomberg" or "Play sports news from the BBC," for example.
As you might have guessed, news sources can differ depending on your region. If you're in the U.S. for example, Siri will happily play news from a range of media outlets including ESPN, NPR, Fox News, CNN, Washington Post, CNBC, and Bloomberg. As with most Siri features, improvements and additions are likely ongoing, so it's worth requesting your preferred news source just to see if it can find the relevant daily digest for you.

Tag: Siri

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Review: BodyGuardz Pure 2 EyeGuard Provides Great Drop Protection, Blue Light Filtering as Added Bonus

With the new Pure 2 EyeGuard Blue Light Glass Screen Protector, accessory company BodyGuardz is selling a screen protector that promises extreme impact shock absorption, along with the added bonus of blue light filtering for your eyes.

For those unaware, many people face overexposure to blue light from displays used in their jobs, which has been shown to result in the damage of light-sensitive cells in the eye's retina and other potentially harmful effects. In a day-to-day sense, this means that computer-heavy work can cause eye strain, fatigue, headaches, dry eyes, blurry vision, and more.


While blue light isn't only found in modern displays, new technologies and companies are emerging to combat eye strain that results from ongoing exposure to blue light from digital screens, including BodyGuardz's Pure 2 EyeGuard Screen Protector.

The BodyGuardz accessory promises to filter out up to 43 percent of blue light in an effort to protect your eyes from digital eye strain, while simultaneously safeguarding an iPhone from dangerous drops. The Pure 2 EyeGuard is sized to fit iPhone X and iPhone XS, with an edge-to-edge design that's also compatible with iPhone cases.

Installation Process


Installing a screen protector can be a daunting process, but BodyGuardz includes a few helpful accessories that make the Pure 2 EyeGuard a bit less of a hassle to place on an iPhone. There is a plastic guide to ensure the screen protector goes on straight, dust removal stickers, a clean wipe, dust wipe, and the screen protector itself.


To start, I placed the plastic guide around the edges of my iPhone X. This acts as a sort of border for your installation process, and definitely makes getting the perfect angle on your iPhone much easier. Next I wiped my iPhone's screen with the included wet wipe, then finished off with the soft dust wipe cloth.

My iPhone immediately after installing the Pure 2 EyeGuard (left) vs after cleaning it up with dust removal stickers and waiting for bubbles to disappear (right)

I continued by peeling off the screen protector from the plastic sheet it came on, and carefully placing it on top of my iPhone. As it fell into the plastic tray, the edges of the protector lined up easily with the small black bezels of my iPhone X and the top notch. BodyGuardz then guides you to press firmly from the middle of the protector and smooth it outwards.


The company warns that whatever bubbles you see will disappear within 24 to 48 hours, and over the course of my testing I did see fewer bubbles. When I initially installed, however, I just pressed firmly with my thumb to smooth the screen protector out and managed to have no large or unsightly bubbles on the display.
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iOS 12.1 Extends Battery-Related Performance Management Feature to iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X

Apple on Tuesday released iOS 12.1 following six weeks of beta testing. As mentioned in the release notes, the software update extends Apple's performance management feature to the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X.


From the release notes:
Adds a performance management feature to prevent the device from unexpectedly shutting down, including the option to disable this feature if an unexpected shutdown occurs, for iPhone X, iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus.
Apple has reflected this change on its iPhone Battery and Performance website, noting that performance management "may be less noticeable" on those iPhone models due to their "more advanced hardware and software design."

The performance management system was first enabled in iOS 10.2.1, but it was limited to the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone SE, iPhone 7, and iPhone 7 Plus until yesterday's release of iOS 12.1.

Last December, Apple did mention that the design of the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X allows for a "different" performance management system that "more precisely" prevents unexpected shutdowns, but prior to iOS 12.1, no performance management feature of this kind had been enabled on the trio of iPhones:
iPhone 8 and later use a more advanced hardware and software design that provides a more accurate estimation of both power needs and the battery's power capability to maximize overall system performance. This allows a different performance management system that more precisely allows iOS to anticipate and avoid an unexpected shutdown. As a result, the impacts of performance management may be less noticeable on iPhone 8 and later. Over time, the rechargeable batteries in all iPhone models will diminish in their capacity and peak performance and will eventually need to be replaced.

Why is Apple slowing down some iPhone models if necessary?


From our January 2018 article What to Know About Apple Slowing Down iPhones to Prevent Unexpected Shutdowns:
iPhones, like many other consumer electronics, are powered by lithium-ion batteries, which have a limited lifespan. As the battery in your iPhone ages, its ability to hold a charge slowly diminishes.

A chemically aging battery can also have increased impedance, reducing its ability to provide a sudden burst of power when demanded by other components in an iPhone, such as the CPU and GPU. A battery's impedance will also temporarily increase when it has a low charge and/or in cold temperatures.

A battery with a high enough impedance may be unable to provide power quickly enough to the iPhone when needed, and Apple safeguards components against the drop in voltage by shutting down the device.

Apple recognized that iPhones unexpectedly shutting down on users is not a good experience, and starting with iOS 10.2.1, it quietly implemented a power management feature to prevent these shutdowns. The update was released in January 2017, and a month later, Apple said it saw a major reduction in shutdowns.
The performance management feature can be disabled if desired in the Settings app, under the Battery Health menu, also new to the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X in iOS 12.1. At this time, the feature does not appear to extend to the new iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, or iPhone XR.

Related Roundup: iPhone 8

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Apple Identifies Issue With GasBuddy App Causing Some iPhones to Become Unresponsive [Updated]

Apple has identified an "issue" with the GasBuddy app that may result in some iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone X, iPhone XS, and iPhone XS Max devices becoming "unresponsive," according to an internal announcement shared with Apple Stores today. The memo was obtained by MacRumors from a reliable source.


Apple says affected iPhones will have a black screen with an endlessly spinning wheel—aka a respring loop. In its memo, Apple says it is working with GasBuddy to "resolve" the issue, which started "sometime after October 18, 2018."

If a customer reports the issue at an Apple Store, Apple has instructed its Genius Bar employees to force restart the iPhone, and then ask the customer to uninstall the GasBuddy app. If the device is still unresponsive, Genius Bar employees are instructed to continue with the standard service process.

It's unclear why the GasBuddy app is crashing some iPhones. A spokesperson for GasBuddy said its team "has been and continues to investigate," and delayed further comment until the company has more insight about the matter. A spokesperson for Apple did not immediately respond to request for comment.

GasBuddy is a popular app for locating gas stations with the lowest-priced gas near you. The app, which claims to have 70 million users, relies on users submitting gas prices when they fill up to help alert others. GasBuddy also provides price hike alerts so that you can fill up before the increase.

According to GasBuddy's release notes, the app was updated on October 17 with support for iOS 12. The update also "fixed some crashes." On October 19, the app was again updated with bug fixes, including one that caused some location-based information to not appear, and another related to gas station details.

Update: A spokesperson for GasBuddy has issued the following statement to MacRumors, indicating that it is "rapidly preparing an update" that it believes "solves the underlying issue." In the meantime, GasBuddy will be temporarily removing its app from the App Store to limit exposure.
On Friday (October 19), Apple approved the latest version of the GasBuddy app. This was subsequent to our app going through Apple’s typical, thorough review process that, as you know, Apple requires before releasing any app into its store.

Over the weekend, we heard from a single user that encountered an issue that resembles the one you described.

We had not heard anything from Apple about GasBuddy causing unresponsive phones, or that a new app build would be required, until maybe 10 minutes before we received your inquiry.

We absolutely regret any association with a poor user experience. We are committed to doing our part to address this quickly and completely.

Thus, we are rapidly preparing an update we believe solves the underlying issue and are making our app temporarily unavailable for download to limit the number of potentially affected users.
GasBuddy has also tweeted about an incoming fix:
MacRumors will update this article if and when we receive any new information from Apple or GasBuddy.

Related Roundups: iPhone 8, iPhone XS
Buyer's Guide: iPhone XS (Buy Now)

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Police Told to Avoid Looking at iPhone Screens Locked With Face ID

Police in the United States are being advised not to look at iPhone screens secured with Face ID, because doing so could disable facial authentication and leave investigators needing a potentially harder-to-obtain passcode to gain access.

Face ID on iPhone X and iPhone XS attempts to authenticate a face up to five times before the feature is disabled and the user's passcode is required to unlock the smartphone.

Elcomsoft presentation slide talking about Face ID (image via Motherboard)

Given the way the security system works, Motherboard reports that forensics company Elcomsoft is advising law enforcement, "don't look at the sceen, or else... the same thing will occur as happened [at] Apple's event."

The note appears on a slide belonging to an Elcomsoft presentation on iOS forensics, and refers to Apple's 2017 presentation of Face ID, in which Apple VP Craig Federighi tried and failed to unlock an iPhone X with his own face, before the device asked for a passcode instead.

Apple later explained that the iPhone locked after several people backstage interacted with it ahead of Federighi, causing it to require a passcode to unlock.

The advice follows a recent report of the first known case of law enforcement forcing a suspect to unlock an iPhone using Face ID. The action subsequently helped police uncover evidence that was later used to charge the suspect with receiving and possessing child pornography.

In the United States, forcing someone to give up a password is interpreted as self-incrimination, which is protected by the Fifth Amendment, but courts have ruled that there's a difference between a biometric recognition system like Touch ID and a passcode that you type into your phone.

In some cases, police have gained access to digital data by forcing people to unlock mobile devices using their fingers. Indeed, before Face ID was in use, law enforcement was advised how it could avoid locking Touch ID fingerprint-based authentication on Apple's iPhones. "With Touch ID, you have to press the button (or at least touch it)," Vladimir Katalov, CEO of Elcomsoft, told Motherboard. "That's why we always recommend (on our trainings) to use the power button instead, e.g to see whether the phone is locked. But with Face ID, it is easier to use 'accidentally' by simply looking at the phone."

Related Roundup: iPhone XS
Tags: Face ID, law
Buyer's Guide: iPhone XS (Buy Now)

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