You’ll soon be able to repair parts of your iPhone yourself, without going to an approved service center. In a major shift in policy for Apple, the company is launching a Self Service Repair program that will let you repair products yourself using official Apple parts and tools.
It’ll launch in the US in early 2022 (rolling out later that year for other countries) and will initially give the resources to fix an iPhone 12 or iPhone 13. Apple says M1 Macs will follow after that.
So why the change? It could well be all this government pressure. The White House, the Federal Trade Commission and multiple states have backed right-to-repair measures that could have forced Apple’s hand. There was even a shareholder resolution deadline for the same day.
Once this program launches, any skilled person will be able to replace parts like the screen, camera and battery on the latest iPhone models. There will reportedly be 200 parts and tools available at the start. Best take another look at those iFixit guides.
Google has a surprise mid-month update for the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro smartphones that’s specifically designed to improve the performance of the fingerprint scanner. Google of that sensor on the new model, and it’s been a for owners because it’s noticeably slower than other phones. Google initially defended the problem at the time by saying the reduced performance was due to “enhanced security algorithms” that took longer to verify identities.
Don’t expect huge improvements, though. According to users who’ve already updated their devices, it’s still slower than some models with similar under-screen fingerprint sensors like the Galaxy S21 Ultra.
International fans will have to wait for Paramount+ to be available in their countries next year.
Days before its premiere, the fourth season of Star Trek: Discovery is no longer headed to Netflix, its streaming home outside of the US and Canada. Those fans may have to wait months to be able to see the new episodes — legally, that is — if they ever get the chance at all. According to Deadline, ViacomCBS has ended its deal with Netflix that had been in place since the series launched in 2017. All episodes of the Star Trek series have been pulled.
Apparently, it plans to make the series available again to international fans in 2022 when Paramount+ goes global. The UK, Germany, Ireland, Austria and Switzerland will be among the first regions to get access to the streaming service next year.
Oh cool, another service to pay for.
It’s also adding HiFi audio to its $10 plan.
Tidal is adding a free, ad-supported tier as it seeks to expand its user base. The option, which is only available in the US for now, includes access to Tidal’s entire library of 80 million songs as well as playlists. The service noted on Twitter that it’s introducing the free tier to “remain competitive” with its rivals. There are some trade-offs beyond occasional ads, naturally. Audio quality will top out at 160 kbps, there’s no offline listening option and it doesn’t appear that you’ll have unlimited skips, either.
It has a premium build and double the exposure resolution of past models.
Fujifilm’s new $200 flagship instant film camera has a higher resolution than previous models and improved smartphone integration. As with other Instax cameras, you can take photos and instantly develop them to Fujifilm’s credit card-sized Instax Mini film, but you can also review photos on the LCD monitor and choose the ones you want to print. There’s also a print lever and lens/film filter dials. That lets you take a picture then choose among 100 combinations of effects (including “Soft Focus,” “Light Leak,” “Monochrome” and “Retro”) and print the image afterward by pulling the print lever.
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