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Daily Authority: 🔨 Right to repair

Insight into the right-to-repair movement, Pixel 7 features on older Pixels, iPhone 14's rollercoaster 911 calls, and more.
By
October 10, 2022
Sony WH 1000MX3 repair showing the headphones alongside various tools.
Robert Triggs / Android Authority

🎬Good morning and welcome to Monday’s Daily Authority. The weekend flew by, and it’s hard to believe it’s Monday already. But I’m looking forward to seeing The Lost King at the movies tomorrow night. First though, the day’s top tech news…

The right to repair

Sony WH 1000MX3 repair screwdriver
Robert Triggs / Android Authority

AA‘s Robert Triggs recently shared some insights into repairing a piece of modern tech when his Sony WH- 1000XM3 battery died and lost all Bluetooth and ANC functionality.

  • Getting hold of replacement parts is difficult and repairability seems like an afterthought. As Rob says, “Lithium batteries eventually stop working; that’s just the nature of battery technology. Their capacity slowly reduces, voltages fall, and eventually, they can’t be charged. In fact, the battery is almost certainly the reason a number of your portable gadgets eventually end up in the trash. Batteries typically only last three years or so, and replacing them can often lead to many more years of use from an old gadget.”
  • He continues, “Sony doesn’t sell WH-1000XM3 battery replacements, and there’s no transparent pricing about out-of-warranty repairs from one of its trusted partners (guaranteed it’ll be outrageously expensive). Instead, I had to source a third-party alternative.”
  • Sourcing third-party alternatives is not only more expensive than it should be, it also requires some knowledge of battery capacities and voltages to ensure you’re purchasing a suitable battery.
  • Then there’s the actual task of replacing the battery: Though it’s not massively complicated, it could prove too daunting for inexperienced DIY-ers. You’ll need a third-party guide to walk you through the steps, and it’s all too easy to accidentally damage other parts during the repair.
  • This could all be made easier if Sony stocked essential replacements.

Replaceable batteries should be mandatory

In an age where we’re all trying to minimize our impact on the planet, it seems counter-intuitive that we’re being forced to bin gadgets when they stop working and replace them with something new.

  • Rob says, “Replacing basic parts should be a familiar and simple part of long-term ownership. The money saved, while certainly welcome, is just half of the picture. Had I thrown these headphones in the garbage, the plastics and circuitry would have pointlessly clogged up the local landfill. Furthermore, I would have bought another pair, unnecessarily consuming more of those very same precious metals and other resources I’d have just discarded.”
  • There’s a clear argument for replaceable batteries, though there’s a cost factor, and it would likely mean sacrificing a few design aspects, plus possibly fast charging and water resistance.
  • But if manufacturers built products to last — and sold spare parts — consumers would likely pay a bit more upfront, and fewer gadgets would end up in a landfill.
  • Rob finishes, “Although this argument is compelling from a consumer standpoint, there’s still little profit or even social incentive for companies to provide long-term repairability support. Being seen to launch something new is still more important than being sustainable (unless you’re Nokia, it seems). Innovation’s plateau, environmental concerns, and the sheer cost of the latest products have completely convinced me that the right-to-repair movement’s push for accessible components, tools, and user manuals is more important than ever.”

What do you think? Do you ever repair gadgets yourself? Vote in our poll and let us know.

Roundup

📱 These Pixel 7 features are coming to older Pixels soon, though some features are restricted to Tensor-powered Pixels (Android Authority).

🔋 Don’t expect a huge battery increase for base Galaxy S23, more of a slight increase (Android Authority).

🛒 Amazon’s Prime Early Access Sale kicks off tomorrow, running October 11-12, and here’s everything you need to know before the event starts (Mashable).

👀 Google’s VPN is free for Pixel 7 users, but would you trust Google to be your VPN? Vote in our poll (Android Authority).

🚗 Google’s getting rid of its standalone Driving Mode dashboard, though don’t confuse this with Google Maps’ Driving Mode feature (The Verge).

🎢 The iPhone 14 keeps calling 911 on rollercoasters: The new Crash Detection feature can mistake the turns and hard braking for a real emergency (Android Authority).

😢 Overwatch 2’s “auto-purchase” bug has been fixed but Blizzard still won’t issue refunds (Eurogamer).

💰 Microsoft has offered a glimpse at how much Xbox Game Pass actually makes (it’s a lot) (Windows Central).

Monday Meme

Courtesy of r/memes:

dark sense of humor meme
r/memes

We can’t help you with your dark sense of humor, but we can help you get a better night’s sleep and reduce your stress levels, which research shows could reduce dementia risk.

Until tomorrow,

Paula Beaton, Copy Editor.