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👋 Good morning! And happy birthday to my lovely partner Elise!
November 18, 2021
Apple folds
apple iphone right to repair overview shot of iphone and tools
Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority

Welly, welly, welly. Wellity, wellity, wellity! Apple has finally opened the doors for folks to repair their own stuff, and in doing so, everything changes. No, really!

Apple has, for the longest time, actively worked against anyone but company-approved technicians from touching its proprietary parts and software. Now, at the behest of outside pressure, it has caved.

The news is: 

  • Apple announced it would start a new program called Self Service Repair, which will allow customers to buy parts from Apple for their products and perform repairs at home. 
  • Apple said it will also publish repair manuals online and offer tools to buy at the same prices authorized repair technicians pay.
  • “Creating greater access to Apple genuine parts gives our customers even more choice if a repair is needed,” Jeff Williams, Apple’s chief operating officer, said in a statement. 

Haha:

  • What Jeff Williams says is exactly what Apple didn’t want.
  • In May, the Federal Trade Commission specifically called out Apple for ”anti-competitive repair restrictions.”
  • The company has done everything from using unusual screws (starting all the way back in 1984) to withholding tools to paying for lobbying to hobbling/bricking devices, including the iPhone 13 this very month, that aren’t repaired at Apple’s ridiculously overpriced repair shops.
  • Apple also implied it’d be variously dangerous and unsafe for non-trained people to tinker.
  • Apple’s move here is only because of a key shareholder fight that was set to go to the SEC tomorrow(The Verge).
  • It’s also only in the US, for now.
  • 9to5Mac has a great piece explaining Apple’s PR fail that it’s trying to spin as a win, making Apple the bad guy when it really could’ve had a win. 

That said:

  • Despite the various caveats, this is good news. A lot of people really do have the technical know-how to fix stuff, and this should see a longer lifetime and more re-use of tech.
  • And now Apple is moving away from being so unfriendly to repairs, it may force Android manufacturers to play ball too, as well as laptop makers.
  • I wrote something in 2017 about the state of fixing things yourself, and how bad it was getting.
  • iFixit is doing a lap of honor for its role in beating Big Tech and letting us simply fix our stuff.
Roundup

😶 Motorola Moto G Power (2022) announced: Still no NFC, same battery as 2021 (Android Authority).

📱 Also: The Moto Snapdragon 888 Plus phone, the Moto G200, is now official, though only in Europe, and Latin America soon, with no sign of the US/India yet (Android Authority).

👉 “The problem with Motorola phones”: The smartphone maker ranks third in the US, but its software update strategy is one of the worst in the industry, plus no NFC, and a flood of confusing, competing devices (Wired).

🔋 Google confirms our findings: Pixel 6 Pro charging capped at 23W (Android Authority).

🤔 OnePlus 10 Pro could launch in China months before it launches globally (Android Authority).

🔊 Tidal has given up and has added ad-supported free tier to its music streaming service to better compete with Spotify (CNET).

🏭 Bill Gates’ nuclear power company, TerraPower, selects a site for its first sodium-cooled reactor: 345 MW in Wyoming (Ars Technica).

🚒 New firefighting tool delivers water directly to blazing EV batteries (Ars Technica).

🔫 “Halo: Infinite’s multiplayer needs an over 35s mode because I’m old and I suck,” and if it’s the case for other sports, why not esports? (CNET)

🤔 “All the countries of the world are at a party. What is your country doing?” (r/askreddit)

Throwback Thursday
LastPass Add Password
Joe Hindy / Android Authority

The 200 worst passwords of 2021 are here! And once again, 123456 wins. But also! Passwords like “baseball” and “dragon” and “qwerty”… (Gizmodo).

Look, it’s a throwback because you’d think, by now, for the love of God, people would have a decent password. A password manager, something, anything.

  • That said… I know plenty of people who put in extremely basic passwords for services that don’t matter. 
  • But the problem is always that any one hack can start a daisy chain, as one compromise leads to more data to be used against you.
  • All I’m saying is, “iloveyou” is cute but as the 22nd most popular password, it could be a little more complicated.
  • And “jordan23,” which ranks 179th, might seem cool and all, but it can be cracked in a second or less. So, yeah, Michael Jordan and Jumpman your life, not your passwords.

Cheers,

Tristan Rayner, Senior Editor.

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