Top Apple Stories of the Week: Samsung Mocks Apple’s Polishing Cloth, iPhone 13 Display Repair Won’t Break Face ID

BY Chandraveer Mathur

Published 13 Nov 2021

In case you missed events and exciting news from the world of Apple this week, check out this roundup of top stories, so you’re all caught up with everything Apple.

This week, events began slowing down in the Apple world, but a judge ordered Apple to link to external payment options by December 9. Additionally, Apple confirmed that third-party screen replacements on the iPhone 13 wouldn’t break Face ID. Meanwhile, Samsung took a dig at Apple’s Polishing Cloth and gave away 1,000 similar cleaning cloths for free. Also, YouTube has developed a newfound dislike for its dislike button.

Judge Orders Apple to Allow External IAP Options by December 9

Apple may have won the suit against Epic Games, but the presiding judge had also issued an injunction against the Cupertino giant to allow third-party in-app payment options in 90 days. That window closes on December 9. Apple sought a stay on the injunction while mapping a course to comply, but the request was shot down.

The judge harshly criticized Apple for seeking an “open-ended” injunction instead of a stay “which would effectively take years.” The judge further remarked that Apple’s request had “no requirement that it make any effort to comply (with the ruling)” and that “the injunction would cause professed devastation.” So, Apple’s December 9 deadline remains unchanged.

Apple Confirms That Third-Party iPhone 13 Screen Replacements Won’t Brick Face ID

Following its launch in September, the iPhone 13 was found to be difficult to repair because Apple blocked Face ID after third-party screen repairs were performed. This was implemented by pairing the display to a microcontroller, and Face ID wouldn’t work again unless the new display was paired to the microcontroller.

Apple faced backlash for this unnecessary complication and confirmed that it would push a software update. Hence, Face ID continues to work even after the iPhone 13 undergoes a third-party screen replacement. The company did not say which update would include this fix. Until then, third-party repair facilities must continue to desolder the microcontroller and reaffix it to the new display for every screen replacement.

iPhone 13 Face ID - MicroController

Samsung Mocks Apple’s Polishing Cloth, Gives Away Some for Free to Galaxy S20 Buyers

Immediately after the Polishing Cloth went on sale on Apple’s website, it was a runaway success despite being stupidly overpriced at $19. It set off a flurry of memes on Twitter too. Earlier this week, Samsung ran a marketing campaign to distribute 1,000 cleaning cloths to Galaxy S20 buyers in Germany.

The campaign seemed to intentionally mock Apple’s product, as Samsung has done many times before. The brand had mocked Apple for not providing a charger in the box with flagship phones, and it also chided Apple for the iPhone X’s notch in 2018. However, Samsung does join other Android OEMs in following trends that Apple sets. It also stopped shipping flagships with charging bricks and eventually adopted notched displays. Chances are, Samsung will start selling polishing cloths too, now.

Hands-on With the World’s Most Powerful Graphene Powerbank With 100W Output

This past week, we also got our hand on Chargeasap’s Flash Pro Plus power bank. With a rated capacity of 25,000mAh and four output ports, we believe this is a must-have travel accessory although it’s a bit pricey at $149 to $169. You can back the project on Indiegogo and the power banks should start shipping in December 2021.

This 585-gram unit has three USB-C ports capable of 100W, 20W, and 60W power delivery and one of them serves as an input port for the power bank. The fourth is a conventional USB-A fort capped at 50W with VOOC Quick Charge support. There are two wireless charging pads built-in as well, along with an OLED display to display temperature, wattages, and battery percentage. The power bank can charge six devices simultaneously.

Flash Pro Plus power bank output ports

Instagram Gets Text-to-Speech, Voice Effects, and New “Take a Break” Feature

This week, Instagram saw three major changes and a fourth could be in the pipeline for release sometime soon. First off, it follows in TikTok’s footsteps to add a text-to-speech option that plays typed-out text as audio in a male or female voice. The feature helps Instagram’s accessibility for the blind. Secondly, Instagram has a new option called Voice Effects for Reels so you can distort your voice in a few different ways.

The image-sharing platform has also started testing a “Take a Break” feature, so people don’t stay hooked to it for hours on end. Instagram chief Adam Mosseri explained that one can opt to use the feature and choose the time after which they would be reminded to turn Instagram off. Meanwhile, the platform also continues to explore monetization models for creators and a subscription system for premium content could be on the cards.


YouTube Gradually Phasing out Its Dislike Button for Creator’s Mental Well-Being

YouTube has announced that it will gradually start hiding the number of dislikes for all the videos on its site now. The company explained that the move will help the mental health of creators who get harassed by viewers. However, creators will still be able to see the dislike count via YouTube Studio. The move should help curb mass dislike attacks fuelled by unfavorably skewed like-to-dislike ratios.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, reputed creators like Marques Brownlee (MKBHD) have voiced thoughts that this may not be the best approach. Hate vented using the button may spill into the vile and toxic comments section and worsen matters. Instead, YouTube could have asked people why they dislike content or disabled the dislike button until a set percentage of the video is watched.

Other Top Apple Stories This Week:

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