Apple extends product return period following store closures

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Apple.Retail.Barcelona.2
You'll have 14 days after stores reopen.
Photo: Apple

Apple is extending product return policies after it made the decision to close all retail stores outside of Greater China amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

In its updated Temporary Retail Store Closures document, the company says customers will be able to return items for up to 14 days after stores reopen.

Apple can now repair faulty products in your home

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Right to Repair
Apple's first 5nm chips are expected to ship in iPhone and iPad this year.
Photo: iFixit

If you have a broken Apple product and you can’t make it to the Genius Bar, you might be able to ask Apple to come to you. The company is now offering at-home repairs in select cities throughout the United States.

You can schedule a visit from Go Tech Services, an Apple Authorized Service Provider, through the Apple website.

Take a look at the secret app Apple uses to test iPhone hardware

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iQT
The iQT app is for Apple Technicians only.
Photo: Holt's iPhone Help

Ever visit the Apple store for an iPhone repair and notice the Genius Bar uses special diagnostic apps you’ve never seen before?

Apple keeps its internal-use apps on tight lockdown, but thanks to a forgetful iPhone technician, Apple nerds just got an in-depth look at a secret app called iQT that’s used to make sure every single feature on your iPhone is working properly.

Rudy Giuliani needed Genius Bar’s help to unlock his iPhone

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Giuliani
Giuliani doesn't know how to wear AirPods either.
Photo: Rick Wilson/Twitter

Despite being named Donald Trump’s cybersecurity expert in 2017, Rudy Giuliani is so clueless about tech, he had to go to the Apple Store genius bar for help unlocking his iPhone.

Leaked internal documents from Apple reveal that just a few weeks after being tapped as Trump’s top cyber guy, Giuliani waited in front of a San Francisco Apple store with a very pressing issue: he had forgotten his passcode and couldn’t unlock his iPhone.

iPhone 11 warns you if repair shops install fake Apple display

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iPhonedisplaywarning
Seeing this warning could be bad news.
Photo: Apple

Apple added a new feature in iOS 13.1 that alerts iPhone 11, 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max owners when a repair shop has installed a non-genuine display on their device.

In a support document detailing the new warning feature, Apple explains why you should only seek support from technicians who have completed training from Apple and use genuine Apple parts. Of course, Apple parts can be more expensive than knock-off displays, but using the cheap stuff could cause issues with multi-touch, display brightness and colors.

Apple claims scary iPhone battery warning is for customer safety

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iPhone batteries
Be careful on who you let replace your iPhone battery.
Photo: iFixIt

Apple confirmed it added a new “feature” to iPhones last year that displays an ominous warning when users get their battery replaced by an unauthorized service provider.

The iPhone-maker drew heavy criticism from right-to-repair advocates last week when the news of the new battery warnings surfaced. Facing claims that it is trying to funnel customers toward more expensive battery repairs, Apple has finally come out with a statement insisting that the change was made with the safety of customers in mind, but not everyone’s buying it.

Today in Apple history: Apple reinvents the computer store

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Steve Jobs offers a sneak peek at the first Apple store prior to its opening.
Steve Jobs offers a sneak peek at the first Apple store prior to its opening.
Photo: Apple

May 15: Today in Apple history: Apple reinvents the computer store, with plans to open 25 Apple Stores in the U.S. May 15, 2001: Steve Jobs flips the script on the dreadful experience of computer shopping, unveiling an ambitious plan to open 25 innovative Apple stores across the United States.

The first two Apple stores, located at Tysons Corner in McLean, Virginia, and the Glendale Galleria in Glendale, California, are set to open later that week. But this new Apple initiative is about much more than just a couple of retail outlets. It’s a radical reinvention of tech retail that will change the way computers get sold.

Apple will finally repair iPhones with unofficial batteries

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iPhone batteries
Battery brand no longer complicates an iPhone repair job.
Photo: iFixIt

An iPhone powered with a third-party battery can get repaired at all Apple Store Genius Bars, according to a directive issued by Apple.

This is a surprising reverse course for Apple, which strictly forbade Genius Bars and authorized service providers from fixing iPhones with off-brand batteries.

iOS 11.3 breaks some iPhone 7 microphones

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iPhone-7
How’s your iPhone 7 mic after updating to iOS 11.3?
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple’s recent software updates have broken some iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus microphones.

Users report that they cannot be heard during calls since updating to iOS 11.3 or later. Apple has advised Authortized Service Providers that they can initiate repairs if necessary — even on devices that are no longer covered by a warranty.