Now, Apple–You know this isn’t right. You’re about to alienate a whole lot of people with this latest nonsense (remember the #applescript thing this week?) They all bought your phone and it’s clearly broken–it’s not their fault so don’t charge them for something that they didn’t cause, didn’t build or have any control over. Do the right thing and fix your phone on your dime. Sign this petition to help show Apple that these kinds of tactics are not right. #apple #iphone
I started hearing about Republic Wireless about a year ago or so–the promise of a new, low-cost cell phone that you own and pay very little on thanks to rebate plans and wi-fi bonded calling. Too good to be true, I used to say.
About a month ago, with our impending move to a small island in Florida, I finally caved in and said “yes” to my 2 teenage girls’ dreams to own their own cellphone. When the cries came in over and over, the first thing I thought about was “How am I going to pay for 2 more AT&T cellphones?” With the data, taxes, fees and rental of new phones, I figured that wasn’t an option. I remembered services like Republic Wireless from articles I have stumbled on and I figured to at least do some research.
What is Republic WIreless you ask? Here’s the gist: Low-cost phones that you buy outright–no renting from Verizon or AT&T for exorbitant fees. Low-cost plans each month–no contracts with these people whatsoever. You simply pick out your favorite Android phone (sorry, no iPhones welcome thanks to Apple’s closed-minded policies and procedures) and you now own that phone as long as you want. From there, choose a data plan and move on with life. Get ready for the best part–I just recieved my first bill from Republic. Since my girls didn’t use all of the 1GB I prepaid for, I got a refund of $10. Since I came late to the party, my plan doesn’t offer the refunding that they enjoy. My total phone bill this last month with the 3 of us? I paid $70.03 for the 3 phones. Don’t forget, I got a refund which brought that number to where it is.
You’re probably not convinced yet. Here’s some more bullet points–these phones that you buy from RW are “hybrid” phones. That means they are PRIMARILY built to work on wi-fi FIRST and then use the cellular signal when wi-fi disappears. So, most teenagers these days have 90-95% wi-fi signal around them at all times–wny not use that free signal to make phone calls instead of paying AT&T or Verizon to make real cellular calls? I average close to 95-97% daily wi-fi coverage as well. This is why RW doesn’t charge the rates for cellular service that AT&T and Verizon do–since you use very little cellular data, they can afford to drop the rates on cell service.
How about tethering your signal to wi-fi devices around you for free? Check. How about buying more data if you run out right from your phone? Check. How about software that shows you how much of your precious data that you have used? Check. How about making a call when there is NO cell service but PERFECT wi-fi service? Check. You’re going to hear a lot about wi-fi calling in the next few months–it’s simply the no-brainer way to work when you are near wi-fi and don’t want to pay AT&T prices for data. If you can get over T-Mobile and Sprint coverage, then give these guys a spin.
As far as the overall experience with RW so far, I have to say I’m overall pleased–my teenage daughters’ phones came and since I wasn’t in the same state with them, they actually figured out how to unbox them and set them up themselves. Since they have had these 2 phones, I have not had ONE single issue with the phones or service–if they want to make a call at home, it just goes over wi-fi as advertised–if we are driving around, the phones use a combination of Spring and T-Mobile service. Not as strong as AT&T or Verizon, but, I can’t complain about their signal on the small island here. They are on wi-fi 90% of the time anyway!
What’s the downside? I had a small one during my switch to RW from AT&T this last week. My brand-new Moto G4 that I purchased from RW was perfect for about 3 days–no complaints whatsoever. I even made a 1.5 hour phone call to a mortgage banker and it was wi-fi the entire time to her cellphone–I couldn’t have made that call in the house with AT&T–you have to go to the end of the driveway (and pray) to get a signal for AT&T or Verizon here. That right there paid for itself.
Things got crazy on the 4th day–the day my number ported from AT&T–the screen started freaking out like a ghost was pressing the screen, the programs would crash, the phone would reboot constantly for no reason. I ended up factory wiping the phone a total of 8 times to try to solve it–even right now it’s still crashing every few minutes. I assumed I got a bad phone and opened a ticket with RW. I had a nice fellow assure me it’s fine and we can monitor the situation overnight. I did that and nobody really got back to me the next morning. Or afternoon. Or evening. So, I took to Twitter and begged for a new phone–this one is clearly not right. An hour later, I had the e-mail saying they are sending a new phone. That was a GOOD move, RW. This is why I’m writing this review right now.
I’ll tell you point-blank–dump the contracts from these blood-sucking phone companies and at least try RW. You have a trial period where you can send the phone back if you don’t like it–I’m sure you will like the experience–it’s a no-brainer from the money side. We are all around wi-fi most of our lives–use that to make phone calls–it just doesn’t get better than that. Yes, you pay for the phone up front–but–you own it. No contracts, no rental fees, no damage penalties.
i loved RW before I had a phone with them and now that they came through and fixed an obvious lemon-phone issue without any qualms, I love them even more now. They are refreshing and progressive and I give 2 full thumbs up!
The strange part about this move, is Google usually releases these kind of products for Android first. This new keyboard by Google, features a small button in the lower left hand corner of the keyboard, that allows users to instantly search Google without leaving your keyboard. This is pretty cool because normally you would have to copy and paste text into a search box, which means you have to leave the current program you’re in.
With this new keyboard, the search box is simply built right into the keyboard so you never have to leave the program. The instant Google results show up a small cards that you can simply drag and drop right into any text field that you happen to be working with such as a texting application. If you happen to be texting a friend about going out for dinner, you can simply bring up this new keyboard, do a search for the restaurant, and instantly paste the results right into the chat. This can literally save you about four five different steps. This is definitely an interesting product from Google and appears to be closely related to their Google Now-On-Tap product that appears on android-based devices. Google now on tap still requires an extra step or two unlike this special keyboard.
When will GBoard appear on Android and other platforms?
This is a product that will certainly show up in other third-party keyboards such as SwiftKey and Google’s keyboard for Android. Google has not said when it will be released to the Android platform, however, it is available now on the iOS app store for free. This new keyboard should work on any iOS device you happen on such as an iPhone or iPad.
You can download the special new keyboard from Google for your IOS devices here.
If you see this image (originally posted on the 4chan website), do NOT follow it’s advice, under any circumstances–it’s a trap!
Apparently there is a nasty bug on any 64-bit iOS device (such as an iPhone or iPad) that will cause the device not to no longer boot if the user sets the time and date to January 1, 1970. Even scarier, you cannot simply restore the iPhone at this point–you have to physically bring the bricked iPhone to your local Apple Store to have a hardware repair done on the device. This sinister date, 1/1/70, is basically an internal value of zero on a Unix operating system, which causes the software to crash, taking your iOS device along with it.
What should I do about this problem?
You would be wise to A.) not perform this trick yourself and B.) don’t allow anyone to perform this trick on your device unless you feel like traveling to the nearest Apple Store. This image circulating around the internet seen above is a terrible hoax and will brick your iOS device.
What does the Error 53 actually mean?
Simply put, this error is a currently unfixable error that is displayed by Apple’s iTunes software after restoring an iPhone, usually an iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. In essence, the iPhone becomes “bricked,” or rendered completely unusable and traps the device into recovery mode. The data that was on the iPhone is also now locked on the device and cannot be rescued by the user or Apple. There is limited evidence that any of the other iPhone versions are susceptible to this error, such as the iPhone 5 versions. Even iPads with Apple’s Touch ID sensors can also throw this error 53 after restoring or updating.
What is the root cause of this mysterious Error 53?
According to statements released by Apple, the cause of the iOS Error 53 stems from the replacement of a user’s home button, Touch ID, display or any of the other components that make up the fingerprint sensor area by any outfit other than Apple themselves. In other words, if you were to have your home button (or even full display) replaced by a kiosk or other non-Apple repair shop, you will most certainly see the dreaded Error 53.
The reason for this (according to Apple) is that iOS checks that your Touch ID sensor matches the other on-board components during a software update or iOS restore. This simple set of checks supposedly keeps the features related to Touch ID secure, just in case a malicious party tries to swap out this critical part in an attempt to steal your personal data and credentials. This fingerprint data is stored in an area on your IPhone known as the “Secure Enclave,” which was designed by Apple to store this data securely and safely. If a 3rd-party Touch ID module fails this onboard check, the secure data is forever encrypted and protected and no longer accessible.
When Apple themselves replace this critical part, they perform a procedure to recalibrate the iPhone parts back together again, which allows the onboard checks to pass. Users who have the iPhone fixed at an Apple Store will not see this dreaded Error 53 after restoring or updating.
Most of the iPhone community including many repair websites are claiming that this is a very bad move on Apple’s part. In essence, Apple seemingly is making sure that iPhones cannot be serviced anywhere but a genuine Apple Store.
What is the fallout of the Error 53 situation?
At this point, several news agencies are reporting that class-action lawsuits are being mounted against Apple for this move and the Apple discussion boards are being flooded by users with the Error 53 on their iPhones and iPads.
How do you fix an Error 53 on an iPhone?
At this time, there is no known solution to this error and Apple has not given any more direction since their last statement describing why the error 53 is happening on modified iPhones and iPads.
I haven’t gotten the Error 53 yet. Why?
If you have had any modifications or repairs to your IPhone or iPad that were not done by Apple themselves, we highly suggest that you do not do any further software updates to the device until a solution is found for the error 53 problem. If you need any further repairs done on the device, you would be best served by the Apple Store or AppleCare helpline. Apple has the proper equipment to fix your device and recalibrate it correctly so you don’t see the error 53. If you no longer have access to the old parts from your repair (not that they would work anyway), you would be forced to purchase a brand-new iPhone.
Contact Apple for resolution.
If you have the dreaded iPhone Error 53 issue, please contact Apple as soon as possible by clicking here.