Apple issues recall for some international AC wall plug adapters due to electric shock risk

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Apple has just issued a voluntary recall for certain two-prong AC wall plug adapters used on Macs and some iOS devices sold outside the US. The company says that this is due to a “very rare” risk of the adapters breaking and giving the user an electric shock.

The adapters in question were shipped between 2003 and 2015, in Argentina, Brazil, Contintal Europe, New Zealand, and South Korea. It doesn’t affect adapters designed for the US, Canada, China, Hong Kong, Japan, or the UK. The company said that The recall also does not include USB power adapters, but it does apply to adapters included in Apple’s $29 “world traveler” kit.

Apple said it is aware of 12 incidents that have occurred due to the broken adapters over the past 12 years, although none have taken place in the United States.

In an official statement, the company explained how to identify adapters that may be affected by the problem. “An affected two-prong plug adapter has either four or five characters or no characters on the inside slot where it attaches to the main Apple power adapter.”

The safe, redesigned adapters will have a 3-letter regional code in the slot, such as EUR, KOR, AUS, ARG or BRA.

While recalling the adapters due to 12 worldwide incidents across 12 years may seem a bit overly cautious on Apple’s part, the company will want to make sure it does all it can to prevent any further reported issues.

Customer safety is always Apple’s top priority, and we have voluntarily decided to exchange affected wall plug adapters with a new, redesigned adapter, free of charge.

Apple’s announcement comes a week after Microsoft said it will recall nearly all Surface Pro, Surface Pro 2, and Surface Pro 3 power cords over concerns that they can overheat under the wrong circumstances.

If you’re in one of the affected regions and think your adapter may be at fault, go to this page to find out how to exchange it.

Facebook is bringing more 3D Touch features to its iOS app

apple, facebook, apps, iphone 6s, iphone 6s plus, 3d touch, pop and peek

One of the most popular features of the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus is their 3D Touch functions. With a light press, users can preview all kinds of content and even act on it without having to actually open it up. Facebook introduced 3D Touch support to its iOS app last October, but it was only used to access some quick actions from the homescreen. Now, however, the social network is bringing Peek and Pop controls into the app itself.

Facebook said that 3D Touch will work with “web links, profiles, pages, groups, events, photos, profile pictures and cover photos.” The idea is that previewing content in this way should let users know whether or not something is worth opening.

Facebook is also adding another quick action shortcut to the homescreen icon. Right now, the quick actions are mostly used to perform tasks such as writing a post and uploading or taking photos/videos, but the company is introducing a new action that will take users directly to their timeline.

Facebook says it’ll be rolling out these new features today, but only to a “small group of people.” All other iPhone 6s and 6s Plus users won’t get the updated 3D Touch support for a few more months.

It’s heavily rumored that Samsung’s next flagship Galaxy smartphone – the S7 – will have a pressure sensitive screen to give it the same functionality as the latest iPhones.

At the start of last month, it was reported that Instagram briefly tested a feature on the Android platform that imitated 3D Touch. By holding down on a thumbnail, it was possible to preview a photo without having to open the image up to the entire screen.

Changing your iOS device’s settings to this date will kill it

apple, iphone, bricking, ios bug, ios date bug, epoch time

A bug has been discovered that causes some recent iOS devices to be permanently bricked if the user changes the date to January 1st, 1970, and reboots. So please, don’t try this at home, although it’s hard to understand why anyone would want to.

Some Reddit users have reported that a device will come back on after about 5 hoursbut can be very laggy. Others who have tried this hack noted that changing the SIM card or draining the battery sometimes fixes the problem, but most people are finding that a journey to the Apple store is their only option.

The most likely cause is thought to relate to the fact that many computers use January 1, 1970, as the epoch time – a reference point that devices count away from so they can work out the date.

Changing the clock to January 1, 1970, causes the device’s internal clock to be set to less than zero, which confuses it and causes the crash.

Any iOS device sporting a 64-bit processor – A7, A8, A8X, A9 and A9X – and running iOS 8 or newer can be affected; this makes the iPhone 5S and later models susceptible.

We’re waiting to see if Apple rolls out an update that fixes the problem, but the obvious way to avoid potentially bricking your device is not to set it to this date!

Microsoft’s keyboard for iPhones spotted in the wild

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Microsoft is working on bringing its Windows Phone keyboard to iOS, and part of that process involves internally testing the software before it’s released to the public. Thanks to images and information obtained by The Verge, we’re getting a good look at what this keyboard looks like during the testing phase.

The most interesting aspect to Microsoft’s iOS keyboard is the unique one-handed mode, which fans out the keys in a way that makes every one of them easy to reach with a single thumb. This design certainly looks unorthodox, but it appears to be more suited to one-handed use that Windows 10 Mobile’s one-handed keyboard, which simply shrinks to one side.

Word Flow for iOS, as the keyboard is currently known, also brings Windows Phone’s excellent prediction technology to iOS. Predictions aren’t a strong point of the stock iOS keyboard, so Microsoft’s technology here could make their keyboard a better option for iPhone users.

Other typical smartphone keyboard features are also included in Word Flow, such as swipe input, and a full emoji keyboard. The one-handed mode is unique to this keyboard, but every other aspect should be very familiar to Windows Phone users.

It looks like it will still be several months until Microsoft releases this keyboard to the public, with an Android version also expected to launch later this year.

Instagram apps now finally support multiple accounts

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Instagram has updated their mobile apps for both Android and iOS, bringing a long-awaited feature to the platform: support for multiple accounts. In testing for several months, the new feature allows users to add up to five accounts to the one app.

Users can add new accounts to the app through the settings menu, after which you can switch accounts quickly and easily by tapping on the username at the top of your profile. There are several new visual cues spread throughout the app that make it easy to distinguish which account you are using, so you don’t accidentally post to the wrong account.

Having multiple account support in the Instagram app isn’t something that regular users will find useful, but it will be incredibly handy for brands and companies that manage a large number of social media accounts. It will also make it easy for you to have a dedicated Instagram account for your pets, if you’re in to that sort of thing.

The new feature is rolling out through an update to the Instagram app right now. If you haven’t received the update already, version 7.15, it should be pushed to all Android and iOS devices throughout the coming week.

Twitter adds video support for direct messages and rolls out native GIF search

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It seems that it’s a case of another day, another new feature for Twitter. This time, however, the microblogging site has revealed two new additions to the platform. The first is native support for GIFs, the second is the ability to record and share videos within direct messages.

Twitter very briefly tested its GIF button earlier this month, when users spotted the icon between the camera and poll buttons inside the Android app. The company has now confirmed that it is rolling the feature out over the “coming weeks,” and it will appear on the iOS, Android and web versions of Twitter. The feature is powered by GIF search engines Riffsy and Giphy.

As with other apps that have native support for GIFs, such as Facebook Messenger, users can browse through the library of files using keywords or by category. The GIFS can be embedded into both Tweets and direct messages.

As a way of giving its DM service similar functions to the public feed, Twitter has introduced the ability to record and send videos within direct messages.

The company has doubtlessly seen how popular Messenger is for Facebook, and wants to try to emulate some of that success with its own messaging service. Twitterincreased its direct message limit from 140 characters to 10,000 last year.

Unlike some of the other features Twitter has introduced recently, these new additions will likely be appreciate by its users. The company has had a torrid time over the last 12 or so months, as it struggles to attract new users and compete with the social media giant that is Facebook.