Dropped iPhone 5 films its watery descent to the ocean floor.

Water way to test your iPhone!

An iPhone 5 user from San Diego almost lost his Apple handset after accidentally dropping it into the sea.

“My brother tried throwing my phone to me,” Gregory Papadin told British newspaper The Mirror. “It ended up going straight under water and sank to bottom of the ocean floor.”

Papadin says the underwater pressure proved too much for him and his brother to swim down and retrieve the phone, but the captain of the ship he was renting was able to dive in and get it — to discover that the phone had not only managed to survive the episode, but actually film its own watery descent.

The iPhone 5 in question was protected by a LifeProof case, described by its manufacturers as being capable of surviving “anything you throw at [it].”

The company claims its waterproof cases will protect the iPhone down to depths of around 6.6 feet, but judging by this video it may have been selling itself a bit short.

Apple extends its iPhone 5 battery replacement program until 2016.

Is this a familiar sight for your iPhone 5?

Battery life is one of the most discussed aspects of the iPhone, but some handsets have it worse than others.

If you bought an iPhone 5 in the six month window between September 2012 and January 2013, you could be eligible for a free replacement due to a battery fault.

Apple first launched its iPhone 5 Battery Replacement Program back in August 2014, and has now extended it past its original deadline of March 1, 2015 to January next year. That means that if you’re one of the affected customers, and you’ve not yet done anything about it, you’ve still got a bit longer to do so.

“Apple has determined that a very small percentage of iPhone 5 devices may suddenly experience shorter battery life or need to be charged more frequently,” Apple notes. “The affected iPhone 5 devices were sold between September 2012 and January 2013 and fall within a limited serial number range.”

To find out, you can visit Apple’s website and enter your iPhone’s serial number; discoverable by going to Settings > General > About on your iPhone handset. Apple will then run a check to see whether you bought one of the affected batch of devices. If so, simply take your iPhone 5 to any Apple store, online tech support, or authorized reseller, and they’ll swap out the battery for you free of charge.

Although initially available only in select countries, the program is now available worldwide.

Siri speaks 7 new languages in iOS 8.3.

Siri speaks even more languages in iOS 8.3. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Apple’s second iOS 8.3 beta, which was pushed out to registered developers on Monday ahead of a public release later this year, enables Siri to speak seven new languages, testers have found. It also brings more performance improvements for older iOS devices like the iPhone 4s.

The full list of new languages for Siri includes Russian, Danish, Dutch, Thai, Turkish, Swedish and Portuguese. In addition to learning these, the virtual assistant also supports more English-speaking regions, such as New Zealand.

Videos sent into Cult of Mac by Klaus Jacobson also show noticeable performance improvements on the iPhone 4s and the iPhone 5, which will be welcome news for owners of those devices. On the iPhone 4s, in particular, iOS 8 has been notoriously slow and buggy since it made its debut last fall.

It’s nice to see Apple making performance and stability improvements as well as expanding the feature set of iOS, and we’re likely to see a whole lot more of that this year. According to recent rumors, iOS 9 will be predominantly focused on making major improvements under the hood.

While we don’t have a release date for iOS 8.3, we can probably expect it to arrive this spring. As for iOS 9, we should get a preview of that at WWDC in June ahead of its arrival alongside new iOS devices this fall.

Apple’s new replacement program will fix the bad battery in your iPhone 5.

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Apple has launched a new iPhone 5 battery replacement program for a “small percentage” of iPhone 5 devices that “may suddenly experience shorter battery life or need to be charged more frequently.”

If that sounds like you and you bought your iPhone 5 between September 2012 and January 2013, you might be eligible for a free replacement. The program is currently only available in the U.S. and China, but more countries will be added on August 29th.

To find out, visit Apple’s website and enter in your iPhone’s serial number. Apple will run a check and see if you fall within the affected batch of devices. If so, you can take your iPhone 5 to any Apple store, online tech support, or authorized reseller for a battery swap.

The rest of us have to just suck it up.

Unauthorized Third-Party Chargers May Damage iPhone 5 Charging Circuitry.

Apple has warned consumers against using third-party power adapters with their iOS devices as they can cause safety issues such as burns and electrocutions, but as it turns out, third-party chargers that have not been approved by Apple may also be responsible for causing damage to one of the chips in the iPhone 5.

According to UK repair company mendmyi, cheap third-party iPhone chargers and USB cables can possibly damage the U2 IC chip on the logic board of the iPhone 5, which might the device to fail to boot up or charge past 1% battery life after the battery drains.

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The U2 IC chip controls the charge to the battery, the sleep/wake button, some USB functions, and regulates the charging power to the power IC that actually charges the phone. When damaged, the chip can fail to work properly, which prevents an iPhone 5 from turning back on. While a fresh replacement battery will power the iPhone, once the battery is depleted, the issue resurfaces.

Mendmyi says that it has seen multiple iPhone 5 devices with a damaged U2 IC chip and has narrowed the problem down to third-party chargers and USB cables, which do not properly regulate voltage.

The cause of this component becoming faulty is really quite simple — third party chargers and USB leads!

The original Apple chargers and USB leads regulate the voltage and current to a level that protects your valuable iPhone and prevents it from damage.

Charging your iPhone using a third party charger or USB lead that does not regulate this as much allows for larger variables in voltage and current, this then damages the U2 IC and can leave you with a seemingly dead iPhone 5.

It is not clear if the issue is limited to the iPhone 5 as some users have also reported third-party charger issues with the iPhone 5c, which may use the same component, but the iPhone 5s and the iPhone 5 use different U2 IC components. Users with an iPhone 5 experiencing charging issues that have used a third-party cable may have damaged their devices, which will need to be repaired by Apple or another repair outlet.

Apple has regularly recommended against using third-party chargers and cables. In mid-2013, the company even launched a third-party power adapter recycling program, following the electrocution of a Chinese woman allegedly caused by a counterfeit charger. Apple ran the recycling program from August to October of 2013, recycling counterfeit adapters and providing customers with a $10 credit towards an Apple-branded charger.

As of iOS 7, Apple also warns customers when they are using unauthorized cables or accessories with their devices. The company’s Lightning connector, introduced with the iPhone 5, fourth generation iPad, and original iPad mini, utilizes several different chips to manage dynamic pin assignment and to recognize whether connectors came from authorized channels.

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Apple’s own chargers, as well as those that have been MFi certified, “undergo rigorous testing for safety and reliability,” according to the company, and are designed to be safe and work properly with iOS devices.

Source:  Mac Rumors.

Augment modular charging solution for iPhone 5/5s reinvents the battery case.

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Augment is a new case series from Rubix that puts a spin on the traditional battery case. Rubix is currently seeking funding on Kickstarter to produce this product line, but don’t let that get you down. This is definitely worthy of your hard-earned cash if you’d like to have the benefits of a battery case, without all of the bulk.

 Augment is a modular charging case for iPhone 5/5s that allows you to snap on a 1,200mAh power module when you need it. The idea is very simple, but very effective and will add an additional 60 percent battery life to your iPhone. The Augment Charge module is designed to be small enough to fit in a coin pocket and take up very little room when attached to the case.

The Augment Charge unit comes with a Micro USB charging cable that will also charge and sync the iPhone when connected. There’s also a small LED status indicator on the side of the module to help keep you aware of the remaining power. Augment Charge has also received MFI (Made For iPhone) approval from Apple and will continue with the final certification process once the project meets its funding goal.

Over the past week, we’ve had the opportunity to test the Augment series and see what it’s all about. Check out the video overview below for a detailed first look.

As far as the case goes, I’m a big fan of its design. This is definitely different than any other case I’ve seen and the added charging functionality makes it a winner in my book. The outside of the case is covered with durable TPU, while the inside has a polycarbonate shell to add reinforcement. Both the charge module and case are available in black, blue, and red.

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Currently, there are two products in this lineup that create the Augment modular system: Augment Case and Augment Charge. Because these are two separate products, they can be acquired individually or as a package through pledges on Kickstarter.

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Rubix has also informed us that a dock is also being created to work with the Augment case. Currently, the dock system is nothing more than a concept, but the company plans to bring it to life at some point after the initial Kickstater goal has been reached. Along with that, we’ve also been told that Rubix has plans to develop an Augment case for Apple’s next generation iPhone once it has been released.

The Kickstarter campaign is a little over 25 percent funded and the product pledges have an estimated delivery between August and July of this year. If you’d like to get in on the action, there are a few “early bird” specials, one of which will get you an Augment Case and Charge in colors of your choice for only $45. If you’d like to find out more, head over to Augment’s Kickstarter Page here.

Apple offers to replace faulty iPhone 5 on/off buttons for free.

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Does your iPhone 5 suffer from a dodgy power button? If so, Apple will repair it free of charge, according to a new announcement made by the company.

“Apple has determined that the sleep/wake button mechanism on a small percentage of iPhone 5 models may stop working or work intermittently,” Apple states. “iPhone 5 models manufactured through March 2013 may be affected by this issue.”

iPhone users experiencing the problem can visit Apple’s website, enter their phone’s serial number and — hey presto! — see if their device is one of the faulty ones Apple is referring to.

 Replacing devices isn’t usually Apple’s style. The move isn’t unprecedented, however.

Following the “Antennagate” incident of 2010, Apple gave iPhone 4 users free cases to alleviate the problem. In 2011, Apple issued a recall of MacBook MagSafe power adapters that were prone to splitting. And in October last year, the company recalled flash memory drives for certain models of MacBook Air.

North American customers can take advantage of the iPhone 5s replacement program this instant. People in other countries need to wait until May 2. Users can take their iPhones into their local Apple Store or other authorized Apple dealer, or else mail them in.

There is one extra note, though: if you have otherwise damaged your iPhone by, for example, cracking its screen, and see this as a chance for a no-questions-asked fix, Apple points out that other issues will need to be resolved (possibly at a cost) prior to the sleep/wake button replacement.

Source: Cult of Mac.