Apple Dismisses iPhone 6 Bending, Hollywood Uses Drones, And More… [Tech News Digest]
Also, iOS 8.0.2 makes everything right, Valve launches Steam Music Player, Sony offers free multiplayer gaming, Steve Ballmer hates iPads, and the iPhone 6 Plus gets blended.
Apple Calls iPhone 6 Plus Bending “Rare”
Apple has responded to multiple claims that the iPhone 6 Plus is bending in people’s pockets . Complaints about bent iPhones started trickling in this week, just a few days after the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus went on sale. This led to a video test which seems to show an inherent weakness in the iPhone 6 Plus, even compared to other similar smartphones.
Apple issued the following statement:
Our iPhones are designed, engineered and manufactured to be both beautiful and sturdy. iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus feature a precision engineered unibody enclosure constructed from machining a custom grade of 6000 series anodized aluminum, which is tempered for extra strength. They also feature stainless steel and titanium inserts to reinforce high stress locations and use the strongest glass in the smartphone industry.
We chose these high-quality materials and construction very carefully for their strength and durability. We also perform rigorous tests throughout the entire development cycle including 3-point bending, pressure point cycling, sit, torsion, and user studies. iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus meet or exceed all of our high quality standards to endure everyday, real life use.
With normal use a bend in iPhone is extremely rare and through our first six days of sale, a total of nine customers have contacted Apple with a bent iPhone 6 Plus. As with any Apple product, if you have questions please contact Apple.
Apple also invited several tech journalists to its testing facilities, as seen in the video above. It shows the company testing the iPhone 6 in various different ways, including being sat on at different angles, the activity being blamed for BendGate.
In other words, Apple is insisting any accidental bending of an iPhone 6 Plus hasn’t happened under normal circumstances. Or, to put it even more bluntly, tight jeans and fat thighs aren’t a good combination.
The FAA Lets Hollywood Use Drones
Watch the skies! They’re filming you! – FAA Approves Drone Use For Hollywood Productions, Sets Guidelines – http://t.co/XtEWVAzg9S
— Frank H. Woodward (@FHW) September 26, 2014
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is allowing a number of production companies to use drones without requiring a special certificate. As reported by The Washington Post, this is the first time a commercial entity has been granted such an exemption from the rules regarding the flying of drones in U.S. airspace. But it’s unlikely to be the last.
In total, six production companies represented by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) have been granted these extraordinary permissions. However, they have all agreed to uphold a certain set of rules, including the drones being kept within the operator’s line of sight at all times, and not flying either at night or higher than 400 feet.
More commercial exemptions are expected to be granted, with 40 more companies having applied. The FAA is also working on drafting an official set of rules for the use of drones , which are expected to be published early next year.
Apple Fixes iOS 8 With iOS 8.0.2 Update
Does iOS 8.02 remove the U2 bug?
— Brad Sams (@bdsams) September 26, 2014
Apple has released iOS 8.0.2, moving quickly to fix the broken iOS 8.0.1 update that bricked thousands of iPhones this week. The new release is available via an over-the-air update, and fixes the issues with OS 8.0.1 as well as all of the bugs that original update was meant to fix in iOS 8 .
Apple also said sorry for the incident, stating, “We apologize for inconveniencing you if you were affected by the bug in iOS 8.0.1.” With no reports of any problems as yet, it seems it’s safe to update your iDevice to iOS 8.0.2. But do keep your fingers crossed just in case.
Valve Launches Steam Music Player
Valve has launched the Steam Music Player, which sits in the Steam desktop app, allowing you to play all of your stored music without having to switch tasks. To celebrate the launch, Valve is giving away the soundtracks to Half-Life, Half-Life 2, Portal, and Portal 2, but only to those who already own the games. Luckily, for those who don’t, all four games have also had their prices slashed by 75 percent until Oct. 1. Making it easier to justify listening to music at the same time as gaming .
Sony Offers Free Multiplayer Gaming
For one weekend only, PlayStation 4 owners who haven’t signed up for PlayStation Plus are being given the opportunity to play online against other people . The Sony promotion has already begun, and is due to end at 11.59pm (Pacific) on Sunday, Sept. 28. We suspect most PS4 owners have already signed up for PlayStation Plus , but this is a nice gesture for the minority who haven’t.
Steve Ballmer Converts LA Clippers To Windows
When Steve Ballmer bought the LA Clippers basketball team for $2 billion , various wags suggested he would insist on the team using Windows tablets rather than iPads. And they were correct. Unbelievably, Ballmer is insisting the players ditch their iPads, telling Reuters:
Most of the Clippers are on Windows, some of the players and coaches are not. And Doc [Rivers] kind of knows that’s a project. It’s one of the first things he said to me: ‘We are probably going to get rid of these iPads, aren’t we?’ And I said, ‘Yeah, we probably are.’ But I promised we would do it during the off season.
It’s fine, relax, he’s doing it during the off-season, which completely exonerates him from any accusations of megalomania. Or perhaps not. But then Steve Ballmer is a legend .
The iPhone 6 Plus: Will It
And finally, we know the iPhone 6 Plus will bend, but will it blend? That is the question asked by Blendtec founder Tom Dickson in the latest in the long-running series of infomercials. He puts the iPhone 6 Plus up against the Samsung Galaxy Note 3, and the results are, well, thoroughly predictable.
Still, it’s fun to watch expensive consumer technology being smashed to smithereens. As long as it isn’t ours.
Your Views On Today’s Tech News
Is Apple right to play down the iPhone 6 Plus bending in people’s pockets? Should the use of drones be legalized beyond just Hollywood? Is Steve Ballmer dumb to switch the LA Clippers from iPads to Windows tablets?
Let us know your thoughts on the tech news of the day by posting to the comments section below. Because a healthy discussion is always welcome.
Image Credit: Pietro Zuco via Flickr