iPhone 7 mic issues after iOS 11.3 update? Does apple intentionally slow down older devices? According to MacRumors, you might be able to get it fixed for free. Did you recently update to iOS 11.3? If you’re chatting with someone on your iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus, and they’re having trouble hearing you speak, you might want to let Apple have a look. They could even fix it for free.
MacRumors says it’s obtained an internal Apple Authorized Service Provider document that reportedly details a known issue with some iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus handsets — one where the mic stops working during phone calls and FaceTime video chats, and where the speakerphone button might stop working.
According to a source who spoke to AppleInsider, it’s an extremely rare issue, and one that might be easy to fix. Apple technicians are reportedly being instructed to disconnect Bluetooth headsets or other audio accessories first to see if that solves the problem. (You might as well do that yourself.)
But if that speakerphone button is grayed out, there might be a hidden message in the diagnostics menu that reads “device could not detect dock” or “accessory not supported,” at which point Apple can try to repair your phone — and if you’re not covered under warranty, MacRumors says the document allows Apple service providers to make a warranty exception.
iOS 11.3 Features
Take control of your battery
I’m not talking about battery life — I’m talking about the ability to keep Apple from secretly throttling your phone’s processing power as your phone’s battery ages. Apple was caught red-handed doing that this past winter, and wound up having to apologize for keeping it a secret. And though the company apparently had a good reason for doing it — preventing unexpected shutdowns — the revelation left a bad taste in some people’s mouths.
Anyhow, as of iOS 11.3, your battery is yours to control. You can turn off the throttling feature, and/or navigate to Settings > Battery to take a look at your battery’s current health. If your iPhone 6 or later does need a battery swap to maintain peak performance without issues, iOS 11.3 should tell you so.
Then, it’s just a matter of opting for Apple’s $29 replacement battery sometime before the end of the year. (That’s how long Apple has said the $29 price will last.)
Got an iPhone X? Then you’re probably familiar with Animoji, the floating animated avatars you control with your face so you can send animal-ified emotions to your friends and family via iMessage. (They use the Face ID motion sensing camera array built into the front of the iPhone X.) iOS 11 came with 12 different Animoji, and iOS 11.3 brings four new creatures into the pen — a lion, bear, dragon, and skull.
Augmented reality goes vertical
Apple’s ARKit augmented-reality apps can be pretty amazing, but the world-blurring technology had one key limitation right out of the gate. ARKit could only recognize horizontal surfaces — think floors and tables — when deciding where to place virtual objects and make them appear to be part of your real world.
With IKEA’s ARKit app, for instance, you could see how a new sofa might look like on the floor of your living room, but you couldn’t mount a virtual cabinet to your real walls.
The 29 best ARKit apps you can try right now
But iOS 11.3 comes with ARKit 1.5, which recognizes vertical surfaces and “irregularly shaped surfaces like circular tables,” too, according to Apple. That should let AR developers build a variety of new things, and could potentially improve the accuracy of augmented reality ruler apps as well. Speaking of accuracy, ARKit 1.5 through-the-camera view is now higher resolution and supports your camera’s built-in autofocus as well.
Plus, ARKit 1.5 can recognize flat pictures like signs, posters and artwork now and use them to trigger AR content. CNET’s Shara Tibken tried pointing an iPhone at a poster of a lunar lander and was rewarded with an interactive video of the Apollo 11 moon landing.
No-hassle chat with your bank or store
Why call a big company or navigate their website when you can just ping them in your messenger app? Facebook Messenger already offers such a feature, and iOS 11.3 will bring Business Chat to iMessage on your iPhone and iPad, too. Here’s Apple’s pitch:
“With Business Chat, it’s easy to have a conversation with a service representative, schedule an appointment or make purchases using Apple Pay in the Messages app. Business Chat doesn’t share the user’s contact information with businesses and gives users the ability to stop chatting at any time.”
Originally announced last June at WWDC and slated to arrive as part of iOS 11, the feature still isn’t final — it’s a beta for “select businesses” including Lowe’s, Home Depot, Discover, Newegg, Hilton, Marriott, and Wells Fargo.
Your health, delivered
Apple’s new Health Records feature hopes to provide something patients (aka humans) have wanted since the advent of the medical record — a way to easily access all of your medical records, no matter which doctor, clinic or hospital you pick, in one single (and encrypted) place.
Thank you for reading!