Tag Archives: Apple iPhone 6s

The Machines Protection Plan Explained!

Machines Sdn Bhd (Machines) just launched a device protection plan for customers in Malaysia. Known as the Machines Protection Plan (MPP), this plan provides protection from accidental damage such as cracked screens and water damage for as low as 42 sen per day.

 

The Machines Protection Plan

The Machines Protection Plan (MPP) allows customers to enjoy one (1) screen replacement or one (1) full device replacement during the two (2) year coverage period. The MPP price ranges from RM 299 – RM 899 (~US$ 73-219), depending on the model of the protected device, and can be obtained at local Machines stores upon purchase of a new device.

The Machines Protection Plan (MPP) provides coverage for parts and labour cost. For a full device replacement claim, a service fee will be charged on top of the price for the MPP. For example, for an iPhone SE full device replacement, customers will need to pay a service fee of RM299 on top of the iPhone SE MPP cost of RM299.

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A survey by Otterbox Inc. in 2015 stated that 29% of Malaysians accidentally damage their smartphones within the first three months of purchase. The same study also revealed that 75% of Malaysian smartphone users have damaged their devices almost 3 times in the past 5 years.

Machines has selected Aon Insurance Brokers (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd (Aon Malaysia) as its insurance broker to offer this device protection plan, underwritten by AIG Malaysia Insurance Berhad.

Machines is also working to extend the Machines Protection Plan to include new devices purchased from third parties, including telcos.

 

The Machines Protection Plan Price List

Device MPP Price (inc. of GST)
Apple Watch RM 299 / ~US$ 73
iPhone SE / 6 RM 299 / ~US$ 73
iPhone 6s / 6s Plus RM 599 / ~US$ 146
iPhone 7 / 7 Plus RM 599 / ~US$ 146
iPhone 8 / 8 Plus RM 599 / ~US$ 146
iPhone X RM 899 / ~US$ 219

 

Service Fee Table For Full Device Replacement

This “service fee” is an additional fee that must be paid for a full device replacement, as opposed to a repair or part replacement.

Device Full Device Replacement Service Fee
(inc. GST)
Apple Watch RM 249 / ~US$ 61
iPhone SE / 6 RM 299 / ~US$ 73
iPhone 6s / 6s Plus RM 299 / ~US$ 73
iPhone 7 / 7 Plus RM 299 / ~US$ 73
iPhone 8 / 8 Plus RM 299 / ~US$ 73
iPhone X RM 499 / ~US$ 122
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How Much Will You Save?

If you have butter fingers and keep dropping your expensive iPhone, you will stand to save a lot of money.

Device Regular Price for Screen Replacement
(inc. of GST)
Price for Screen Replacement under MPP
(inc. of GST)
iPhone SE / 6 RM 699 / ~US$ 170 No Charge
iPhone 6s / 7 / 8 RM 799 / ~US$ 195 No Charge
iPhone 6s Plus / 7 Plus / 8 Plus RM 899 / ~US$ 219 No Charge
iPhone X RM 1799 / ~US$ 439 No Charge

If you plan to hang onto your iPhone for many, many years, you will also save on the battery replacement cost.

Device Regular Price for Battery Replacement
(inc. of GST)
Price for Battery Replacement under MPP
(inc. of GST)
iPhone SE RM 399 / ~US$ 97 RM 49 / ~US$ 12
iPhone 6 RM 499 / ~US$ 122 RM 49 / ~US$ 12
iPhone 6s / 6s Plus RM 399 / ~US$ 97 RM 49 / ~US$ 12
iPhone 7 / 7 Plus RM 399 / ~US$ 97 RM 49 / ~US$ 12
iPhone 8 / 8 Plus RM 399 / ~US$ 97 RM 49 / ~US$ 12
iPhone X TBC RM 49 / ~US$ 12

Please note that they will only replace your battery when it cannot be charged beyond 50% of its original capacity. In addition, you’re only allowed one battery repair or replacement, and that’s subject to the service fee above.

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The 5 Features We REALLY Want In Our Next Smartphone

Every year, we are told that the smartphone market is saturated, and that it’s harder for the next smartphone model to offer consumers any real reason to upgrade. After all, how much more innovation can you pack into a device the size of a notepad?

Yet, the prognosticators of doom are proven wrong every single year. Not only are established brands like Apple and Samsung still churning out new smartphone models year after year, new smartphones brands like Neffos and Infinix are being established all the time.

That does not mean that consumers are just lapping up whatever they produce though. Many smartphones do poorly, selling only at great discounts.

 

What We Want In Our Next Smartphone

Now, we don’t know the secret formula to a successful smartphone, but we can tell you the 5 features we want in our next smartphone. Let’s see if they are also what you want in your next smartphone.

 

Water Resistance

This may seem like a frivolous feature, but water resistance is a must-have for us. If you ever lost a smartphone to water damage, that is a lesson you will never, ever forget.

Our first water-resistant smartphone was the Samsung Galaxy S7 edge, and we never looked back after that. Even our secondary smartphone, the 2017 Samsung Galaxy A7, is IP68-rated.

Water-resistant smartphones also allow for greater creativity and flexibility. You can’t use them underwater, but you can use them near water without fear. Check out this video I took with the 2017 Samsung Galaxy A7 during a recent trip to Krabi.

 

A Better Front Camera

Top-of-the-line smartphones like the HTC 10, the iPhone 6S and the Samsung Galaxy S7 edge boast truly excellent main cameras, but their front cameras have long been neglected. They are only adequate for Instagram and Facebook selfies. They really need a much better front camera that can take higher resolution photos and better videos.

A better front camera is also important if you are using a gimbal like the DJI Osmo Mobile. Such gimbals use the smartphone’s front camera to record selfie videos. So it is important to use a smartphone with a good front camera.

OPPO identified and targeted that unfulfilled need in the market with their Selfie Expert smartphones. Their OPPO F1s smartphone, for example, has 16 MP front and rear cameras. Perhaps their success was the reason why the 2017 Samsung Galaxy A7 also has 16 MP front and rear cameras!

We don’t think you need a 16 MP front camera for videos. Even the 5 MP sensor on the Galaxy S7 edge is already capable of recording 4K videos. But a higher resolution sensor paired with a bright, fast lens would allow for better selfies and selfie videos.

 

Better Audio Recording & Playback

One thing we really liked about the HTC 10 was its Hi-Res Audio recording and playback capability. Audio fidelity is an oft-overlooked feature, which is a shame because it makes a HUGE difference to the videos you record.

Once you have tried recording videos in Hi-Res Audio, you will wonder how you ever made do with the flat audio  recording of other smartphones. The Hi-Res Audio recording and playback capability is definitely something we are looking for in our next smartphone.

 

No Limit Video Recording

Many smartphones are so good at recording videos that they have virtually decimated the consumer camcorder market. The only thing holding them back are the 30-minute recording limit and the 4 GB file size limit.

The 30-minute limit is used to avoid duties imposed on video cameras, while the 4 GB file size limit is due to the use of, or support for, the FAT32 file system.

The 4 GB limit is particularly problematic for smartphones that can record in 4K (like the Samsung Galaxy S7 edge and the HTC 10), because it limits them to just 10-11 minutes of footage.

We record a lot of long videos, and sometimes in 4K. So it is important that our next smartphone removes those limits by supporting the exFAT file system.

 

Longer Battery Life

This seems like a very obvious feature to demand, but it needs some clarification.

Smartphone manufacturers are well-aware that we want smartphones with long battery lives. That’s why some smartphones boast very large capacity batteries.

But a larger battery is not just the only way to achieve a longer battery life. What’s ultimately important to us is battery life, not battery capacity.

If they can deliver a longer battery life using more power-efficient components, even better! What matters to us is battery life, not battery capacity.

 

What Smartphone Are We Looking Forward To?

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As big fans of the Samsung Galaxy S7 edge, we are very psyched up about the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S8 launch on 29 March 2017. Rumours and leaks are rife on the Internet, but as we all know – nothing is true, until the big reveal!

We have no doubt that the Samsung Galaxy S8 will be IP68-rated like the Samsung Galaxy S7 edge and the 2017 Samsung Galaxy A Series.

But will it have a better front camera? Support for Hi-Res Audio? How about the removal of video recording limits? Can Samsung improve its battery life?

We await with bated breath… 😀

 

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SoFlo iPhone Unlocking Hoax Debunked

A video published by SoFlo (Antonio Lievano), a notorious Facebook content thief, has gone viral after it mocked the FBI for not knowing how to gain entry into a locked iPhone. In the video, SoFloAntonio demonstrated how anyone can gain entry into a locked Apple iPhone without knowing the password. We will debunk the SoFlo iPhone unlocking video, and show you how he scammed you.

Updated @ 2016-03-07 : Added a proof video demonstrating that the hack is a hoax on two different Apple iPhones, and added a page detailing the Siri bug that the hoax is based on, as well as its relevance to the FBI.

Updated @ 2016-03-10 : SoFlo Antonio removed his video suddenly at around 12:50 AM (GMT+8), wiping out millions of views and over a million shares. We also added a new “Touch ID & Assistive Touch” section in Page 2.

Updated @ 2016-03-11 : It appears that the video is now up again, but shifted to the official SoFlo account, instead of SoFlo Antonio’s account. It’s amazing how much power Facebook gives SoFlo.

 

Debunking The SoFlo iPhone Unlocking Hoax

SoFlo / Antonio Lievano used a common magician’s trick to fool you into thinking he actually unlocked an Apple iPhone without knowing the passcode – misdirection.

To figure out how he did it, you must first understand that you do NOT actually need to key in the passcode to get into an Apple iPhone, particularly if it is your own iPhone. All you really need is an Apple iPhone with the Touch ID fingerprint recognition feature (first introduced in the Apple iPhone 5s). 😀

Watch this video that we specially prepared to show you how and where he misdirected you into thinking he found an easy way to get past the iPhone’s passcode security :

So now you know how he tricked you. He didn’t do anything but activate the iPhone’s Touch ID right at the start. This allowed him to access the Photos app and get out into the Home screen.

If you disable Touch ID, or just press on the Home button with the end of a pen, you will NEVER get into the Photos app, or out into the Home screen. In fact, you will not even be able to share the “soflo” clock you created (0:37 in the video).

His mocking of the FBI, however, was a marketing masterstroke. It got all of you to share and make his fake video viral. Who doesn’t want to show the world how stupid the FBI really is? So you share it out without thinking twice. Now who looks like the idiot here? 😀

Instead of sharing his FAKE video, why not share our video instead? We guarantee you will look SMARTER than your friends who shared SoFlo’s video! 😀

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Our Debunking Proof Video New!

Ever since we posted the debunking video, we received claims by a number of people who claimed to have successfully performed the hack. Some even questioned whether we tested it out before claiming SoFlo was trolling us with another hoax. Let us address that once and for all.

First of all, we fully tested and investigated his methodology before we even spent time creating the video. That’s why it took us a while to create our video after the SoFlo video was flagged to us for investigation. Even then, we continued to try on the two Apple iPhones we have here, to no avail. We even enlisted our friends to test their iPhones.

But as they say – talk is cheap. In this video, we will show you what we have been doing using the Apple iPhone 6 and Apple iPhone 5C (internally the same as the Apple iPhone 5). We will also show you how it is only possible to replicate SoFlo’s “hack” using Touch ID. Check it out…

Please note that we are not saying that those who successfully followed SoFlo’s “hack” are liars. In fact, we will now explain to you how some people are successfully doing it, and why SoFlo’s method is still wrong.

This explanation is a bit long, so we have to shift it to the second page. Head on over if you are interested to learn more about why the SoFlo iPhone unlocking hack is a hoax.

Next Page > iOS 9 Siri Bug, Relevance To The FBI

 

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iOS 9 Siri Bug

The source of SoFlo’s iPhone unlocking hack is really the iOS 9 Siri bug that was revealed right after iOS 9 was released on September 16, 2015. Here are the steps to exploit that bug :

  • [adrotate banner=”4″]In the Lock screen, key in an incorrect passcode a few times.
  • On the last attempt, invoke Siri immediately.
  • Ask Siri for the time, and click to add a new Clock.
  • Type in a random word in the Choose a City search field.
  • Select the random word and Share it as a Message.
  • Once in the Message app, you can access the entire Photo Library.
  • You can also select Create New Contact to access the Contact List.

Note the initial step of keying in an incorrect passcode a few times. It is this initial step that is (likely) allowing some users to successfully replicate the exploit. SoFlo did not mention that in his video. So even if we assume he was using an iOS 9 device, how did he even exploit the bug?

More importantly, the iOS 9 Siri bug only allows you to access the device’s Photo Library and Contact List. It does NOT allow you to go to the Home screen, and basically access the device in its entirety. Yet SoFlo demonstrated that his hack allows him to access the Home screen. How is that possible?

The simplest explanation is that SoFlo didn’t actually hack the iPhone. As we demonstrated in our proof video, triggering Touch ID is the only guaranteed way to properly replicate everything he did.

 

Touch ID & Assistive Touch New!

If you watch our proof video carefully, you will note that we not only used the pen to trigger Siri, we also used it to get out to the Home screen. This is because Touch ID is active AT ALL TIMES. In one instance, we chose to use the Assistive Touch shortcut, instead of the physical Home button. We did this to avoid activating Touch ID.

In other words, those of you who may have taken the precaution of calling Siri using a pen, or with your finger covered with cloth, may have activated Touch ID anyway when you pressed on the Home button later in the “hack”. To be sure you are not activating Touch ID, either disable it completely, or use a pen to press on the Home button at all times, or use Assistive Touch.

 

Relevance To The FBI

SoFlo’s mocking of the FBI is deliberately designed to trick you into making his hoax video go viral. Who would pass up a chance to thumb their noses at the FBI? 😀

But let’s consider the likelihood that the iOS 9 Siri bug would be of any use to the FBI, in their efforts to gain access into the Apple iPhone 5C (the same model we used in our proof video) used by one of the two shooters in the 2015 San Bernardino attack.

This bug was fixed in iOS 9.0.1, released just one week later on September 23, 2015. The San Bernardino attack happened on December 2, 2015. It is more than likely that the Apple iPhone 5C used had already been patched. By December 2, Apple had already released 2 minor updates and one major update :

  • iOS 9.0.1 – September 23, 2015
  • iOS 9.0.2 – September 30, 2015
  • iOS 9.1 – October 21, 2015

We do not have any information on the exact iOS version the San Bernardino iPhone 5C is using. But considering the efforts the FBI have gone into forcing Apple into installing an exploit to gain access to that device, it has likely been patched against the iOS 9 Siri bug. Needless to say, the exploit will not work if Siri was disabled.

Incidentally, if SoFlo actually discovered an exploit that actually unlocked an iPhone without the passcode or Touch ID, he would have taken it to the FBI. The publicity he would have earned from that act would be worth far, FAR more than spreading a viral video.

Think about it.

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3D Touch Now Available In Hotels.com App

January 21, 2016 – The Hotels.com app for iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus has launched a new feature that uses innovative 3D Touch technology to speed up the booking experience.

It now offers one-click access to the site’s most popular booking features – Deals Near You, Saved Hotels, Find Your Bookings and Hotels.com Rewards – with a single press on the app’s home screen.

 

Simplified search on Spotlight for iPhone and iPad

The Hotels.com app for mobile devices running iOS 9 now offers a new, easy to use search feature. By swiping down on iPhone’s or iPad’s home screen users can search for anything within the app and deep link right to it with a single click.

 

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