The Apple news and rumors for February 18 include an illuminated iPad keyboard, state-of-the-art chips for the 4-inch iPhone and the iPad Air 3, a new installment plan, and an easy fix to the Error 53 bricking problem that almost led to a class-action lawsuit. You can also find out all the new locations for Apple Pay.
Here’s what you need to know.
Apple May Be Bringing an Illuminated iPad Keyboard
A new patent just published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office points to Apple bringing a fabric, illuminated keyboard to the iPad, Patently Apple reported. The design will also include dampening sound, embossed areas, and improved fabric input. The patent also leaves the door open for the keyboard to possibly be used with other items like jackets, pants, purses, and bags. The patent was first filed on August 14.
Error 53 Is Fixed And You Can Get Your Money Back If You Had to Replace Your Phone
Say goodbye to the highly controversial Error 53 that bricked iPhones when the Touch ID sensor was repaired by third-party shops. A new update of iOS 9.2.1 now fixes phones that had been bricked by Error 53, TechCrunch reported. The Touch sensor still won’t work, but the rest of the phone will. Apple released a support document showing causes and repair methods for the error. This update is only for users who update via iTunes or have a bricked phone.
The other good news is that Apple has said that anyone who had to pay for an out-of-warranty iPhone replacement because their phone was bricked by Error 53 may qualify for a reimbursement. They should contact AppleCare for more details.
A9 Chips May Be Seen in the iPhone 5se and iPad Air 3
The new 4-inch iPhone, dubbed iPhone 5se or iPhone 6c, and the iPad Air 3 will have the latest and greatest processors, despite being mid-range products, Apple Insider reported. The 4-inch iPhone will have the same A9 processor that’s seen in the iPhone 6s. This chip has 2 gigabytes of RAM and is 50 percent faster than the A8 at multicore operations. It also has an M9 motion coprocessor.
The iPad Air 3 will have an A9X chip just like the iPad Pro. This is a dual-core CPU that doubles graphics power of the base A9 and has 4 gigabytes of RAM, with improved read and write speeds.
And In Other Apple News
Apple Starts a New Installment Plan – Apple has just started a new Installment Plan that gives another way of getting a new iPhone, CNET reported. You can trade in an old iPhone for a new one, or an old Android or Windows phone. If you use this option, you’ll have installment payments for 24 months. The plan is only available in Apple Stores.
iOS 9.3 Will Integrate More with Third-Party Music Apps – Expect better third-party music integration with iOS 9.3, Apple Insider reported. Third-party apps will be able to add songs to the iCloud Music Library. Developers with iOS 9.3 betas can find this under Media Library in the Privacy section of settings. No apps can use this option yet because it requires an API in iOS 9.3.
Apple Pay Now Expands to 45 More Locations – You can now use Apple Pay Now at 45 more locations, MacRumors reported. These include new banks, credit unions, and financial institutions, bringing the total number of participating issuers to 1045. In addition, Apple Pay retail locations will be rolling out at places including Crate & Barrel, Chick-fil-A, Au Bon Pain, Cinnabon, Chili’s, Domino’s, KFC, and Starbucks this year. See Apple’s link here for a complete list of Apple Pay Now issuers.