That fee-free grace period is coming to an end, and customers are getting their first bills that include the $10 per month service charge.
If you have an Apple Watch Series 3 with LTE functionality, you've probably already learned that $10 is not all it's going to cost per month. On carriers like AT&T and Verizon, there are additional service charges and fees, which means it's not $10 per month for an Apple Watch, it's more like $12-$14.
On Verizon in California, for example, there's an additional $1.55 in fees on top of the $10 per month charge.
On AT&T in North Carolina, fees and surcharges add an additional $4.39 to the $10 per month charge, bringing the total to almost $15 per month for an Apple Watch. In some states, these fees on Verizon and AT&T are even higher.
If you're planning to avoid fees by deactivating service and activating again when it's needed, that may not be the best plan of action. As Macworld's Michael Simon points out, line activation fees that come with reactivation can be hefty.
Though the Apple Watch Series 3 is linked to the cellular number of the iPhone on a given carrier, it requires adding an additional line to a cellular service account. When you cancel and re-add a line, there's an activation fee involved. On Verizon, for example, if you deactivate the Apple Watch Series 3 and then want to activate it again at a later date, there's a $25 charge. Suspending service doesn't work, as it requires a $10/month fee, aside from a one-time 30 day free suspension on Verizon. From Macworld:Because Apple Watch uses NumberShare on Verizon, it's not considered a month-to-month or prepaid device, so it's not so easy to skip a month of service. According to the Verizon representative I spoke to, I have two options:
- Suspend my Apple Watch service for up to 90 days at a time. This will cost me $10 a month, so that's not really an option.
- De-activate the watch completely. That will wipe it from my account and bill. However, I will need to pay a $25 activation fee once I decide to reinstate service. That's a recurring change. That means Verizon will essentially charge me for two and half months service every time I turn it off and on again.Like Verizon, AT&T charges $25, while Sprint charges $30. T-Mobile no longer charges activation fees, so it may be more affordable to cancel and reinstate service if you're a T-Mobile subscriber.
On AT&T and Verizon, though, that $25 re-activation fee is the cost of two months of service, or close to it, when taxes and fees are included, meaning it's not really worthwhile to start and stop service if you're going to do it more than once or twice a year.
Macworld was also told that if he stopped and started service he could run into problems when attempting to reactivate the watch, but it's not entirely clear why.
With the three-month grace period, most Apple Watch owners have likely learned whether or not the $10-$15 per month fees are worth the freedom of an always-on wrist-worn cellular connection. Neither Apple nor the carriers in the United States were fully upfront about the additional service fees and taxes and the hassle involved with deactivation/reactivation, though, so there are bound to be some users who will feel tricked when the first full Series 3 bill comes in.
Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 4Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Buy Now)
Discuss this article in our forums
CHICAGO (AP) — The fatal shooting of a 15-year-old boy slain while delivering newspapers with his stepfather to earn money to buy presents may have been the result of mistaken identity and rooted in an ongoing gang war that didn't involve him, Chicago police said Monday during a news conference in a city where gun violence this year has left nearly 600 people dead.
The macOS High Sierra 10.13.3 beta can be downloaded from the Apple Developer Center or through the Software Update mechanism in the Mac App Store with the proper profile installed.
It's not yet clear what improvements the third update to macOS High Sierra will bring, but it's likely to include bug fixes and performance improvements for issues that weren't addressed in macOS High Sierra 10.13.2.
No major outward-facing changes were discovered in the first beta of macOS High Sierra 10.13.3, but we'll update this post should new features be found in the second beta.
The previous macOS High Sierra 10.13.2 update focused solely on security fixes and performance improvements, with no new features introduced.
Related Roundup: macOS High Sierra
Discuss this article in our forums
The top securities regulator in Massachusetts on Monday said he has opened an investigation of MetLife Inc after the insurer revealed last week it had failed to pay pensions to potentially thousands of people. "Retirees cannot afford to have glitches with their pension checks," Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth William Galvin said in a statement. "I want to uncover why this occurred and how MetLife is going to rectify the problem for the retirees." MetLife, which pledged to fully cooperate with regulators, said the standard way for finding retirees who are owed benefits is no longer sufficient.
The charts show that on iOS 10.2, the vast majority of iPhone 6s devices benchmarked similarly in performance. However, Poole explains that the distribution of iPhone 6s scores for iOS 10.2.1 appears multimodal, with one large peak around the average and several smaller peaks around lower scores.
In other words, after iOS 10.2.1 was released last January, the performance of a percentage of iPhone 6s devices began to suffer.
In a statement, Apple said it made improvements in iOS 10.2.1 to reduce occurrences of unexpected iPhone shutdowns that a small number of users were experiencing. The shutdowns were reportedly caused by uneven power delivery from older batteries, which could cause an emergency shutdown of the devices.
While at least one report suggested that Apple tweaked its power management system in iPhone 6s devices, the company never disclosed what specific improvements it made to reduce the unexpected shutdowns.
A recent Reddit discussion, however, has reignited speculation that Apple is intentionally slowing down older iPhones to maximize power efficiency and stability when battery capacity has degraded, and reduce voltage-related shutdowns, and the Geekbench charts and Poole himself lend credit to that theory being true.
"The difference between iOS 10.2 and 10.2.1 is too abrupt to be just a function of battery condition," he said. "I believe … that Apple introduced a change to limit performance when battery condition decreases past a certain point."
The charts show that the number of iPhone 6s devices with lower Geekbench scores was even more pronounced on iOS 11.2, which is likely because the software update is around one year newer, which means that the battery capacity of many iPhone 6s devices has likely continued to deplete as expected.
Interestingly, even the iPhone 7 may be starting to be affected. While the distribution of Geekbench scores for the device on iOS 10.2, iOS 10.2.1, and iOS 11.1.2 appear identical, the results change with iOS 11.2 and start to resemble the iPhone 6s' degraded performance starting on iOS 10.2.1.
What this all means is that Apple may be intentionally slowing down older iPhones to maximize power efficiency and stability when battery capacity has degraded, as speculated, seemingly without publicly acknowledging so.
It's important to remember that all lithium-ion batteries naturally lose some of their ability to hold a charge over the course of a few years. Given the iPhone 6s was released in September 2015, the device has been available long enough that some users should consider replacing their battery regardless.
Apple charges an out-of-warranty fee of $79 to replace the battery of all eligible iPhone models in the United States. iPhone 6s users can contact AppleCare or schedule a Genius Bar appointment at a local Apple Store using the Apple Support app.
Apple did not immediately respond to our request for comment about the Geekbench findings. We'll update this article if we hear back.
Tag: GeekbenchBuyer's Guide: iPhone 8 (Buy Now)
Discuss this article in our forums
There's a new Theater Mode designed to let iOS users view GIFs, photos, and videos in full-screen in either portrait or landscape mode, and there is a new option to open links in Safari View Controller instead of using the native in-app browser.
Live comments and a new chat feature, which has been in beta testing on the main Reddit site, is launching in the iOS app starting today. Live comments allow breaking news and hot topics to be discussed in real time, while chat allows for one to one conversations for those who opt into the beta test.
"Flair," used as a sort of informational label for identifying posts on Reddit, can now be added on mobile, and a cake icon will be displayed on a user's "cake day," aka the anniversary of when a person first joined Reddit. In-feed usernames for original posters will make it more clear who first shared content on the site.
For moderators, there's a new "Mod Mode" that can be switched on to allow moderators to approve, remove, and flag content on the site, and a "Mod Queue" feature allows for easier management of large subreddits. There's access to Modmail 2 and beta moderator features. Banning, muting, and other existing actions have been simplified.
Today's update to the Reddit app is the most significant update it's seen since the company took over Alien Blue and then retired it in favor of an official Reddit app back in April of 2016.
Reddit told TechCrunch that it is focusing more on the mobile experience as many younger Reddit users prefer mobile devices. 58 percent of Reddit users that are 18 to 34 prefer to use mobile web and mobile apps for viewing the site.
Reddit is now up to 330 million monthly active users, with over 9 million posts per month.
Reddit can be downloaded from the iOS App Store for free. [Direct Link]
Update: The new version of Reddit is now live in the App Store.
Discuss this article in our forums
Amtrak passenger Chris Karnes told local news outlet KIRO 7 that passengers were forced to kick out train windows in order to escape, because emergency doors were not functioning properly following the derailment. The derailment occurred on the first day that Amtrak trains began using a new route between the cities of Tacoma and Olympia, part of a project to reduce travel time, according to an October news release from the state's transportation department. The new route takes trains along Interstate 5, eliminating a major choke point for passenger trains in Tacoma and allowing trains to reach speeds of 79 miles per hour (127 km per hour), the department has said.
A U.S. official says a train derailment outside of Seattle has killed at least six people and the death count is expected to rise.
The official who was briefed on the investigation also says preliminary signs indicate the Amtrak train may have struck something on the track before going off the track.
The official was not authorized to discuss the investigation publicly and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.
The high-speed train was making its first run on newly constructed tracks when it derailed before 8 a.m. Monday.
The official said because the tracks were new it was unlikely to be a maintenance issue. (AP)
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Republican-controlled U.S. House of Representatives is expected to vote on sweeping tax legislation early Tuesday afternoon, aides said, bringing President Donald Trump's goal of overhauling the U.S. tax system one step closer to fruition. The vote, on a final bill agreed by House and Senate Republicans last week, could come around 1:30 p.m. EST (1830 GMT), the aides said. Both the House and Senate must approve the measure before Trump can sign it into law. ...
The standard Medicare Part B monthly premium will be $134 in 2018, the same amount as in 2017. Here's a look at how much you can expect to pay for Medicare Part B premiums in 2018. Medicare Part B payments are prevented by law from reducing Social Security payments by Social Security's "hold harmless" provision.
India's ruling party Monday celebrated victory in two state elections, but saw its majority dip in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's stronghold of Gujarat, where the charismatic leader campaigned aggressively in a closely-fought race. The wins in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh further cemented Modi's dominance, with his Hindu nationalist party now ruling in roughly two-thirds of India's states ahead of a general election slated for 2019. Modi, draped in a garland of flowers, thanked voters in Gujarat -- his home state of 60 million people -- for backing the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to a sixth consecutive term.
Before she had her first baby two years ago, Stephanie, 36, was hellbent on following the breastfeeding guidelines prescribed by major public health organizations to the letter: Her son would get nothing but breast milk for the first six months and she would continue to breastfeed him for at least a year.