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27
Mar

Apple’s 2017 Supplier Responsibility Report Highlights Cobalt Supplier Audits, 98% Work Hour Compliance


Apple today released its 2017 Supplier Responsibility Progress Report, outlining progress that the company has made in its supply chain by highlighting its “highest ever” work hour compliance, advocating the success of Apple’s Supplier Education Program, and celebrating more than 2.4 million workers who were trained on their rights last year. Apple releases such progress reports each year as a transparent move to show the strides it takes to improve the work lives of its device manufacturing employees, who work to create products including the iPhone, iPad, Mac, and more.

The company said that over the past year it audited 705 total suppliers and discovered that compliance with its 60-hour maximum work week mandate has reached 98 percent, increasing from 97 percent last year. Throughout the year, Apple tripled the number of suppliers taking part in its Energy Efficiency program, leading to the reduction of over 150,000 metric tons of carbon emissions, “the equivalent of taking 31,000 cars off the road for a year.”

Apple also said that its successes in supplier responsibility included waste reduction, Clean Water initiatives, and more “responsible sourcing efforts” to expand beyond so-called “conflict minerals” to include cobalt for the first time.

Apple’s responsible sourcing efforts expanded beyond conflict minerals to include cobalt for the first time. For the second year in a row, 100% of Apple’s tin, tungsten, tantalum, and gold (3TG) smelters and refiners are participating in independent third-party audits. Apple has also partnered with numerous NGOs to drive positive change on the ground, including Pact who are working to provide essential health and safety training to artisanal mining, and are building programs to help children stay in school.

An article by BuzzFeed today highlights Apple’s expansion beyond conflict minerals, which are referred to in that way due to their source within war-torn countries that mine the minerals — tantalum, tungsten, tin, and gold — with little to no respect for workers’ rights. Apple’s transparency on the subject comes at a time when the Trump administration is said to be considering suspending legislation that previously required companies to disclose whether or not their products contained conflict minerals.

According to Apple’s senior director of supply chain social responsibility, Paula Pyers, the company removed three total suppliers (of the 705 audited) for failing to meet its various labor and human rights, environmental standards, and health and safety codes. Conflict mineral suppliers were more harshly cracked down upon, with 22 total suppliers tied to the controversial practice removed from Apple’s supply chain over the past year.

“We’ve been really clear with our suppliers that, notwithstanding any changes to regulations — or deregulation, if you will — we’ll continue to run the same program we’ve been running for the last six years,” Pyers said. “We will continue to drive third-party audit programs. We’ll continue to dig really deep, and stand up accountability and our incident report system. Candidly, we don’t plan any change in that which we are doing.”

The company’s transparency in 2017 has stretched to include cobalt mining for the first time, including a list of every cobalt supplier in its supply chain, all of which are facing third-party audits. Cobalt is not officially considered a conflict mineral, but recent investigations into the cobalt supply chain potentially violating child labor laws has led to tech companies joining up to form the Responsible Cobalt Initiative to fight the human rights abuses.

Pyers told BuzzFeed that, even in the face of lax legislation potentially passed by the White House, Apple will “continue to do what we’re doing” in regards to its annual Supplier Responsibility reports and audits. “We’ll continue to call for collective action because we truly believe, whether it’s regulated or self-regulated, this is the way business should be run, and the way we’ll continue to run our business.”

Read more about Apple’s Supplier Responsibility initiatives here.

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

Tag: supplier responsibility
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27
Mar

Facebook Launches Location Sharing Feature Within Messenger Called ‘Live Location’


Following in the footsteps of Google Maps and Find My Friends, Facebook today announced that users will be able to track their friends and family within Facebook Messenger using a new feature it calls “Live Location.”

The hour-long location sharing feature is beginning to roll out globally today, and Facebook said it should help friends coordinate with one another when making plans, as well as notifying a significant other when you’re on your way home. The plan-making focus falls in line with Facebook Messenger’s recent Snapchat-like addition “Messenger Day.”

Facebook gave users a step-by-step guide to the process of location sharing within Messenger, which they can follow using the steps below:

  • To share your Live Location in a message on iOS, tap the Location icon or tap the More icon and then select Location.
  • With today’s update, you’ll see a map of your current location and the option to tap a blue bar to share your Live Location.
  • If you choose to share your Live Location, the person or people you share it with will be able to see where you are on a map for the next 60 minutes.
  • You’ll be able to see an estimate of how long it would take to get to others’ locations by car. (The ETA is seen by the person with whom the location is shared.)
  • You can stop sharing your Live Location at any time; just tap Stop Sharing.
  • A small clock in the lower right hand corner of the map will also let you know how much longer you’re sharing your location for.

The social media company also mentioned that today’s location sharing update is “completely optional” and that users “are always in control.” Facebook has been beefing up Facebook Messenger over the past few months, previously adding Reactions, Messenger Day, group video chat, and more into the split-off messaging app.

Tags: Facebook, Facebook Messenger
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27
Mar

Apple Releases watchOS 3.2 With Theater Mode and SiriKit


Apple today released a new software update for the Apple Watch, upgrading watchOS 3.1.3 to watchOS 3.2. watchOS 3.2 is the second major update to the watchOS 3 operating system that was released in September of 2016. watchOS 3.2 has been in testing since January 30 and Apple seeded seven betas ahead of release.

watchOS 3.2 can be downloaded through the dedicated Apple Watch app on the iPhone by going to General –> Software Update. To install the update, the Apple Watch must have at least 50 percent battery, it must be placed on the charger, and it must be in range of the iPhone.

An iPhone running iOS 10 or later is required to download the new software, but it is available for all Apple Watch models.

watchOS 3.2 introduces Theater Mode, which is designed to let Apple Watch owners mute the sound on their device and disable Raise to Wake, preventing the screen from lighting up with arm movement.

Apple Watch users are still able to receive haptic feedback-based notifications, and incoming information can be viewed by pressing down on the Digital Crown or tapping on the screen.


The update also brings SiriKit to the Apple Watch, letting users ask Siri to do things like send messages, send payments, book a ride, log a workout, make a call, or search through photos. SiriKit has been available on iOS devices since the release of iOS 10, but is new to the Apple Watch.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch Series 2, watchOS 3
Buyer’s Guide: Apple Watch (Neutral)
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27
Mar

Apple Releases macOS Sierra 10.12.4 With New Night Shift Mode


Apple today released macOS Sierra 10.12.4, the fourth major update to the macOS Sierra operating system that launched on September 20. macOS Sierra 10.12.4 has been in testing since January 24, with Apple having seeded eight betas ahead of its public release.

macOS Sierra 10.12.4 is a free update for all customers who are running macOS Sierra. The update can be downloaded using the Software Update function in the Mac App Store.

macOS Sierra 10.12.4 brings iOS’s Night Shift mode to the Mac for the first time. Night Shift, first introduced on iOS devices in iOS 9.3, is designed to gradually shift the display of a device from blue to a subtle yellow, cutting down on exposure to blue light. Blue light is believed to interrupt the circadian rhythm, disrupting sleep patterns.

Night Shift is activated through the Displays section of System Preferences, where a setting to have it come on at sunset and turn off at sunrise is available. It can also be set to turn on and off at custom times. Night Shift can also be toggled on manually using the Notification Center or Siri.


The 10.12.4 update focuses primarily on Night Shift, but the update also includes dictation support for Shanghainese, cricket score integration for Siri, improved PDFKit APIs, and new iCloud Analytics options.

Related Roundup: macOS Sierra
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27
Mar

Apple Releases tvOS 10.2 With Improved Scrolling


Apple today released tvOS 10.2, marking the second major update to the tvOS operating system that was released in September of 2016. tvOS 10.2 has been in testing since January 24, with Apple having seeded six betas to developers before releasing the software to the public.

The tvOS 10.2 update can be downloaded on the fourth-generation Apple TV using the Settings app. Go to System –> Software Update to install. For those who have automatic software updates turned on, the Apple TV will be upgraded to tvOS 10.2 automatically.

According to Apple’s beta release notes, tvOS 10.2 introduces improved scrolling behavior, allowing tvOS users to scroll through large lists of information more quickly. A longer swipe on the Siri remote activates the new scrolling mode, and a swipe on the right side of the remote allows users to navigate specific indexes.

While Apple’s release information only focused on the new scrolling mode, the update also likely includes other small feature tweaks under-the-hood bug fixes and performance improvements.

Related Roundups: Apple TV, tvOS 10
Buyer’s Guide: Apple TV (Don’t Buy)
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27
Mar

Apple’s Lottery for 2017 Worldwide Developers Conference Tickets Kicks Off


Developers hoping to attend Apple’s 2017 Worldwide Developers Conference in San Jose, California can now apply for a chance to purchase a ticket, with Apple’s lottery having kicked off at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time. Tickets are priced at $1,599.

Tickets will be doled out using a random selection process, implemented because in past years, tickets sold out within a matter of minutes. Approximately 5,000 attendees are expected at the conference, which will also be attended by Apple executives and more than 1,000 Apple engineers.

The 2017 Worldwide Developers Conference will start on Monday, June 5, and will last through Friday, June 9. Apple announced the conference in mid-February this year, as it is the first that will be held outside of San Francisco in many years. In 2017, WWDC will take place at the McEnery Convention Center in San Jose, California, which should be a welcome change for many developers as it is less expensive to secure accommodations.

Apple says that it is working with the city of San Jose and local businesses to plan “very special experiences” around San Jose during the week of the conference, so this year’s event promises to be unique.

Along with the ticket lottery, Apple is now accepting WWDC scholarship applications for students and STEM organization members who don’t have the funds to attend the conference. Scholarship applicants, who must be at least 13 years old, have a chance to earn both tickets and accommodations for the 2017 event.

Apple is asking prospective scholarship attendees to share a visually interactive scene created in Swift Playgrounds that can be experienced in three minutes. Swift Playgrounds for iPad or Xcode on macOS must be used, and Apple will judge applications on technical accomplishment, creativity of ideas, and the content of written responses.

Apple’s ticket lottery will end on Friday, March 31 at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time, while Apple will take scholarship applications until Sunday, April 2 at 5:00 p.m. Pacific Time. Lottery winners are likely to be notified on April 3 by 5:00 p.m. Pacific Time as that is when Apple will begin charging credit cards.

Developers and students who are not selected to purchase a ticket will be able to watch both the keynote event and sessions with engineers through the Apple Developer website and through the WWDC app for iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV.

Related Roundup: WWDC 2017
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27
Mar

Apple Updates Numbers, Pages and Keynote for iOS and Mac With New Features


Apple today updated its iWork apps for iOS devices, Numbers, Pages, and Keynote, to version 3.1, introducing a range of new features and improvements in each app.

Pages, Apple’s word processing app, has gained new text formatting options, bookmarks to link sections of a document, support for equations, Touch ID support for password protected documents, and more. A full list of changes for Pages is below:

What’s New
-Format text as superscript or subscript, use ligatures, and change text background color
-Add bookmarks to easily link from one part of your document to another
-Add elegant mathematical equations using LaTeX or MathML notation
-Quickly open password-protected documents using Touch ID
-Import and export documents in Rich Text Format (RTF)
-Easily replace missing fonts in your document
-New leader lines make pie charts easier to read
-Customize dates, times, and currencies for your language or region

Numbers, Apple’s app for creating spreadsheets, has new options to add new or historical stock information to documents, a revamped editing experience, a new action menu that makes it easier to get to the most common tasks, Touch ID support, and more. A full list of changes is below:

What’s New
-Easily add current or historical stock information to spreadsheets
-Use the new My Stocks template to easily track your portfolio
-A powerful new editing experience makes entering data and formulas fast and easy
-New action menu keeps most common tasks one tap away
-Quickly open password-protected spreadsheets using Touch ID
-Format text as superscript or subscript, use ligatures, and change text background color
-New leader lines make pie charts easier to read
-Easily replace missing fonts in your spreadsheet
-While collaborating on a spreadsheet, you can now cut, copy, paste, and duplicate sheets
-Customize dates, times, and currencies for your language or region
-Edit rich text within table cells

Keynote, Apple’s presentation app, includes an improved rehearsal feature with slide, presenter notes, and timer in one view, new options for customizing slide backgrounds, Touch ID support for opening password protected documents, and more. A full list is below:

What’s New
-Change slide master and customize slide background
-Rehearse a presentation with current slide, presenter notes, and timer all in one view
-Quickly open password-protected presentations using Touch ID
-Format text as superscript or subscript, use ligatures, and change text background color
-Easily replace missing fonts in your presentation
-New leader lines make pie charts easier to read
-Import Keynote 1 presentations
-Post interactive presentations on Medium, WordPress, and other websites
-Customize dates, times, and currencies for your language or region

All three of the new updates are available for download immediately. Customers who already own Apple’s iWork apps will be able to obtain the new updates at no cost.

Many of the same changes have also been introduced in Keynote, Pages, and Numbers for Mac, all of which also have updates available this morning.

Pages for iOS – [App Store]
Keynote for iOS – [App Store]
Numbers for iOS – [App Store]

Pages for Mac – [Mac App Store]
Keynote for Mac – [Mac App Store]
Numbers for Mac – [Mac App Store]

Tags: iWork, Pages, Keynote, Numbers
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27
Mar

Best app deals of the day! 6 paid iPhone apps for free for a limited time


Everyone likes apps, but sometimes the best ones are a bit expensive. Now and then, developers make paid apps free for a limited time, but you have to snatch them up while you have the chance. Here are the latest and greatest apps on sale in the iOS App Store.

These apps normally cost money, and this sale lasts for a limited time only. If you go to the App Store and it says the app costs money, that means the deal has expired and you will be charged. 

More: 200 Awesome iPhone Apps | The best Android apps for almost any occasion

Molight

Molight is a filter app that lets you capture the feel of five music genres into your photos. Make your photos look great with the unique feel of each music genre.

Available on:

iOS

Jotalicious


Jotalicious is a beautifully designed shopping assistant that turns plain text lists into awesome color-coded checklists. It works the way a shopping assistant on your phone should — you create lists just like you are jotting a note to yourself and Jotalicious organizes your lists into sortable, taggable checklists.

Available on:

iOS

Musemage

Musemage opens up your mobile device’s camera as no their app can do. Musemage’s most unique feature is that it enables you to use different filters and effects all in real time processing while shooting, without waiting, in full HD video and full-resolution photos.

Available on:

iOS

Madhat

With Madhat you can turn your photos into videos by animating and playing back your doodles on photos in amazing ways. Then, send your Madhats to friends for them to remix what you’ve created. Or share your Madhats through the social network or messaging app of your choice.

Available on:

iOS

Audio Recorder


This app offers support for audio translation for text, export, and more. Convert audio files to text in multiple languages, then mail off your recordings conveniently and quickly to your friends and family the world over.

Available on:

iOS

One Second App

One Second App is a business watch that can help to control working hours and earned money. The program is ideal for designers, developers, planners, trainers, psychologists, tutors, consultants, taxi drivers and many other people whose work is calculated based on the cost of an hour.

Available on:

iOS

27
Mar

24 major Galaxy S7 problems, and what to do about them


Samsung’s latest flagship, the Galaxy S7, is every bit as beautiful as its predecessor, and it improves on the S6 in many ways. The Galaxy S7 is fast, powerful, and waterproof, but it’s not fault-free. We’ve been lurking in forums, scouring comment sections, and digging around to uncover some of the most common Galaxy S7 problems. There’s no need for you to struggle in isolation when we have a host of potential fixes that will help you to get your S7 back on track.

More: Protect your shiny, new Galaxy S7 with one of these 25 cases and covers

Glitch: GPS not working or inaccurate

There have been a few reports of GPS in the Galaxy S7 not working properly, taking a long time to fix, or being generally inaccurate.

Potential fixes:

  • Start by going to Settings > Privacy and safety > Location and make sure that your Locating method is GPS, Wi-Fi, and mobile networks. If that’s still inaccurate, then test it on the GPS only setting.
  • If you notice an issue with a specific app, like Google Maps, then try wiping the cache. Go to Settings > Applications > Application manager, find the Maps app in the list, and tap Storage > Clear cache.
  • Try downloading and installing the free GPS Status & Toolbox app to see if helps.
  • If you’re still having issues, it could be a hardware fault. Contact Samsung, your carrier, or your retailer and ask about a repair.

Issue: SD card corruption after update

We’ve seen some complaints about the MicroSD card being corrupted after updating to Android 7.0 Nougat. This, unfortunately, means that all the files on the card are inaccessible. The general consensus seems to be that it’s related to having an encrypted card before the update. It’s always a good idea to back up SD cards before a major update. It’s also a good idea to decrypt them, but if it’s too late for that, there are some things you can try.

Potential fixes:

  • The first thing to try is removing the SD card and sticking it into your computer or laptop to see if you can retrieve the files on it.
  • Restart your Galaxy S7 with the SD card in it and see if it works.
  • If that didn’t help, then restart your S7 without the SD card. Go to Settings > Storage and tap Unmount or the eject icon next to your card. Then turn it off, take the SD card out and start it up again. Give it a few minutes, then turn your S7 off again, reinsert the SD card and turn your S7 on. Go to Settings > Storage and tap Mount next to your SD card.
  • Your last option is to format the card, but that will wipe it. If you reformat the card you may be able to start using it again, but you’ll lose all the files on it.

Problem: Broken camera lens

There have been a number of reports about the Galaxy S7 camera lens on the back spontaneously breaking. The cause of this isn’t always clear, but the fact that it protrudes makes accidental damage quite likely. In any case, there’s really only one course of action available for those afflicted.

Solution:

  • Contact Samsung support at 1-800-Samsung and arrange to send your phone in for repair. Most likely there will be some kind of repair fee (probably around $70).

Glitch: Random reboots

There have been a few reports of random rebooting after the Galaxy S7 was updated to Android 7.0 Nougat. This can occur after a big update. It may be because of older files or settings, some kind of file corruption, or an app that hasn’t been updated for the new version of Android.

Potential fixes:

  • Start by wiping the cache partition. Turn your S7 off by holding the Power button and selecting Power off. Hold the Power, Volume up, and Home buttons together. When you see the Samsung logo, you can let go of Power, but wait until you see the Android logo to release the other two. You should see the recovery menu. Use Volume down to highlight wipe cache partition and then Power to select it. Once it’s done, press Power and select reboot system now.
  • If that didn’t help, then try safe mode to find out if an app is responsible. Press and hold the Power button, then tap and hold on Power off until you see Reboot to Safe Mode. Tap Restart and your S7 will restart and should say safe mode in the bottom left corner. If the problem is gone, then you know a third-party is to blame and you can uninstall one by one and test, or factory reset and reinstall apps selectively.
  • The last thing to try is a factory reset. Back up everything first and then go to Settings > Backup and reset > Factory data reset.

Problem: Audio distorted or crackling

Quite a few people have run into an issue with the Galaxy S7 emitting distorted audio or crackling sounds. Usually, this relates to the speaker, but sometimes it might be noticeable with earphones or headphones, too. There are a few different things you can try.

Potential fixes:

  • If your problem is with the speaker and you’ve just taken your S7 for a dunk, then that’s probably the cause of your audio distortions right there. There will likely be some water stuck in the speaker grille. Let it dry out and the distortion should be gone.
  • Take a close look at the speaker grille to make sure there’s no dust or debris inside. Clean it gently and carefully.
  • Open up Settings > Sounds and vibration and scroll down to Sound quality and effects at the bottom. Most of these sound effects are just for earphones or headphones. Some people report success in eliminating crackle by switching UHQ Upscaler on and off again. It’s also worth tapping Adapt sound to personalize your S7 audio.

Glitch: SD card pop-up

A lot of people have had trouble with messages related to the SD card popping up repeatedly. The main one seems to be “SD card, For transferring photos and media” with a choice to “Explore” or “Eject.” For some S7 owners, this message is popping up every time they reboot, but for others, it crops up far more frequently.

Workarounds:

  • You can just pull down the notification shade and swipe the message away, but it’s obviously irritating if it keeps coming back.
  • You can long press on the message and choose to hide System UI notifications and turn off Previews in pop-ups, which will lessen the impact. However, the notifications are still going to be there.
  • You could try a different SD card. This has worked for some people, but not for others.

Possible fixes:

  • It’s worth reformatting the SD card in your S7, but before you do that, make sure that you have backed up all the content that’s on it. Transfer everything from the SD card to your computer or laptop. When you’re ready, go to Settings > Storage > SD card > Format and wait for it to complete. Test and see if the pop-up is gone. If it is, try copying your files back onto the SD card.
  • Some people report that the messages are gone after a software update. Take a look in Settings > About device > Software update and make sure you’re fully up to date.
  • You could try a factory reset as a last resort before contacting support. Back up everything first and then go to Settings > Backup and reset > Factory data reset.
  • There are some reports of people exchanging their phone for a new handset and finding that the problem is gone on the new S7. Contact your carrier, retailer, or Samsung and see if you can get an exchange.

Issue: Screen color tint

It’s not unusual to get a display where the color isn’t entirely uniform. Most people won’t really notice if the bottom of the screen is slightly darker, but sometimes areas of the display can exhibit a color tint in pink, yellow, or green. It may be most noticeable when the background is white or gray.

Workaround:

  • You could always try an app like Screen Equalizer to try and mask it.

Solution:

  • There’s really only one solution and that’s to get a replacement handset. You’ll need to contact Samsung, your carrier, or your retailer.

Bug: Unresponsive black screen

Some S7 owners have run into a nasty bug where the screen is black and apparently unresponsive to touch. The sounds continue as normal for some people, and the notification LED or capacitive buttons might even light up, but nothing seems to bring the screen back to life. For others, the S7 appears completely dead and it won’t turn on.

Workarounds:

  • Hold down the Power and Volume down buttons for at least 10 seconds and your S7 should restart. This is likely to only be a temporary fix, however, and the problem can come back.
  • If that didn’t work, then plug your S7 into the charger and wait a half hour before trying it again.
  • Still no luck? Try holding down the Power, Home, and Volume up buttons together for several seconds, or until you see the Samsung logo and resulting recovery menu. Use Volume up to highlight Reboot system now and the Power button to select it.

Annoyance: Samsung’s autocorrect

If the S7 is your first Samsung phone, then you might not like the default autocorrect settings. It can be frustrating when you’re typing and it suggests bizarre words or makes automatic insertions that you may not notice until after you hit send. To prevent further embarrassment, you have a few options.

Possible solutions:

  • Go to Settings > Language and input > Samsung keyboard and you’ll find a range of options housed under Smart typing. The main one you probably want to turn off is Auto replace.
  • The predictive text should learn what words you use the more you type, but keep in mind that you can easily get rid of irritating suggestions that keep popping up. To do so, tap and hold on them, then tap OK to remove them from your list of learned words.
  • You could always download and install an alternative keyboard from the Google Play Store. You can change the keyboard in Settings > Language and input > Default keyboard.

Problem: Wi-Fi won’t connect or keeps disconnecting

We often see Wi-Fi problems cropping up with new phones. There are plenty of potential reasons why your S7 refuses to connect to Wi-Fi, or drops the connection intermittently.

Workarounds:

  • Some people have found that their Wi-Fi connection problem is actually related to the Bluetooth function on the S7. Try pulling down the notification shade and toggle Bluetooth off. Does Wi-Fi work better now?
  • It may also be worth switching to a 5GHz Wi-Fi connection, if you have the option, because the Bluetooth problem only impacts 2.4GHz.

Potential solutions:

  • Samsung has supposedly released fixes for some Wi-Fi problems, so take a look in Settings > About device and make sure that you have the latest update.
  • Turn it off and on again. Try switching off your S7 by holding the Power button down and choosing Power off. You should also turn the router off and back on again.
  • Pull down the notification shade and tap and hold on Wi-Fi or go to Settings > Wi-Fi. Find the problematic network, and tap and hold on it, then select Forget network. Turn Wi-Fi off and on again, and try setting up the connection afresh.
  • You could also try resetting all your network settings. You will need to set these up again for every network you connect to. Go to Settings > Backup and reset > Reset network settings > Reset Settings.
  • Take a look in Settings > Wi-Fi and tap More in the upper-right corner, then tap on Smart network switch, and make sure that it’s off.
  • If your problem is with disconnecting, go to Settings > Wi-Fi > More, and make sure that Keep Wi-Fi on during sleep is set to Always.
  • It’s worth trying a wipe of the cache partition. Turn the S7 off by holding the Power button and selecting Power off. Hold the Power, Volume up, and Home buttons together. When you see the Samsung logo, you can let go of Power, but wait until you see the Android logo to release the other two. You should see the recovery menu. Use Volume down to highlight wipe cache partition and then Power to select it. Once it’s done, press Power and select reboot system now.
  • Take a look on the website for your router manufacturer to see if there are any available firmware updates.
  • You may be trying to use a crowded channel. The free Wifi Analyzer app helps you to check how crowded the channels are. Refer to your router manufacturer or ISP for instructions on changing channels.
  • Make sure that you aren’t using MAC filtering on your router. If you are, then turn it off, or add your S7’s MAC address. You can find it in Settings > About device > Status, listed under Wi-Fi Mac address.
  • Your last resort is to try a factory reset. Back up anything important, and go to Settings > Backup and reset > Factory data reset > Reset device.

Glitch: Camera failed

A few people have been having trouble with the S7 camera. They’ll open up the camera app to find that it stays black and then crashes with the error message “Warning, Camera failed.” Luckily, it should be easy to fix.

Workaround:

  • A simple restart can temporarily fix the problem. Hold down Power and select Restart.

Potential solutions:

  • Go to Settings > Applications > Application manager and find the Camera app, then tap Force stop. Now, tap on Storage > Clear cache and Clear data.
  • It might be a bug with Smart stay that’s causing this issue. Try going to Settings > Display and turn off Smart stay.
  • If that didn’t work, then try wiping the cache partition. Turn the S7 off by holding the Power button and selecting Power off. Hold the Power, Volume up, and Home buttons together. When you see the Samsung logo, you can let go of Power, but wait until you see the Android logo to release the other two. You should see the recovery menu. Use Volume down to highlight wipe cache partition and then Power to select it. Once it’s done, press Power and select reboot system now.
  • If you’re still getting the error message, then try going to Settings > Backup and reset > Reset settings. You will have set up network connections and other settings again after doing this, but it may bring your camera back.

Issue: Slow to wake

We’ve seen a few reports of people complaining that the Galaxy S7 is a bit slow when it comes to waking up. Sometimes there’s a delay when pressing the Power or Home button before the screen comes to life. It’s a powerful phone, so it should be snappy.

Workaround:

  • Try restarting your phone. Hold down the Power button and select Restart. The issue should be gone, but it may return.

Potential solutions:

  • Try turning your S7 off and removing your MicroSD card. Does your S7 wake faster without it? Many people have found that the MicroSD card they’re using seems to be impacting the wake time. It’s not clear why this is the case, but it may be because the card isn’t genuine. You can use an app called SD Insight to check whether your MicroSD card is legitimate.
  • It may be worth backing up the contents of the MicroSD card on your computer and wiping it, then trying it in your S7 again.
  • Some people report success after a factory reset of the S7. Back up everything on the phone and remove your MicroSD card, and then go to Settings > Backup and reset > Factory data reset.

Bug: Power and Volume down buttons not working

Some S7 owners have encountered a frightening bug where the Power and Volume down buttons seem to stop working. Pressing Power has no effect and pressing Volume down no longer turns the volume down.

Workaround:

  • Even though they don’t seem to be working, try holding Power and Volume down together for several seconds and your S7 should restart. The buttons should be working again now, but the problem might come back.

Potential solutions:

  • This seems to be a software problem, because the two buttons that appear to be broken are actually still working, otherwise, the restart wouldn’t work. There’s a chance that a third-party app is causing the problem. You could try uninstalling apps and testing, or go straight for a factory reset, avoid restoring a backup, and install selectively as you watch out for a recurrence. The latter is a big hassle if the issue isn’t frequent, though.
  • Keep an eye out for an update under Settings > About device > Software update.

Problem: Rapid battery drain

So far we’ve found that the S7 has better battery life than the S6 did, but some new S7 owners are not impressed. Keep in mind that the first couple of days with a new phone the battery will drain fast because it’s downloading and installing apps, and you’re probably using it a lot. If you find that the battery continues to drain rapidly after the first few days, then you may have a problem.

Workarounds:

  • The obvious place to start is to turn features off. Pull down the notification shade and turn off anything you don’t need.
  • Go to Settings > Display and turn Always on display
  • Reduce your screen brightness, and go to Settings > Display > Screen timeout and turn it down as low as you can stand.
  • Use the power saving modes in Settings > Battery.
  • Reduce background data usage for apps via Settings > Data usage > Background data.

Potential solutions:

  • If your battery is draining fast, and it’s happening while you’re not even using the S7, there’s a chance that a rogue app is to blame. Take a look for potential culprits in Settings > Battery > Battery usage. If something is guzzling too much juice, make sure it’s up to date or consider uninstalling it and replacing it with something else.
  • It’s worth trying a wipe of the cache partition. Turn the S7 off by holding the Power button and selecting Power off. Hold the Power, Volume up, and Home buttons together. When you see the Samsung logo you can let go of Power, but wait until you see the Android logo to release the other two. You should see the recovery menu. Use Volume down to highlight wipe cache partition and then Power to select it. Once it’s done, press Power and select reboot system now.
  • You may have to set up a few things again, but resetting settings is a good thing to try before you resort to a full factory reset. You can do it via Settings > Backup and reset > Reset settings.
  • If nothing has fixed your S7 battery drain, then back up everything on the phone and remove your MicroSD card. Then, go to Settings > Backup and reset > Factory data reset. After the reset be careful about what you install and watch out for a recurrence of the battery drain.

Issue: Bluetooth won’t connect

You may encounter Bluetooth issues with any phone and the Galaxy S7 is no exception. Maybe it won’t connect to your in-car system, fails to pair with a Bluetooth accessory, or continually cuts out or distorts when you’re using it.

Workarounds:

  • A number of people have found that Bluetooth interferes with Wi-Fi. You could try turning Wi-Fi off and then retesting your Bluetooth.

Potential solutions:

  • Start by going into Settings > Bluetooth and try unpairing any problem devices and then repairing them.
  • Go to Settings > Applications > Application manager, then tap More at the top right and choose Show system apps. You’re looking for Bluetooth share. When you find it, tap Force stop, then tap Storage > Clear cache.
  • Take a look at the car system or accessory you’re trying to pair. Make sure you’re following the instructions, sometimes you have to press a button to make devices discoverable.
  • Try deleting old Bluetooth profiles on the system or device you’re trying to connect, it may have reached some kind of limit.
  • Take a look in Settings > About device and make sure you have the latest software on your Galaxy S7. You should also make sure that the firmware is up to date on the system or accessory you’re trying to connect to (you may need to check with the manufacturer.)
  • It might be worth wiping the cache partition. Turn your S7 off by holding the Power button and selecting Power off. Hold the Power, Volume up, and Home buttons down together. When you see the Samsung logo, you can let go of Power, but wait until you see the Android logo to release the other two. You should see the recovery menu. Use Volume down to highlight wipe cache partition and then Power to select it. Once it’s done, press Power and select reboot system now.

Glitch: Screen is too sensitive

Quite a few people have found that the Galaxy S7 screen is too sensitive. They may accidentally open apps or follow links when trying to scroll, sometimes menus will pop up, or typing in the keyboard will appear to have a mind of its own. A few people have had the opposite problem and found that it’s not sensitive enough. Unfortunately, there’s no obvious setting you can change here, but there are some other things you can try.

Workarounds:

  • Do you have a case on your phone? Galaxy S7 cases can make a big difference. You might find a case is enough to prevent you from accidentally triggering the edges of the screen or the touch sensitive buttons. If you have a case already, try removing it and test. If you don’t have a case, try putting one on there to see if it helps.
  • Screen protectors can also have an impact, generally lessening screen sensitivity. It might be worth trying one out as it will also guard against scratches on your display.

Potential solutions:

  • Make sure you have the latest software update in Settings > About device.
  • Go to Settings > Language and input > Pointer speed and adjust it, then test.
  • Try opening up the Phone app and dial *#2663# and you should get a Firmware version page. This might not work on every Galaxy S7; it will depend on your carrier. If it does work, then try tapping TSP FW update (General). It will take a few seconds, but then it should say Update complete : PASS at the bottom of the screen.
  • You could try using an app like SGS Touchscreen Booster, which allows you to adjust the screen sensitivity.

Problem: Transferring files on PC

A few people have had problems with transferring files to or from a PC or laptop after plugging their Galaxy S7 in via USB. By default, the Galaxy S7 will emit a bleep that means it’s charging up, but you won’t see an obvious way to transfer files.

Potential solutions:

  • In some cases, you’ll get a pop-up on the Galaxy S7 screen, and you simply tap Allow to Allow access to device data.
  • If you don’t get the pop-up, then pull down the notification shade and tap on Connected for charging or USB charging. This should bring up a menu that includes a File transfer option, or the Transferring media files and Transferring images Your PC or laptop may have to install some drivers, but after that you should get a pop-up option on the PC or laptop to Open device to view files. You should also see it listed under Start > Computer > Portable Devices as Galaxy S7.
  • If that didn’t work, then try going to Settings and tap Search at the top right, then type USB configuration. You should get a pop-up menu and you can choose MTP (Media Transfer Protocol) from the list.
  • You can also take a look in Developer options. If you haven’t turned Developer options on yet, then go to Settings > About device > Software info and tap on Build number seven times. You should get a message about being a developer and you can now find Developer options in Settings. If you scroll down, you’ll see USB configuration and you can make sure it’s set to MTP (Media Transfer Protocol).

Issue: No alarm sound

There have been some reports of issues with alarms on the Galaxy S7 not making any sound. Some people have encountered this issue with third-party alarm apps, but others have had the same trouble with the default clock app. There are a couple of reasons it might happen.

Workaround:

  • If you’re using a third-party alarm app, then it might be having trouble with the Doze feature in Android. You should see a wee alarm icon in the status bar next to your signal strength icon when an alarm is set. If you don’t see the alarm icon, then it’s not going to work. You should try using the default clock app, updating your alarm app, or using another alarm app that does work with Doze.
  • A restart will temporarily fix the problem. Last thing before bed, hold down the Power button and tap Restart, then set your alarm.
  • It may be caused by open media apps like games or YouTube. Try tapping the Recent apps button and closing everything before bed.

Potential solutions:

  • Take a look in Settings > Sounds and vibration > Volume.
  • You should also take a look at Settings > Do not disturb. If you are using it, then tap Allow exceptions and choose Alarms only or Custom and select your alarm app.
  • It could be that your app is being optimized. Take a look in Settings > Battery and tap Details under App power saving then tap on your alarm app and choose Disabled so that it isn’t turned off to save power.
  • If you’ve been gaming recently, then there’s a chance that it has to do with Game Tools. The floating red icon for Game Tools will pop up when you launch a game and the first option is to set No alerts during game. To test if this is causing your alarm problems, try turning it off via Settings > Advanced features > Games > Game Tools.

Glitch: Music streaming keeps stopping

If you find that the music you’re playing on your Galaxy S7 keeps stopping or pausing, then you are not alone. It might stop halfway through a song, or at the end of a song, and you have to turn the screen on to get it to start back up.

Potential solutions:

  • This is probably due to power saving settings. Take a look in Settings > Battery and make sure that Power saving mode is off, or set Start power saving to come on when the S7 is low on battery rather than Immediately. You could also go into the Power saving mode settings and turn off Restrict background data.
  • Take a look in Settings > Wi-Fi and tap More at the top right, then Keep Wi-Fi on during sleep and choose Always.
  • Take a look in Settings > Battery and tap Details under App power saving then choose your music app and tap on it to select Disabled.

Annoyance: App tray doesn’t organize apps

The app tray doesn’t automatically organize apps in any particular order, be it alphabetically, or by the date they were installed. This extends to newly installed apps, which are simply added to the end of the list. It’s annoying and inconvenient, but there’s a relatively simple solution to deal with it.

Official solution:

  • Open the application tray, tap the “A-Z” icon, then tap “Save.” Doing this will prompt your app tray to organize your apps, That said, the next time you install an app, it’ll be added to the end of the app tray list, and you’ll need to reorganize it once again.

Workaround:

  • You can also download a new launcher from the Google Play Store, such as Nova Launcher, which will give you more control and customization options for your Home Screen.

Problem: Speaker doesn’t work after getting wet

The Samsung Galaxy S7 is water-resistant, meaning it can handle a bit of water, even a brief dunk in a pool. Most of its features and functionality will work afterwards, while others don’t, Specifically, the speaker, which can sound wildly different or distorted.

Official solution:

  • All you need is time for this one. The speakers need to be completely dry before their audio quality returns to normal. Use a towel, lightly tap the phone against your hand to shake out more water, or put it somewhere to dry out on its own.

Workaround:

  • Consider getting a waterproof case, such as Lifeproof’s FRĒ, or Ghostek’s Atomic 2.0 series. Both are great at keeping your phone dry and in good condition.

Issue: Phone gets hot while charging

This isn’t a problem that’s exclusive to the Galaxy S7, and it has occasionally occurred with other smartphones. In every case, the phone becomes unusually hot while charging, reaching high temperatures.

Potential solutions:

  • Keep your phone away from warm or hot areas while charging. This includes keeping it out of direct sunlight.
  • If you’re doing a lot with your phone while it charges — playing videos, using GPS, Bluetooth, etc — that could be putting an extra strain on your device, thereby causing it to become hotter than usual. Consider cutting down on how much you use your phone while it charges.
  • The Galaxy S7’s fast charging capabilities can cause it to get hot. If you’re uncomfortable with how hot it gets, you can turn off fast charging by going to Settings > Battery, then toggle off Fast Cable Charging.

Problem: Unable to update software

Sometimes your phone doesn’t update automatically or the update fails and you’re unable to restart the download. Not to worry — as with other Android devices, there’s more than one way to keep your device’s software/firmware up to date.

Official solutions:

  • If downloading the update OTA (over-the-air) hasn’t worked for you, you can always us Samsung Smart Switch, a program made by Samsung, primarily to make transferring files easier.
    • Install the program to your PC, then launch it and connect your Galaxy S7 to your PC.
    • If an update is available, you’ll be prompted to install it, and given several steps to follow to begin the process.
  • You can also go to SamMobile.com/Firmwares to locate Samsung specific updates and manually install the update yourself. Only use this method if you’re comfortable with flashing your device and are aware of the risks. You will need to know the model number of your device to get the appropriate firmware, which can be found at Settings > About Phone.

Potential solutions:

  • Make sure you’re not already using the latest software version by going to Settings > About Phone. This page will detail various information like Model number, Android version, and Build number.
  • Also go to Settings > System Updates > Check for new system update. If there is a new update, you’ll be prompted to download and install it.
  • Toggle automatic updates off and on again by going to Settings > About Phone and tap the switch next to Download updates automatically. Below this option, you can also schedule automatic updates.

Problem: Computer doesn’t recognize device

You can transfer files to and from a computer when connecting the Galaxy S7 to your PC with a USB cable. However, there are times when the computer will not detect the phone.

Workarounds:

  • You can simply switch to using Samsung Smart Switch, which is also capable of transferring files between a computer and your Galaxy S7.

Potential solutions:

  • Restart your computer and your phone, then try connecting the two again.
  • Try another cable. If that works, the problem was with the previous cable you were using.
  • You may need to install the necessary drivers to allow your computer to interact with your phone. You can find the drivers for the S7 towards the bottom of Samsung’s support page for the device. Mac owners, however, will need to utilize Android File Transfer.
  • Go to Settings > About Phone > Software Info, then tap your device’s Build Number several times. A message reading, “Developer options have been enabled” should appear. Go to Settings > Developer options and enable USB Debugging. Finally, go to USB Configuration and change it from Charging to MTP Media Transfer Protocol. It’ll take a few minutes, as it’s installing drivers, but afterward, your computer should recognize your phone.
27
Mar

U.K. gov’t wants WhatsApp to break its encryption after the Parliament attack


Why it matters to you

Any time a democratic government encroaches on civil liberties, it sets precedent for many other countries around the world.

British Home Secretary Amber Rudd has announced the United Kingdom government’s intention to persuade popular messaging service Whatsapp to provide a way for the authorities to read encrypted messages, following last week’s attack in London. Although Rudd didn’t claim it would look to force tech companies to provide a backdoor, civil liberties groups have called the proposals unrealistic and overreaching.

The attack, which took place on March 22 and saw many people injured and several killed, involved just one man, though many related arrests have been made since. However, the lone attacker was found to have used Whatsapp half an hour before the attack began, which has prompted the authorities’ increased scrutiny of the messaging application.

The home secretary attacked the idea of encryption on weekend television, saying “It is completely unacceptable. There should be no place for terrorists to hide.”

“We need to make sure that organizations like WhatsApp, and there are plenty of others like that, don’t provide a secret place for terrorists to communicate with each other,” she said (via The Guardian).

More: Dorsey: Twitter thinking about implementing encrypted direct messages

She later evoked ideological language, saying the tech companies behind such platforms should “be on our side,” and because they have children and families, they should understand why opening up encryption is necessary.

Although Rudd did go on to admit that the best people to discuss such matters with were the technology heads themselves, there has been some concern over her wording which suggested a lack of understanding of the core technological issues presented by her proposals.

“The best people — who understand the technology, who understand the necessary hashtags — to stop this stuff even being put up, not just taking it down, are going to be them,” she said.

Her various statements prompted a strong response from left-leaning politicians and civil liberties groups. Liberal Democrats home affairs spokesperson Brian Paddick said in a statement that weakening encryption was not an “effective response,” to the problem.

“These terrorists want to destroy our freedoms and undermine our democratic society,” he said. “By implementing draconian laws that limit our civil liberties, we would be playing into their hands.”

Labor leader Jeremy Corbyn, said that the police and intelligence agencies already had “huge powers of investigation.” Other politicians pointed out that the British government would have difficulty forcing any international app maker to change anything about their security.

Privacy lobby organization The Open Rights Group said that although technology companies should cooperate with police for specific, warranted investigations, there was no benefit to installing backdoors or weakening encryption.

“We all rely on encryption to protect our ability to communicate, shop, and bank safely,” executive director Jim Killock said.

This debate has been an important one in the United States as well, where in early 2016, the FBI attempted to force Apple to weaken security on an iPhone owned by a suspect it was investigating.

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