PSA: If you have an older iPhone with slow performance, a new battery could solve your problems

One longstanding complaint from iPhone users is how their device slows down over time, specifically as the device ages and Apple releases new software updates. A Reddit thread has emerged this weekend with some interesting theories as to why this may happen…

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Last year, a growing number of iPhone 6s users reported that their device was suffering from random shutdowns. Apple subsequently launched a repair program for affected users, offering free battery replacements. At the time, the company said that a “very small number” of iPhone 6s users were affected by this problem.

A few months later, however, Apple said that more users were affected than it initially thought, and said a fix was coming in the form of a software update. The company eventually released iOS 10.2.1 and touted that shutdowns were reduced by 80 percent on iPhone 6s devices and by 70 percent on iPhone 6 devices.

At the time, it was speculated that the update made adjustments to the power management system in iOS. The Reddit thread this weekend, however, offers a slew of anecdotal evidence as to how this change ended up affecting device performance.

Wow, just installed GeekBench myself and tried with my 6 Plus. According to their website, my phone should score 1471/2476, but it actually scored 839/1377 … Which would explain why I, like you, have been feeling like my phone has gotten noticeably slower lately.

The gist of the thread, which has since acquired over 400 comments from users, is that replacing their iPhone battery caused a major uptick in performance, both real-world and in benchmark testing.

Many people might remember that iPhone 6S battery fiasco, which for many, was fixed with iOS 10.2.1, and that seemed to be the end of it. Apparently, the way it did this is by dynamically changing the maximum clock speed relative to the voltage that the battery is outputting, so that your phone can’t draw too much power and shut down.

Some in the thread speculate that Apple was inundated with battery replacement requests because of the random shutdown issue, and instead of coming clean about it, throttled devices with a software update to “solve” the problem:

Someone had a theory here that Apple did this because they were aware that there were a lot of faulty batteries that needs replacing, but instead of coming clean, they released iOS 10.2.1 which throttles our devices instead.

Users report that replacing their device’s battery caused performance to be improved significantly:

I did the same with my 6 Plus and the performance is day and night, can’t stop recommending it if you are happy with your phone and don’t want to replace it yet.

If you feel that you’re affected by this problem, you can use an app like CpuDasherX to see your device’s clock speed. Users report that the clock speed shown here is less than what it should be, adding merit to suggestions that Apple throttles devices affected by the shutdown issue.

While Apple says that Low Power Mode can reduce device speed in an effort to save battery life, this appears to be completely different and affects users without that featured enabled.

Furthermore, it’s important to note here that many of these issues aren’t necessarily ‘defects.’ Apple says iPhone batteries are designed to last some 2 years worth of charge cycles, thus meaning that many iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s devices are now outside of that window and not in their performance “prime” anymore.

This isn’t necessarily a new revelation. Apple has similar practices with the MacBook, where performance is essentially correlated to battery wear and usage. The more wear and tear on your battery, the more macOS works to optimize performance and battery life. More on that right here.

As for why the iPhone 7 and newer aren’t affected by this issue, Apple’s A10 and A11 chips include a different power structure where certain cores handle high-intensity tasks and others low-power. This setup is used to help offset performance and battery life concerns.

Ultimately, if you’re an iPhone 6 or iPhone 6s user suffering from increasingly slow device performance, a new battery could help solve your problem. We’re reaching out to Apple for further explanation as to what’s going on here.


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AI could help solve the world’s healthcare problems at scale

In a world with limited doctors, emerging diseases and superbugs, and sharply rising healthcare costs, how can we successfully tackle healthcare problems at scale?
This is just one of the critical challenges India’s explosive startup community hopes to solve by implementing AI in new and innovative ways to serve the needs of 1.324 billion citizens. This is a feat that carries huge implications for the US and other healthcare ecosystems around the globe.

To understand how dire the situation is, it’s worth considering India’s health paradox. The country’s deep demographic dividend — which occurs when the majority of a country’s population consists of working-age individuals — is driving rapid and unprecedented growth, but it is also a ticking time bomb. With an average age of 27, India has one of the youngest and most educated populations in the world. Since 1991, this phenomenon has fueled approximately 7% annual growth, produced new goods and services, and reduced dependents in the economy.

But in order to keep reaping the benefits of this dividend, India’s young population needs to have access to quality nutrition and healthcare. In addition, as the dividend declines (as we are witnessing in China), the country will need new infrastructure in place to care for its aging population. And unfortunately, the infrastructure that is necessary doesn’t exist today.

The doctor-to-patient ratio in India is one of the worst in the world, with just 0.2 doctors for every 1,000 Indians (for comparison, there are 1.1 doctors for every 1,000 Americans in the US). Modern medical facilities — and as a result, doctors — are heavily concentrated in urban areas. In addition to heart disease, cancer, and is so bad, for instance, that it was deemed equivalent to smoking 44 cigarettes per day.

The fundamental reason behind India’s healthcare issues is resource scarcity. India needs more medical facilities and more medical expertise, and both of these require time and billions of dollars to develop. But such resources are not easily obtainable, so we must consider other ways to dramatically increase access to existing resources in an effective and inexpensive way.

This is where AI has the potential to reshape India’s healthcare problem. Manu Rekhi, Managing Director of Inventus, says, “Indian AI platform companies are building upon two decades of India’s IT industry expertise. They are supercharging how software and human intelligence can partner to create new human-in-the-loop AI systems for global markets as well as the bottom of the pyramid.”

Indeed, a number of Indian startups have implemented deep AI expertise to move the needle on specific health conditions and disease. In some cases, these companies offer technology and distribution opportunities, which attract Fortune 500 giants to partner with them both for the India market and globally.

One such company is Tricog Health, a startup handpicked by GE’s healthcare accelerator program for its cloud-based cardiac diagnosis platform. Coronary heart disease is increasingly prevalent in India, having escalated from causing 26% of adult deaths in 2003 to 32% in 2013. Tricog increases access to cardiac care across 340 cities in 23 states, including in some of the most remote locations in India. The company’s platform collects physiological data and ECGs from medical devices in the field then uses specialized AI to process the data in real-time and provide a diagnosis to the cardiologist.The cardiologist then reviews and recommends next steps to the GP or nurse in the field instantaneously using the Tricog mobile app. By using Tricog’s AI engine, a few specialists can diagnose over 20,000 patients.

Another startup, Bengaluru-based Aindra Systems, is using AI to tackle cervical cancer, which is the second most common cancer in Indian women between the ages of 15 and 60. In fact, India represents a whopping one-third of the total global incidences of cervical cancer. Aindra’s solution can detect cervical cancer in its early stages and measurably increase the odds of survival. The company increases the productivity of pathologists who screen cervical cancer samples, who otherwise typically need to manually examine each sample and flag cases with a high cancer probability to an oncologist for further review.

Adarsh Natarajan, Founder and CEO of Aindra Systems, says “Our vision is to implement mass cervical cancer screening using AI, and help the 330 million Indian women in the at-risk age bracket. With early detection, up to 90% of deaths can be avoided with appropriate treatment. Aindra’s computational pathology platform includes an affordable and portable, ‘point-of-care’ cervical cancer screening device to automate deep learning analysis and bring down the screening time significantly to help detect cancer at an early stage.”

The AI boom in healthcare is just starting, and the up-and-coming list of players is endless. Niramai is working on early detection of breast cancer. Ten3T is providing remote health monitoring services via AI to detect anomalies and alert the doctor. HealthifyMe, a Bangalore startup, is working on lifestyle diseases like obesity, hypertension, and diabetes. With its AI-enabled nutrition coach, Ria, HealthifyMe brings the best of elite nutrition expertise with AI in the loop.

And of course, global corporate leaders like Google bring their capabilities to India as well. Google recently partnered with Aravind Eye Hospitals to use image recognition algorithms to detect early signs of diabetic retinopathy, an eye disease that can cause blindness in diabetics if not treated early. Aravind Eye Hospitals is the largest eye care group in the world, having treated 32 million patients and performed 4 million surgeries. They have provided 128,000 retinal images to Google that have been invaluable for the application of AI to detect diabetic retinopathy in 415 million at-risk diabetic patients worldwide.

With a bevy of solutions on the rise, India is poised to leapfrog some of the key barriers of conventional healthcare, which of course has profound implications for healthcare delivery in other countries, including the US. With rising costs and unfavorable government policies, an increasing number of people are priced out of access. The burden on emergency rooms across the country is increasing as more people are unable to afford preventative care at primary care centers. AI-assisted technologies could reduce the costs in the US using the same mechanism — affordably scaling access to millions of people.

These startup-driven innovations and global platforms are just the tip of the iceberg. AI can ultimately become a force multiplier in bringing preventative healthcare facilities to anyone and everyone, rather than just urban or affluent communities. As you’ll often hear AI experts say, “more data beats better algorithms.” In other words, simpler algorithms only need a larger training dataset to generate accurate, valuable predictions for both payers and providers. With 1.3 billion citizens, India has the potential to provide the vast amounts of data needed to improve the accuracy and precision of our algorithms and empower both startups and large companies to help solve healthcare problems around the world.

Pranav Deshpande works with Startup Bridge at Stanford, an annual conference held in December at Stanford where top technology innovators from India and Silicon Valley build strategic partnerships to innovate for the world.  

Solve puzzles with your friends in the newly expanded puzzle game, Snipperclips Plus ? Cut it out, together!

Solve puzzles with your friends in the newly expanded puzzle game, Snipperclips Plus ? Cut it out, together!

It’s time to grab a friend (or frenemy) and solve some imaginative
puzzles! Cut paper characters into new shapes and solve tricky tasks in
the Snipperclips
Plus– Cut it out, together
!
game.

Need to pop a balloon? A few snips will shape your character into a
sharp point (that really gets the point). Want to carry a ball to a
hoop? Just take a little off the top, and the ball will snugly fit on
your paper head. Puzzles can be solved in all sorts of different ways,
so let your creativity run wild!

Puzzles in the main game can be solved solo or with a friend, while
special puzzles can be tackled by 2-4 players.* There are even ways to
compete against your friends or create a work of art together!

Features:

  • Work together to cut paper pals into new shapes and solve puzzles.
  • Use your imagination and the objects in each level to solve puzzles in
    multiple ways.
  • Grab a friend or go it alone in World mode. There are 5 worlds total
    to master!
  • 2-4 players* can team up to solve challenging puzzles in Party mode,
    enjoy fast sports-like competitions in Blitz mode, or create a
    glorious work of art together in Stamp mode.
  • Replay stages in Custom Shape mode. You’ll be given a randomized shape
    to work it leading to even more creative solutions!

Snipperclips Plus – Cut it out, together! contains the
original Nintendo Switch™ game and the new DLC. If you are completely
new to the game, you can either purchase this expanded version at retail
stores or buy a digital bundle (containing all the content) in Nintendo
eShop on Nintendo Switch.

Owners of the original version can purchase and download this additional
content separately in Nintendo eShop.

If you’re interested in the game, you can cut to the chase by visiting https://www.nintendo.com/games/detail/snipperclips-plus-switch

Game Rated:

The iPhone X won’t solve Apple’s China problems

iPhone X: First impressions

Apple has lost its luster in China, and the iPhone X probably isn’t going to bring it back.

The company’s highly anticipated new device is expected to sell well in the world’s largest smartphone market. But experts say it’s unlikely to reverse Apple’s loss of market share to aggressive Chinese rivals.

China is one of Apple’s most important markets, and CEO Tim Cook pays regular visits. He and other business leaders attended an event with President Xi Jinping just this week.

The U.S. tech giant has struggled there in recent years, though. The iPhone suffered six consecutive quarters of declining sales in China through the end of June, according to Canalys research. Apple’s overall revenue in the region has followed the same trend, falling by double digits every quarter over the same period.

Related: The highs, lows and quirks of the iPhone X

Apple broke its downward streak in smartphone sales in the most recent quarter, helped by the launch of the iPhone 8, according to Canalys. But the research firm says such growth is unlikely to continue through the end of the year.

The iPhone X, which hits stores on Friday, isn’t expected to be a silver bullet.

In China, where the new iPhone starts at nearly $1,300, those willing to splash out that much cash will be status-conscious consumers who already use Apple products, according to Jin Di, an analyst with research firm IDC.

Related: What the iPhone X costs around the world

The new phone “really targets limited customers,” said Hattie He, Shanghai-based analyst with Canalys. “It is unlikely to drive Apple’s sales volume very high.”

Instead, homegrown Chinese brands Huawei, Oppo, Vivo and Xiaomi will continue to chip away at the U.S. company’s market share.

Huawei Mate 10 pro
Huawei’s latest offering, the Mate 10 Pro, is a direct challenge to Apple’s iPhone X.

When it comes to high-end phones — defined by Canalys as those that cost more than $600 — Apple is still the clear leader in China. It commanded more than 80% of that part of the Chinese market in the third quarter of this year.

But domestic players are upping their game in that area too, according to He.

Huawei recently recently introduced the Mate 10 Pro, which sells for around $800 in China. It’s a strong challenger to the iPhone X — and it’s roughly $500 cheaper.

Related: iPhone X screen repair: That’ll be $275

The other big players — Vivo, Oppo and Xiaomi — don’t have any devices that can go toe-to-toe with the latest Apple offering. Not yet, anyway.

“They’ve got ambitions in the high market,” He said. “But it takes some time.”

For now, the Chinese smartphone makers are dominating the market for younger, more cost-sensitive consumers with devices that may not be as expensive as the iPhone X, but still carry price tags between $300 and $500.

Vivo chinese smartphone pop singer lu han advert
Chinese smartphone makers like Vivo use celebrity endorsements to drum up excitement for devices.

Oppo and Vivo are particularly popular brands among Millenials thanks in part to targeted promotions, like Chinese pop stars advertising their devices on social media platforms.

Meanwhile, Xiaomi is challenging Apple’s ecosystem of compatible devices, offering smartphones, fitness trackers, laptops and even rice cookers that all connect to each other.

Related: iPhone X pre-orders up to a six week wait

Domestic players also have one more advantage Apple just can’t match: they’re Chinese.

Chen Huanzhen, a hotel executive, said she plans buy a Huawei device rather than an iPhone X not only because it’s more affordable, but also because it’s the patriotic thing to do.

“I am going to switch to a Huawei from an iPhone because I want to support local Chinese products,” she said.

— Kinnie Li contributed to this report.

CNNMoney (Hong Kong) First published November 2, 2017: 5:06 AM ET