Fixing Your Cracked iPhone Screen Will Soon Be Easier Than Ever

iStock
iStock

Raise your hand if your iPhone screen is cracked. (Oh, you, too?) iPhones have gotten sleeker, faster, and smarter over the years, but their screens have remained fragile as ever. Until now, repair options were limited to in-store appointments with lengthy waits, shipping devices off to an Apple Repair Center, or visiting a third-party repair provider (likely located inside a mall kiosk). But as Reuters reports, Apple plans to make the mending process easier for customers by installing its special iPhone screen-fixing machines in around 400 third-party locations worldwide. They’re expected to roll out by the end of 2017.

To fix phones with shattered screens, Apple uses a special, microwave-sized machine called the Horizon Machine. Unlike other repair mechanisms, Horizon can detect damage to sensors (like the fingerprint sensor) and replace them as needed. But until now, Horizon was a closely guarded trade secret, and it wasn’t used at third-party locations.

Apple reps first defended the company's decision to restrict Horizon’s use to its own retail stores and mail-in repair centers, saying they wanted to protect their proprietary software and ensure quality repairs. However, they’ve evidently changed their minds, citing long wait times at Apple stores and the desire "to expand our reach," according to Reuters.

Outside pressure may have also played a part, as eight states have introduced "right-to-repair" bills that would require manufacturers to sell affordable repair manuals, diagnostic tools, and replacement parts. This way, smaller repair shops could make high-quality repairs for lower costs. (According to Apple, iPhone owners can get their devices fixed at unauthorized stores without voiding their warranties, so long as they aren't damaged in the process.) Apple denies that these bills swayed their decision.

Horizon has been piloted at third-party stores in the Bay Area, London, Shanghai, and Singapore, and at Best Buy locations in Miami and Minneapolis. Over the next few months, 200 authorized Apple service providers will also get their very own Horizon machines, with this number doubling by year’s end.

[h/t Reuters]

This Innovative Cutting Board Takes the Mess Out of Meal Prep

There's no way any of these ingredients will end up on the floor.
There's no way any of these ingredients will end up on the floor.
TidyBoard, Kickstarter

Transferring food from the cutting board to the bowl—or scraps to the compost bin—can get a little messy, especially if you’re dealing with something that has a tendency to roll off the board, spill juice everywhere, or both (looking at you, cherry tomatoes).

The TidyBoard, available on Kickstarter, is a cutting board with attached containers that you can sweep your ingredients right into, taking the mess out of meal prep and saving you some counter space in the process. The board itself is 15 inches by 20 inches, and the container that fits in its empty slot is 14 inches long, 5.75 inches wide, and more than 4 inches deep. Two smaller containers fit inside the large one, making it easy to separate your ingredients.

Though the 4-pound board hangs off the edge of your counter, good old-fashioned physics will keep it from tipping off—as long as whatever you’re piling into the containers doesn’t exceed 9 pounds. It also comes with a second set of containers that work as strainers, so you can position the TidyBoard over the edge of your sink and drain excess water or juice from your ingredients as you go.

You can store food in the smaller containers, which have matching lids; and since they’re all made of BPA-free silicone, feel free to pop them in the microwave. (Remove the small stopper on top of the lid first for a built-in steaming hole.)

tidyboard storage containers
They also come in gray, if teal isn't your thing.
TidyBoard

Not only does the bamboo-made TidyBoard repel bacteria, it also won’t dull your knives or let strong odors seep into it. In short, it’s an opportunity to make cutting, cleaning, storing, and eating all easier, neater, and more efficient. Prices start at $79, and it’s expected to ship by October 2020—you can find out more details and order yours on Kickstarter.

This article contains affiliate links to products selected by our editors. Mental Floss may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.

Fiona the Hippo Is Now on Cameo

Mark Dumont, Flickr // CC BY-NC 2.0
Mark Dumont, Flickr // CC BY-NC 2.0

Fiona the Hippo has earned her status as a celebrity. Born prematurely and weighing just 29 pounds in 2017, she became a sensation when she beat the odds and survived. Now, the Cincinnati Zoo's most beloved resident is taking her famous mug to Cameo.

Cameo is a service that allows fans to pay for personalized video messages from various celebrities. Most celebrities on the website are people, but that hasn't stopped Fiona from offering her star presence to the public.

For $100, you can request a custom video from the Cincinnati Zoo starring Fiona. A zoo staff member will recite the message while filming Fiona being adorable in her enclosure. One example video shows Fiona hanging out with her mom and snacking on some lettuce while her caretaker wishes the recipient a happy birthday.

Animal lovers who pay for a Cameo from Fiona will be supporting a good cause, too. Proceeds from the purchase will go to the Cincinnati Zoo, which is currently operating at limited capacity due to the COVID-19 pandemic. If you have a Cameo account, you can request your own video message for $100 here.

This isn't the first time the Cincinnati Zoo has used Fiona's popularity as a fundraising tool. Earlier this year, the zoo started selling the dung left behind by Fiona and other animals as garden fertilizer.