Apple Confirms That They're Slowing Down Your Old iPhone, and People Aren't Happy

iStock
iStock

Does it sometimes feel like your older model iPhone is getting slower with each passing day? You're not imagining things. Apple recently issued a statement regarding claims that it’s been intentionally slowing down older iPhone models as new updates to its operating system have been rolling in. While the tech giant admitted to the practice, it claims the reasoning behind it is purely out of necessity.

As lithium-ion batteries age, they’re “less capable of supplying peak current demands when in cold conditions, have a low battery charge or as they age over time, which can result in the device unexpectedly shutting down to protect its electronic components,” according to the company. This means they’re unable to handle the high workloads of phones with new batteries. So in order to mitigate the issue, Apple introduced a feature on older models to slow them down to avoid overloading the batteries which would lead to these shutdowns.

Some consumers and tech journalists have a different theory, though, claiming that this is a tactic on Apple’s part to force users to upgrade to the latest phone models. The practice left such a bad taste in some consumers’ mouths that some people have filed lawsuits over the issue.

In both Illinois and Los Angeles, consumers have filed class-action lawsuits against Apple. The Chicago-based suit—which was filed by consumers in Illinois, Ohio, Indiana, and North Carolina—claims Apple took part in “deceptive, immoral, and unethical” practices that violate the rights and protections of customers.

“Corporations have to realize that people are sophisticated and that when people spend their hard-earned dollars on a product they expect it to perform as expected,” attorney James Vlahakis told the Chicago Sun-Times. “Instead, Apple appears to have obscured and concealed why older phones were slowing down.”

In Los Angeles, the suit, filed by two law students from the University of Southern California, argues that customers “were never given the option to bargain or choose whether they preferred to have their iPhones slower than normal.” The suit also says Apple “never requested consent” for the slowdown, and that it caused the plaintiffs to “suffer, and continue to suffer, economic damages,” according to a copy of the suit obtained by CBS.

Both suits are seeking unspecified damages from Apple, and as the story continues to grow, more suits could be filed. Apple has yet to respond to the lawsuits.

Fortunately, upgrading your phone isn't the only way to speed it back up. There are several simple tricks, like changing your wallpaper or deleting some widgets, that can help to make your iPhone faster. And if battery life is a constant problem, there's an easy way to squeeze more juice out of your device in just five minutes.

You Can Now Order—and Donate—Girl Scout Cookies Online

It's OK if you decide to ignore the recommended serving size on a box of these beauties.
It's OK if you decide to ignore the recommended serving size on a box of these beauties.
Girl Scouts

Girl Scouts may have temporarily suspended both cookie booths and door-to-door sales to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, but that doesn’t mean you’ll be deprived of your annual supply of everyone’s favorite boxed baked goods. Instead, you can now order Thin Mints, Tagalongs, and all the other classic cookies online—or donate them to local charities.

When you enter your ZIP code on the “Girl Scouts Cookie Care” page, it’ll take you to a digital order form for the nearest Girl Scouts organization in your area. Then, simply choose your cookies—which cost $5 or $6 per box—and check out with your payment and shipping information. There’s a minimum of four boxes for each order, and shipping fees vary based on quantity.

Below the list of cookies is a “Donate Cookies” option, which doesn’t count toward your own order total and doesn’t cost any extra to ship. You get to choose how many boxes to donate, but the Girl Scouts decide which kinds of cookies to send and where exactly to send them (the charity, organization, or group of people benefiting from your donation is listed on the order form). There’s a pretty wide range of recipients, and some are specific to healthcare workers—especially in regions with particularly large coronavirus outbreaks. The Girl Scouts of Greater New York, for example, are sending donations to NYC Health + Hospitals, while the Girl Scouts of Western Washington have simply listed “COVID-19 Responders” as their recipients.

Taking their cookie business online isn’t the only way the Girl Scouts are adapting to the ‘stay home’ mandates happening across the country. They’ve also launched “Girl Scouts at Home,” a digital platform filled with self-guided activities so Girl Scouts can continue to learn skills and earn badges without venturing farther than their own backyard. Resources are categorized by grade level and include everything from mastering the basics of coding to building a life vest for a Corgi (though the video instructions for that haven’t been posted yet).

“For 108 years, Girl Scouts has been there in times of crisis and turmoil,” Girl Scouts of the USA CEO Sylvia Acevedo said in a press release. “And today we are stepping forward with new initiatives to help girls, their families, and consumers connect, explore, find comfort, and take action.”

You can order cookies here, and explore “Girl Scouts at Home” here.

Can't Find Yeast? Grow Your Own at Home With a Sourdough Starter

Dutodom, iStock via Getty Images
Dutodom, iStock via Getty Images

Baking bread can relieve stress and it requires long stretches of time at home that many of us now have. But shoppers have been panic-buying some surprising items since the start of the COVID-19 crisis. In addition to pantry staples like rice and beans, yeast packets are suddenly hard to find in grocery stores. If you got the idea to make homemade bread at the same time as everyone on your Instagram feed, don't let the yeast shortage stop you. As long as you have flour, water, and time, you can grow your own yeast at home.

While many bread recipes call for either instant yeast or dry active yeast, sourdough bread can be made with ingredients you hopefully already have on hand. The key to sourdough's unique, tangy taste lies in its "wild" yeast. Yeast is a single-celled type of fungus that's abundant in nature—it's so abundant, it's floating around your home right now.

To cultivate wild yeast, you need to make a sourdough starter. This can be done by combining one cup of flour (like whole grain, all-purpose, or a mixture of the two) with a half cup of cool water in a bowl made of nonreactive material (such as glass, stainless steel, or food-grade plastic). Cover it with plastic wrap or a clean towel and let it sit in a fairly warm place (70°F to 75°F) for 24 hours.

Your starter must be fed with one cup of flour and a half cup of water every day for five days before it can be used in baking. Sourdough starter is a living thing, so you should notice is start to bubble and grow in size over time (it also makes a great low-maintenance pet if you're looking for company in quarantine). On the fifth day, you can use your starter to make dough for sourdough bread. Here's a recipe from King Arthur Flour that only calls for starter, flour, salt, and water.

If you just want to get the urge to bake out of your system, you can toss your starter once you're done with it. If you plan on making sourdough again, you can use the same starter indefinitely. Starters have been known to live in people's kitchens for decades. But to avoid using up all your flour, you can store yours in the fridge after the first five days and reduce feedings to once a week.

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