Archive for May 30, 2024

Thursday, May 30, 2024

Apple Silicon MacBook Pro Battery Replacement

Jeff Johnson (Mastodon):

Yesterday I took the M1 MacBook Pro to my local Apple-authorized service provider that I’ve been going to for many years, who performed all of the work on my Intel MacBook Pro, including the battery replacements and a Staingate screen replacement. This is a third-party shop, not an Apple Store. To my utter shock, they told me that they couldn’t replace the battery in-house, because starting with the Apple silicon transition, Apple now requires that the MacBook Pro be mailed in to Apple for battery replacement!


As a Mac owner for over twenty years, I’ve always been able to arrange for same-day repair, dropping off the Mac in the morning and picking it up later in the day. The last time, due to Apple’s increasing restrictions on Apple service providers, I had to pay an “emergency service fee” for the same-day repair, but I’m perfectly willing to do that. My time at the computer was worth more than the fee. This new nonsense about requiring mail-in repairs, however, is a step way over the line.


I checked Apple’s Self Service Repair Store, and sure enough the top case with battery and keyboard for my MacBook Pro cost $615.12, although there is an $88 credit if you return the replaced part to Apple.

I didn’t like it when Apple first got rid of user-replaceable batteries, but it didn’t seem like that big of a deal because they promised quick replacements at any authorized service provider. The battery wasn’t glued in; you just had to unscrew the bottom of the laptop. It’s surprising and disappointing that they’re now designing products such that this essential service is even more difficult.


Update (2024-05-31): Nick Heer:

I called my local third-party repair place and asked them about replacing the battery. They told me they could change it in the store with same-day turnaround for $350, about the same as what Apple charges, using official parts.


Ternus’ point is that Apple’s solution for preventing liquid damage to all components, including the battery, compromised the ease of repairing an iPhone, but the company saw it as a reasonable trade-off.

But it is also a bit of a red herring for two reasons.


If there is any repair which should be straightforward and doable without replacing unrelated components or the entire device, it is the battery.

See also: Hacker News.

Jeff Johnson:

The problem isn’t really the hardware. I actually do have a Mac mini that I use for testing. (And I still have a couple of older MacBook Pros, though they can’t run the latest macOS versions.) The problem is my software setup. Like I said in the blog post, I’ve got everything on the MacBook Pro. To get everything I need in working order onto a secondary Mac, and then “sync” all changes in various software back to my main machine after a period without it, would be a major pain in the butt. And that’s never been an issue before, because like I said, this is the first time in decades of computer ownership that I haven’t been able to arrange same-day service. Even overnight service would be ok, but mail-in is out of the question.

Jason Snell:

There are a lot of trade-offs when it comes to the design of mobile devices, but making it easy to replace a device’s battery should always be a high priority.

Especially for a Pro device.

Update (2024-06-04): Jeff Johnson:

As a kind of test, I emailed my local Apple Authorized Service Provider from a masked address and asked anonymously about MacBook Pro battery replacement, without giving them my serial number. They actually have 3 locations in town.

The first reply was kind of misleading: “We can do the repair through AppleCare+. The process takes usually around 3-5 business days. We can do the repair at 2 locations…”

I expressed confusion about the 3-5 day process, and the second reply said, “The 3-5 business day process requires us to run diagnostics, isolate the issue and mail the device out to Apple for repair.”

So it had nothing to do with me specifically, and my machine wasn’t “flagged”, as someone suggested on the web. They’re sending all repairs out to Apple.

YouTube Playables

Juli Clover:

YouTube is the latest company to introduce mobile games that are available outside of the App Store, today announcing the official launch of “Playables” in the YouTube app.


YouTube is focusing on “lightweight, entertaining games,” so many of the options are games that are meant to be played for a short period of time rather than longer games that you might find on the App Store.


Playables are a fun, interactive way to experience YouTube — with lightweight, entertaining games like Angry Birds Showdown, Words of Wonders, Cut the Rope, Tomb of the Mask, and Trivia Crack and so many more that you can play right now.

You can also save your game progress and track your all-time best scores.


iOS Retro Console Game Emulators

OatmealDome (via Steve Troughton-Smith):

Apple modified their App Store guidelines to allow retro game emulators in the App Store. This week, Delta, a multi-system emulator that was previously only available via AltStore, was released on the App Store.

Since these events happened, we’ve been asked many times if we will submit DolphiniOS (our fork of Dolphin) to the App Store.

Unfortunately, no.

Apple still does not allow us to use a vital technology that is necessary for Dolphin to run with good performance: JIT.

Joe Rossignol:

Apple told us that emulators that can load games (ROMs) are permitted on the App Store, so long as the apps are emulating “retro console games” only.

Apple would not tell us which consoles it classifies as retro[…]


There is also a Commodore 64 emulator on the App Store called Emu64 XL.

Joe Rossignol:

The lead developer of the multi-emulator app Provenance has told iMore that his team is working towards releasing the app on the App Store, but he did not provide a timeframe. Provenance is a frontend for many existing emulators, and it would allow iPhone and Apple TV users to emulate games released for a wide variety of classic game consoles, including the original PlayStation, SEGA Genesis, Atari 2600, and others.

Craig Grannell:

When iGBA was removed, Apple cited “spam” and “copyright” reasons, which led to speculation that emulators allowing you to load your own games were still banned. Apple later clarified this wasn’t the case – if they emulated “retro console games”. But what is ‘retro’? Is that about blocking emulators of commercially viable systems, or does Apple have a set time period in mind? And is ‘console’ shorthand for ‘old game system’ or more literal, meaning Apple would block emulators for arcade systems and also old computers that weren’t primarily geared toward gaming?

We just don’t know, and Apple in the past has glibly said “we know it when we see it” regarding unacceptable App Store submissions. Not great for developers, but we can make predictions. Notably, Apple has historically blocked virtual implementations of its own hardware, and so a big test of the new rules would be a developer submitting an Apple II or Mac Plus emulator. And don’t expect an iPhone emulator for classic iPhone games on the App Store any time soon – or perhaps ever. For that, you’ll still – ironically – need an Android device.

Tim Hardwick:

Gamma, a new emulator for playing classic PlayStation 1 games on iPhone and iPad, has just hit the App Store.

Joe Rossignol:

RetroArch is a frontend that provides all-in-one access to many different emulators for consoles from Atari, Commodore, Nintendo, SEGA, Sony, and others. The app offers RetroAchievements, which are essentially custom challenges added on top of classic games, such as “find and collect a Fire Flower” in Super Mario Bros. for NES.

Mike Rockwell:

The only arguments I can see in favor of other emulation apps is that RetroArch isn’t great without a controller and it can be a little tricky to get setup. But I think most people would be better off watching or reading a guide and buying a Backbone One.


Update (2024-06-04): Joe Rossignol:

Folium has become the first Nintendo 3DS emulator for the iPhone available in the App Store, although there are some caveats to be aware of.

Foremost, this is the first Nintendo emulator on the App Store that costs money. Folium developer Jarrod Norwell is charging $4.99 for the app, which is a bold choice given that Nintendo recently sued the developers of Yuzu, a Nintendo Switch emulator that made a profit off a subscription-based “early access” tier.