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My obsolescence problem with Apple is with how long it provides accessories for older products. My perfectly functional iPad Pro 9.7" (2016) now has a worn out Apple keyboard cover that apparently Apple no longer sells.
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I have heard conflicting reports that the 10.5" iPad Pro keyboard may fit the 9.7", although Apple reps have told me that it's not true. I see the new 10.5" iPad Air has an available keyboard. It would be great if it would work with my Pro, but I'm not betting on it.
It occurs to me that I should update the above, since I was able to resolve my keyboard issue:

I spoke with a Genius at my local store about buying a replacement keyboard, and he assured me they are no longer available for sale at the store. He did suggest that I contact Apple Support online and seeing if a replacement could be bought as a repair, since they are required to carry repair parts for a certain amount of time.

I chatted online with a Support person who was less than helpful; I described the problem and told him I was referred to him by an Apple Genius to get a replacement for my keyboard. He wanted me to reset my iPad to factory default to see if the problem persisted. When I told him I could not do that it was unnecessary, he told me there was nothing else he could do for me and referred me back to the Apple Store. (He was very helpful in making an appointment for me.)

Back to the Genius Bar: I spoke with a Genius who looked up the keyboard's serial number, told me that it had a known problem and was covered under an Apple replacement program and I was entitled to a replacement. Five minutes later I walked out with a new keyboard on my iPad Pro.

So, there's the good and the bad of it. The problem was resolved to my satisfaction but I told Apple in my feedback survey that it probably would have been better all-around if the first Genius had taken the time to do what the last Genius did, namely, follow procedure: Look up the serial number, see if there are any replacement programs against it and supply me with the replacement part from the back, wether free or for the out of warranty price.

Hope this is helpful to someone else.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
It's not clear what the problem is with iPad Pro screens, but there's clearly a problem:
Apple Communities said:
iPad Pro 12.9” not responding to touch intermittently
I bought an 12.9” iPad Pro 2017 around 6 months ago and since day one I’ve had trouble with the screen not responding to touch intermittently. It will randomly stop responding to my touch for anywhere between 1 and 30 seconds before coming back, it’s most noticeable when typing as letters or whole words will be missed which is infuriating. The home button still responds and usually gets things working again. I’ve also found that having bluetooth off stops it happening quite so often but it still happens (it’s happened a few times just typing this message out). The Apple Pencil always seems to work, it’s just finger touches that stop doing anything.

I kept hoping an update would fix the issue but nothing has changed yet. I love the iPad but this issue is unacceptable for such an expensive piece of equipment and is driving me nuts now. I’ve tried doing an erase and restore twice with no effect. I also keep the screen as clean as I can.
MacRumors said:
Growing Number of iPad Pro Owners Complain of Screen Stuttering Issues
Some iPad Pro owners who have 2017 and 2018 models have increasingly been running into issues with screen stuttering, based on a slew of threads on the Apple Support communities and the MacRumors forums.

Affected users have iPad Pro models that sometimes refuse to register touch gestures, stutter when scrolling, miss keystrokes, and have other similar issues. We here at MacRumors have not been able to replicate this issue, but the sheer number of complaints suggests something may be going on with the iPad Pro's display.
 


Long-time iPad-specific app developer, here - this sounds like software rather than hardware. I can't think of a hardware defect that would suddenly "come right" like this. I suspect if the iPad were running macOS, it'd be "beach balling" like crazy during the freeze.
 


It sounds a lot like the behavior of some of the older iPads that were updated one version too far. Given that these are new purchases and pretty capable machines, I’m guessing something else. I did see some terrible performance recently when my phone was downloading the iOS beta. That kind of thing doesn’t usually do it. Lack of free space can also cause that kind of behavior. I’d bet it’s not the hardware itself though.
 


Long-time iPad-specific app developer, here - this sounds like software rather than hardware.
I suspect this is right. Last night my now-old iPad Pro 9.7-inch model exhibited the touch-insensitive screen issue, which suggests that the problem is not a new hardware problem affecting only the latest iPads. A quick reboot fixed it. Feels like a software issue to me.
 


It's not clear what the problem is with iPad Pro screens, but there's clearly a problem...
The 2017-model iPad Pro 12.9" I bought a year ago developed the problem of touch insensitivity after a couple of months. Extensive, frustrating experimentation showed that the problem occurs primarily when the charging cable is attached to the lightning port.

The worst symptom was when solitaire game cards being dragged froze in the middle of the trip. Attempted relief included hard taps and shake-to-undo. The touch sensitivity usually recovered within 30 seconds.

Now that I keep the iPad unplugged, unless it is charging while not in use, I still notice that the force/touch needed for selection and drag sometimes varies unexpectedly.

I have also noticed that active applications seem to need to “restart” after a charging session, far beyond what happens during use between charging sessions.

I am currently still running the last update of iOS 11.
 



iOS 12 is a genuine step up, by the way, if only for the vast improvements in the speed of view layout code (which affects almost all UI in every app). It's a real Snow Leopard of a release.
The obnoxious modal dialogs demanding that I allow the iPad to install iOS 12.1 with only buttons for “install now” or “later” put me off iOS 12. They were popping up every time I exited my weather app for several weeks. Apple gets the bad apple for that fiasco.

At least the more recent pop ups for iOS 12.2 have included a “close” button, and the were only two or three of them.

I will get there before iOS 13 comes out.
 


iOS 12 is a genuine step up, by the way, if only for the vast improvements in the speed of view layout code (which affects almost all UI in every app). It's a real Snow Leopard of a release.
It's more of a Mountain Lion of a release. It is the release that followed the one that stopped supporting older apps.
 




The 2017-model iPad Pro 12.9" I bought a year ago developed the problem of touch insensitivity after a couple of months. Extensive, frustrating experimentation showed that the problem occurs primarily when the charging cable is attached to the lightning port.
[Re] the iPad Pro 12.9” “touch blackout” comments: Mine was doing it, too. I’m 15 months into ownership and literally just sent the last payment last week (0% financing...).

My hunch is that it is related to the iPad keyboard, which I usually have attached and flipped behind when I’m not using it. I was able to get it to freeze up rather repeatedly on a given Safari web page, then the freeze always went away once I disconnected the keyboard.

I’m not sure if there was pressure on the folded keyboard keys or just the presence of the smart connection.

Anyhow, I recommend disconnecting it if you have one on your iPad Pro. So far, I’ve not seen the freeze happen with the keyboard detached, but I will experiment more.
 


[Re] the iPad Pro 12.9” “touch blackout” comments: Mine was doing it, too. I’m 15 months into ownership and literally just sent the last payment last week (0% financing...).

My hunch is that it is related to the iPad keyboard, which I usually have attached and flipped behind when I’m not using it. I was able to get it to freeze up rather repeatedly on a given Safari web page, then the freeze always went away once I disconnected the keyboard.

I’m not sure if there was pressure on the folded keyboard keys or just the presence of the smart connection.

Anyhow, I recommend disconnecting it if you have one on your iPad Pro. So far, I’ve not seen the freeze happen with the keyboard detached, but I will experiment more.
I do not use a keyboard with my iPad Pro. I do have it in a Dodocase. Before I figured out the connection to the charging cable, I wondered if the alignment of the “sleep” magnets in the cover of the case when the cover is folded in back of the iPad could be part of the problem.

So far, having the charging cable disconnected reduces the instance of touch insensitivity by about 99%.
 



I have noticed an odd problem with Services in Sierra. This may have started after applying the recent security update, and so far it has showed up as a problem on my Mac Pro and MacBook Pro. I can't be certain that the security update had anything to do with it, of course.

I have used Automator to create a handful of Application Launch shortcuts on my systems for several years. I noticed recently that when I add another App Launch service, and then go into the Keyboard/Shortcuts preferences to enter a command key combo for the new shortcut, making that change from "none" to my choice of key command causes all the other launch services to lose their assigned key commands. In fact, changing anything in any service section seems to wipe out these Launch key commands. If I re-enter them all, they stick unless I try to add another item and assign it a key command.

Any thoughts?
 



Snow Leopard wasn't as buggy, at least by the final release, was it?
It would take intensive research of MacInTouch and other archives to even begin to quantify an answer. My personal recollection is that every OS X and macOS release since 10.3 has had some foibles in the initial release(s).

My Snow Leopard Server 10.6.8 VMs are rock solid for my uses.

It does seem that, at least since 10.14.4, major Mojave problems generally revolve around things like Gmail authentication changes and Adobe Acrobat DC's penchant for crashing just because it was launched or asked to open a file. I see about a 50% success rate in opening, reading, and modifying PDF files without crashing. But this began well before Mojave. Apple-generated faults seem to be primarily removal/hiding of functions rather than simple programming errors.

I recently upgraded a Mini to the latest hardware version and Mojave 10.14.4. Instantly successful were all peripherals, Vuescan, Indigo (home control), Scansnap, Dyn Updater, Office 365, Adobe CC Photo, Malwarebytes, Keyboard Maestro, BBEdit, and Screens 4/Connect, along with the usual Apple suspects. I confess that I did migrate just the user accounts and system configuration, but did fresh download and installs of the third-party applications, along with the usual toolbox of utility programs. With the exception of adding a Thunderbolt to FireWire dongle, the new Mini was literally a drop-in replacement for the old Mini - every cable, even including the AC cord. (I did put the new MAC address in DHCP reservations.)

So, I am well satisfied with both Snow Leopard Server 10.6.8 and Mojave 10.14.4 as reasonably reliable and fit for purpose. And also super-happy with the Mac Mini 8,1 with i7, 16GB, and 500GB SSD, and multiple external drives.
 


It would take intensive research of MacInTouch and other archives to even begin to quantify an answer. My personal recollection is that every OS X and macOS release since 10.3 has had some foibles in the initial release(s).
The general rule of thumb in our part of the world was to wait for the 10.x.3 release to be made available before fully committing to that version of Mac OS X. In addition to the CD/DVD sets for 10.x.0, Apple also tended to release a new set of media for 10.x.3 up through Snow Leopard.
 


The general rule of thumb in our part of the world was to wait for the 10.x.3 release to be made available before fully committing to that version of Mac OS X. In addition to the CD/DVD sets for 10.x.0, Apple also tended to release a new set of media for 10.x.3 up through Snow Leopard.
The problem is that, since the change to annual major macOS releases with OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion, as soon as one macOS is released, Apple is already targeting fixes to the next release. The only fixes you get in the current release are for security issues and major issues.

Also, consider what the difference really is between major vs. point macOS releases: point releases are supposed to maintain framework compatibility, but major releases don't have to.

So this means that there's never a really stable macOS release anymore.
 






Ric Ford

MacInTouch
A friend of mine has experienced Home button problems with an iPhone 5s and an iPhone 4/4s. He ultimately resorted to awkward software workarounds with the iPhone 4/4s. We tried many proposed fixes with the iPhone 5s but had no success. This lawsuit seems to be about a different button, the power button that Apple called "sleep/wake" (and then renamed again recently).
AppleInsider said:
Power button class action suit for iPhone 4, iPhone 4s, iPhone 5 will be heard on Oct. 25
A class action lawsuit against Apple concerning sleep/wake button issues with the iPhone 4, iPhone 4s and iPhone 5 is going to be heard in a Californian court, with the lawyers bringing the lawsuit against the iPhone producer putting out a call for potentially affected device owners ahead of the October trial.

Launched in May 2013, the lawsuit is based on claims there is a design flaw with the sleep/wake button in the iPhone 4, one where the component failed typically about a year after acquiring the device. A recent update to the lawsuit reveals it will finally get its day in court this fall, and will cover the iPhone 4s and iPhone 5 as well.
 


Important recall notice from Apple for international MacInTouch readers. While this does not seem to affect most in the US market, Apple is issuing a recall for some power adapters used elsewhere.
Apple said:
Apple Three-Prong AC Wall Plug Adapter Recall Program
Apple has determined that, in very rare cases, the Apple three-prong AC wall plug adapters designed primarily for use in the United Kingdom, Singapore, and Hong Kong may break and create a risk of electrical shock if exposed metal parts are touched. This wall plug adapter shipped from 2003 to 2010 with Mac and certain iOS devices, and was also included in the Apple World Travel Adapter Kit.
 


Interestingly, the Apple page describing how to exchange an affected 3-prong AC Wall Plug Adapter says:
Apple Three-Prong AC Wall Plug Adapter Recall Program
... We will need to verify your Mac, iPad, iPhone or iPod serial number as part of the exchange process so please find your serial number in advance.
I guess, if one is using the adapter for a different device and no longer own an Apple device, one is out of luck. On the other hand, I suspect that if I took my Apple Travel Kit box to a store, they'd just replace the affected plug.
 


Latest from Casey Johnston on the infamous MacBook keyboards:
Casey Johnston said:
Apple Owes Everyone An Apology And It Should Start With Me, Specifically
... It’s clear at this point that I am extremely not alone in having this problem; developer Marco Arment has written extensively about it, the Wall Street Journal’s Joanna Stern recently wrote an entire column with authentically dropped e’s and r’s that were the result of her new (broken) MacBook Air keyboard. (Stern, notably, actually managed to get a real apology out of the company, unlike me. But Apple has yet to match those words with tangible action, like, for instance, making notebooks with working keyboards and offering them as replacements to all of the people who unwittingly bought computers that were bound to break.)
Comment from John Gruber:
These keyboards are the biggest mistake in Apple’s history.
 



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