The pentalobe is a five-pointed, flower-shaped screw—and it’s famous for being Apple’s tiny security screw of choice. Mechanically, the pentalobe tends to be inferior to other screws. It has a shallow draft that makes the screw prone to stripping out. And back when it first started popping up, the pentalobe was pretty good at locking down Apple devices.
We’ve gotta hand it to you, y’all made this Valentine’s Day one for the iFixit history books. We couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate Cupid’s favorite holiday than by swapping repair tales with all you beautiful people. We received so many wonderful photo contest entries that we couldn’t pick just one winner—so we picked 5!
Manufacturers are pushing the envelope to smarten up our products—whether those products need to be smart or not. Just because we can connect things to the Internet doesn’t mean we should. After visiting CES, it taught me that I don’t enjoy shouting at my appliances by a first name: “Alexa, brew my coffee,” “Alexa, buy me detergent,” “Alexa, bake the salmon.” It makes me feel like a lazy overlord—and I’m still not convinced of its wider usefulness. All the same, CES featured just that, and tons of other Alexa-powered products.
Apple AirPods are finally here. Eager to see what’s inside, we ripped them open like expectant children on Christmas morning. The inside is a series of little boards and interconnected by origami-folded ribbon cables, soldered together into one hot mess. And the charging case isn’t any better. All in all, accessing any component—including the batteries in the case and in the ‘Pods—is impossible without total destruction.
Google Home is up against some stiff competition. There’s no denying that Amazon built a technological marvel: They made a fancy smooth volume dial and put in seven microphones to listen to your commands (Seriously? Seven?). How can Google defeat the home assistant heavyweight that is the Echo? Find out in iFixit’s teardown.
The 2016 VR battle rages on. Sony just threw their name into the VR gauntlet, debuting their years-in-the-making PlayStation VR. After dominating the hardware landscape for for-ev-er, we’re betting Sony will be a worthy contender against PC platform heavyweights. The verdict: Sony just won the war.
Less than two weeks after our teardown triathlon in Tokyo, our courageous team of engineers are bringing you a full set of repair guides for the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. While we hope you don’t need these guides just yet, we want to make sure all you accident-prone folks out there know how to fix your phones.
Last time we had an Apple Watch on our teardown table, we encountered the tiniest tri-point screw we’d ever seen. So tiny, in fact, that we had to file down our tiniest bit to finish our teardown. So when Apple announced the Apple Watch Series 2, we expected things to get even tinier. (Spoiler alert: they didn’t, and our screwdrivers were ready this time.) Check out the teardown at iFIxit.com/teardown.
There’s been a lot of buzz about the waterproofiness of the 7 Plus, so we took a look at what contributes to that stellar IP67 rating. A new set of super-sticky adhesive strips keeps the display tightly adhered to the frame. Tons of rubber seals surround points of ingress, like the mute switch and SIM tray. There are also tight seals and fine mesh decking the dual speaker grilles. Check out this and more in our iPhone 7 Plus teardown.
Apple Insider’s Mike Wuerthele released some compelling research last week examining the prevalence of what we’ve so lovingly labeled Touch Disease. Their analysis covers six days of service data—before and after the Touch Disease headlines—from four highly-trafficked Apple stores. The results? Based on the numbers, Apple’s techs were seeing a significant number of Touch Disease stricken iPhone 6 and 6 Pluses—well before the story broke. In fact, Mike Wuerthele reported that the Touch Disease problem “eclips[ed] all other individual issues dealt with by retail personnel on a day-to-day basis.” After the increased media attention, Apple stores saw an understandable surge of reports—because a minor annoyance was now something endemically wrong with their phones.
Samsung just launched their latest flagship phablet, the Galaxy Note7—skipping a generation to align the name with the rest of the Galaxy series. Rumor has it the Note7 is packed with cooler, newer features than its galactic cousins. And from the looks of the hardware, Samsung has been taking some impressive notes on smartphone trends.
VR is hot right now. So hot that we’re finding all kinds of chefs in the VR kitchen—can you smell what Razer and Sensics are cooking? In a not-so-unlikely pairing, Razer, purveyor of PC gaming accessories, and VR heavyweight Sensics teamed up to produce the OSVR HDK 2. Not intended to compete with the likes of Vive or Oculus, the HDK (Hacker Development Kit) 2 exists as a hackable, moddable platform for burgeoning VR developers.