The New iOS Update Killed Touch Functionality on iPhone 8s Repaired With Aftermarket Screens

The New iOS Update Killed Touch Functionality on iPhone 8s Repaired With Aftermarket Screens


iPhone 8 devices that worked fine prior to the iOS 11.3 update have suddenly stopped working.




Last year, an iOS update killed touch functionality on iPhone 7 devices that had been repaired with third-party screens by independent repair stores. Patch notes for the update said that third-party replacement parts might not work correctly, but a week later another update resolved the issue. The message was clear: Software updates can kill core functionality on phones repaired by a third party.

Apple released iOS 11.3 at the end of March, and the update is killing touch functionality in iPhone 8s repaired with some aftermarket screens that worked prior to the update. That means people who broke their phone and had the audacity to get it repaired by anyone other than Apple is having a hard time using their phone. “This has caused my company over 2,000 reshipments,” Aakshay Kripalani, CEO of Injured Gadgets, a Georgia-based retailer and repair shop, told me in a Facebook message. “Customers are annoyed and it seems like Apple is doing this to prevent customers from doing 3rd party repair.”



And every time a software update breaks repaired phones, Apple can say that third-party repair isn’t safe, and the third-party repair world has to scramble for workarounds and fixes.

This is just the latest example of an ongoing struggle between Apple and independent repair shops. Shops that do repairs can only get officially licensed parts if they agree to certain restrictions, so stores have long relied on the grey market to get third party pieces that are often just as good as the original. Sometimes, they’re even made in the same factories.

“They’re the manufacturer. Ultimately, they hold all the cards.”

Using an independent store to repair your iPhone is usually cheaper and sometimes the only efficient option. In Ohio, customers may have to drive upwards of two hours to reach an official Apple store. The only other option is to ship the phone across the country and wait.

It’s not the only issue hurting the third party repair market. Several shops I spoke with pointed out that repairing anything on the expensive iPhone X is an absolute nightmare. The ambient light sensor, the part of the phone that adjusts the brightness of the display based on its surroundings, will stop functioning if the screen is replaced by anyone outside of Apple, even if the screen is an official part.

Ditto for the front camera that’s used to unlock the phone with Face ID: “The iPhone X front camera…is paired to the [logic board]. If it’s transferred, the Face ID feature will not work, Apple will be the only person who can actually replace the front camera to allow face ID to work.

Again, this is similar to an issue where the home button on the iPhone 7s was paired to the logic board and impossible to replace without killing functionality. “It’s very easy to go down the rabbit hole of thinking that Apple is trying to make it JUST inconvenient enough to even consider third-party repair a reliable option,” Kev Notton—founder of San Diego-based RepairMapr, a diagnosis tool that repair shops can use to annotate their repairs—told me on Facebook. “That terrifies me, because they’re the manufacturer. Ultimately, they hold all the cards.”

It’s an important debate right now as states across the U.S. debate right to repair laws. It’s possible that Apple, as one of the largest and most popular smartphone manufacturers on the planet, could hurt the movement by making it difficult to fix your phone outside its ecosystem.

Apple did not immediately respond to request for comment.


Source (c) Motherboard


iPhone 6 ‘Touch Disease’

A few months back, we reported on a hardware flaw plaguing a growing number of iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus users, which garnered the name of “Touch Disease.” Shortly after the flaw was initially reported on, a trio of iPhone users filed a class action lawsuit against Apple, claiming that Apple refuses to repair devices affected by Touch Disease for free. Over a month later, Apple has yet to publicly acknowledge the issue.

Now, Motherboard reports that the push to get Apple to respond to the issue is growing thanks to more backing behind the original class action lawsuit in California and a separate, new lawsuit in Utah…


Touch Disease is a hardware flaw that causes the displays on iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus units to become unresponsive and show a thin gray, flickering line along the top. Though the iPhone 6 is not immune, the issue seems to primary plague the larger-screened Plus model. The flaw affects the logic board’s “touch IC” controller chips, thus meaning that replacing the iPhone’s display is not an adequate fix. Because Apple will not perform logic board repairs on iPhones, the company’s solution to the problem thus far has been to purchase a new phone.

Apple pushes users to pay $329 to replace their Touch Disease-ridden iPhone 6 Plus with a refurbished model, which according to today’s Motherboard report, is often hit with the same bug “within days or weeks of being replaced.”

While Apple has yet to publicly acknowledge Touch Disease, today’s report claims that “five separate current and former Apple Geniuses have confirmed” that Apple is aware of the problem, but won’t tell customers about it.

Apple has, however, at least acknowledged the issue in federal court. The company has requested an “extension of time to respond to the Complaint” in the more recent Utah class action, while in California Apple requested that the Utah and California cases be combined into one:

“Given the similarity between the [Utah] and [California] actions, it would unnecessarily tax judicial resources if these actions were to proceed in separate class action lawsuits—especially where the [Utah] and [California] Plaintiffs purport to represent the same putative class of all consumers who purchased an iPhone 6 or 6 Plus,” Apple’s lawyers wrote in the filing.

The California case is much larger than the Utah one, as well. One attorney in the case has been contacted by 10,000 people asking to join the suit. That same attorney, Richard McCune, filed an updated lawsuit against Apple last night, adding several plaintiffs and three separate law firms to the battle.

In an email to Motherboard, McCune wrote:

“Each of the firms (who had their own clients) brings strength to the case, including Stephen Larson of Larson O’Brien, who is a former Federal Judge. With these firms working with us, we believe it gives us the best chance of obtaining a positive result in the case for the owners of the phones.”

With the growing push behind these cases, it’s unlikely that Apple will continue to ignore the problem, so it shouldn’t be long until the company issues some sort of response…


Apple announced iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus

Apple introduced the next-generation iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus at its media event in San Francisco today on September 9. The new iPhones feature an A9 chip and M9 motion coprocessor, 3D Touch, 12-megapixel rear-facing camera, 5-megapixel front-facing camera, stronger glass and Series 7000 aluminum, faster Touch ID, Live Photos and a new Rose Gold color option.

iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus are powered by an Apple A9 chip and embedded M9 motion coprocessor that deliver up to 70% faster CPU performance and up to 90% faster graphics compared to the A8 chip inside the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.

3D Touch on iPhone is similar to Force Touch on Apple Watch, enabling users to make “peek and pop” gestures on the screen to access actionable shortcuts or preview content, such as text messages, flight information, calendar appointments and more. There’s also a new Taptic Engine inside of the iPhone 6s that enables haptic feedback so you get touch-based responses when using 3D Touch.

The smartphones feature an improved 12-megapixel rear-facing iSight camera with 4K video recording and 5-megapixel front-facing FaceTime camera with true tone Retina Flash — in low light, the front display will flash for a split second instead of using a traditional LED flash.

iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus also have a second-generation Touch ID fingerprint scanner that is up to two times faster compared to Touch ID on previous iPhones.

The iPhones are crafted from Series 7000 aluminum and come in a new Rose Gold color, alongside Silver, Space Gray and Gold. Otherwise, the handsets look virtually the same as the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, but they are slightly thicker and heavier.

Pricing and Availability:

iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus start at $199 and $299 with a new two-year contract respectively. Alternatively, the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus will start at $649 and $749 respectively when purchased outright.

Financing and lease programs that break the full price down into monthly installments are available from AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile and many other carriers. Apple also introduced a new iPhone Upgrade Program aimed at customers who upgrade their iPhone each year.

The prices listed below are in U.S. dollars.

iPhone 6s
16GB: $199 (On Contract), $649 (Full Price)
64GB: $299 (On Contract), $749 (Full Price)
128GB: $399 (On Contract), $849 (Full Price)

iPhone 6s Plus
16GB: $299 (On Contract), $749 (Full Price)
64GB: $399 (On Contract), $849 (Full Price)
128GB: $499 (On Contract), $949 (Full Price)

iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus pre-orders begin on Saturday, September 12 at 12:01 AM Pacific ahead of a Friday, September 25 launch in the United States, Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand, Puerto Rico, Singapore and the United Kingdom. The new iPhones will be available in over 130 countries by the end of the year.


Today Apple previews larger iPad Pro: 12.9-inch display, A9X chip, 10-hour battery


That’s right: Apple has just announced the iPad Pro, and it’s definitely the biggest iPad yet. It has everything the iPad Air 2 offers, and a little extra on top. Rather than talking about their similarities, though, let’s look at the differences.



The iPad Pro has a giant 12.9-inch display with 2,732 x 2,048 pixels. To put that size into perspective, that means the screen is almost exactly the same width as the regular iPad’s is tall. It’s also, in case you didn’t run the math, got the same familiar 4:3 iPad aspect ratio and a functionally identical pixel density to the iPad Air. Apple says it’s so big the on-screen keyboard is “full-sized,” like on its laptops.

The larger panel, Apple hopes, will be ideal for the new multitasking additions to iOS 9, which let you run apps side by side, or in a split view and “pop-over” video. Of course, you can do that on an iPad Air 2, but thanks to the larger screen, the apps will look more like they do on a regular iPad in full-screen mode. It also frees up some extra space around the display, which Apple has decided use to include four speakers up front. Hopefully they sound good, and this’ll be a great high-def movie machine.

Elsewhere, this is very much an iPad. It’s super thin (6.9mm) and super light (1.59 pounds). You’ll find a 1.2-megapixel FaceTime camera up front and an 8-megapixel iSight camera at the back. It has Touch ID built into the home button, 10 hours of battery life and multiple color options (silver, gold and space gray). Essentially everything else you’d expect of an Apple tablet.

So. What’s the price for all of these additions? Brace your wallet: The iPad Pro will start at $799. That’s for a 32GB WiFi model. The 128GB WiFi model will cost $949, while the LTE 128GB model costs $1,079.


In More Detail About New iPhones


Measuring in at 4.7 and 5.5-inches, the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus dwarf previous iPhone models, but at the same time, the two phones are Apple’s thinnest yet, measuring in at 6.9 and 7.1mm, respectively. For comparison’s sake, the iPhone 5s was 7.6mm thick.

According to Apple, the thinner profile was made possible by the company’s “thinnest display yet,” which is made of slightly curved glass designed to flow seamlessly into the body of the device to highlight the “Retina HD” screen of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.



Both devices include prominent antenna bands on the back enclosure, along with a protruding rear lens. The volume buttons are pill-shaped, much like the buttons on the iPad Air, and the power button has been relocated to the right side of the device.

The iPhone 6 measures in at 5.44 inches long and 2.64 inches wide, and weighs 4.55 ounces. The iPhone 6 measures in at 6.22 inches long and 3.06 wide, weighing 6.07 ounces. In comparison, the iPhone 5s is 4.87 inches long, 2.31 inches wide, and it weighs 3.95 ounces.




iPhone 6 rumors largely suggested Apple would use a sapphire display cover in the device, but that turned out to be false. Instead, the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus use “ion-strengthened” glass with an improved polarizer (for better outdoor viewing), a photo aligned IPS liquid crystal display, and a fingerprint-resistant oleophobic coating.



The iPhone 6 has a 4.7-inch display with a “2x” resolution of 1334 x 740 (326 ppi) while the iPhone 6 Plus has a 5.5-inch “3x” resolution of 1920 x 1080 (401 ppi). Both phones are said to offer higher contrast, better brightness, and improved white balance.

Apple has implemented several “Reachability” features to improve the viewing experience on its larger devices, including Display Zoom and landscape view (iPhone 6 Plus only). Display Zoom lets users zoom in to get a closer view at their apps, while standard zoom displays more content on the screen.

Landscape view on the iPhone 6 Plus is designed to make the most of the 5.5-inch screen and to help users be more productive. When in landscape mode, the device will display apps like Mail, Calendar, and Stocks in a wider view similar to the way they’re displayed on the iPad.




The iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus both offer improved battery life, but due to the larger size of iPhone 6 Plus, it is able to accommodate a larger battery. While the capacities of the two batteries are unknown, previous rumors pointed towards 1,810 mAh capacity for the iPhone 6 and a 2,915 mAh capacity for the iPhone 6 Plus.

Because it has a bigger battery, the iPhone 6 Plus has a longer battery life than the smaller iPhone 6. 3G talk time for the iPhone 6 Plus is at 24 hours, compared to just 14 hours in the iPhone 6, for example, while HD video playback is at 14 hours for the iPhone 6 Plus and 11 hours for the iPhone 6.




Both the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus have a new 64-bit A8 processor built on an advanced 20-nanometer process. Not only is the chip smaller than the A7 in the iPhone 5s, it’s also able to deliver 25 percent faster CPU performance while being 50 percent more energy efficient.

The A8 takes full advantage of Metal, Apple’s gaming technology that lets developers create console-style games on the iPhone. According to Apple, Metal is designed to let the GPU and CPU work together to provide detailed graphics and complex visual effects, which means gaming on the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus is going to be better than ever.

Alongside the A8, there’s also a new M8 motion coprocessor, which is the successor to the M7 motion coprocessor introduced in the iPhone 5s. The M8 measures data from the accelerometer, compass, and gyroscope, along with a barometer, which is new to the iPhone 6.

With the addition of the barometer, the M8 motion coprocessor can measure elevation in addition to steps taken and distance traveled.


The iPhone 6 and the 6 Plus continue to sport an 8-megapixel f/2.2 rear camera, but the addition of several new features will result in vastly improved picture quality. Continuing to offer improved camera capabilities has always been a priority for Apple, with the company even opting to include a protruding lens design to avoid making image quality sacrifices for the sake of the thin design of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus.

The first major new feature, “Focus Pixel,” is designed to speed up autofocusing by providing the sensor with more information about an image, while improved auto image stabilization will compensate for slight amounts of motion blur and hand shakiness.



Both phones also have improved face detection capabilities and more control over exposure, and the Panorama feature now supports high-resolution panoramic photos of up to 43 megapixels.

Video options have been improved in the two devices, and it’s now possible to capture 1080p HD video at 60fps. There’s also a new 240fps slo-mo mode, and time-lapse video, which was introduced with iOS 8.

The iPhone 6 Plus has one slight advantage when it comes to the camera, however, as it takes advantage of the M8 motion coprocessor to offer optical image stabilization. Optical image stabilization better compensates for hand shake and slight movements in low light than standard auto image stabilization techniques. As a result, it’s likely the iPhone 6 Plus will be able to deliver higher quality low-light photos than the iPhone 6.

Along with rear camera improvements, the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus have improved front-facing FaceTime HD cameras with a new sensor and an f/2.2 aperture. With these improvements, Apple says the front-facing camera can capture 81 percent more light, resulting in much better low-light photos. There’s also a new burst mode for the front-facing camera, which will let users take burst mode selfiesfor the first time.


Apple’s iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus both offer faster LTE with support for LTE Advanced networks, reaching speeds of up to 150 Mbps, and they offer 20 LTE bands for better connectivity when traveling.

The devices also include support for Voice over LTE (VoLTE) which allows users to make higher-quality phone calls over LTE. VoLTE will also allow users on CDMA networks like Verizon to use voice and data simultaneously for the first time. VoLTE requires support from both Apple and carriers, and several carriers have pledged to roll out support for the service.

In addition to cellular improvements, the iPhone 6 and the 6 Plus are the first of Apple’s iOS devices to offer support for 802.11ac Wi-Fi. 802.11ac Wi-Fi is able to offer connection speeds that are up to 3 times faster than existing 802.11n networks.

Finally, the iPhone 6 supports calls over Wi-Fi, which can result in higher-quality calls, especially in situations where a cellular connection is low. Calling over Wi-Fi is another feature that requires carrier support, but again, some carriers, like T-Mobile, have already pledged support.


Like the iPhone 5s, the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus continue to offer Touch ID, Apple’s fingerprint-based security system. With iOS 8, which ships on the iPhone 6/6 Plus, Touch ID will become even more powerful, thanks to third-party Touch ID integration.


Touch ID is also an integral part of Apple’s new Apple Pay mobile payments initiative, as is the Near Field Communication (NFC) antenna built into every iPhone 6. Apple Pay is designed to allow users to pay for purchases at thousands of retail stores with just a fingerprint.


The iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus will ship with iOS 8, Apple’s newest mobile operating system. iOS 8‘s main goal is to improve integration between Apple devices, both mobile and desktop, through the use of “Continuity.”

With Continuity, users can seamlessly transition tasks between iPhones, iPads, Macs, and the Apple Watch. iOS 8 also includes features like interactive notifications, widgets in the Notification Center, third-party keyboards, and a new QuickType predictive keyboard. More information about iOS 8 can be found in our iOS 8 roundup.



iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus

Yesterday’s Apple media event saw the unveiling of two new iPhones, the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 and the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus. Along with larger screens and a completely new iPad-style design with an ultra thin body and rounded corners, the two new phones offer faster processors, better cameras, and NFC integration with Apple’s new ApplePay payment system.

Apple’s new iPhones are available in Gold, Silver, and Space Gray, and are available in 16, 64, and 128 GB capacities. The iPhone 6 pricing starts at $199, while the iPhone 6 Plus pricing starts at $299.


While both models include the same 64-bit A8 chip and the same general design, there are several differences between the two phones. The iPhone 6 measures in at 6.9mm, while the iPhone 6 Plus is slightly thicker at 7.1mm. Apple’s iPhone 6 Plus also has three major differentiating factors: optical image stabilization for the camera, and a longer battery life, and an iPad-style landscape modethat displays more content on the screen.

Though the iPhone 6 Plus has optical image stabilization, both phones got some major camera improvements in form of sensor upgrades, improved tone mapping, better noise reduction, and new “Focus Pixel” technology, which improves the phone’s ability to select autofocus points. For videos, there’s a new 240fps slo-mo option, along with support for shooting in 1080p at 60fps. The front-facing camera was also upgraded, with an f/2.2 aperture that lets in more light and new burst mode capabilities.



Both phones have an impressive new “Retina HD Display,” with the iPhone 6 featuring a resolution of1334 x 750 (326 ppi) and the iPhone 6 Plus featuring a resolution of 1920 x 1080 (401 ppi).

Design wise, the phones more closely resemble the iPad and the iPod touch than the iPhone 5s. Both models have soft, rounded corners and a curved glass screen that melds smoothly into the thin metal body of the device. The volume buttons on the left side of the device are now pill-shaped, and the power button is located on the right side of the device for easier one-handed use.


To further make its devices easier to use one-handed, Apple has added in a new double tap home button gesture called “Reachability,” which moves items from the top of the screen to the bottom of the screen for quick access.

Other new features in the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus include WiFi calling support, faster 802.11ac WiFi, and support for Voice over LTE (VoLTE).


The new iPhone 6 is here !!!

Apple has officially announced the iPhone 6 – the eighth generation of iPhone – at a special event in Cupertino.

As well as the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, Tim Cook has also treated us to the Watch.

If you want to get a feel for the handset, head on over to our hands on iPhone 6 review, and keep an eye out for our iPhone 6 Plus and Watch early reviews.

The competition has never been tougher for a new iPhone, with the HTC One M8, Samsung Galaxy S5, LG G3 and Sony Xperia Z3 surpassing the iPhone 5S in terms of size, specs, power and performance.

Apple needs to pull something very special out of the bag to keep itself relevant, so what does the iPhone 6 bring? Read it in next post.


iOS 8 first look video: Installing a third-party keyboard on iPhone

iOS 8 marks the first time ever that Apple will allow iPhone and iPad owners to install third-party keyboards of their choosing. AppleInsider offers readers a first look at the process of installing, enabling and using alternative keyboards in iOS 8.


  Keyboard makers TouchPal provided an alpha copy of their forthcoming keyboard for iOS 8 on Friday, and the video above shows how users will go about enabling the keyboard once it’s installed on their device. First, a third-party application must be downloaded from the iOS App Store, which then adds a new keyboard option in the iOS Settings application, under “General,” then “Keyboard.”

Installed keyboards show up under their own section entitled “Third-Party Keyboards.” This also comes with a disclaimer that reads: “When using one of these keyboards, the keyboard can access all the data you type.”

Apple also offers a quick link to further details about third-party keyboards and privacy. However, as of the second beta of iOS 8, only placeholder text is in place, and no warnings are displayed when a keyboard is enabled.

After the keyboard has been turned on, users can open any app that uses a virtual keyboard. Once the keys are on the screen, simply press the “globe” button at the bottom to switch to an alternatively installed keyboards.

Users can also choose to delete the default iOS “QWERTY” English keyboard if they so choose. Doing so would make it possible to have the third-party keyboard of the user’s choosing the only one available when a virtual keyboard pops up.

The TouchPal keyboard tested by AppleInsider on Friday allows sliding input, which means users can guide their fingertip over the letters they wish to use and the keyboard will intelligently interpret what word they might mean. The keyboard also offers quick access to numbers — as can be seen in the video above, simply sliding a finger up from the top row of letters quickly inputs a corresponding number. Quick access to symbols sucha s “@”, “?” and “!” is also available in the bottom row.

In addition to TouchPal, Fleksy, SwiftKey and Swype have all announced they will be bringing their third-party keyboards to iOS 8. And Apple’s integrated keyboard will also be upgraded with QuickType, a new feature that suggests words to user and adapts to their language over time.

iOS 8 is currently in beta for developer testing. It is expected to launch on iPhone and iPad this fall. For more, see AppleInsider’s other iOS 8 videos, which can also be found below:  


Unauthorized Third-Party Chargers May Damage iPhone 5 Charging Circuitry

Apple has warned consumers against using third-party power adapters with their iOS devices as they can cause safety issues such as burns and electrocutions, but as it turns out, third-party chargers that have not been approved by Apple may also be responsible for causing damage to one of the chips in the iPhone 5. 

According to UK repair company mendmyi and first reported by iMore, cheap third-party iPhone chargers and USB cables can possibly damage the U2 IC chip on the logic board of the iPhone 5, which might the device to fail to boot up or charge past 1% battery life after the battery drains. 


The U2 IC chip controls the charge to the battery, the sleep/wake button, some USB functions, and regulates the charging power to the power IC that actually charges the phone. When damaged, the chip can fail to work properly, which prevents an iPhone 5 from turning back on. While a fresh replacement battery will power the iPhone, once the battery is depleted, the issue resurfaces. 

Mendmyi says that it has seen multiple iPhone 5 devices with a damaged U2 IC chip and has narrowed the problem down to third-party chargers and USB cables, which do not properly regulate voltage.

The cause of this component becoming faulty is really quite simple — third party chargers and USB leads!

The original Apple chargers and USB leads regulate the voltage and current to a level that protects your valuable iPhone and prevents it from damage.

Charging your iPhone using a third party charger or USB lead that does not regulate this as much allows for larger variables in voltage and current, this then damages the U2 IC and can leave you with a seemingly dead iPhone 5.

It is not clear if the issue is limited to the iPhone 5 as some users have also reportedthird-party charger issues with the iPhone 5c, which may use the same component, but the iPhone 5s and the iPhone 5 use different U2 IC components. Users with an iPhone 5 experiencing charging issues that have used a third-party cable may have damaged their devices, which will need to be repaired by Apple or another repair outlet. 

Apple has regularly recommended against using third-party chargers and cables. In mid-2013, the company even launched a third-party power adapter recycling program, following the electrocution of a Chinese woman allegedly caused by a counterfeit charger. Apple ran the recycling program from August to October of 2013, recycling counterfeit adapters and providing customers with a $10 credit towards an Apple-branded charger. 

As of iOS 7, Apple also warns customers when they are using unauthorized cables or accessories with their devices. The company’s Lightning connector, introduced with the iPhone 5, fourth generation iPad, and original iPad mini, utilizes several different chips to manage dynamic pin assignment and to recognize whether connectors came from authorized channels. 


Apple’s own chargers, as well as those that have been MFi certified, “undergo rigorous testing for safety and reliability,” according to the company, and are designed to be safe and work properly with iOS devices.


New iOS 8 feature protects users from location-based WiFi tracking

More features likely to appear in iOS 8 when it ships are continuing to surface. Another interesting change in Apple’s popular mobile OS not mentioned on stage at last week’s WWDC keynote is the way iOS 8 will handle MAC addresses and user privacy over WiFi.

A MAC address is used by iPhones and other iOS devices for identification within a WIFI network, but iOS 8 will now be randomizing that address while the device is looking for a connection. This means that, unlike before, iOS 8 devices will be essentially anonymous until connected.

This sounds like a major win for user privacy, but there is an entire industry built on tracking devices that isn’t going to be too happy about this. Many major retail chains employ services that track MAC addresses in order to collate data on people coming in and out of their store. As we previously reported, major retail outlets like Nordstrom and JC Penney have both used systems of this nature as well as camera surveillance tracking in order to gather a complete record of the customer’s activity throughout a particular brick and mortar location.

As many as one in three smartphones in the US run iOS, which will potentially render the tracking data much less valuable for retailers. Whether this a play by Apple to push iBeacon technology to the forefront or simply to provide better privacy for its users is unclear, but location tracking companies will soon have to find some kind of work around to see through Apple’s MAC scrambling.