Microsoft Tries a New Role: Moral Leader

Top executives of the company, which was once tech’s biggest villain, are outspoken advocates for protecting user privacy and establishing ethical guidelines for new technology like artificial intelligence.

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Tech We’re Using: Twitter, Facebook, Slack: Using Every Tool to Hear What Readers Think

Hanna Ingber, editorial director of The Times Reader Center, provided a how-to on using social media to converse with readers on topics from race to the weather.

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Tech Fix: A Review of the Samsung Galaxy S9, in Emoji

The new smartphone is packed with gimmicky new features like a personal emoji creator. Don’t be surprised if getting used to those emoji takes what a Samsung executive called “an adjustment period.”

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How Companies Scour Our Digital Lives for Clues to Our Health

An emerging field, digital phenotyping, tries to assess people’s well-being based on their interactions with digital devices.

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Tech Fix: In an Era of ‘Smart’ Things, Sometimes Dumb Stuff Is Better

It can be tempting to hook up everything you love to the internet. But take a moment to appreciate some of the objects that can remain unplugged.

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Tech Tip: Sampling Twitter (Without an Account)

Q. I do not have a smartphone. Can I still use Twitter? Do I need an account?

A. Using the Twitter app on a smartphone or a computer is a popular way to keep up with the state of the world in 280-character posts. However, you do not need a touch-screen mobile gadget or even an account to sample the free service.

With or without an account, it is possible to write posts and follow other Twitter users over S.M.S. text on a feature phone that has texting capability and a data plan. Twitter has a set of S.M.S. commands, described in its online help guide and a frequently asked questions page, that let you perform basic actions, like following or unfollowing another Twitter user.

You can also browse posts from users with public accounts on the Twitter.com site, as long as you know the name of the account — also called the “handle” — or accounts you want to read. Once you know the account name, just add it (after a slash) and the end of the twitter.com address to go to that user’s page of tweets on the web — like twitter.com/nytimestech or twitter.com/nasa.

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Even if you have not signed up for Twitter, you can browse and read posts from a specific public account by adding the user name after twitter.com in the address field. Credit The New York Times

Using Twitter’s search page to look for account names or topic keywords is another way to see activity on the service. Clicking links or on Twitter posts embedded in other stories can also take you to a user’s account page on the web.

If you want to post and experience Twitter without having to fiddle with S.M.S. codes or manually search for content — but are not quite up to being a public presence in the Twitterverse — you can also create a protected account instead of a public one. With a protected account, you can follow other users with public accounts and add their posts to your feed, but people who want to follow and interact with you must send you a request first.

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Tech Fix: Your iPhone Slowed Down. Here’s What to Do When the Solution Is Just as Slow.

Apple may be dealing with the fallout for a while. The company published a lengthy memo in December saying that smartphone batteries became less effective over time and that its software was intended to prevent iPhones with older batteries from unexpected shutdowns. Apple also apologized to customers for the slowdowns, offered discounts for its battery-replacement program and said it would introduce software to gain visibility into the health of an iPhone battery.

Yet since then, consumer advocacy groups have filed lawsuits against the company for failing to disclose that the software would throttle old iPhones. The Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission have also started an inquiry into the matter, according to a person with knowledge of the situation, who asked not to be named because the details were confidential. Bloomberg earlier reported the inquiry.

Early Wednesday, Apple said in a statement that it had received questions from some government agencies and that it was responding to them; the company did not specify the agencies it had heard from. The Justice Department declined to comment.

As for the wait times that Ms. Schipper and others are experiencing for a battery replacement, a spokeswoman referred to Apple’s support webpage, which states that battery supplies at its stores may be limited.

Let’s not wait around. Here’s a guide to other solutions to keep an iPhone running in the absence of an Apple battery replacement.

Third-Party Repair Shops

Plenty of irate Apple customers are turning to local third-party repair shops to get their iPhone batteries replaced. At Mega Mobile Boston, twice as many customers are coming in for iPhone battery replacements than in years past, said Adam Fullerton, the store’s operations manager.

Third-party repairs are a decent — but imperfect — solution. One drawback is that they vary in quality; some repair shops buy lower-quality batteries that don’t last. So to find a good shop, rely on word of mouth and reviews on the web, similar to how you might seek out a good car mechanic.

Another issue is that if you service your phone with a third-party battery and later take your device in to Apple for repair, the company could refuse to service your phone. So if you go the third-party route, chances are you will have to stick with third-party repair shops through the end of your phone’s life.

There’s a less risky route here. On Apple’s support webpage, you can look up third-party repair shops that are authorized by Apple as service providers. These are fixers who have been trained by Apple and carry original parts. But the list is short.

If you find a good local fixer, there are plenty of benefits to sticking with one long term. For one, third-party shops tend to have shorter waits. Mr. Fullerton said his shop could typically get an iPhone battery replacement done in about 30 minutes. The process involves opening the device, cleaning away the old waterproofing adhesive, replacing the battery and applying a new waterproofing adhesive.

For another, local repair shops make their prices competitive with the manufacturer’s. In the case of batteries, many shops are discounting their battery replacements to match Apple’s $29 pricing.

“We’re probably losing money on it with the cost of a half-hour time from a technician,” Mr. Fullerton said. “But it’s like a loss leader in any other industry. If you’re Best Buy and you get them to buy one item at cost, maybe you can teach them something about your business.”

Finding a good repair shop can feel daunting, but if you ask around, your peers will probably have recommendations. For a sample, here’s a list of highly recommended repair shops in the United States that I compiled from talking to repair experts I trust:

■ In Chicago: uBreakiFix Chicago

■ In San Francisco: MacRepair

■ In New York: Simple Mac

■ In Boston: Mega Mobile Boston

■ In Washington: Computer Geeks

■ In Austin, Tex.: Austin Mac Repair

Fix It Yourself

You can always replace an iPhone battery by yourself. The pros: You can choose the best components for repairs and minimize costs. The cons: Learning repairs can be time consuming, and if you mess up, you have no one to blame but yourself. And again, Apple stores could refuse to service your phone if it sees you have repaired it with third-party parts.

A good place to start for D.I.Y. repairs is iFixit, a company that provides instruction manuals and components for repairing devices. It is offering discounts on battery replacement kits for older iPhones, which cost $17 to $29. Each kit includes a new battery and the tools for disassembling iPhones.

Installing a phone battery can be intimidating. Replacing an iPhone 7 battery, for example, requires eight tools and 28 steps. Kyle Wiens, the chief executive of iFixit, said some customers also opted to buy a battery from iFixit and then take it to a local repair shop for installation.

Carry a Battery Pack

If you don’t feel confident hiring a third-party fixer or installing your own battery, you can always wait for Apple to replace your battery. But since that could take weeks or months, don’t suffer with a sapped phone battery in the meantime.

A better temporary solution is to invest in a battery pack that you can carry around until replacement batteries arrive at an Apple store. Wirecutter, a New York Times company that reviews products, has tested hundreds of battery packs to recommend a few. My favorite is the Anker PowerCore 20100, which can charge a smartphone every day for a week.

Ms. Schipper, the Seattle resident, is considering buying a battery pack. In the meantime, she is constantly plugging her iPhone into a power outlet because her battery lasts only two hours a day.

Yet she has resisted what she thinks Apple wants: for her to buy a new phone.

“I was tempted to just chuck this phone and suck it up and spend $1,000-plus and get the iPhone X,” she said. “I said, ‘No, darn it, I have a budget I’m saving up.’ I’m not going to let Apple push me around.”

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Tech Fix: Meet the $800 Smartphone That You Probably Won’t Buy

Here’s what you need to know about the device.

The Highlights

The signature feature of the Mate 10 Pro is the processor, which has a dedicated part of its silicon specifically designed for artificial intelligence.

This allows the phone to crunch algorithms and do things like automatically recognize an object so that the camera can be adjusted to focus quickly and let in the right amount of light. Huawei also says A.I. allows the phone to maximize its performance: Periodically, it will automatically do maintenance, like clearing out old system files that might otherwise slow down the phone.

The camera is notable as well. Huawei teamed up with Leica, a popular camera maker, to develop the phone’s dual-lens setup. Like phones from Apple and Samsung, the Mate 10 Pro’s camera can create a so-called bokeh effect, where the two cameras work together to show the picture’s main subject in sharp focus while gently blurring the background.

Like other modern smartphones, the Mate 10 Pro is water and dust resistant. But it also has an extra-large battery that Huawei says will last longer than that in many other phones. That’s partly because of its A.I. processor, which examines how the battery is being used and changes resource allocation to prolong its life.

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A photo taken with the Huawei Mate 10 Pro, left, compared with one taken with Apple’s iPhone X.

The Mate 10 Pro also ships with a screen protector applied to its display, and inside the box there is a plastic protective case. These are thoughtful additions. The case absorbs the impact of drops, and the screen protector helps prevent scratches, which weaken the structural integrity of a display.

Pros and Cons

In my tests, the two best features of the Mate 10 Pro were the camera and battery. The least impressive was the display.

But let’s start with the good stuff. In side-by-side comparisons with an iPhone X and Samsung’s Galaxy S8+, the Mate 10 Pro came in second to Apple’s offering in photo quality. All took nice photos, but the colors in the Galaxy S8+’s pictures looked oversaturated, and while the Mate 10 Pro’s photos appeared rich and clear, the shadow details looked better on the iPhone X.

As for the bokeh effect, also known as portrait mode, the Mate 10 Pro excelled at separating the subject from the background compared with the Galaxy S8+, but I still preferred the iPhone X because it did a better job at lighting up a person’s face.

There was one area where the Mate 10 Pro was the clear winner: the battery. In my tests browsing the web over a cellular connection, Huawei’s phone had roughly two hours more juice than Samsung’s Galaxy Note 8 and the iPhone X.

The display — the biggest downside of the Mate 10 Pro — had a lower resolution than the Note 8, the Galaxy S8+ and the iPhone X, meaning some graphics and text looked more pixelated. Over all, text appeared crisper and websites more vibrant on the iPhone X and Samsung Galaxy screens than they did on the Mate 10 Pro’s display.

Bottom Line

The Mate 10 Pro is an impressive smartphone, but you probably aren’t going to buy it even if you get your hands on it. The lower-resolution display is a major negative, as is the lack of carrier support.

Huawei said that to get technical support for the Mate 10 Pro, you can call its hotline, and for repairs, you can ship your device to a center in Texas. That’s still not ideal compared with the ease of strolling into an Apple store or your carrier’s nearest location.

Privacy and trust are also important. In 2012, the House Intelligence Committee concluded that Huawei and ZTE, another Chinese telecommunications company, were a national security threat because of their attempts to extract sensitive data from American companies. And in 2016, security researchers discovered preinstalled software on some Huawei and ZTE phones that included a back door that sent all of a device’s text messages to China every 72 hours. That feature was not intended for American phones, according to the company that made the software. But American lawmakers have been wary of Huawei.

Most important, you will have to decide whether you trust Huawei. The onus is on you to carefully read Huawei’s privacy policy and determine if you feel confident using this phone. In a statement, Huawei said that privacy and security were top priorities and that it complied with stringent privacy frameworks and regulations.

At CES, Huawei’s Mr. Yu described how the company had previously overcome trust hurdles — including at home in China, where Huawei’s smartphones were initially distrusted by Chinese carriers because the company was a newcomer.

“It was very hard,” he said. “But we won the trust of the Chinese carriers, we won the trust of the developing market and we also won the global carriers, all the European and Japanese carriers. Over the last 30 years, we’ve proven our quality.”

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