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Smartphones make traveling by plane easier than it ever has been before. With myriad apps to help you get flight information, navigate unfamiliar airports, and find ground transportation once you’ve landed, your smartphone is almost as essential to traveling as your boarding pass—which you now can store on your phone as well.

Nowadays, 76 percent of people are using airline apps to streamline their traveling experiences. Your T-Mobile iPhone 6 Plus is the perfect resource for downloading travel apps and storing your flight data. But what about on the plane itself? Phone usage on the ground isn’t sufficient anymore. Airplane mode makes smartphones safe for onboard usage, and in-flight Wi-Fi connects you to your favorite websites and some great in-flight entertainment. You can even take advantage of in-flight Wi-Fi for sending emails and checking the status of your next flight.

Imagine if you could order food and drinks from the flight attendant with your smartphone, or make and receive calls while in the air. More and more passengers desire features like these for their smartphones while flying. Once upon a time it may have seemed out of the realm of possibility, but the FCC is currently creating rules that allow people to use data and voice features while above 10,000 feet. On top of that, interesting new technology like picocells (which are tiny mobile stations attached to the plane) enable passengers to make calls while in the air. Read on to see more about how smartphones are changing the way we travel.

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Apple has finally responded to claims that its new handsets iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are prone to bending by saying such damage would be “rare” during normal use.

Media outlets across the globe had reported that several iPhone 6 users had complained of handsets becoming misshapen after being carried in trousers pockets without a case.

Several of Apple’s rivals have also helped publicize the claims.

Apple said nine customers had told it their iPhone 6 Plus phones had bent.

In a statement the company noted that the handsets’ shells had been constructed out of “anodized aluminum, which is tempered for extra strength” and also featured stainless steel and titanium parts to reinforce the areas of the phones likely to experience the most stress.

“We chose these high-quality materials and construction very carefully for their strength and durability,” it added.

“We also perform rigorous tests throughout the entire development cycle.

“iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus meet or exceed all of our high quality standards to endure everyday, real life use.

“With normal use a bend in iPhone is extremely rare and through our first six days of sale, a total of nine customers have contacted Apple with a bent iPhone 6 Plus. As with any Apple product, if you have questions please contact Apple.”

Several iPhone 6 users had complained of handsets becoming misshapen after being carried in trousers pockets without a case

Several iPhone 6 users had complained of handsets becoming misshapen after being carried in trousers pockets without a case

One of the checks that Apple had carried out before launching the models was a “sit test”, which is designed to simulate the effects of a user sitting down on a hard surface with the phone in their back pocket thousands of times over the course of several years.

Apple also carried out a torsion test, which involved clamping a phone at both ends and then applying a twisting force 8,000 times.

The company’s share price has fallen following the publicity generated by users posting photos of bent iPhones to the internet.

News that Apple had also pulled an iOS 8 operating system update after iPhone 6 users complained it made their phones unable to make or receive calls had also caused concern.

However, one analyst highlighted that Apple had been much quicker to respond to reports about bending than it had back in 2010, when customers complained about the iPhone 4 dropping calls when gripped on its left-hand side.

Apple’s competitors have taken advantage of its troubles.

The official Twitter accounts of LG, HTC and Samsung have all posted messages alluding to the controversy, with LG going so far as to use the hashtag “bendgate”, which other members of the public had used to refer to the claims.

Apple had previously announced that it had sold more than 10 million units of the iPhone 6 and its larger sibling the iPhone 6 Plus.

“While our team managed the manufacturing ramp better than ever before, we could have sold many more iPhones with greater supply and we are working hard to fill orders as quickly as possible,” Apple’s CEO Tim Cook said in a press release on September 22.

It highlighted the “all-new dramatically thin” design of the handsets – a factor some users had speculated might be the cause of them bending.

However, it has also been pointed out that handsets by Sony, Samsung, Blackberry and others have also bent in the past, and several analysts have cautioned that it was too early to say if the incidents involving the new iPhones were more widespread.

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More and more Apple users claim that the company’s new iPhone 6 handsets are prone to bend when carried in trouser pockets.

Several members of the public have posted photos to the MacRumors site that appear to show the problem. A reporter for the Geek.com news site also reported his phone had warped.

Other mobiles have bent in the past.

It is not yet clear if the iPhones 6’s aluminum shells make them particularly vulnerable.

Even so, the claims have been reported across tech blogs as well as mainstream media including the Independent, the Washington Post, India Today and the Sydney Morning Herald.

Apple’s new iPhone 6 handsets are prone to bend when carried in trouser pockets

Apple’s new iPhone 6 handsets are prone to bend when carried in trouser pockets

Twitter users have also posted thousands of comments about the claims, using the hashtag Bentgate.

Apple is marketing both the iPhone 6 and the larger iPhone 6 Plus as the thinnest smartphones it has released – with both models less than 0.3in (0.76cm) thick.

Some iPhone owners have posted comments to the company’s own website about the earlier models becoming misshapen, and the Cult of Mac site notes that owners of Samsung, Blackberry and other handsets have also reported instances of bent devices.

However, it is unusual for the issue to be given so much attention so soon after a launch – the new iPhones went on sale only on September 19.

Insurer Square Trade had declared the new iPhones “more durable” than their predecessors after carrying out tests, but did not carry out “bendability” checks.

YouTube show Unbox Therapy’s own stress test – which involved an unusual amount of pressure being applied – suggested that the iPhone 6 Plus was easier to bend than the plastic-coated Samsung Galaxy Note 3.

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Apple has unveiled a smartwatch, the Apple Watch, and two new handsets that are larger than previous models – iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.

Apple Watch runs apps, acts as a health and fitness tracker and communicates with the iPhone.

While rival smartwatches already exist, experts said Apple had a history of entering sectors relatively late and then changing their direction.

The iPhone 6’s screen measures 4.7in (11.9cm) and the iPhone 6 Plus’s 5.5in (14.0cm) – a change that analysts said should help prevent users migrating to Android.

Apple also announced a new service called Apple Pay, which CEO Tim Cook said he hoped would “replace the wallet” in shops.

The Apple Watch comes in two sizes and is controlled by what Apple calls a “digital crown” – a dial on its side that allows content on its screen to be magnified or scrolled through, and can also be pressed inwards to act as a home button.

The display is a touchscreen that can detect the difference between a light tap and heavier pressure from the user’s fingers. In addition, the device runs Siri – Apple’s voice-controlled “personal assistant”.

It offers a variety of different watchfaces, can alert the user to notifications, act as a heart rate monitor and show maps.

Apple has unveiled two new handsets that are larger than previous models, iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus

Apple has unveiled two new handsets that are larger than previous models, iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus (photo Apple)

Apple said that apps could be processed on an iPhone, but displayed on the watch in order to extend battery life. It did not say how often the device needed to be recharged.

Although some of these features are available from competing products, one observer said the device had the potential to ignite the wearable tech sector.

Apple Watch – which comes in three different editions – relies on its user owning an iPhone 5 or more recent model.

It will cost $349 – which is more than recently announced Android Wear watches from Motorola, Sony and others – and will not be available until “early 2015”.

While Apple Watch was the most anticipated product, the company’s new handsets are likely to be its biggest earners.

Apple said that the A8 chip featured in the new phones would provide 25% faster compute performance than before.

The improved resolutions – dubbed “retina HD” – mean that the iPhone 6 offers 326 pixels per inch and the iPhone 6 Plus 401ppi. While better than before, the resolutions are still beaten in terms of raw numbers by Samsung’s flagships – the Galaxy S5 and Galaxy Note 4 – and the HTC One.

New sensors include a barometer, which Apple said would help fitness apps distinguish whether the owner was running up a mountain or along a flatter surface.

The M8 co-processor can now estimate distances as well, which may should also help provide more accurate readings.

iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus will be available for sale on September 19.

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