Find out in our new podcast episode why the Federal Network Agency is opening fine proceedings for failing to achieve network expansion goals and what the mysterious disappearance of Nothing's iMessage counterpart from the Play Store is all about. Sam Altman remains at the helm of OpenAI and under his leadership ChatGPT has now released a voice chat feature for all users - a real game changer!
We also take a look at macOS Sonoma and reveal what triggers Game Mode there. There is news to report from Apple: its own 5G chip will probably not appear until 2026. We also have exciting insights into a ten-year-old prototype of the Apple Watch and the developments surrounding the “Alaska” project, which is behind Apple’s Vision Pro 2.
Network expansion goals were missed: Federal Network Agency opens fine proceedings
- Federal Network Agency initiates fine proceedings against Deutsche Telekom, Telefónica Deutschland (O2), and Vodafone due to inadequate network coverage.
- It's about 500 4G dead spots where there is no adequate reception, despite promises to expand by the end of 2022.
- For the first time, the Federal Network Agency is using fines instead of previous warnings.
- Network operators cite exceptions where expansion was not possible.
- The process signals the industry to make more efforts to expand the network.
- Politics and consumer protection praise the network agency's tougher approach as beneficial for consumers.
iMessage counterpart of Nothing removed from Play Store
- British smartphone maker Nothing attacked Apple by developing its own version of iMessage, Sunbird, to enable iMessage conversations with iPhone users on Nothing devices.
- An Android chat app has been made available on the Google Play Store to emulate Apple's iMessage protocol for Nothing customers.
- Just a few days after the announcement, Nothing withdrew the app and announced that it would no longer offer it for the time being in order to fix various bugs.
- The security architecture of the chat app was problematic because it transmitted conversation content, account information and contact details unencrypted.
- The PR stunt turned into a significant security risk, so Nothing pulled the app. The future of iMessage integration in Nothing smartphones is uncertain.
- Now that Apple wants to implement the RCS standard next year, the need for the app has been eliminated anyway.
- Evil tongues claim that the whole campaign was just a PR move by Apple to show why you should get an iPhone with “real” iMessage.
Sam Altman is the old and new CEO of OpenAI
- Sam Altman, CEO of OpenAI, was unexpectedly fired by four board members without a clear explanation.
- Greg Brockman, chairman of OpenAI, was removed from his position but remained on the board, resigning shortly after Altman's firing.
- Investors in OpenAI, including Sequoia Capital and Tiger Global, as well as Microsoft, supported Altman's reinstatement.
- Mira Murati, CTO of OpenAI, was named interim CEO, followed by Twitch co-founder Emmett Shear as additional interim CEO.
- Altman and Brockman were hired by Microsoft for AI initiatives.
- Almost 500 OpenAI employees threatened to quit if the board did not resign and reinstate Altman and Brockman.
- The conflict between the commercial and non-profit sides of OpenAI and their different approaches could be behind the decision.
- Ultimately, Sam Altman was reinstated as CEO of OpenAI and the board members were replaced.
ChatGPT releases voice chat functionality for all users
- OpenAI has made a significant change: conversations with ChatGPT are now possible without a paid subscription.
- Users can now interact with ChatGPT in spoken words, with the quality of voice output improved through collaboration with voice actors.
- However, access to the newer GPT-4 language model is reserved for users with paid access.
- Voice chat only possible via app – not in Browser.
- Tip: If you also want to have audio output when recording the screen on your iPhone, you have to activate the microphone. This can be done by holding down the record button and then turning on the microphone at the bottom.
What triggers Game Mode on macOS Sonoma?
- According to blogger Howard Oakley, Game Mode gives a game exclusive access to efficiency cores and priority access to the GPU. In addition, Bluetooth is switched to a special low latency mode.
- Game mode is activated by the LSApplicationCategoryType property in the info.plist file the app.
- The developer himself can decide whether his app should run in game mode or not.
- Game Mode does not affect E-core frequency control or core-intensive performance.
- In tests, Game Mode significantly increased the active utilization of the E-cores compared to normal full-screen mode.
- E-Cores in Game Mode could be used primarily for processing and managing code for the GPUs.
- Game Mode can be activated for any app if the LSApplicationCategoryType property is set accordingly, which is also used for sorting in the app store.
Apple's own 5G chip won't arrive until at least 2026
- Apple is struggling to develop its own 5G modem to replace Qualcomm's 5G modems in iPhones and other products.
- Apple originally planned to complete the in-house modem chip by 2024, but this deadline could not be met. The modem's launch has now been pushed back to late 2025 or early 2026. So at the earliest in the iPhone 18.
- The development of the modem chip is still in its early stages and could be years behind the competition in terms of technology. Problems also arose with the technology adopted from Intel.
- Apple expressed dissatisfaction with Qualcomm back in 2017, which led to a lawsuit over excessive license fees.
- For the iPhone 11 series, Apple used Intel chips instead of Qualcomm chips, but this partnership was short-lived as Intel was unable to produce 5G chips that met Apple's standards.
- Despite the delay, Apple continues development to end the expensive agreement with Qualcomm. Apple's first modem chip will be a standalone chip, but the goal is to develop a system-on-a-chip that also excludes other suppliers like Broadcom and gives Apple more control over component development.
Ten-year-old Apple Watch prototype surfaced
- Rare Apple device collector Giulio Zompetti (pronounced Julio Sompetti) has unveiled one of the earliest prototypes of the Apple Watch, built more than a year before the watch's official launch in April 2015.
- This December 2013 prototype ran a version of Apple's internal SwitchBoard launcher, based on an iOS 8 build designed for the iPod touch. SwitchBoard is used to test hardware functions such as camera, display and speakers.
- The prototype's design includes three horizontally oriented heart rate sensors on the back and generic laser markings in place of the final model number. Interestingly, this prototype had a different type of charger than the later retail version of the Apple Watch, and the digital crown also had a slightly different shape.
Apple is working on Vision Pro 2 with the project name “Alaska”
- Apple presented the virtual reality/augmented reality glasses “Vision Pro” at the Worldwide Developers Conference 2023, the delivery of which is scheduled to begin in early 2024, initially only in the USA.
- Development of the second generation of the Vision Pro, internally referred to as “Project Alaska”, has already begun. According to MacRumors, the design of the second generation is very similar to the first.
- Changes in the second generation mainly affect the headband and vents, with two design suggestions being considered: elongated slits or small holes.
- The second generation is said to have improved integration of the speakers into the headset design (no longer external in the headband), possibly with a loss in sound quality. Apple may also be planning an unspecified audio accessory item.
- Hardware specifications of the second generation are said to be similar to those of the first generation, with micro-OLED screens, TrueDepth camera, multiple cameras for position detection and infrared lighting modules.
- Apple is developing a cheaper version of the Vision Pro, according to some sources, but “Project Alaska” does not appear to be that model. Test production of the second generation could begin in 2025, with a market launch in late 2025 or early 2026.
Jens has been running the blog since 2012. He acts as Sir Apfelot for his readers and helps them with technical problems. In his spare time he rides electric unicycles, takes photos (preferably with the iPhone, of course), climbs around in the Hessian mountains or hikes with the family. His articles deal with Apple products, news from the world of drones or solutions to current bugs.