Sir Apfelot newsreel week 17, 2024

And here it is Friday again. Time for a new Sir Apfelot newsreel! This time I'll show you which Apple and tech news caught my eye in calendar week 17 of 2024. These include: a new Apple event is imminent, a TikTok ban in the USA is looming, the European Commission starts a second case against TikTok, Meta releases Horizon OS for third-party manufacturers, Apple publishes an AI language model for local operation, and more!

Apple announces May event: iPads and Apple Pencil expected

Apple is having a special event this week announced for May 7, 2024. It's not just the accompanying logo that indicates that the date is being used to introduce new iPads and a new Apple Pencil. There have been rumors about this for months. In the linked article you will find information about the current iPad rumors as well as a video from Jens on the topic.

ByteDance should sell TikTok or it will be banned in the US

After long-standing discussions about the data protection of the approximately 170 million TikTok users in the USA, a law on the subject has now been passed. The design passed the House of Representatives a few weeks ago, now Congress has also agreed. Furthermore, the paper was signed by US President Biden on Wednesday - making it a law. It stipulates that TikTok operator ByteDance must sell its offering to a company outside of China within nine months. If that doesn't happen, TikTok will be banned in the USA (sources: 1, 2).

Proceedings against TikTok: European Commission sees risk of addiction

Here in Europe, TikTok is also coming under scrutiny. Not just in terms of right-wing extremist actors, but also because of the addictive nature of the app. In addition to a first procedure with a focus on advertising transparency, youth protection and design, the second procedure is now primarily aimed at “TikTok Lite”. Launched in France and Spain, the offering was launched without a risk assessment report and features potentially addictive mechanics (Which).

Ecosia Browser: Search engine now with green surfing offer

The offer the “green” search engine Ecosia, whose profits are used for reforestation and other sustainable projects, has now been expanded to include a web browser. The Chromium-based browser offers the display of Ecosia's partner shops that support climate projects and ensures a certain level of privacy by blocking trackers and cookies. Details about this and other features can be found here: https://www.ecosia.org/browser

Horizon OS: Third-party manufacturers can use Meta's VR system

Meta wants to make its VR operating system “Horizon OS” the Android of virtual reality or mixed reality. The company said the system will be released to third parties so they can run it on their own headsets. This not only ensures the further spread of Horizon OS. Developers can now also hope for a broader target group for their apps. Meta thus provides greater competition to Apple and the Vision Pro with visionOS (Which).

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Will iPadOS 18 finally bring a calculator to the iPad?

Since the iPad was brought onto the market in 2010, Apple has repeatedly had to face the question of why his tablet doesn't come with a calculator app. After 14 years, we could actually see Apple give the iPad a calculator. This should go hand in hand with adjustments to the calculator on the other systems, especially the Mac. From macOS 15 onwards there will be an adjustable window size, a notes integration, a sidebar with the calculation history and more new features (Which).

macOS 14.5 puts an end to annoying AirDrop notifications

Since the last macOS update to version 14.4, there has been a problem on the Mac that notifications for incoming AirDrop shipments are constantly displayed. You have to close them manually as they don't automatically disappear after a few seconds. Like many other users, I'm pretty annoyed by it. However, the current beta of macOS 14.5 promises that the problem will be solved with the corresponding update (Which).

OpenELM: Apple publishes open source language model for AI on Device

Apple has released a new AI language model on the Hugging Face platform. This is called OpenELM, which stands for “Open-source Efficient Language Model”. The model should be able to run directly on end devices and use certain techniques to deliver greater precision than other models. There are different versions with 270 million to 3 billion parameters. You can find out more here:

iPhone 16 should do without physical buttons

It has been rumored for a long time that Apple wants to say goodbye to physical buttons on the iPhone even further than before. After the rumor did not apply to the iPhone 15 series, it could now be true for the models around the iPhone 16. The “Solid State” buttons could make the iPhone more robust and waterproof. Vibrations could provide haptic feedback and replace the sinking/clicking of real keys (Which).

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