Sir Apfelot newsreel week 25, 2024

WWDC24 took place last week, which led to some news and beta test reports about the new Apple operating systems this week. But there were also exciting headlines outside of that. And that's exactly why I have another Sir Apfelot weekly news for you today. I've summarized the Apple and tech news that caught my eye in calendar week 25 of 2024 below. These reports include: YouTube cancels subscriptions taken out via VPN, Adobe accused of making it difficult to cancel subscriptions, TikTok starts competing with Instagram, MarketplaceKit error causes app marketplaces on iOS to crash, Apple Music gets four months free, and more!

In the Sir Apfelot weekly news for calendar week 25 of 2024 you will find the following news, among others: YouTube cancels premium subscriptions, Adobe in court, Affinity with 50% discount, ByteDance tests Whee App, MarketplaceKit error causes app marketplace crashes, iOS 18 brings T9 to the iPhone, Apple Music promotion, and more!
In the Sir Apfelot weekly news for calendar week 25 of 2024 you will find the following news, among others: YouTube cancels premium subscriptions, Adobe in court, Affinity with 50% discount, ByteDance tests Whee App, MarketplaceKit error causes app marketplace crashes, iOS 18 brings T9 to the iPhone, Apple Music promotion, and more!

YouTube cancels premium subscriptions purchased cheaper via VPN

YouTube Premium is a subscription that removes annoying YouTube ads, enables official video downloads for offline use, allows background playback on mobile devices, and unlocks access to YouTube Music (more about that here). In Germany, you pay €12,99 per month for the subscription, in the USA $13,99. That's why some people have resorted to the trick of using a VPN connection to countries like India, Turkey or Pakistan to get a cheaper offer.

Like Netflix before and also Adobe YouTube now informs the relevant users that they are not using their subscription where they supposedly took it out. Therefore, the subscription will be canceled and the users will have to pay the price set for their country for future use (Which). This will make it more difficult to use ad blockers in the future, because advertising should be integrated directly into the video stream. For me personally, AdBlock Pro for Safari still. Alternatively, there is the iWork trick.

Lawsuit against Adobe: Too many pitfalls when canceling subscriptions

Two weeks ago I showed youthat Adobe wants to secure the usage rights to all content created by users in Adobe apps by updating the terms and conditions. What is a no-go for people who work on projects with embargoes, non-disclosure agreements and similar agreements (and also represents a spoilage of one's own creative work and, in short, an absolute cheek for everyone else) is accompanied by the problem that a fee has to be paid for annual subscriptions that are canceled prematurely.

In addition to other (financial) pitfalls when using or cancelling an Adobe subscription, this is now the basis for a lawsuit against the software company. And this comes directly from the US government. The violation of the Restore Online Shoppers' Confidence Act, or ROSCA for short, is not only due to the fee for early cancellation, which is hardly visible when the subscription is signed, but also to the fact that too many links and subpages have to be accessed when cancelling (Which). I can confirm both: Cancel your Adobe Creative Cloud subscription – here's how!

Affinity Universal License with 50% discount on offer

Purely by chance, there is currently an attractive offer from Affinity for anyone who wants to turn their back on Adobe - and especially apps like Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign. The complete package of Affinity Photo 2, Affinity Designer 2 and Affinity Publisher 2 is currently available with all licenses for Windows, macOS and iPadOS for a total of just €89,99. You can find the information and purchase options for the "Affinity V2 Universal License", which normally costs €179,99 with this link. I have more Adobe alternatives for you here: Photoshop and Firefly, Illustration, Animate and Premiere Pro.

Whee: TikTok parent ByteDance launches its own Instagram competitor

In mid-March there was the first indications ofthat the software company ByteDance is working on an app for sharing, liking and commenting on photos in addition to the video app TikTok. At the time, it was assumed that the app could be called "TikTok Photos". As it turns out after the first test release, it was called "Whee".

The Whee app is currently only available on Android via the Google Play Store and only in some regions (Germany is not included). How long the test will last before it is made widely available and whether Whee can hold its own as a competitor to Instagram remains to be seen (Which).

MarketplaceKit bug causes app marketplaces on iPhone to crash

This week, there seemed to be massive problems with the Apple iPhone when using alternative app marketplaces. Among other things, Setapp Mobile (currently in beta testing phase) kept crashing immediately after opening. But other app marketplaces are or were also affected, making their use impossible. I haven't been able to test this myself yet.

What looks to users like an error in the respective apps is actually Apple's fault, more specifically iOS and the MarketplaceKit, which is used as an interface. If an app marketplace needs to renew its license and therefore accesses the corresponding Apple server and this sends back an error message, then the problems arise. In addition to the marketplace app crashing, this can also include the failure of the apps installed with it (sources: 1, 2).

Phone app gets T18 contact search with iOS 9

Do you remember T9, the number key writing aid that was first used in Germany in 1999 with the Nokia 3210? This technology can finally be used in the Apple iPhone's phone app from autumn 2024 thanks to iOS 18.

When you enter the corresponding number combinations, the contacts whose names were recognized are then displayed. If you are looking for someone like Ben, for example, you no longer have to type in the beginning of his number, but can simply enter 236. This will then also display Cem, Benjamin and other names from the contacts overview that contain a matching letter combination (Which).

HomePod with Apple Intelligence? These upgrades would be necessary…

This week I found an interesting article on 9to5Mac that deals with the "Apple Intelligence" presented at WWDC24 and the HomePod. The question is raised as to how a new HomePod generation would have to be equipped in order to be able to use the new Siri voice assistant and other AI functions. In addition to a chip upgrade, a touch display is also on the list. 

The HomePod is currently equipped with an S7 chip (see Apple Watch Series 7 from 2021) and the HomePod mini with an S5 chip (see Apple Watch Series 5 from 2019). Both are not suitable for locally running AI models and would have to be replaced with an A17 Pro (see iPhone 15 Pro from 2023) or a Mac or iPad chip such as the M1 (2020) (Which). What I could imagine as an alternative: the HomePod only offers AI functions with a paired iPhone, iPad or Mac and processes the requests on these devices.

Apple Vision could be presented in late 2025

According to current rumors, Apple has put the development of its Vision Pro 2 on hold. Instead, the iPhone manufacturer would now prioritize an Apple Vision (without "Pro"), which could come onto the market in late 2025 or early 2026. These cheaper VR glasses are said to be priced at a Pro model of the iPhone and have fewer features than the Vision Pro (sources: 1, 2). For example, it would be possible for the outer screen and the curved glass above it to be replaced by an aluminum surface. This would also make it possible to dispense with the cameras for the eye transmission.

Only for new subscriptions: Use Apple Music for 4 months free

Finally, a deal for everyone who wants to try out Apple Music. You can get the music streaming subscription with this link for four months free of charge. I was unable to take advantage of the offer because I have already taken part in a few free promotions and have already used a paid subscription several times. However, if Apple Music is new to you, the deal should work. According to the small print on the linked page, it is valid until the end of November 2024.

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In the Sir Apfelot Blog you will find advice, instructions and reviews on Apple products such as the iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, AirPods, iMac, Mac Pro, Mac Mini and Mac Studio.