Sir Apfelot newsreel week 27, 2023

It's Friday, time for another Sir Apfelot newsreel. This time I'll show you what Apple and tech news caught my eye this week. In fact, this time there are less pure Apple topics, but rather news from other areas. For calendar week 27 in 2023, I have prepared the following reports, among other things: Framework conditions for the digital euro, pension entitlements can be checked online, fine for using Google Analytics, Twitter can no longer be viewed without an account, Meta threads start, tech giants have to Become DMA Compliant, and more! 

Sir Apfelot as a podcast

If you enjoy both the Sir Apfelot Blog and podcasts, then you should check out the Sir Apfelot Podcast. Lynne and Jens address interesting topics and throw their own experiences and opinions into the mix. Here are the different platforms where you can listen to the two:

Also included in the Sir Apfelot newsreel for calendar week 27 of 2023: Framework conditions for the digital euro presented, online portal for pension entitlements, news about Spotify, Twitter and threads, tech giants have to open up to the market, and more!
Also included in the Sir Apfelot newsreel for calendar week 27 of 2023: Framework conditions for the digital euro presented, online portal for pension entitlements, news about Spotify, Twitter and threads, tech giants have to open up to the market, and more!

Digital Euro: General conditions for the cash supplement presented

The "Digital Euro", an official means of payment for online and offline use, is currently being developed. The currency is intended to supplement the cash euro and, using digital purses, can be used not only in online shops but also in shops via device-to-device transactions. No bank account should be necessary for this, no fees should be incurred and tracking should not be possible. It should be possible to use it throughout the euro zone. These first framework conditions have now been communicated by official bodies, such as iFun in a Entry shows. There one refers to the European Commission website.

The digital euro will certainly still be in development for a while before it can be used with the appropriate devices or an app on the smartphone. There, the official digital currency can then compete with Apple Pay, Google Pay, PayPal and Co. Before that, however, there are already criminals who want to take hold of your data and your money with reference to terms relating to the "digital euro" and other EU projects. This happens via phishing and scam emails, for which I have summarized the details for you here:

Check your pension entitlements online with a digital ID card

On the relatively new website you can see your pension entitlements to better plan your finances for the future. Of course, the data is not unprotected on the portal, which is to be seen as a supplement to the pension notice sent by post. In order to be able to call up your data, you must first register. As part of this, it is necessary to use the eID or eIDAS, i.e. the online ID function or the electronic ID option as an EU citizen. If you click on the website and select "Login" you will be guided accordingly. The fastest way is probably with an NFC-enabled smartphone and the ID App2.

Google Analytics vs. GDPR – Sensitive fines in Sweden

Google Analytics is a widely used and popular tool for traffic analysis on individual websites. The problem for users in the EU: the data collected from the website users is transferred to servers in the USA for evaluation. This is illegal in most cases because it violates the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). After a corresponding judgment in 2020 by the European Court of Justice, complaints and lawsuits were received in all member states. In Sweden, these have now led to companies being warned and fined. The telecommunications provider Tele2, for example, has to pay 12 million crowns – around 1 million euros. (Which)

Spotify no longer wants to be paid through the App Store

A subscription to Spotify cannot be taken out directly via the app for Apple mobile devices or in its app store. Because that would be accompanied by a commission payment of 30%. However, Spotify allowed this option once, namely between 2014 and 2016. Anyone who took out a Spotify Premium subscription via the App Store during this period and continues to receive it this way will currently receive an email from the music streaming service. Like MacRumors in one Article the relevant users will be informed that the App Store payment for Spotify Premium will no longer be accepted. To avoid switching to the free version with ads, you need to renew the premium subscription via Spotify website.

Twitter is becoming a bad joke

While I've personally retired from Twitter since Elon Musk's purchase announcements, the platform has still been a sometimes good source for Sir Apfelot newsreels. From discoveries in system betas to exciting rumors and other news, there were a few gems in the dung heap every now and then. The search and presentation of the same is no longer possible without an account. Those who don't have a Twitter account can no longer see tweets either - and even for people with accounts there are now limits on how many posts they can see per day until a timeout is ordered. Allegedly as a protective measure against automatic data theft. It's all bullshit.

Threads from Meta: Twitter alternative is launched (outside the EU).

In the same breath one has to mention the start of threads, in the app stores of the regions supplied with them as "Threads, on Instagram App". As a short message service, it is a new offer to compete with Twitter, issued by Meta. Since it is not compliant with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), you have to do without it in the EU for the time being. Sooner or later there will definitely be a local version as well. Incidentally, threads should be able to be connected to the Fediverse via ActivityPub, similar to Mastodon. However, there is another connection to Instagram, since you can take over the login and contacts there (and you can only delete the account there). The group was banned from merging data across multiple meta-applications in the EU. (Sources: 1, 2, 3)

Gatekeepers announce themselves: DMA is already having an impact

Lately, the EU-wide law on digital markets or the Digital Markets Act (DMA) has often been in the headlines. This week, for example, some sources reported that some large tech companies have come forward to the European Commission because their companies, offerings and services fit the DMA's "gatekeeper" descriptions. So you have a certain company size, user base, financial strength and market power. They also offer preferred apps and marketplaces as well as isolated messengers. Alphabet (Google), Amazon, Apple, ByteDance (TikTok), Meta (Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, Threads), Microsoft and Samsung have now “reported” themselves in this regard.

The topic was discussed this week by iFun, among others, in a Entry processed. It concludes that companies have six months from September (i.e. until March 2024) to open up to the market. In the case of Apple and Google, for example, this means that they must allow alternative app stores on their systems. With iOS 17 and iPadOS 17 should then bring sideloading options to iPhone and iPad. Furthermore, companies are no longer allowed to offer their apps in preference to competing apps. And: The messengers of the technology giants must be interoperable, i.e. usable with each other. I'm curious to see what that will look like - Apple might iChat revive as a bundling option.

Game Porting Toolkit 1.0.2 - Faster, more stable and better for 32-bit applications

Apple's under the WWDC23 Featured Game Porting Toolkit is a tool for developers who want to port their Windows video games to the Mac. As reported by several sources this week, the tool is now available in v1.0.2 beta, which should bring some improvements compared to v1.0. There are a few fixes for handling 32-bit applications, rendering and performance improvements, and better stability. If you are interested, you will find details on the topic in this video by Andrew Tsai. There one also refers to Nat Brown from Apple, who made the changes public via Twitter - there was no official changelog at the time of publication.

Apple Vision Pro - Probably not half a million units in the first year

The apple vision pro should be on the market in early 2024. However, Apple still seems to be dissatisfied with the supply chain, so that it could only produce 400.000 units in the first year of sales. Two suppliers are said to have even reported that Apple only asked them for parts for 130.000 to 150.000 units. MacRumors responded to this and similar reports in one go this week Article a. So the previously forecasted 1 million units of the Vision Pro headset in the first year may not materialize. In this country, however, that should hardly be a problem, since it is not offered for the time being anyway.

iOS 17 + watchOS 10 = Monitor bike workouts on the bigger screen

9to5Mac is this week responded to a feature, which will be available from autumn for users of iOS 17 on the iPhone and watchOS 10 on the Apple Watch. Because then the data determined with the Apple Watch can be shown on the display of the iPhone while cycling. So you don't have to look at your wrist to monitor distance, speed, heart rate, time and other data. The iPhone can be attached to the handlebars. You can see how the data is displayed in the linked source. In addition to the full-screen values, there is also the display as live activity on the lock screen.

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