Sir Apfelot newsreel week 8, 2024

Slowly but surely spring is replacing winter. But the world of Apple and tech news also continues to turn. That's why there's a new edition of the Sir Apfelot newsreel today. This time I'll show you the reports that caught my eye in calendar week 8 of 2024. These topics include, among others: Shipping code instead of a print label for DHL packages, Amazon wants to abolish free freevee streaming, Neuralink test person can move the mouse pointer with their thoughts, China is the real reason for Apple's RCS adaptation, PQ3 protocol should Make iMessage more secure, and more.

In the Sir Apfelot newsreel for calendar week 8 of 2024 you will find these reports, among others: shipping codes for DHL packages, Amazon wants to abolish freevee, Apple is implementing RCS because of China, iMessage is getting the PQ3 protocol, and more!
In the Sir Apfelot newsreel for calendar week 8 of 2024 you will find these reports, among others: shipping codes for DHL packages, Amazon wants to abolish freevee, Apple is implementing RCS because of China, iMessage is getting the PQ3 protocol, and more!

Parcel shipping via DHL: Handwritten ID instead of a printed label

Like the mobile stamp, which can be requested via the app and used as an alphanumeric code instead of a stamp on postal envelopes, parcel franking will soon be possible with DHL. The option to use a postage code was rolled out in the first test regions. The whole thing goes hand in hand with DHL's takeaway service, which can be requested free of charge in order to have packages collected directly by the delivery service. Regular parcel codes start with “PAK”, return shipments with “RET”.

To use it, you can scan the QR code on the shipping label received by email, which calls up the alphanumeric code. This should then be written legibly on the package so that shipping can be carried out even without a printer. The shipment can then be carried out by handing the package over to the DHL driver or by using an agreed storage location. The process called “taking with you without a printer” is currently being described to individual users via email. It is not yet clear when this test run will end and everyone will be able to use the package shipping code (Which).

The next “Prime Video” problem: freevee should be abolished

Recently there have been several negative reports about Amazon's streaming offer “Prime Video”. Because it wasn't just that Paid offer with advertisements equipped during series and films. Previously integrated functions such as Dolby Vision, Dolby Atmos and Watchparty, as well as freedom from advertising, were also included moved to an additional subscription. This costs another €2,99 per month in addition to the regular Prime price. Since the regular Prime subscription now includes streaming with advertising, the next step should be the streaming offer that runs parallel to it freevee be abolished.

The reasoning behind the decision, which has not yet been made public, explained by insiders: Amazon does not need two streaming offers with advertising. However, the big difference between the two offers is that for freevee you only need a free Amazon account, but for Prime Video you need a Prime subscription for €8,99 per month. So the argument is flawed and Amazon seems to want to make the most of the combination of advertising and additional subscriptions. The completely free streaming seems to be a nuisance (Which).

Netflix only accepts payments outside of the App Store

As of today, Friday, February 23, 2024, Netflix will no longer accept payments via the Apple App Store. Recently, new subscriptions could no longer be taken out via the iPhone manufacturer's app department. But if you still use an old subscription, e.g. B. via an iOS app and the billing runs through it, you now have to specify a different payment method. Although this probably won't affect as many users, they could lose their comparatively cheap existing subscription.

If you don't act in time or simply forget to enter a new payment method on the Netflix website before the next billing, your subscription can be canceled. In order to be able to use Netflix again, you must take out a new subscription. But anyone who has lost the cheap basic tariff will not be able to return to it. Because Netflix no longer offers it at the previous cost of €7,99. The standard tariff at €12,99 per month is now the cheapest, ad-free offer. Below this there is only the tariff with advertising for €4,99 per month (Which).

Neuralink: The first test person should be able to move the mouse pointer with their thoughts

As already reported at the end of January, the company Neuralink was the first to transplant a human-computer interface into a human brain. Elon Musk's company is taking the next step in researching the technology, which was criticized, among other things, for the use of primates as laboratory animals.

As is now reported with reference to Musk's statements, the first test subject is said to have recovered from the operation and can already control a mouse cursor with his mind. Now we want to work on using our minds to generate as many mouse clicks as possible in the next training step. There don't seem to be any more detailed statements yet (Which).

Beta Test: Transferring Music to Apple Music App

At least as part of a beta test on Android phones, Apple currently seems to be offering some testers the opportunity to transfer their music collection from other apps to Apple's own music app. The corresponding option is displayed directly in the music app for Android. With this, you can select another provider, such as Spotify, Amazon Music, YouTube Music or the like, and then transfer the music library used there to Apple Music. 

As screenshots show, Apple appears to be working with SongShift on the offer. In addition to this beta test, the SongShift app - like FreeYourMusic, Playlistly and Switcheroo - can also be downloaded individually from the app stores in order to exchange the music collection between different services. Whether Apple maintains the cooperation after a successful test or buys SongShift and combines it with the music app or Shazam remains to be seen (Which).

China: The real reason Apple is adopting the RCS standard

We have it in mid-November 2023 reported about itthat Apple will now adopt the RCS standard after years of rejection. These are Rich Communication Services, which are a further development of SMS and MMS. The RCS standard then enables the exchange of mobile messages including group chats, audio messages and file exchange. So everything that not only Google as an Android provider, but also users have been demanding for a long time. Apple's U-turn in merging iMessage with other messenger standards was seen at the time as anticipatory obedience to the EU. However, the EU later confirmed that iMessage was not considered a gatekeeper offering and therefore no changes were necessary.

The fact that Apple still wants to take over RCS doesn't look like the iPhone manufacturer. That's why blogger John Gruber, who is well connected in Apple circles, set out to find another explanation. He found it in the large subject area of ​​China. Because China will soon require that newly launched 5G devices also support RCS. Since Apple cannot negotiate with China in the same way as with the EU (or not at all), the new regulation was followed directly. Just like removing VPNs from the App Store, changing AirDrop access, the move from iCloud to state servers, etc. (Sources: 1, 2).

iMessage is intended to be protected from future threats with the PQ3 protocol

At the same time as Apple's question "How high?" after China said "Jump!", the iPhone manufacturer announced that a new encryption has been developed for iMessage. The PQ3 protocol is intended to rely on “post-quantum” cryptography and thus prevent the decryption of messages and other data using quantum computers. This new type of computer, which is not yet fully developed and certainly not ready for widespread use, could threaten today's existing encryption technologies in the future and enable hacks of a completely new quality.

To do this, criminals do not wait until quantum computers are fully developed, but are already collecting large amounts of data that they might be able to decrypt at some point in the future. In order to be able to put a stop to this approach directly, Apple has been working on the new PQ3 encryption for iMessage and offers information about it in its security blog. The new standard is also compared with the current encryption of other messengers and previous iMessage versions. An interesting read for anyone interested (sources: 1, 2).

Foldable iPad Pro with 20,3-inch display could come out in 2027

The analysis company Omdia has published a possible iPad and MacBook roadmap, which shows, among other things, that Apple could release a foldable iPad Pro in 2027. Not only the new devices and display sizes were discussed, but also and above all their display technology. It shows where LCD, where OLEDs and where hybrid technologies could be used. The various information is also summarized in understandable graphics (Which). By the way, you can find out what Apple could present next month here: Apple March Event 2024: Rumors about iPad, Mac and Vision Pro.

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