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iPhone 14’s Emergency SOS via satellite service expands to more countries


Apple launches free Emergency SOS via satellite on all iPhone 14 models
iPhone 14 can now communicate with satellites in more countries.
Photo: Apple/Cult of Mac

Apple is expanding iPhone 14’s Emergency SOS via satellite feature to more countries. The feature is now available to iPhone 14 owners in the United Kingdom, France, Germany and Ireland starting today.

Emergency SOS was only available in the United States and Canada so far. Apple previously confirmed the feature would expand to more countries in December.

Germany investigates unfair advantages in Apple’s anti-tracking system


Facebook vs. iPhone App Tracking Transparency
There's more to App Tracking Transparency than meets the eye.
Photo: Apple/Cult of Mac

The German government is looking into whether Apple’s App Tracking Transparency system is designed to give Apple an unfair advantage in advertising.

The Bundeskartellamt doesn’t object to the iPhone-maker blocking tracking. But the agency points out that ATT doesn’t block Apple’s own advertising tracking system.

Apple chip-maker eyes new production facility in Germany


Apple chip prices to rise in 2022
TSMC is working hard (and spending big) to boost its output.
Photo: TSMC

Future Apple devices could be powered by chipsets manufactured in Germany, with the company’s primary silicon supplier in talks over a new production facility in western Europe, according to a new report.

Negotiations are said to be in the early stages for now, so it’s far from a done deal. TSMC SVP Lora Ho said a number of factors will play a part in its decisions, including government subsidies and the availability of local talent.

Germany opens antitrust investigation into Apple’s marketplace dominance


App Store faces barrage of antitrust charges
Germany is looking into whether Apple has too much power.
Photo: Sora Shimazaki/Pexels CC

Germany’s antitrust watchdog said Monday it is launching an antitrust investigation to see whether Apple has a “paramount significance across markets.”

According to Reuters, the probe by Germany’s Federal Cartel Office was partly prompted by advertising and media industry complaints over Apple’s App Tracking Transparency feature.

“Based on this first proceeding, the (FCO) intends to assess in more detail specific practices of Apple in a possible further proceeding,” notes the investigatory paperwork. “In this regard, the authority has received various complaints relating to potentially anti-competitive practices.”

Apple says it looks forward to “discussing our approach with the FCO and having an open dialogue about any of their concerns.”

The European Union vs. Apple

One of the leading countries in the European Union, Germany previously announced investigations into Facebook, Amazon and Google over different complaints. And given how much scrutiny the EU has placed Apple under, it’s no surprise to hear Germany begin its own investigation.

The European Union is already probing Apple’s control of the App Store. Another EU investigation is looking into Apple Pay. Another is eyeing Apple’s potential to be a “gatekeeper” in the smart home industry.

Source: Reuters

Apple steps up renewable energy efforts in Europe with new investments


Apple Denmark renewable energy
Apple will invest in two of the world's largest onshore wind turbines.
Photo: Apple

Apple on Thursday confirmed plans to expand its renewable energy footprint in Europe. Cupertino will invest in the world’s largest onshore wind turbines in Denmark and in new clean energy efforts in Germany.

The moves are part of Apple’s plan, announced last month, to become carbon neutral across its entire business and supply chain.

Apple Store’s temperature checks may violate German privacy rules


Apple Store Hamburg line iPhone 6s
Apple Stores, like this one in Hamburg, Germany, are digitally checking the temperatures of customers as they enter.
Photo: Thomas Knoop (via Twitter)

As Apple reopens its retail stores throughout Germany, regulators are considering investigating whether temperature checks of customers to ensure the safety of visitors and employees is a violation of European Union privacy laws.

Apple to reopen all 15 retail stores in Germany May 11


15 Apple stores reopen in Germany on Monday as pandemic precautions ease in parts of Europe.
Photo: Corporate Dispatch

Apple plans to reopen all its 15 retail stores in Germany on May 11, according to a published report.

Germany will become only the second country in Europe to resume Apple Store operations since the majority of locations closed as a result of the coronavirus pandemic almost two months ago.

Germany flip-flops on contact-tracing tech, now embraces Apple’s approach


Apple and Google support a decentralized approach to contact-tracing.
Photo: Apple/Google

Germany has reportedly changed its mind over whether or not to embrace the decentralized approach to contact-tracing technology supported by Apple and Google.

As recently as the end of last week, Germany was backing a centralized standard technology called PEPP-PT. This stands for called Pan-European Privacy-Preserving Proximity Tracing. It has now seemingly switched its support to a “strongly decentralized” approach. This is the approach backed by Apple and Google.

Disney+ racks up 5 million downloads on launch day in Europe


Disney+ has finally landed in the UK.
Photo: Apple

The Disney+ mobile app is off to a roaring start in Europe and the UK just days after it launched earlier this week.

Third-party app analytics firm App Annie revealed that the Disney+ app has been downloaded over 5 million times on launch day, possibly thanks to millions of residents having to shelter-in-place due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Streisand effect drives book Apple tried to halt to no. 1 on Amazon


App Store Confidential
Who would've thought publicity would've helped?
Screenshot: Amazon

Call it the Streisand effect if you want, but the book written by a former App Store manager that Apple attempted to ban has risen to the number one spot on Amazon’s book charts in the writer’s native country.

Apple lawyers have tried to lean on the publishers to destroy all copies of the book. They claim that it contains inside secrets.

Unsurprisingly, this has sparked a whole lot of interest in a book that — by its own admission — shares only publicly available details about how Apple approves third-party apps in Germany.

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