UK plans dramatic ‘publicity attack’ against encryption

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UK steps up fight against encryption
It will use children for dramatic anti-encryption stunts.
Photo: Markus Spiske/Unsplash

The U.K. will spend taxpayer money on a dramatic “publicity attack” against end-to-end encryption, according to a new report. The country apparently hopes to sway public opinion before taking further steps to crack down on the security feature.

A major focus of the campaign will be child safety. M&C Saatchi, the agency hired to run the marketing blitz, reportedly will use child actors to carry out emotive stunts that suggest encryption is being used by predators to conceal their activities.

Google: Apple shouldn’t ‘benefit from bullying’ over iMessage bubbles

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iMessage bullying
Apple could fix the iMessage problem. It just won't.
Image: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

Google is once again calling on Apple to adopt a more open text messaging standard after accusing Cupertino of benefitting from bullying.

It comes after a report highlighted the struggle some teens face when using an Android device, which results in broken group chats and green bubbles — as opposed to blue ones — when texting peers who own an iPhone.

A former iMessage manager explained the reasoning behind the differences in Apple’s defense. But some might (rightly) say the arguments hold no value today, with text messaging in a better place than it was when iMessage landed.

Messages bug sends read receipts even when they’re turned off

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Messages replay
"Why are you ignoring me?"
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Some iPhone and iPad users are being plagued by a Messages bug that causes read receipts to be sent even when they are disabled. The problem seems to affect devices running iOS 15 or later.

There is no permanent fix for the issue yet, but there is one thing you can do that may eliminate the problem for a short time.

iMessage reactions now appear as emoji on Android

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iMessage reaction
But only inside the Google Messages app.
Image: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

iMessage reactions now appear as emoji inside the latest version of the Google Messages app on Android.

Prior to this release, Android users saw somewhat lengthy template messages when they received an iMessage reaction from a contact using an iPhone. This change offers a cleaner, much more streamlined experience.

90+ organizations urge Tim Cook to drop Apple’s photo scanning plan

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Groups oppose Apple photo scanning
The largest campaign so far against Apple's new child safety features.
Photo: Benjamin Balázs

An international coalition of more than 90 policy and rights groups is urging Apple to drop plans to scan user photos for child abuse material (CSAM).

In an open letter addressed to Apple CEO Tim Cook, published on Thursday, the coalition said it is concerned the feature “will be used to censor protected speech, threaten the privacy and security of people around the world, and have disastrous consequences for children.”

Why it pays for startup founders to use iMessage blue bubbles

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iMessage
Blue bubbles good. Green bubbles bad. Or something.
Photo: Killian Bell's Peartree Productions/Cult of Mac

Considering that blue and green aren’t too far apart on the color spectrum, the difference between sending blue bubble messages and green bubble messages is pretty stark. The former, of course, means that the user is sending an iMessage, while the latter is a generic SMS, probably from an Android device.

For years, a certain segment of the population have mocked the green bubble crowd — with the gist being that a green bubble sender must have something wrong with them if they don’t own an iPhone. In a recent tweet, the CEO of a popular startup noted something else: That green bubble startup founders may have a tougher time landing investment.

“Unfortunate reality: if you don’t have iMessage, you are less likely to succeed at work,” Joshua Browder, the CEO of legal tech firm DoNotPaytweeted this week. “The blue bubbles build trust!”

Insider emails reveal why Apple never made iMessage for Android

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Court filings show why Apple didn't port iMessage to Android.
The green bubble mystery is solved!
Photo: Alexander Shatov/Unsplash CC

Now we know why Apple never brought iMessage to Android, despite the fact that doing so could have made it a ubiquitous messaging app like WhatsApp.

In a court filing for the company’s ongoing legal battle with Fortnite-maker Epic Games, internal emails showcase exactly why Apple execs made the decision they did. And, yes, it’s probably for the reason you guessed!

Facebook’s spat with Apple keeps getting uglier

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Facebook’s spat with Apple keeps getting uglier
Facebook continues to attack Apple, with the social-networking giant accusing Apple of unfair business practices.
Photo: PxHere

The war of words between Facebook and Apple heated up further on Wednesday, with the Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg stating, “we increasingly see Apple as one of our biggest competitors.” And the rivalry between the might be headed to court, with the social-networking giant accusing Apple of using the App Store to disadvantage rivals.

Beeper app promises to bring iMessage to Android and Windows

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Beeper brings iMessage to Android and Windows
15 different chat platforms in one.
Photo: Beeper

Beeper is a new all-in-one chat app that merges 15 different platforms into one. That sounds pretty interesting already, but what makes Beeper really exciting is its promise to put iMessage on Android and Windows.

The app, from Pebble founder Eric Migicovsky and his team, is “using some trickery” to make the impossible possible. But you’ll have to cough up a monthly subscription fee if you want to take advantage of it.