Smart Voting, an app run by supporters of jailed Putin critic Alexei Navalny, has returned to the App Store in Russia following its removal last September.
Cupertino pulled the app after Russia made threats about prosecuting top Apple employees in the country. Google, which also removed the app after the Kemlin lashed out, allowed the app back into the Play Store soon after Russia’s election last year.
Ukrainians have turned to Apple’s Find My device-tracking technology to follow Russian troop movements. After Russian soldiers stole Apple gear during the invasion, the devices’ Ukrainian owners can see and report on where the troops toting the gadgets are going in real time, including a recent retreat into Belarus.
The government of Ukraine recently created a chatbot within the Telegram instant messaging app. It lets Ukrainians use their iPhones to report to their country’s defenders exactly where they see invading Russian troops.
Ukrainian developer MacPaw today released SpyBuster, a new (and completely free!) Mac app that identifies software built by and reporting to “undesirable countries of origin” — such as Russia and Belarus.
SpyBuster also lets you block those connections so that you can prevent additional data being sent to overseas servers, where it may not be protected by the same privacy laws that we’re accustomed to in other countries.
Russia is considering nationalizing the assets of companies like Apple that pulled out of the country in the wake of the invasion of Ukraine. Vladimir Putin, Russia’s leader, reportedly endorsed the plan on Thursday. The Mac-maker is just one of hundreds of companies that could be affected, but it’s a prominent one.
Among the various calls for help on behalf of Ukraine during the Russian invasion, software company Skylum offered a way for you to donate a surveillance drone that could help safeguard Ukrainian civilians from the ravages of war.
“You can help Ukrainians to protect themselves as your drone will provide real-time pictures of the situation on the ground,” Skylum said in a blog post Thursday.
Reached for comment via email from Western Ukraine, Skylum Marketing Manager Sabina Iliasova told Cult of Mac how drone deployment will work and why it’s so crucial. She is the contact who will handle donations.
Apple Maps now indicates that Crimea is part of Ukraine. That shouldn’t be a surprise … it is. But the app reportedly showed the peninsula as part of no country in the wake of the 2014 Russian invasion and subsequent occupation.
It appears Russia’s recent invasion of the rest of Ukraine pushed Apple to change the way it labels the region.
After Apple on Tuesday confirmed that it ceased product sales in Russia, CEO Tim Cook sent out an email to all employees that promises to match donations made to help Ukraine during the ongoing Russian invasion at a rate of 2:1.
“With each new image of families fleeing their homes and brave citizens fighting for their lives, we see how important it is for people around the world to come together to advance the cause of peace,” the email read.
Apple has stopped selling its products in Russia as the country’s war on Ukraine stretches on. The Mac-maker is taking other steps as well, like removing the state-backed news applications RT and Sputnik from the App Store.
“We are deeply concerned about the Russian invasion of Ukraine,” Apple said Tuesday in a statement. “We are supporting humanitarian efforts, providing aid for the unfolding refugee crisis, and doing all we can to support our teams in the region.”
Add Russia to the list of countries investigating the App Store. It is reportedly looking into whether Apple’s policy forbidding iPhone developers from telling customers about alternate — and possibly cheaper — payment options is a violation of its antitrust laws.
The U.S. and other countries are asking that same question.
Russia’s “anti-Apple” law came into force today, meaning that all smartphones, tablets, and computers sold in the country must offer local software and apps as part of the setup process.
Apple reportedly “strongly opposed” the law, and even went so far as to threaten to pull out of the Russian market over it. However, as was the case with a government-created “Do Not Disturb” app in India, it eventually relented.
If a law proposed on Tusday to the Russian State Duma gets enacted, then Apple would only be able to collect a 20% commission on software sold through the App Store. And it would force Apple to allow iPhone users to install apps from other software stores.
A Russian law requiring all phones and computers, including iPhone and Mac, sold in that country come bundled with third-party software localized for Russia won‘t go into effect July 1, as had been originally planned. Instead, implementation won‘t occur until early next year.
This comes as a temporary reprieve for Apple. The company has such privacy concerns over this legislation it might withdraw from the country rather than comply with the law.
A dozen members of the European Parliament have sent letters to Apple. They are demanding that it correct information Crimea, the Russian annexed peninsula. When viewed inside Russia, both Apple Maps and Apple Weather present Crimea as belonging to Russia.
Russian lawmakers made the initial request to Apple. But it seems that a whole lot of people are not happy about it.
Russian President Vladimir Putin approved legislation that requires all phones and computers come bundled with third-party software localized for Russia. This is giving Apple such privacy concerns it might withdraw from the country.
Apple says that it is going to take a “deeper look at how we handle disputed borders” after recent controversy about the Russian-annexed Crimean Peninsula.
Last week, Apple agreed to depict the disputed peninsula as belonging to Russia on Apple Maps and Apple Weather. The changes only showed when viewed inside Russia. In the backlash that ensued, Ukranian foreign minister Vadym Prystaiko said that Apple should stick to “high-tech and entertainment”.