| Cult of Mac

UK lawsuit dredges up 2017’s ‘Batterygate’ controversy

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Apple iPhone 6s
A UK lawsuit intends to stop Apple from doing something it already promised five years ago it would never do again.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

A UK consumer rights advocate filed a £750m claim accusing Apple of slowing down handsets as old as the iPhone 6. This is over “Batterygate,” a controversy that first erupted way back in 2017 and has long since been settled in the U.S. and other countries.

Even so, a bad decision from five years ago has come back to haunt the company.

UK iPhones will soon scan for nudity in texts sent to children

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UK iPhones will soon scan for iPhone sexually explicit images in texts sent to children
The iPhone's Communication Safety in Messages feature is already available in the U.S., and is headed for the U.K.
Image: Apple

Apple will soon begin rolling out in the United Kingdom a tool intended to protect children from sexual predators. The Messages application will be able to detect if a child’s iPhone gets or sends sexually explicit photos.

The feature is already available in the United States.

Proposed UK law makes ‘cyberflashing’ via AirDrop a crime

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Proposed UK law makes ‘cyberflashing’ via AirDrop a crime
Cyberflashing could put you behind bars in the UK. That includes using AirDrop to do it.
Image: Cult of Mac/Icons8

Cyberflashing, sharing unsolicited sexual image via social media, could soon be a crime in the U.K. That specifically includes using Apple’s AirDrop to send a nearby stranger a picture of your junk.

Just… don’t do it. For a lot of reasons. Including the fact that you don’t want to spend up to two years in prison.

UK backs Apple’s CSAM plans, offers rewards for new safety measures

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UK backs Apple CSAM plan
Home Secretary Priti Patel wants tech firms to step up and be responsible for child safety.
Photo: Number 10 CC

The U.K. government has backed Apple’s plan to scan user photos for child sexual abuse material (CSAM) and is offering rewards of up to £85,000 ($117,600) to other technology firms who can develop new tools to keep children safe.

Home Secretary Priti Patel, who this week announced the Safety Tech Challenge Fund, called on “Big Tech” to take responsibility for public safety and find ways to monitor online platforms protected by encryption.

App Store faces barrage of antitrust charges in Europe

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App Store faces barrage of antitrust charges
Government agencies in the EU and UK are looking into whether the iPhone App Store violates their antitrust laws.
Photo: Sora Shimazaki/Pexels CC

Spotify’s accusation to the European Union that Apple uses its control of the App Store to squeeze out competition reportedly will soon result in antitrust charges being filed against the iPhone-maker. This comes on the same day the UK begins an investigation of the App Store.

The two antitrust agencies could force Apple to lower the commissions it charges software developers. Or even require rival iPhone app stores.

Phone operators in the UK won’t be allowed to sell locked handsets from 2021

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Know how to hard-lock your iPhone in a hurry.
Locking phones to one carrier made it tougher for customers to switch.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Mobile phone operators in the United Kingdom will be banned from selling locked handsets from December 2021. This will stop companies from selling phones or other devices that are locked to one network and can only be unlocked for a fee.

Telecoms regular Ofcom first suggested the ban in December 2019, although it has only been made official today. This should make it easier for customers to switch networks if they wish.

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

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disney.plus.uk.2
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.

Brits and Aussies can enjoy hundreds of publications with Apple News+

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Apple News+ in Australia
Another email you didn't want.
Photo: Apple

Apple’s subscription news service just debuted in the UK and Australia, with access to a range of local and international newspapers and magazines for a single monthly fee.

News+ includes offerings like The Times (UK) and The Daily Telegraph (AU). There’s Cosmopolitan UK, Australian Men’s Health and many more.

Apple is named the U.K.’s best tech employer

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Apple is the U.K.'s top tech employer.
Apple employs some 6,500 people in the U.K.
Photo: Apple

Apple’s home town might be Cupertino, but Apple is a truly global company, circa 2019. (And it has been for years, too.) The latest evidence of this is a ranking of the top tech companies to work for in the U.K. Apple came in at number one on the list.

Apple employs some 6,500 people in the U.K. In capital city London alone it employs 2,500 people. Overall, Apple has around 132,000 full-time employees worldwide.