The Apple TV+ team is heading to San Diego Comic-Con International for the first time, with Apple planning to host a number of different panels. The cast and creative teams from "Severance," "For All Mankind," "Mythic Quest," "See," "Invasion," "Foundation," and "For All Mankind" will be holding panels.

apple tv plus banner
Comic-Con attendees will also be able to participate in a special "Severance" experience with Lumon Industries.

In addition to these must-see panels, attendees will have the opportunity -- if they dare -- to get "severed" as they immerse themselves in the world of Lumon Industries at an innovative "Severance" installation at the Hard Rock Hotel. The experience will take new Lumon employees through their first day on the severed floor where all of their senses will be required if they hope to be reunited with their "outtie."

Panels will include "Inside Severence," "The Alternate World of For All Mankind," "The Players of Mythic Quest," and "Storytellers of ‌Apple TV+‌."

San Diego Comic-Con International will take place from Thursday, July 21 through Sunday, July 24. Dates and times for panels will be announced closer to the event.

Apple last week launched the first M2 Mac, the 13-inch MacBook Pro, and repair site iFixit picked up the new machine to do a traditional device teardown.


Design wise, there's not a lot for iFixit to say about the ‌M2‌ MacBook Pro because aside from the ‌M2‌ chip, it is identical to the prior-generation MacBook Pro. It features the same chassis, Touch Bar, and display, with updates focused under-the-hood.

As expected, iFixit found almost every component to be the same, and couldn't identify any outward-facing changes. Inside, some of the chips and smaller components have been updated, but the rest of the interior is identical.

iFixit was able to pull the M1 and ‌M2‌ boards out, fitting the ‌M2‌ board in the ‌M1‌ MacBook Pro case. Though the boards could be swapped, the ‌M2‌ chip would not function in the ‌M1‌ chassis because of the component swap. The trackpad, keyboard, and Touch ID sensor fail to function when the ‌M1‌ and ‌M2‌ chips are changed out.

As the ‌‌M2‌‌ MacBook Pro components physically fit inside the ‌M1‌ MacBook Pro, iFixit claims that Apple is making a "blatant attempt to block repairs and replacements through software locks."

Previous arguments for the lack of upgradeability between generations have centered around size considerations within the chassis or cost considerations or manufacturing limitations. So how do we explain this?

iFixit confirmed the design of the SSD, which has led to slower SSD benchmark performance on the 256GB ‌M2‌ MacBook Pro compared to the 256GB ‌M1‌ MacBook Pro. Apple is indeed using a single 256GB SSD chip in the ‌M2‌ MacBook Pro, while the ‌M1‌ used two 128GB SSD chips. Two SSD chips allow the system to read and write up to twice as fast because operations can be performed at the same time. It's not clear why Apple made this change, but iFixit speculates that it is the direct result of component shortages.

All in all, iFixit says that Apple missed an opportunity to introduce its first upgradeable device in a good long time, and that the company also missed the chance to set the tone for repairability and eco-friendly design by restricting interoperability.

Related Roundup: 13" MacBook Pro
Related Forum: MacBook Pro

Comcast today released its long-awaited Xfinity Stream app on the Apple TV, allowing ‌Apple TV‌ HD and ‌Apple TV‌ 4K owners who subscribe to Xfinity TV to access live TV shows and on-demand content on their set-top boxes.

comcast xfinity app
According to Comcast, the app supports more than 250 live TV channels and DVR recordings that can be accessed from any device. There are also thousands of movies and shows that can be streamed on demand.

The ‌Apple TV‌ app provides access to the same content that is available through the iPhone and iPad apps, which in turn is identical to what's accessible through the Xfinity box.

Xfinity TV customers can log in with their credentials to access content through the new ‌Apple TV‌ app.

Instagram this week implemented support for a new option that allows an Instagram account to be deleted directly within the Instagram app. Instagram is now in compliance with an updated App Store Guideline that requires all apps that offer account creation to also offer account deletion.

Instagram Feature 2
Apple told developers that apps offering account creation must also support account deletion starting on June 30, 2022, so Instagram waited for the deadline to add the feature.

According to Apple's guidelines, apps must make it easy for users to find the account deletion option, and it is insufficient for an app to offer to temporarily disable or deactivate an account. An account must be able to be deleted, along with all personal data.

delete instagram account
As noted by TechCrunch, prior to now Instagram users had to log into a web browser on a desktop computer or a mobile device to delete their accounts. There was also an in-app option for deactivating account, but as mentioned up above, Apple is requiring full account deletion options.

Instagram accounts can be deleted in the Instagram app by opening up the settings, selecting account, and choosing the delete account option. Instagram lets users choose between deleting or deactivating their account, with the delete option removing all content permanently.

There is a 30-day period in which you can change your mind about deleting your account because Apple's guidelines allow for a delay before an account is permanently removed. Those who log back into Instagram after requesting deletion will be able to stop the deletion.

In a statement to TechCrunch, Instagram said that it wanted to "give people more ways to control their experience and time spent on Instagram," without mentioning that it is an Apple requirement.

Delivery startup Enjoy today filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), less than one year after raising over $250 million in growth capital and going public on the stock market.

Enjoy Technology Apple
Founded by Apple's former retail chief Ron Johnson, Enjoy provided what it called a "commerce-at-home experience" with at-home delivery and setup of tech products. In select U.S. cities, customers ordering Apple products through Apple's online store or the Apple Store app could choose "Delivery with Setup" during checkout and have an Enjoy employee deliver and set up the products at their home, free of charge.

In an earlier SEC filing, Enjoy said it would be pausing at-home delivery and setup of Apple products in the U.S. beginning July 1 in order to "focus on its business priorities." Given the bankruptcy filing, the service may be permanently ended.

Johnson joined Apple as Senior Vice President of Retail Operations in 2000 and helped to pioneer the concept of the Apple Store and the Genius Bar. He left Apple in 2011 to become CEO of retail chain JCPenney, but the company struggled financially under his leadership and he was fired in 2013, one year before he founded Enjoy.

Drivers will be able to preauthorize fuel purchases directly within Apple CarPlay starting this fall (via Reuters).

carplay dashboard ios 14
The feature, first mentioned in a developer session at WWDC earlier this month, will allow ‌CarPlay‌ users to use apps to navigate to a pump and preauthorize a fuel purchase. Fuel companies will offer individual apps that users will need to install on their iPhone to be available in Apple ‌CarPlay‌. Entering payment credentials in the ‌iPhone‌ app ahead of time will allow users to activate a pump and quickly purchase fuel directly from the ‌CarPlay‌ UI.

Gasoline firm HF Sinclair told Reuters that it plans to adopt the new ‌CarPlay‌ functionality. "We are excited by the idea that consumers could navigate to a Sinclair station and purchase fuel from their vehicle navigation screen," Jack Barger, the company's senior vice president of marketing said. Likewise, P97 Networks CEO Donald Frieden told Reuters that he has taken calls from oil companies that want to make their apps available in ‌CarPlay‌.

Apple has opened up more app categories for ‌CarPlay‌ over time, such as parking, electric vehicle charging, and food ordering. Driving task apps for logging business trip mileages will also become available alongside fuel apps later this year. Fuel purchase apps will be available in Apple ‌CarPlay‌ when iOS 16 officially launches in the fall.

Tag: CarPlay

Apple suppliers are already working on display panels for second-generation OLED iPad models, The Elec reports.

OLED iPad Pro Feature
Samsung Display is said to be in the process of negotiating prices for new Gen 8.5 OLED deposition equipment designed to make OLED display panels for devices like tablets. Samsung is reportedly planning to use the equipment to mass-produce Gen 8.5 OLED panels in late 2024 for the second-generation version of Apple's OLED ‌iPad‌.

Apple has begun transitioning its ‌iPad‌ and MacBook lines to mini-LED displays over the last year, and OLED would be the next step after that. Unlike mini-LED displays, OLED panels use self-emitting pixels and do not require backlighting, which could improve contrast ratio and contribute to longer battery life on future ‌iPad‌ and MacBook models. Apple already uses OLED displays for its latest iPhones and all Apple Watch models.

The first-generation OLED iPad models, consisting of an 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro, are expected to use displays supplied by LG Display and Samsung, using existing Gen 6 OLED production lines. Moving to Gen 8.5 OLED panels for the second-generation of OLED iPads is more economical for larger devices than using Gen 6, which is better for smaller devices like smartphones, because it can yield more OLED panels per substrate.

The first OLED ‌iPad‌ models are purportedly scheduled to launch in 2024, so a late 2024 mass-production date for displays destined for second-generation models could situate their launch sometime in 2025.

Various Apple devices with Gen 8.5 OLED displays are expected to launch after the debut of the first OLED ‌iPad‌. For example, a previous report placed the launch of the first MacBook with an OLED display in 2025, depending on the success of new 11- and 12.9-inch OLED ‌iPad Pro‌ models from the previous year.

Apple has informed App Store developers in South Korea that they can now begin offering users alternative payment systems in their apps. The change comes after the country passed a law that bans app store operators from requiring developers to use their own in-app purchase systems.

General App Store South Korea Feature Feature
Apple's developer update on apps distributed in South Korea begins with Apple saying that the ‌App Store‌ was designed "to be a safe and trusted place to discover and download apps," but continues by explaining that the change is simply to ensure that the company is complying with local law:

The Telecommunications Business Act in South Korea was recently amended to mandate that apps distributed by app market operators in South Korea be allowed to offer an alternative payment processing option within their apps. To comply with this law, developers can use the StoreKit External Purchase Entitlement. This entitlement allows apps distributed on the App Store solely in South Korea the ability to provide an alternative in-app payment processing option. Developers who want to continue using Apple's in-app purchase system may do so and no further action is needed.

Apple goes on to caution developers that using the entitlement will cause some ‌App Store‌ features like Ask to Buy and Family Sharing to be unavailable to their users. The reason for this, Apple explains, is because payments that take place outside of the ‌App Store‌'s own payment system cannot be validated. As such:

"Apple will not be able to assist users with refunds, purchase history, subscription management, and other issues encountered when purchasing digital goods and services through an alternative purchasing method."

Apple provides developers with a list of pre-approved payment service providers (PCPs) in South Korea that includes KCP, Incise, Toss, and NICE. Developers can still use a different PSP, but it must meet the same criteria of having a secure payment processing system and an established track record of protecting user privacy. Notably, Apple will earn a 26% commission on all processed sales, despite the Korean regulator's misgivings about commissions taken on third-party payment systems.

Developers interested in using the StoreKit External Purchase Entitlement for apps in South Korea can get started by submitting an entitlement request form.

The redesigned MacBook Air with the all-new M2 Apple silicon chip will be available for customers starting Friday, July 15, MacRumors has learned from a retail source.

macbook air m2
The new ‌MacBook Air‌ was announced and previewed during WWDC earlier this month, with Apple stating availability will begin in July. The ‌MacBook Air‌ features a redesigned body that is thinner and lighter than the previous model. Thanks to the ‌M2‌ chip, the ‌MacBook Air‌ features up to 18 hours of battery life, according to Apple. With a launch planned for July 15, pre-orders can be expected to go live on Friday, July 8.

The new ‌MacBook Air‌ starts at $1199, with the highest configuration costing $2499. The previous M1-powered ‌MacBook Air‌ remains in Apple's lineup for $999 for customers looking for a cheaper option.

Related Roundup: MacBook Air
Buyer's Guide: MacBook Air (Buy Now)
Related Forum: MacBook Air

With iOS 16, Apple is adding some major updates to the Messages app, introducing features that many people have been wanting for years. This guide highlights everything that's new with the Messages app in ‌iOS 16‌, iPadOS 16, and also, macOS Ventura as many Messages features are cross-platform.

iOS 16 Messages Guide Feature

iMessage Editing

When you send an iMessage in ‌iOS 16‌, you can edit for up to 15 minutes after it is sent. To edit an iMessage, you just long press on the message that you want to fix, add your edit, and then press the blue checkmark to resend.

imessage editing ios 16
There are some caveats to be aware of when using this feature. It only works with iMessages, not SMS messages, so both people need to have an iPhone for it to work effectively. Edited messages will be repeated for those who are not running ‌iOS 16‌.

Using the message editing feature as it is intended requires participants to be using Apple's latest updates, including ‌iOS 16‌, ‌iPadOS 16‌, ‌macOS Ventura‌, and watchOS 9.

People who are running an earlier operating system or those on Android will see text that says "Edited to [text]" when receiving an edited iMessage.

The Messages app does not provide a history of the iMessage that is edited, so the person on the other end will not know what the change was.

iMessage Undo Send

If you send an iMessage and then change your mind, you can use the undo send feature to retract it. You can unsend an iMessage for up to 15 minutes after sending it.

messages undo send ios 16
As with iMessage editing, iMessage unsending has limitations that you need to be aware of. If you use the undo send feature on a message sent to someone running an earlier version of iOS, it will not work and the message will not be unsent.

In this situation, the person on the other end will not see that you unsent it, even though it will disappear from your ‌iPhone‌. If someone is running an earlier version of iOS, it will say the following:

"You unsent a message. [Person] may still be able to see your message on devices running older versions of iOS."

For undo send to work, participants need to be running ‌iOS 16‌, ‌iPadOS 16‌, ‌macOS Ventura‌, and ‌watchOS 9‌ on their devices. iMessage is required, as the feature does not work on SMS messages.

Mark as Unread

There is a new mark as unread feature in ‌iOS 16‌, which allows you to mark an SMS message or iMessage as new, so it has the blue dot to remind you to return to it.

ios 16 mark as unread messages
Mark as unread is useful if you get a message and don't have time to read it or address it in the moment because it keeps it as a new message with a notification badge on the Messages app.

To mark a thread as unread, long press on the conversation and then tap on the "Mark as Unread" option.

Recover Deleted Messages

Under the "Filters" interface in the Messages app, there is a new "Recently Deleted" section that aggregates all of the texts that you've deleted. If you accidentally delete a message that you did not mean to delete, you can recover it here.

recently deleted messages ios 16
This interface has dedicated "Delete All" and "Recover All" options for dealing with all of the messages at once, or you can select an individual message and opt to delete it or recover it.

SharePlay Support

SharePlay, the feature that is designed to let you use apps, watch TV, listen to music, and more with friends and family over FaceTime, has expanded to the Messages app. In any app that supports SharePlay, you can opt to start a SharePlay session with the Messages app.

messages shareplay ios 16
The participants in the SharePlay experience can see the same content, discussing it through iMessage. This is handy for collaborating on various apps, playing games, working out, talking about TV shows and movies, and nearly every other SharePlay interaction. SharePlay is now compatible with both Messages and ‌FaceTime‌, so you can pick which method of communication you prefer.

Collaboration Integration

Collaboration is a new feature built into iOS apps. You can work together with colleagues, friends, or family in Files, Keynote, Numbers, Pages, Notes, Reminders, and Safari, sending an invite to collaborate through Messages.

When a Collaboration has begun, all invited participants will see Messages updates when the shared project in the app is edited. Collaborations can be initiated from Messages or ‌FaceTime‌.

Junk Message Reporting

Apple is expanding the built-in "Report Junk" feature in the Messages app to cover SMS/MMS messages, allowing spam messages to be reported to select carriers in the United States.

report junk message ios 16
If you long press on an SMS/MMS message in the Unknown Senders section of the Messages app in ‌‌iOS 16‌‌, you can select the "Report Junk" option. Using this option lets you report a message as junk, sending it to Apple and Verizon and deleting the message.

The Report Junk feature was previously available for iMessage, but the option to report SMS/MMS messages to both Apple and carriers is new.

Developer APIs

Apple is making the Shared with You API available to developers, so they can build a dedicated Shared with You section into their apps, which will aggregate app content that you've been sent from friends into that app. So, for example, if a friend sends a Zillow listing, you might be able to see it in a new Shared with You section in the Zillow app.

This is opt-in for third-party apps, and it is an expansion of the Shared with You function that Apple introduced in iOS 15. Shared with You takes Safari links, photos, music, and more, and makes them accessible in the relevant app so you don't miss content from friends.

Apple also has a Messages Collaboration API to allow third-party apps to take advantage of the new Collaboration feature that allows users to communicate in the Messages app while working together in another app.

Guide Feedback

Have questions about the ‌iOS 16‌ Messages app, know of a feature we left out, or want to offer feedback on this guide? Send us an email here.

Related Roundups: iOS 16, iPadOS 16

Every watch face on Apple Watch is supposed to include a swipe up interaction to reveal the Control Center and its menu of buttons, and a swipe down interaction to reveal notifications. The only problem is, due to an undisclosed and intermittent bug, sometimes these interactions simply won't work when you try them. This article runs through some possible solutions.

red dot apple watch
Since updating to watchOS 8.5.1, many Apple Watch users have reported instances where they are unable to access notifications or the Control Center with a swipe up or down on the watch face. In fact, the issue goes back much earlier than watchOS 8, and has been found to occur on different Apple Watch models, so it is a recurring bug that spans hardware and software versions.

Until Apple gets the watch face interaction problem fixed, you can try one of these workarounds to regain access to Control Center and your notifications.

Method 1: Switch Apple Watch Face

Before you attempt the other methods discussed here, simply try switching the watch face.

newapplewatchfaces
Some users have found that just swiping left or right to change the watch face has brought back the Control Center and notifications interactions for them.

Method 2: Reboot Apple Watch

Note that you can't restart an Apple Watch if it is charging, so undock it first before attempting the following steps.

  1. Press and hold the side button until you see the Power Off slider on the screen.
  2. Drag the Power Off slider with your finger.
  3. Once your Apple Watch has turned off, press and hold the side button again until you see the Apple logo.
    apple watch power off

Method 3: Hard Reset Apple Watch

If rebooting didn't solve the issue, try a force restart on your Apple Watch. Note that this should only be used as a last resort. And whatever you do, don't perform a force restart if your Apple Watch is in the middle of an OS update.

  1. Press and hold both the side button and Digital Crown for at least 10 seconds.
  2. Release both buttons when you see the Apple logo.

applewatchseries4digitalcrowndesign

Method 4: Re-Pair Apple Watch

Unpairing Apple Watch from iPhone has worked for some people suffering from the issue. It takes a bit of time, but if you're missing the gestures that reveal Control Center and notifications, it's worth it.

  1. Bring your ‌iPhone‌ and Apple Watch close together, then open the Watch app on your ‌iPhone‌.
  2. In the My Watch tab, tap All Watches.
  3. Tap the info (i) button next to the watch that you want to unpair.
  4. Tap Unpair Apple Watch. (For GPS + Cellular models, choose to keep your cellular plan.)
  5. Tap again to confirm. You might need to enter your Apple ID password to disable Activation Lock.

Before erasing all content and settings on your Apple Watch, your ‌iPhone‌ creates a new backup of your Apple Watch. You can use the backup to restore a new Apple Watch. After your Apple Watch unpairs, you'll see the Start Pairing message. Then you can pair your watch to your ‌iPhone‌ again in the normal way.

  1. Press and hold the side button on your Apple Watch until you see the Apple logo.
  2. Wait for the "Use your ‌iPhone‌ to set up this Apple Watch" message to appear on your ‌iPhone‌, then tap Continue. If you don't see this message, open the Watch app on your ‌iPhone‌, tap All Watches, then tap Pair New Watch.
  3. Follow the on-screen instructions to re-pair your watch.

Final Thoughts

If none of the above suggestions worked for you, it could be that your Apple Watch screen has a hardware issue and you'll have to take it into an Apple Store for repair or replacement.

watchOS 9 header
If you solved the issue, it may only be temporary, and you'll have to wait for Apple to fix whatever's going wrong in a future update. Apple has solved similar issues on Apple Watch in past versions of watchOS, so hopefully we'll see a fix with the release of watchOS 8.7 or watchOS 9, due in the fall of 2022.

Related Forum: Apple Watch

Apple today released a new update for Safari Technology Preview, the experimental browser Apple first introduced in March 2016. Apple designed the ‌Safari Technology Preview‌ to test features that may be introduced into future release versions of Safari.

Safari Technology Preview Feature
‌Safari Technology Preview‌ release 148 includes bug fixes and performance improvements for Web Inspector, CSS Container Queries, CSS, Forms, Animations, JavaScript, Rendering, Media, Web API, Security, Loading, WebDriver, and more.

The current ‌Safari Technology Preview‌ release is built on the Safari 16 update and it includes support for feature coming in macOS Ventura such as Live Text, Passkeys, Web Extension improvements, and more.

The new build of ‌Safari Technology Preview‌ is compatible with machines running macOS 13 Ventura, unlike prior versions of ‌Safari Technology Preview‌, but it no longer works with macOS Big Sur.

The ‌Safari Technology Preview‌ update is available through the Software Update mechanism in System Preferences to anyone who has downloaded the browser. Full release notes for the update are available on the Safari Technology Preview website.

Apple's aim with ‌Safari Technology Preview‌ is to gather feedback from developers and users on its browser development process. ‌Safari Technology Preview‌ can run side-by-side with the existing Safari browser and while designed for developers, it does not require a developer account to download.

Apple has launched a summer promotion for Apple Card owners, offering additional cash back from merchants that include HotelTonight, Petco, StubHub, Ray-Ban, Crocs, Fandango, Yeti, and J.Crew.

apple card cash back summer
Through July 31, Apple Pay purchases made with ‌Apple Card‌ from the above listed retailers will provide users with four percent Daily Cash, up from the standard two percent for an ‌Apple Pay‌ purchase. Customers can get four percent cash back on up to $3,000 in purchases.

Now through July 31, turn what would be 2% real cash1 back into 4% when making a purchase in apps or on the web using Apple Card with Apple Pay at StubHub, Petco, HotelTonight, Fandango, Yeti, J.Crew, Ray-Ban, and Crocs. There's no need to enroll. Simply double your Daily Cash.

Apple has an established ‌Apple Card‌ deal with merchants like Nike, Panera Bread, Walgreens, and Ace Hardware, offering three percent cash back for all purchases, but the four percent cash return is a limited time summer deal with participating retailers.

Google today announced that support for its Switch to Android app on iOS is rolling out to all Android 12 smartphones, which means iPhone users can now take advantage of the app's transfer features to swap over to any device that supports Android 12.

switch to android
Prior to now, the Switch to Android app for the ‌iPhone‌ was limited to Google's own Pixel phones, so it worked with a limited number of devices.

‌iPhone‌ users who purchase an Android device can link their ‌iPhone‌ to the Android smartphone over WiFi or through a Lightning to USB-C cable. Data that includes apps, photos, contacts, and messages can be copied over for a more seamless transition.

Google accompanied the new support for Android 12 devices with a blog post on why ‌iPhone‌ users should switch over to an Android smartphone, highlighting features like the Messages app and Gboard, Google Meet, Google Play, Android privacy protections, Home screen customization, and more.

Apple has its own Move to iOS app for Android devices, which is the counterpart to Google's app. Designed for Android switchers, it allows for the transfer of messages, contacts, calendar events, photos, and more.

Fifteen years ago to this day, the iPhone, the revolutionary device presented to the world by the late Steve Jobs, officially went on sale.

original iphone 2007
The first ‌iPhone‌ was announced by Steve Jobs on January 9, 2007, and went on sale on June 29, 2007. "An iPod, a phone, an internet mobile communicator... these are not three separate devices," Jobs famously said. "Today, Apple is going to reinvent the phone," he added.

Ever since its debut, the ‌iPhone‌ has gone on to change the world and the mobile technology industry forever. After its launch on June 29, 2007, it took only 74 days before Apple announced it had sold over 1 million iPhones. The first ‌iPhone‌ retailed for $499.

Fifteen years later, the ‌iPhone‌ has completely evolved, featuring advanced performance capabilities, and cameras, accompanied by iOS and the App Store, which the first ‌iPhone‌ did not have. In an interview that was published yesterday ahead of the anniversary, Apple's Greg Joswiak and other Apple executives involved in the development of the ‌iPhone‌ discussed what it was like launching the ‌iPhone‌ and how it defined the industry for years to come.

The Federal Communications Commission has asked Apple and Google to remove TikTok from their app stores because of its "pattern of surreptitious data practices," reports TechCrunch.

tiktok logo
FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr is said to have written to Apple and Google on Tuesday to make the request, which comes after a BuzzFeed News report last week claimed TikTok staff in China have had access to U.S. users' data despite statements made by the company suggesting otherwise.

"As you know TikTok is an app that is available to millions of Americans through your app stores, and it collects vast troves of sensitive data about those US users. TikTok is owned by Beijing-based ByteDance — an organization that is beholden to the Communist Party of China and required by the Chinese law to comply with PRC's surveillance demands," Carr said in a letter addressed to Sundar Pichai and Tim Cook.

"It is clear that TikTok poses an unacceptable national security risk due to its extensive data harvesting being combined with Beijing's apparently unchecked access to that sensitive data."

TikTok has historically responded to data privacy concerns by promising that the data of users in the United States is stored in the U.S., rather than China, where the app's parent company ByteDance is located. However, according to BuzzFeed News, TikTok staff in China had access to U.S. user data up until January 2022. The claim contradicts testimony given by a TikTok executive under sworn oath in an October 2021 Senate hearing that a "world-renowned, US-based security team" decides who gets access to U.S. users' data.

TikTok responded to the report by announcing that it is moving all U.S. users' data to Oracle servers situated in the country. The company said it uses its own U.S. and Singapore-based servers for backup, but in future it expects to "delete U.S. users' private data from our own data centers and fully pivot to Oracle cloud servers located in the U.S."

"We're also making operational changes in line with this work – including the new department we recently established, with US-based leadership, to solely manage US user data for TikTok," the company added.

TikTok's user data practices have been a point of controversy for several years now, and former U.S. President Donald Trump signed several executive orders banning apps tied to China during his time in office. In the most high profile order, Trump sought a ban of the short-form video app TikTok in 2020.

However, Trump's bans were never enforced after several court orders blocked the restrictions, despite claims by the Trump administration that the apps posed a risk to national security.

In June 2021, President Joe Biden revoked the executive orders that Trump issued in August, which attempted to force ByteDance to divest TikTok to a U.S. company, along with another one that targeted several other messaging and financial transaction apps including Alipay and WeChat Pay. Instead, the Biden administration has said it is taking an "evidence-based approach" when reviewing the security concerns posed by apps.

Biden's executive order states that the collecting of data from Americans "threatens to provide foreign adversaries with access to that information," and directs the Commerce Department to continually evaluate any transactions that "pose an undue risk of catastrophic effects on the security or resiliency of the critical infrastructure or digital economy of the United States."

Note: Due to the political or social nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Political News forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

Tag: TikTok

Apple has just launched a new global "Apple Community+" program that aims to recognize and reward top contributors in the Apple Support Community by "providing access to special perks, white-glove experiences, and more."

apple community plus

In the Apple Support Community, we recognize when a member's positive attitude, expertise, and curiosity to explore new solutions make a big impact in our community. That's why we created the global Apple Community+ program to honor and celebrate these members! Each year, we invite a small group of contributors from the highest levels of the community to join the program. It's our way to say thank you and show our appreciation.

In operating the invitation-only program, Apple says it will look for high-level community members who "embody the qualities that make our space warm and welcoming" by being engaged and active in the community, sharing quality content and helpful answers to technical questions.

Apple users can participate in Apple Support Communities to earn points, levels, and awards, and grow their reputation as a trusted peer over time. Apple also provides a breakdown of the levels and perks available on its support site.

Apple today launched its single gift card for all things Apple in several European countries, including France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and more.

apple gift card new
The card can be used at the App Store and other online services, but it can also be used to buy products and accessories in the Apple Store.

Apple launched the gift card in 2020 for U.S. customers, and last year expanded its availability to Canada and Australia. Dutch blog iCulture.nl spotted the card's new availability in Europe.

Before the single gift card arrived, there were two separate Apple gift cards available: iTunes cards, which can be used for ‌‌App Store‌‌, iTunes Store, and iCloud storage purchases, and ‌‌Apple Store‌‌ gift cards, used for buying goods at Apple's online and brick-and-mortar retail stores.

Apple has a dedicated page on its regional websites explaining what the card does and how it can be used. "Products, accessories, apps, games, music, movies, TV shows, ‌‌iCloud‌‌, and more. This gift card does it all. And then some," reads the tagline.

Customers can decide what amount they want on the cards, which can also be used to add money directly into an Apple Account Balance for paying for things like Apple products, accessories, apps, games, music, movies, TV shows, and more.

The cards have a distinctive design, with colored Apple logos. There are a total of five designs, and the cards can be purchased, personalized and received via email using Apple's online purchase portal.