Newsreel KW 51/2023 and Podcast #038: ⌚ Apple Watch ban 🤖 AI security 📱 iPhone 16 🎉 Apple Watch X


This episode is about the threatened sales stop of the Apple Watch 9 and Ultra 2 in the USA, an antitrust lawsuit against Apple, Visa and Mastercard, and also about OpenAI's latest security concept, which is intended to prevent overpowering AI.

We also take a look at the latest news about the Apple Vision Pro, because the mixed reality glasses are already being produced and are scheduled to hit stores in February 2024 - but not in Germany.

And the latest Ugly Christmas Sweater Wallpapers for your iPhone ensure the Christmas finale. As always, Lynne and Jens bring you this exciting tech news in an entertaining and informative way.

For people who don't like to listen and prefer to read, we have prepared the individual topics in bullet points further down on this page.

At this point you will also find all the show notes, sources and comments that we have put together for the individual topics below.

This episode as a YouTube video with Lynne and Jens

Would you like to see us podcasting again? Then here is the current episode for you on YouTube:

As always, we look forward to your comments and thumbs up on YouTube. 😊

Our Apple podcast has finally made it to Apple Podcasts.

Note: The summaries here were created using ChatGPT, but in our podcast we talk without artificial intelligence. So if you would like background information and good entertainment about the news, then please listen to us!

Beeper Mini wants Mac for iMessage messages

  • Date of article: December 18, 2023
  • Topic: Conflict between Beeper and Apple is heating up
  • US Senators are calling for a Department of Justice (DOJ) investigation into Apple's alleged anti-competitive behavior towards Beeper
  • Apple has been blocking Beeper Mini and Beeper Cloud for several days
  • 60% of Beeper users currently cannot access iMessage services for Android
  • Letter to the DOJ from Senator Amy Klobuchar (Minnesota), Senator Mike Lee (Utah), Congressman Jerry Nadler and Congressman Ken Buck
  • Beeper offers messaging apps that enable interoperability between Android and iPhone users via iMessage
  • Beeper services are currently disrupted due to Apple's blocking attempts
  • Beeper CEO Eric Migicovsky raised concerns with the Senate subcommittee back in December 2015
  • Allegation: Apple's actions harm competition, limit consumer choice and discourage innovation in interoperable messaging services
  • Apple has not yet responded to the letter

  • Some users believe that Beeper is not acting in the area of ​​fair competition by using Apple's servers with fake serial numbers.
  • It is doubted whether US senators fully understand what is at stake in this matter.
  • Expecting Apple to provide free access to its messaging platform for Android users with fake Apple serial numbers is seen as unreasonable.
  • There are concerns about the safety and legality of Beeper's actions, particularly with regard to the use of iMessage.
  • Some users suspect that Beeper's actions may fall under the Computer Abuse and Fraud Act.
  • There is skepticism about whether Beeper has any legal basis to “hack” into the private iMessage network.

  • Article date: December 20, 2023
  • Topic: Beeper Mini: New fix requires a Mac
  • Beeper Mini, an Android app for iMessage compatibility, has been blocked by Apple
  • New fix released on December 20, 2023
  • Fix requires access to a Mac to use iMessage on Beeper
  • Beeper originally used its own Mac servers to transmit registration data to Apple
  • New update generates unique registration data for each Mac
  • Beeper Mini only works with Apple ID email addresses, not phone numbers
  • Apple expressed concerns about security and privacy risks posed by Beeper Mini
  • Additional note: User comments on Reddit regarding the new solution and expectations for Apple's implementation of RCS for better interoperability between iPhones and Android devices

  • Article date: December 19, 2023
  • Topic: Beeper and its new fix for iMessage access
  • Beeper lost iMessage connectivity after Apple began cracking down on it, less than a week after launch
  • Beeper's latest method requires regular access to a physical Mac
  • Beeper has taken political action, including contacting U.S. lawmakers
  • Bi-partisan group of US lawmakers, including Senator Amy Klobuchar, sent a letter to the Justice Department regarding Apple's potentially anti-competitive treatment of the Beeper Mini messaging application
  • Apple has announced RCS standards for SMS messaging, but without end-to-end encryption
  • As of Sunday: Over 60% of Beeper users did not have access to iMessage
  • Beeper announced a solution that requires access to a Mac computer
  • Beeper previously used its own Mac servers to send registration data to Apple
  • The updated Beeper app for Mac allows you to get registry data from a real Mac
  • Data refresh must occur approximately once a week or month

Apple Watch 9 and Ultra 2 before sales stop in the USA

  • Date of article: December 19, 2023
  • Topic: Apple stops selling new watch models in the USA
  • Reason: Lost patent case against the medical technology company Masimo
  • Affected models: Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2
  • Sales stop: From December 21st on Apple's US website, from December 24th in Apple Stores in the USA
  • Background: Masimo accuses Apple of using a patented technology for measuring oxygen levels in the blood in the new models without a license
  • Decision of the US trade authority ITC: Import of the two watch models into the USA is prohibited
  • Possibility of a veto: US President Joe Biden has until December 25th to overturn the ITC decision with a veto
  • Apple’s response: taking precautions in case the import ban remains in place and pursuing various avenues to make the watches more available

  • Date of article: December 20, 2023
  • Topic: Apple loses attempt to lift ban on sale of Apple Watch
  • US International Trade Commission (ITC) rejected Apple's request to suspend the ban while awaiting appeal
  • Sales ban affects Apple Watch Series 9 and Watch Ultra 2
  • Apple announced on Monday that these models will no longer be sold in Apple Stores starting December 24th
  • Import ban comes into effect on December 26th
  • Reason for the ban: Infringement of medical technology manufacturer Masimo's patents by SpO2 sensors on the Apple Watch
  • Apple is exploring ways to get around the ban, including software changes
  • Ban only applies in the USA; Third-party sellers like Best Buy can continue to sell the watches while supplies last
  • There is a possibility of a veto by US President Joe Biden, but it is unlikely

Antitrust lawsuit launched against Apple, Visa and Mastercard

  • Article date: December 16, 2023
  • Topic: Antitrust lawsuit against Apple, Visa and Mastercard over Apple Pay
  • Allegation: conspiracy to suppress competition in point-of-sale payment card services
  • Consequence: Higher fees for merchants on credit and debit card transactions
  • Lawsuit filed on: Thursday (no exact date given)
  • Allegation against Apple: Illegal agreements with Visa and Mastercard in order not to compete with these credit card companies
  • Part of the agreement: Visa and Mastercard will pay Apple a portion of transaction fees for payments made via Apple Pay on their networks
  • Impact: Apple has no incentive to develop its own payment network, which could result in lower processing fees for merchants
  • Another accusation: Apple is preventing other companies from using the iPhone's NFC chip for contactless payment transactions
  • Latest development: Apple has offered to open Apple Pay's NFC system on iPhone to other companies in response to ongoing antitrust investigations in the European Union
  • Open: Whether these changes will also be implemented in the USA

  • Unclear legal situation: Some users find the lawsuits against “paying not to build something” strange and wonder why Visa and Mastercard aren’t being sued since Apple doesn’t appear to have done anything wrong in this case.
  • Apple as a payment processor: One user doubts that Apple was ever interested in becoming its own payment processor like Visa or Mastercard, while another user thinks that Apple could benefit from establishing its own payment system.
  • Criticism of Apple's approach: One user points out that Apple denies other companies access to the iPhone's NFC chip for contactless payment transactions, leaving Apple Pay the only mobile wallet platform on the iPhone. However, it is also mentioned that Apple supports the integration of other payment networks into Apple Pay, such as. B. in Japan.
  • Question about the goals of the lawsuit: A user wonders what the purpose of the lawsuit is, in particular whether Apple should be forced to create its own payment system.

Apple Watch X gets new bracelet attachment

  • Topic: Possible major design overhaul of the Apple Watch X in 2024
  • Report: Apple Watch X Band Change Rumors Are “100% Accurate”
  • Source of the rumor: Leaker Kosutami
  • Bloomberg reported on the Apple Watch X revamp earlier this year, including a new magnetic band attachment system
  • Goal of the new design: More space inside for other components or a larger battery
  • Current situation: The Apple Watch straps have been interchangeable since 2014, but this could change with the new generation
  • Speculation: The new Apple Watch X could be thinner, but further details about the design are still sparse
  • Background: Apple is under pressure because of an import ban on the Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2 by the FTC due to a patent dispute with Masimo
  • Apple is working on a software update to resolve the issue

First iPhone 16 prototypes with new camera appeared

  • Article published on December 12, 2023 on MacRumors about early prototypes of the iPhone 16
  • iPhone 15 came with design changes like curved frame and frosted glass back
  • iPhone 16 is based on these updates, with modifications to the buttons and camera layout
  • Different variants and hardware configurations of the iPhone 16 in development
  • Internally, the iPhone 16 is referred to as the “DeLorean” by Apple engineers
  • Early prototypes show changes such as vertical camera placement and new buttons
  • Considering two camera bump designs: iPhone 12 style and iPhone X type
  • Original prototypes had a uniform volume button, but were scrapped
  • Introducing an action button inherited from iPhone 15 Pro
  • New capture button on the right in development
  • Front of the iPhone 16 without any notable changes, still with Dynamic Island
  • Basic model of the iPhone 16 with a similar display to the previous model
  • USB-C port at the bottom of the device
  • Early prototypes in yellow, pink and midnight colors, other colors being considered
  • iPhone 16 features a vertical camera layout, new capacitive capture button and capacitive action button
  • Further design changes possible until the release of the iPhone 16
  • iOS 17.3 and other Apple products and updates mentioned, but without specific references to the iPhone 16.

  • Article published on December 19, 2023 on Apfelpage
  • Topic: Possible camera updates for the iPhone 16 Pro
  • A leaker shares details about the camera system of the 2024 Pro models
  • Guess: Enlargement of the sensor of the ultra-wide-angle lens
  • Current ultra-wide-angle camera is 12 megapixels, could be increased to 48 megapixels
  • The main camera of the iPhone 15 Pro is already 48 megapixels
  • Chinese leaker “Setsuna Digital” speaks of the need for a larger sensor
  • Similar rumor reported by Apfelpage in August
  • “Setsuna Digital” had published correct Apple rumors in the past
  • Expectation: iPhone 15 Pro Max's new zoom lens could be integrated into iPhone 16 Pro

  • Article published on December 20, 2023 on MacRumors
  • Topic: Tetraprism telephoto lens for iPhone 16 Pro and 16 Pro Max in 2024
  • iPhone 15 Pro Max already has a tetraprism telephoto camera
  • Tetraprism design enables up to 5x optical zoom, improvement over 3x on iPhone 14 Pro Max
  • iPhone 15 Pro did not have a tetraprism telephoto camera due to lack of space
  • For iPhone 16 Pro, Apple plans to increase the size of the devices: iPhone 16 Pro to approximately 6,3″ and iPhone 16 Pro Max to approximately 6,9″
  • Larger devices offer space for a tetraprism telephoto camera
  • Internal documents show similarities in camera module design between iPhone 15 Pro Max and planned iPhone 16 Pro
  • Information is based on pre-production designs and is subject to change until mass production

OpenAI shows security concept that is intended to prevent overpowering AI

  • OpenAI presents a comprehensive security concept for AI applications
  • The security concept divides the assessment of AI technology into four categories: cybersecurity, nuclear, chemical, biological or radiological threats, persuasion and autonomy
  • Each category is assigned to one of four risk levels based on specific criteria: from “low” to “critical”
  • Example of critical autonomy: an AI model that can independently conduct AI research and trigger an “uncontrollable process of self-improvement.”
  • AI risk assessment should occur both before and after implementing security measures
  • Overall rating of the model corresponds to the highest risk level in one of the categories
  • Only AI models that reach a maximum risk level of “medium” after security measures and are not classified as “critical” should be used
  • Various groups set up for monitoring and advice, board can overrule management decisions
  • OpenAI's ChatGPT caused a stir over a year ago
  • Reuters/Ipsos poll in May: 61 percent of Americans believe AI could threaten human civilization

Apple Vision Pro is already in production and will land in stores in February 2024 (not in Germany)

  • Sales of the Apple Vision Pro headset may start in February 2024
  • Initially only sold in the USA
  • The Vision Pro headset was introduced in June
  • Initial speculation pointed to March or January as the start of sales
  • The price of the headset is $3.500
  • Purchase and adjustment of the headset is only possible in the Apple Store or via the Apple Online Store with pickup in store
  • Store employees are trained to correctly adjust the headset to prevent light from entering
  • For those who wear glasses, special Zeiss lenses are inserted into the headset directly in the store
  • Store associates learn how the Vision Pro works and how to adjust the headband, light seal and corrective lenses
  • Facial scans of the customer support the selection of the light seal and headband
  • Possible delays in the start of sales due to production problems or other unforeseen events

  • The Apple Vision Pro headset is expected to launch in February 2024
  • Reporting by Mark Gurman of Bloomberg
  • The headset production process is already in full swing
  • App developers urged by Apple to prepare their apps for launch
  • Apple is not planning any large-scale media events for the release
  • The first presentations of the product took place at the developer conference in June
  • Information about future product features should be presented on the company website
  • Development of the next version of the device's operating system, visionOS, planned for 2024

The thief who made $300.000 from stolen iPhones

  • iOS 17.3 introduces new protection feature against iPhone theft
  • Article and video by Joanna Stern, Wall Street Journal, about an iPhone thief
  • The thief made over $20.000 every weekend from iPhone thefts
  • Thieves observed people entering their iPhone passcodes and then stole the iPhones
  • The passcode allowed the thieves to change the victim's Apple ID password and access banking applications
  • Thief Aaron Johnson made this his full-time job
  • Johnson chose bars as ideal locations, targeting college-aged men
  • He used social tricks to get into the iPhones, changed the Apple ID password and registered his face for Face ID
  • Johnson searched for money in banking apps, Apple Cash and crypto apps and sold the stolen devices to a partner who sold them overseas
  • On a good weekend, Johnson sold up to 30 iPhones and iPads and made around $20.000, not counting money from victims' banking apps
  • Johnson pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 94 months (nearly 8 years) in prison after making nearly $300.000 from stolen iPhones

Ugly Christmas Sweater Wallpapers for iPhone

  • Theme: Apple themed Ugly Christmas Sweater Wallpapers.
  • First Christmas Sweater Wallpaper Release Date: December 09, 2020.
  • Original wallpaper: Basic Apple Guy logo in the style of an ugly Christmas sweater.
  • The creation was time-consuming: thousands of threads had to be individually dyed.
  • Latest Wallpaper Collection: After a three year break, new releases with Happy Macintosh & Clarus the Dogcow.
  • Theme Adjustments: Limited color palette and limitation to iPhone themes.
  • Additional elements: Apple iconography such as iPods, Command icons, Macintosh icons (mouse pointer, spray can, file folder, trash).
  • Design process: Created in Sketch with 20.765 threads, then fine-tuned in Pixelmator Pro.
  • Availability: Multiple color options for Happy Macintosh and Clarus the Dogcow available for download.
  • Personal information: The author works in healthcare and runs the website as a hobby project.
  • How to support: Donations are offered to support the ad-free, fee-free website.
  • Author's wishes: Rest, peace and joy for the holidays and a happy New Year.

And our wishes for you: Have a nice holiday with your family, relax well and we hope to hear or see each other again in a week!

My tips & tricks about technology & Apple

Did you like the article and did the instructions on the blog help you? Then I would be happy if you the blog via a Steady Membership would support.

Post a comment

Your e-mail address will not be published. Required fields are marked with * marked

In the Sir Apfelot Blog you will find advice, instructions and reviews on Apple products such as the iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, AirPods, iMac, Mac Pro, Mac Mini and Mac Studio.