US Senator Calls on Apple and Google to Ban TikTok From App Stores

United States Senator Michael Bennet today penned a letter to the chief executives of Apple and Google demanding that they ban Chinese-owned TikTok from their app stores on national security grounds (via The New York Times).

tiktok logo
Bennet, a Democrat of Colorado and member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, sent the letter to Apple’s Tim Cook and Google’s Sundar Pichai, saying that no company subject to “Chinese Communist Party dictates should have the power to accumulate such extensive data on the American people or curate content to nearly a third of our population.”

“TikTok’s vast influence and aggressive data collection pose a specific threat to US national security because of its parent company’s obligations under Chinese law,” wrote Bennet. “Article 7 of China’s National Intelligence Law decrees that ‘any organization or citizen shall support, assist, and cooperate with state intelligence work.’ Article 14 provides Chinese state security agencies the authority to demand cooperation from companies like ByteDance, while Articles 16 and 17 allow intelligence agents to access relevant materials and files and make use of its communication tools and facilities.”

Bennet goes on to cite a BuzzFeed News report from June last year that suggested TikTok engineers in China had access to the data of U.S. users between September 2021 and January 2022. “Everything is seen in China,” said one TikTok employee in recordings reviewed by BuzzFeed, with the recordings also referencing a “Master Admin” engineer in China who “has access to everything.”

Bennet’s letter concludes: “Given these grave and growing concerns, I ask that you remove TikTok from your respective app stores immediately.”

TikTok has been in the cross-hairs of U.S. regulators for years now, going back to the Trump administration’s failed attempt to bar the app from U.S. app stores in September 2020. However, concerns over the app have heightened in the last few weeks after both Republicans and Democrats called for officials to impose stricter data collection restrictions or ban the app from the U.S. entirely.

For its part, TikTok’s parent company ByteDance submitted a plan in August detailing how it plans to prevent the Chinese government from having access to data on U.S. users, and how it will offer the U.S. government oversight of the platform. The Biden administration has yet to respond to the company’s plan.

In the meantime, at least 27 state governments have passed full or partial bans on the app, while a bipartisan bill introduced in Congress in December would ban the app for everyone in the United States. The House Foreign Affairs Committee plans to hold a vote on the bill this month.

Senator Bennet’s full letter to Apple and Google can be read on Scribd.

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Apple TV+ hosts ‘Dear Edward’ premiere event

L-R: Colin O’Brien, Taylor Schilling, Jason Katims, and Connie Britton at the “Dear Edward” premiere

“Dear Edward” showrunner Jason Katims and cast including star Colin O’Brien, attended the Apple TV+ premiere at the Directors’ Guild of America, ahead of its streaming on February 3, 2023.

Based on the book by Ann Napolitano, Apple says that “Dear Edward” is a “heartbreaking, life-affirming and uplifting story about survival, resilience, connection and the examination of what makes us human.”

It centers on Edward Adler (Colin O’Brien), a 12-year-old boy who is the survivor of a “devastating commercial plane crash that kills every other passenger on the flight, including his family.”

Series creator, executive producer and showrunner Jason Katims was at the premiere with O’Brien, plus stars Connie Britton and Taylor Schilling. Napolitano, who also executive produces the show, was there alongside director Fisher Stevens.

“Dear Edward” is a 10-part series, which Apple is describing as “its first season.” There is no word of a second season yet, but its first three episodes will debut on Friday, February 3, 2023.

This article was originally posted here

Strides 15.2.1 Review: Visual habit tracking at its best

Strides goal tracker app


AppleInsider may earn an affiliate commission on purchases made through links on our site.

Whether you are trying to build a good habit or quit a bad one, the Strides app is a habit-tracking app that can motivate you to stay accountable and reach your goals.

Changing habits can be tough, and we can’t completely change our habits overnight. However, what gets measured gets improved, and this is how Strides can help you to set and reach your goals or give up bad habits.

The Strides app is one of many habit-tracking apps available on the App Store. Streaks is a popular one, but it splits its focus as a to-do list app and there are no free versions. Habit Tracker is another good option, but it is not available on every device like Strides, which is available on iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple Watch.

Using a tool like Strides can help you evaluate your progress over a day to a year. It also gives you motivational reminders to stay on track so that you know what to do next.

Visual habit tracking

The Strides app has an easy-to-use interface and visually pleasing graphs. If you are a visual learner, this app is perfect because it has four types of illustrative tracking reports to evaluate your progress.

Strides Progress Report screen

Strides Progress Report screen

The Progress Report shows a progress bar with individual goals in different colors. The top progress bar shows your average progress percentage showing how well you are doing.

This is helpful overall because you can see each habit and get a bird’s eye view of your overall progress. However, seeing these two things together also helps you evaluate how each routine may be affecting the other, so you can adjust accordingly.

Strides Trends Report screen

Strides Trends Report screen

There is also a Trends Report that gives you a bar chart. You can select a week, month, or year view for your progress bars, and the report shows the percentage done and your average for that time.

The Trends Report also has a completion rate, which is helpful when setting a deadline for a goal, such as saving money before the next iPhone gets released. This table ranks your trackers by the number of times completed out of the number of due dates within a specific time frame.

Strides Calendar Report screen

Strides Calendar Report screen

There is a Calendar Report where it shows your progress toward your goals within a month. This calendar is helpful because you can see your progress for each day during the month and how it might be affected by upcoming events.

For example, you might notice that you tend not to exercise on the weekends. You can consider this when setting goals for a more realistic exercise routine.

Strides Rankings Report screen

Strides Rankings Report screen

The Ranking Report shows you how well you are doing with each goal. For example, you might do better at brushing your teeth than sleeping. Once you identify your weakness, you can make more focused efforts to overcome them.

Habit tracker templates

There are a lot of habits that you can create and track. According to Strides, there are over 150 templates included in the app. The habit templates include anything from health and wellness to money and productivity.

These tracker templates are easy and enjoyable to create, each with a fun emoji. Notably, Strides helps you not only to build good habits but to quit bad habits.

Once you tap on the tracker template, you can quickly add the parameters of your goals.

For example, if you’re trying to limit caffeine, you can set limits on how much coffee you can drink each day. You can choose a start date and reminders and log how you did with this goal. This journal log is designed as a quick journal entry so you can be more mindful about making changes to reach your goal.

With so many tracker templates to choose from, it can be tempting to overload yourself with excessive goals at the beginning. We recommend choosing one or a few to start with so you don’t get overwhelmed. As you adapt and progress towards each objective, you can add more.

Strides and Apple Health

If taking better care of your health and wellness is an important goal, Strides has templates for health, fitness, and wellness. We liked that it can integrate with Apple Health, and here is how to set it up.

  1. Tap the blue (+) in the bottom tab bar to add a new tracker.
  2. Select the Health or Fitness template categories or Create Tracker, then Apple Health at the top.
  3. Choose an Apple Health goal (e.g., Steps or Exercise Minutes) and set it up however you like.
  4. Tap the save button in the top right, then confirm you’d like to permit Strides to read that data from Apple Health.

If it is not showing the confirmation step after you tap save, or if you accidentally chose not to allow it, you can fix that in Settings under Privacy & Security > Health > Strides.

Strides integrates with Apple Health

Strides integrates with Apple Health

The Strides app is available on Apple Watch, iPhone, iPad, and Mac, so you can check in with your goals throughout the day, no matter what device. Syncing may take a few minutes, but we did not have any issues otherwise.

Strides – Pros

  • Easy to use interface
  • Clean modern emojis
  • Lots of visuals with calendar and progress graphs
  • Apple health integration
  • Preloaded templates for all aspects of life
  • Available on AW, iPhone, iPad, Mac
  • Strides – Cons

  • Requires a paid subscription to unlock full features
  • Rating: 4.5 out of 5

    Many productivity apps are feature-rich, but their UI is so clunky that it weighs down the user, doing more harm than good. While this app has many features to identify, track, and reach your goals, its simplicity and easy UI don’t add extra weight to your goal tracking.

    We applaud Strides for being stellar at balancing an abundance of features without loading down the user with chaotic complexity. If you want to have better habits this year, this app will help you to keep making strides.

    Where to download Strides

    Get started with Strides for free, with paid subscriptions at $4.99 per month, $29.99 per year, or $79.99 for a lifetime subscription.

    This article was originally posted here

    How to Use Your Apple Watch to Split the Bill and Calculate Tips

    The Next Big Apple Silicon Device May Not Be a Mac or iPad

    Apple’s next device with an Apple silicon chip may not be a Mac or an iPad, but rather an advanced external display, according to recent reports.
    The display, which is rumored to arrive this year, is expected to sit somewhere between the $1,599 Studio Display and the $4,999 Pro Display XDR – but more exact information about the device’s positioning and price point is as yet unknown. While …

    How to Use Your Apple Watch to Split the Bill and Calculate Tips

    The Next Big Apple Silicon Device May Not Be a Mac or iPad

    Apple’s next device with an Apple silicon chip may not be a Mac or an iPad, but rather an advanced external display, according to recent reports.
    The display, which is rumored to arrive this year, is expected to sit somewhere between the $1,599 Studio Display and the $4,999 Pro Display XDR – but more exact information about the device’s positioning and price point is as yet unknown. While …

    Korea rejects $1.64 million battery throttling lawsuit

    AppleInsider may earn an affiliate commission on purchases made through links on our site.

    A judge in Korea has dismissed a “batterygate” suit against Apple, which claimed the company deliberately slowed down its iPhone to get users to upgrade.

    Apple’s decision in 2017 to slow down or throttle the speed of older iPhones has led to a series of lawsuits around the world. In each case, Apple has said the throttling was done to extend the useful life of the old phones, but apologized for not explaining this in advance.

    Now according to The Korea Herald, a suit in that country has ended in victory for Apple. The civil suit was Korean equivalent of a class action one, which saw a demand for 2 billion won ($1.64 million) to be paid in damages to 9,800 iPhone buyers.

    The South Korean court did not give any details about its decision. Instead, the court judge reportedly just said, “the lawsuit is dismissed.”

    Plaintiffs are to be responsible for paying attorney’s fees, though it’s not clear whether that means both their own and Apple’s legal bills.

    Hannuri, a law firm representing the plaintiffs, said that the ruling highlighted the need for changes in Korea’s judicial system.

    Separately, in September 2022, a US federal judge rejected Apple’s settlement offer of $310 million, citing a legal mistake in the lower courts.

    This article was originally posted here

    South Korean Court Dismisses iPhone Users’ $1.6 Million ‘Batterygate’ Lawsuit

    A South Korean court on Thursday dismissed a lawsuit seeking compensation from Apple over allegations the company deliberately slowed down the performance of older iPhones in order to compel customers to buy new models (via The Korea Herald).

    iPhone slow
    “The lawsuit is dismissed,” a court judge briefly said, without elaborating as to the reason for the ruling, denying the case brought by some 9,800 Korean smartphone buyers who were seeking 2 billion won ($1.64 million) against Apple.

    The ruling comes five years after a group of consumers filed a civil lawsuit demanding damages of 200,000 won each. Initially brought by some 64,000 plaintiffs, the lawsuit claimed that Apple had induced some iPhone users to install a software upgrade that caused a performance slowdown so that users would consider replacing their devices with new ones.

    The case relates to Apple’s introduction in early 2017 of power management features for older iPhones to prevent unexpected shutdowns during times of peak power draw on devices with degraded batteries. These power management features throttle the processor on older iPhones with less than optimal batteries, resulting in slower performance.

    The power management features were not widely publicized until late 2017, leading many customers to feel deceived by Apple.

    Apple denied that it misled users, but later admitted that it slowed down some older iPhones with degraded batteries during times of peak power usage in order to prevent unexpected shutdowns. The company subsequently accepted that it should have provided a clearer explanation when it introduced the power management feature in iOS 10.2.1.

    Following an apology, Apple implemented a battery replacement program that allowed all customers with an ‌iPhone‌ 6, 6s, 7, 6 Plus, 6s Plus, 7 Plus, and SE to replace their batteries for a reduced fee through the end of 2018.

    Apple also introduced better battery monitoring features in a later iOS update, including the ability for customers to turn off the power management feature it introduced in iOS 10.2.1.

    The Korean ruling stands in contrast with similar lawsuits brought against Apple in other countries. Apple in 2020 agreed to pay up to $500 million to settle a long-running class action lawsuit in the United States that accused the company of “secretly throttling” older ‌‌‌iPhone‌‌‌ models. Apple faced similar lawsuits in Belgium, Chile, Spain, Italy, and Portugal.

    Take an extra 15% off a Rosetta Stone lifetime subscription with the Travel Hacker Bundle

    Save on a Rosetta Stone lifetime subscription.

    AppleInsider may earn an affiliate commission on purchases made through links on our site.

    Immerse yourself in a totally new culture with the 2023 Travel Hacker Bundle, featuring several programs designed to make your globe-trotting easier, including learning a new language thanks to the included Rosetta Stone lifetime subscription.

    The retail price for this travel bundle goes for an eye-watering $3,600 but is now on sale for only $199. Buyers using promo code VACATION15 can take an additional 15% off, bringing the final price to only $169.15.

    In addition to the Rosetta Stone lifetime subscription, buyers also receive other essentials, like the Dollar Flight Club Premium lifetime subscription, lifetime access to RealVPN, and travel courses through Skill Success.

    Rosetta Stone lifetime subscription

    Follow through with the dream of learning a new language with the help of Rosetta Stone’s intuitive teaching program designed to help you speak confidently. With the lifetime subscription, you receive unlimited access to 24 languages, allowing you to converse in popular languages like Spanish, German, and Chinese.

    The Rosetta Stone lifetime subscription alone is worth $299 because of proprietary speech-recognition software and TruAccent, which helps develop your skills to sound more natural. Plus, you can use Rosetta Stone on a Mac or PC with a stable internet connection.

    With the VACATION15 code, you can unlock Rosetta Stone and other great software for only $169.15.

    Other included travel necessities

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    Plan an affordable trip abroad with the Dollar Flight Club premium membership that’s also included in the Travel Hacker Bundle. Dollar Flight Club allows travelers to receive alerts when flights to premium destinations become more affordable.

    Travel like an expert with the Travel Hacker courses provided through Skill Success, another benefit of the Travel Hacker Bundle. Learn the ins and outs of international travel through more than 400 courses and nearly 80 hours of lectures on topics that make travel easier.

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    This article was originally posted here

    Take an extra 15% off a Rosetta Stone lifetime subscription with the Travel Hacker Bundle

    Save on a Rosetta Stone lifetime subscription.

    AppleInsider may earn an affiliate commission on purchases made through links on our site.

    Immerse yourself in a totally new culture with the 2023 Travel Hacker Bundle, featuring several programs designed to make your globe-trotting easier, including learning a new language thanks to the included Rosetta Stone lifetime subscription.

    The retail price for this travel bundle goes for an eye-watering $3,600 but is now on sale for only $199. Buyers using promo code VACATION15 can take an additional 15% off, bringing the final price to only $169.15.

    In addition to the Rosetta Stone lifetime subscription, buyers also receive other essentials, like the Dollar Flight Club Premium lifetime subscription, lifetime access to RealVPN, and travel courses through Skill Success.

    Rosetta Stone lifetime subscription

    Follow through with the dream of learning a new language with the help of Rosetta Stone’s intuitive teaching program designed to help you speak confidently. With the lifetime subscription, you receive unlimited access to 24 languages, allowing you to converse in popular languages like Spanish, German, and Chinese.

    The Rosetta Stone lifetime subscription alone is worth $299 because of proprietary speech-recognition software and TruAccent, which helps develop your skills to sound more natural. Plus, you can use Rosetta Stone on a Mac or PC with a stable internet connection.

    With the VACATION15 code, you can unlock Rosetta Stone and other great software for only $169.15.

    Other included travel necessities

    Keep your internet traffic secure and dodge potential censorship with lifetime access to RealVPN. RealVPN allows you to secure up to five devices thanks to iOS and Windows support, and the high-level AES-256 encryption is among the best in the cybersecurity industry.

    Plan an affordable trip abroad with the Dollar Flight Club premium membership that’s also included in the Travel Hacker Bundle. Dollar Flight Club allows travelers to receive alerts when flights to premium destinations become more affordable.

    Travel like an expert with the Travel Hacker courses provided through Skill Success, another benefit of the Travel Hacker Bundle. Learn the ins and outs of international travel through more than 400 courses and nearly 80 hours of lectures on topics that make travel easier.

    More great deals from AppleInsider

    Best Apple prices

    There are plenty of additional deals going on, often knocking double and triple digits off Apple hardware, software, and more. Here’s a sampling of our favorites, with hundreds of exclusive bargains within grasp in the AppleInsider Apple Price Guide.

    This article was originally posted here

    iOS 16.3 lets iPhone users add lock screen widgets to a classic wallpaper if you still have it

    With iOS 16, Apple introduced a new lock screen for the iPhone that lets users customize it with different widgets, font styles, and even multiple wallpapers. However, the update removed classic iPhone wallpapers, and users who still had one of them before installing the update were unable to customize it. But that has changed with iOS 16.3.

    Customize your iPhone lock screen with a classic iOS wallpaper

    Although Apple doesn’t mention it in the release notes for iOS 16.3, the latest update to the iPhone operating system lets users add widgets to a classic wallpaper, but only if you still have it. You can also change the font style.

    Previously, when the user tried to customize the lock screen with a classic wallpaper that came with a version prior to iOS 16, the system would warn that the lock screen couldn’t be customized and the user would have to choose a new wallpaper. With this change, iOS asks the user if they want to add a new wallpaper or customize the current one.

    Here’s what the message says:

    Customize Current Lock Screen

    Customizing the current Lock Screen replaces the current Home Screen wallpaper. Adding a new wallpaper keeps the current wallpaper and creates an additional one.

    Unfortunately, Apple still doesn’t give users the option to choose from other classic wallpapers with iOS 16. And if you remove your classic wallpaper, it can no longer be added back. Due to the new lock screen, which has animations and images that interact with the clock and widgets, the iOS 16 wallpapers are no longer static images. Instead, they are rendered in real time.

    But if you want to download these classic wallpapers from older iOS versions to your device, we still have the image files available here:

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    This article was originally posted here