An Apple Byte : Police Warnings Over iOS 17’s NameDrop

It’s been reported that iOS 17’s new NameDrop feature has prompted the Police to issue warnings to parents on social media (in the US) about its potential to be abused, possibly posing a risk to their children.

NameDrop, introduced with iOS 17.1 in November allows those with iPhones and Apple Watches running watchOS 10.1 to share their contact information, (plus photos and more with AirDrop) simply by holding their phones close together (within a few millimetres).

Police in several US states have issued warnings that this feature could, therefore, enable predators to use NameDrop to steal personal contact information from unsuspecting teens just by placing their phone next to the teen’s phone.

The Police also highlighted the fact that for protection, the feature can be turned off by going to settings, selecting AirDrop, selecting “Bringing Devices Together,” and then moving the toggle to off. There is also a ‘Contacts Ony’ option which means that only someone on the iPhone’s contact list can connect through AirDrop and NameDrop.

An Apple Byte : ChatGPT Voice Free To All iOS Users

OpenAI’s president and co-founder, Greg Brockman, has announced that ‘ChatGPT Voice’ in its ChatGPT app, previously only available to Plus and Enterprise subscribers, is now available free to all iOS and Android users.

ChatGPT Voice (originally introduced in September) integrates voice capabilities with the existing ChatGPT text-based model. This allows users to have a conversation with it and ask the ChatGPT chatbot questions and be given answers, all by voice, i.e. talking to the app on your device. Greg Brockman said on X that the feature “totally changes the ChatGPT experience.”

iOS users who want to try ChatGPT Voice can access it in their ChatGPT app now. An example video of what ChatGPT Voice can do has been posted by Greg Brockman on X here.

An Apple Byte : Apple Gets 36 Per Cent Of Google’s Ad Revenue

During a recent court hearing where Google was trying to defend itself from monopoly claims, it was revealed that Google sends 36 per cent of the advertising revenue it makes on Apple’s Safari web browser to Apple.

The figure, which was revealed by an expert testifying on behalf of Google, could be damaging given that Google is trying to prove that its dominance of online searches is because they have a superior product and not down to any dealings that could be seen as restricting the competition.

In the case of Google Vs the US Department of Justice, it was reportedly revealed that Google has paid in excess of $26bn to other companies, such as Apple (paid an estimated $18bn), Mozilla, and Samsung so that it can be installed as the default search engine.

What Does This Mean For Your Business? 

Whereas some may consider these large payments simply to be evidence of the stiff competition in the market, such a revelation in a case where Google trying to counter any suggestion of anti-competitive practices could prove to be very damaging to its defence. If things go against Google, in addition to it receiving major fines, the effects could be felt across a tech industry that many say has always been dominated by a small number of powerful players.

An Apple Byte : Battery Drain Complaints Around Apple Watches

Recent user reports indicate a perplexing battery drain in Apple Watches, affecting even the robust Apple Watch Ultra. The problem, linked to the WatchOS 10.1 update, has raised alarm among consumers and professionals who rely on the device’s longevity for daily productivity and connectivity.

For business owners and professionals, an unreliable device can mean disrupted workflows, missed notifications, and potential loss of data crucial for time-sensitive decisions. This is particularly concerning for sectors that integrate wearable technology into their operations for tracking and communication purposes.

Recognising the urgency, Apple has taken steps to rectify the issue, suggesting an impending software update aimed at resolving the excessive power consumption observed when the Watch is paired with an iPhone. An interim iOS update has attempted to mitigate the issue but with limited success.

Businesses reliant on Apple’s ecosystem should stay alert to these developments. It’s advisable for them to keep their devices updated and to monitor any official guidance from Apple. Additionally, exploring alternative apps or dialing back on non-essential features can temporarily alleviate battery concerns until a permanent fix is deployed.

Given the impact on operational efficiency, organisations could review their technology dependency and prepare contingency plans, perhaps safeguarding against potential downtime and maintain business continuity.

What Does This Mean For Your Business?

The ongoing battery drain issue with Apple Watches may seem peripheral, nevertheless it is a reminder for businesses to understand the vulnerabilities within their tech infrastructure. As we wait for the definitive fix from Apple, companies might wish to communicate with employees about managing and troubleshooting all their devices to maintain productivity.

Specific to this particular watch issue, businesses might want to evaluate the necessity of certain applications like “MobyFace,” which have been identified as potential contributors to the battery drain. Removing or updating specific apps may provide temporary relief, which is vital for businesses that use Apple Watches for critical functions like health monitoring, on-the-go communication, or logistical tracking.

For tech-reliant businesses, this scenario also underscores the importance of maintaining diverse platforms and not depending on a single manufacturer or software ecosystem. By doing so, they can navigate around such specific device issues with minimal disruption to their operations. Additionally, keeping abreast of tech forums and support networks for early identification of such issues can help mitigate risks before they escalate into business-critical problems.

An Apple Byte : Minor Stroke For Apple Legend

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, known for his revolutionary work in personal computing, was briefly hospitalised after a health scare in Mexico City. At 73, Wozniak suffered a fainting episode caused by a minor stroke last week while preparing to speak at the World Business Forum. Fortunately, after an MRI scan revealed a small capillary leak and symptoms of vertigo, he reported feeling “good” upon his return to California.

The incident underscores the immense travel and speaking schedule Wozniak maintains, impacting his appearances at global tech events. Despite leaving Apple’s day-to-day operations in the 1980s, Wozniak’s influence persists, reflected in his recent call with other tech leaders for a moratorium on advanced AI development due to potential misuse.

Wozniak’s comments on AI regulation highlights the ethical concerns of emerging technologies. His advocacy for a thoughtful approach to AI is a reminder of the need for balancing innovation with safeguards against deception and misuse, a reflection of his longstanding commitment to responsible tech growth. As Wozniak recovers, his insights into AI’s future remain as relevant as ever to the continuing dialogue on technology’s role in society.

What Does This Mean For Your Business?

For entrepreneurs, Wozniak’s hospitalisation also serves as a reminder of the need for contingency planning.

In the bigger picture however, his cautionary stance (around the potential dangers of AI) may well set an appropriate example for business owners to take, whereby they should stay informed about AI advancements and the ethical considerations they entail. As AI technology advances, it becomes increasingly crucial for businesses to discern its potential impact on operations, customer relations, and security protocols.