An Apple Byte : Apple Watches Back On Sale After Ban

The latest version of the Apple Watch has gone back on sale in the US after being removed from sale by the US Government from 26 December 2023.

Its removal from sale followed claims by medical technology company Masimo that the watch’s pulse oximetry sensors (used to measure how much oxygen is in the blood) violated its patents.

The ban, which applied to the Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2, has now been halted and the watch has gone back on sale while a court considers Apple’s motion for a longer-term pause during the appeals process. The court has given the US International Trade Commission (ITC) until 10 January to respond to Apple’s request.

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 : 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.