The ChatGPT application on the iPhone added the “Read Aloud” feature, the Setapp store is one of the first alternative application stores for the iPhone in the European Union, the unveiling of CAD designs for the iPhone SE 4, and other exciting news on the sidelines...

Alternative iOS app stores only work during a “grace period” when traveling outside the EU

With update iOS 17.4iPhone users in the European Union can now access third-party app stores. But if they leave the EU temporarily, there is a “grace period” before some features stop working. During short trips outside the EU, users can still use alternative app stores, but if they're away for too long, they won't be able to install new ones. Already installed apps from these stores will continue to work but cannot be updated. This change comes to follow the Digital Markets Act, which takes effect in the European Union on March 7, allowing users to download apps from stores other than Apple's App Store for the first time. The update also allows users to set their favorite alternative app store as the default and allows parents to control app installations for their children. To access these alternative stores, users' Apple IDs must be from an EU country, and they must be physically located in the EU. This update does not affect regions outside the European Union or iPadOS.

Apple gives developers more information about app performance

Apple is introducing new analytics information to developers around the world along with changes to the EU app ecosystem to comply with the Digital Markets Act. More than 50 reports are available through the App Store Connect API, providing developers insights into the performance of their apps. These reports cover various aspects such as app store interaction, in-app purchase transactions, app usage, framework usage, and performance metrics. Additionally, the CloudKit console will now include data about Apple Push Notifications and File Provider. Apple guarantees the anonymity of the data and allows developers to give third parties access to their performance reports. Apple will provide more details about these analytics reports later today.

The first benchmark results for the MacBook Air with M3 chip

Detects early standard For the new MacBook Air Promising performance with the M3 chip. Compared to the previous M2 chip, the M3 chip shows a 20% improvement in single-core performance and 18% improvement in multi-core performance. This puts it on par with the M3 chip found in the 14-inch MacBook Pro. Apple claims that the new MacBook Air is up to 60% faster than the M1 model and 13 times faster than the fastest MacBook Air based on the Intel chip. Pre-orders began March 4, with deliveries and in-store availability beginning March 8. The starting price is $1099, which is slightly higher than the previous generation's $999 price.

iPhone sales in China fell by 24%

iPhone sales in China took a big hit, falling by 24% in the first two months of 2024. This led to the loss of first place in the Chinese market to Vivo. Several factors contributed to this decline, including strong competition from Huawei and other local companies such as Xiaomi and Oppo, in addition to the lack of major upgrades in the iPhone 15 compared to previous models. This decline was part of a general decline in the Chinese smartphone market, influenced by the nationwide contraction. Apple's future in China looks uncertain, with analysts expecting sluggish growth in the first quarter due to weak spending and a lack of new launches, as well as competition from Huawei and strong prices from other Chinese companies.

CAD designs for iPhone SE 4 revealed

Indian technology blog 91Mobiles shared CAD images that match rumors about the design of the fourth-generation iPhone SE. The images show a 6.1-inch display, complete with a face unlock notch, flat sides, and a USB-C port instead of Lightning. This design represents a significant upgrade over the current iPhone SE, which has a smaller screen, a fingerprint home button, and larger edges. The new iPhone SE is expected to be similar to the iPhone 14. It is expected to borrow its design, such as the facial fingerprint and a 6.1-inch OLED screen, but with a single rear camera and an action button. And a USB-C port. These details are consistent with previous reports published by MacRumors. In the end, you may or may not believe these designs.

Setapp Store is one of the first alternative app stores for iPhone in the European Union

MacPaw has announced that its popular subscription-based service, Setapp, will soon be available as an alternative app marketplace on the iPhone in the European Union, starting in April. This step comes as part of Apple's amendments to comply with the Digital Markets Law, as the iOS 17.4 update brings various changes in the region. Setapp on Mac provides access to a curated collection of apps for a monthly fee, including productivity tools, creative software, lifestyle apps, utilities, and specialized professional tools. The Setapp beta will contain carefully selected apps across these categories. MacPaw joins Epic Games in offering an alternative app marketplace in the EU, providing users with more options. Setapp subscribers on Mac already have access to some iOS apps via the QR code system, and the new marketplace aims to simplify that experience.

The European Union is investigating Apple's decision to close the Epic developer account

The European Commission (EC) is asking Apple for more information about why it decided to close the Epic Games developer account. The request comes as part of an investigation under the Digital Markets Act (DMA), which aims to regulate major online companies such as Apple. Apple said it terminated Epic's account because Epic did not follow the rules multiple times, and the courts agreed with Apple's decision. However, Epic Games believes that Apple's action conflicts with new rules in the European Union, which allow other app stores on iPhones. They say Apple is trying to stop competition by doing this. This situation began when Apple removed Fortnite from its store in 2020, angering Epic Games and leading to lawsuits in various countries.

Miscellaneous news

◉ A rumor from Chinese social media in conjunction with a Bloomberg report indicates that Apple will announce the updated Apple Pencil this month “in the next few weeks.” No further details, but expected features include interchangeable magnetic tips and color sampling capabilities. The launch may coincide with the release of next-generation iPad Pro models equipped with OLED displays and the redesigned Magic Keyboard accessory.

◉ The ChatGPT application on the iPhone has added a new “read aloud” feature, and reads answers in different voices in 37 languages, and it even automatically detects the language being read, which enhances accessibility and engagement. Users can access the feature by tapping and holding on the response and selecting “Read Aloud.” This feature builds on the existing “voice chat” option, providing a more interactive experience. This feature is also available on the web version of ChatGPT.

This is not all the news that is on the sidelines, but we have brought you the most important of them, and it is not necessary for the non-specialist to occupy himself with all the incoming and outgoing. And help you with it, and if it robbed you of your life and got busy with it, there is no need for it.


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