Apple Books app has stopped working for some people after they installed the iOS 15.5 update, as per user reports. People have complained that they were not able to open any books on the app. A reasonable chunk of people also reportedly pointed out that the app is crashing and their saved PDFs are gone on their iPad tablets as well. Apple released iOS 15.5 ahead of WWDC 2022 bringing new experiences to Apple Wallet and Podcasts apart from security fixes. It also released iPadOS 15.5 for eligible iPad users.
As per a report by 9to5Mac and a bunch of reviews on the App Store, people have listed a number of problems post installing the iOS 15.5 and iPadOS 15.5 updates. It seems that apart from bringing new experiences to Apple Wallet and Podcasts as well as security fixes, it also brought some issues to the Apple Books app. While some users claim that they are not able to open the app, others complain of repeated app crashes. A chunk of reviews talk about how thousands of pages of saved PDFs vanished and they are left with nothing to read. People also have syncing problems where they can’t permanently delete books that they do not want.
Amid all the problems, it seems that Apple is working on a solution. 9to5Mmac claims that the next version, the iOS 15.6, is in beta stage and the issue is not present on it. The same is the case with the beta version of iOS 16, which was unveiled at WWDC 2022 and is due to launch later this year. In both cases, the Apple Books app was reportedly found to be working fine. iOS 15.6 is said to become available to all users in the coming weeks.
WhatsApp Group Admins Can Soon Approve or Reject New Participants on Android: Report
WhatsApp is reportedly working on a new feature that would give more control and power to group admins. The Meta-owned instant messaging app could soon add a new option called ‘Approve new participants’ that will allow group admins to determine who can join the group. It would make it easier for group admins to ensure privacy and reduce spam messages. The feature has been spotted in WhatsApp for Android beta v18.104.22.168, which is available via the Google Play Beta programme, however, it is not yet available to testers.
As per a report by WhatsApp features tracker WABetaInfo, the messaging service is said to be working on a new feature that will allow group admins to decide who can join the group. Once released, the WhatsApp group settings will have an “Approve new participants” option where group admins can approve or reject the incoming requests from people who all want to join a particular group.
The report also includes a screenshot showing the new option, giving WhatsApp users an idea of what the feature might look like when it starts rolling out. In the screenshot, the Approve new participants option is seen under the group settings menu at the bottom of edit group admins option in WhatsApp group info. WhatsApp is likely to add a new section listing all current requests of users who want to join the group.
The messaging platform is said to be rolling out the update via the Google Play Beta programme, with the v22.214.171.124 beta for Android. The feature is still in development and is not visible to beta testers.
The development comes a few days after the Meta-owned social messaging platform announced a new privacy feature that lets participants exit silently from WhatsApp groups without letting other members know about their exit. This feature will allow users to exit a group privately without having to notify everyone, except the admins. Currently, WhatsApp shows an auto-generated notification when someone exits a group. The new functionality will be available to all users this month.
Instagram Can Track User Data, Behaviour via Its In-App Browser; Meta Responds: Report
App Tracking Transparency feature in iOS 14.5 allows users to decide which apps have the permission to track their data. Meta reportedly said that this has cost the company $10 billion (roughly Rs. 80,000 crore) a year. The blog notes that in order to be safe from the tracking, users can copy and open the link in their preferred browsers. Apple’s web browser Safari blocks third-party cookies by default, Google Chrome will soon start phasing out third-party cookies, and Firefox’s recently-announced Total Cookie Protection will prevent any cross-page tracking.
Krause says he has reverted to Meta asking more details on the same. He, however, points that all of this (injecting code and respecting user’s ATT choice) “wouldn’t be necessary if Instagram were to open the phone’s default browser, instead of building & using the custom in-app browser.”
Twitter May Fail to Fight Election Misinformation, Voting Rights Experts Say
Twitter on Thursday set out a plan to combat the spread of election misinformation that revives previous strategies, but civil and voting rights experts said it would fall short of what is needed to prepare for the upcoming US midterm elections.
The social media company said it will apply its civic integrity policy, introduced in 2018, to the November 8 midterms, when numerous US Senate and House of Representatives seats will be up for election. The policy relies on labelling or removing posts with misleading content, focused on messages intended to stop voting or claims intended to undermine public confidence in an election.
In a statement, Twitter said it has taken numerous steps in recent months to “elevate reliable resources” about primaries and voting processes. Applying a label to a tweet also means the content is not recommended or distributed to more users.
The San Francisco-based company is currently in a legal battle with billionaire Elon Musk over his attempt to walk away from his $44 billion (roughly Rs. 3.5 lakh crore) deal to acquire Twitter.
Musk has called himself a “free speech absolutist,” and has said Twitter posts should only be removed if there is illegal content, a view supported by many in the tech industry.
But civil rights and online misinformation experts have long accused social media and tech platforms of not doing enough to prevent the spread of false content, including the idea that President Joe Biden did not win the 2020 election.
They warn that misinformation could be an even greater challenge this year, as candidates who question the 2020 election are running for office, and divisive rhetoric is spreading following an FBI search of former President Donald Trump’s Florida home earlier this week.
“We’re seeing the same patterns playing out,” said Evan Feeney, deputy senior campaign director at Color of Change, which advocates for the rights of Black Americans.
In the blog post, Twitter said a test of redesigned labels saw a decline in users’ retweeting, liking, and replying to misleading content.
Researchers say Twitter and other platforms have a spotty record in consistently labelling such content.
In a paper published last month, Stanford University researchers examined a sample of posts on Twitter and Meta’s Facebook that altogether contained 78 misleading claims about the 2020 election. They found that Twitter and Facebook consistently applied labels to only about 70 percent of the claims.
In a statement, Twitter said it has taken numerous steps in recent months to “elevate reliable resources” about primaries and voting processes.
Twitter’s efforts to fight misinformation during the midterms will include information prompts to debunk falsehoods before they spread widely online.
More emphasis should be placed on removing false and misleading posts, said Yosef Getachew, media and democracy program director at nonpartisan group Common Cause.
“Pointing them to other sources isn’t enough,” he said.
Experts also questioned Twitter’s practice of leaving up some tweets from world leaders in the name of public interest.
“Twitter has a responsibility and ability to stop misinformation at the source,” Feeney said, saying that world leaders and politicians should face a higher standard for what they tweet.
Twitter leads the industry in releasing data on how its efforts to intervene against misinformation are working, said Evelyn Douek, an assistant professor at Stanford Law School who studies online speech regulation.
Yet more than a year after soliciting public input on what the company should do when a world leader violates its rules, Twitter has not provided an update, she said.
© Thomson Reuters 2022
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