It’s Christmas Day, which means it’s time for a not-so-festive edition of Winners and Losers.
If you were hoping to read something optimistic, you might want to save this column for boxing day. Otherwise, scroll down to find out who we named our winner and loser in tech this week.
Apple’s AirTag has been a controversial product since it first hit the scene at the beginning of 2021.
The small tracker is designed to be hooked onto items you’d typically find yourself misplacing, like your wallet, keys and other valuables. It’s essentially a Tile tracker with Apple’s Find My feature built in, meaning you can keep an eye on it alongside your iPhone and MacBook in the Find My app.
However, some users quickly realized they could use the tracker to do other, less savory things – like keep tabs on their partner, ex-partner or, in some cases, complete strangers.
According to a report by Vice published just one year after the AirTag launched, the Apple tracker had been mentioned in a total of 150 police reports obtained from eight police departments.
This is, for obvious reasons, absolutely terrifying and has resulted in many users rightfully pointing a finger at Apple for not putting enough measures in place to prevent AirTag stalking in the first place.
Thankfully, Apple took a large step toward rectifying the issue this week when it introduced a new anti-stalking measure that leverages the Precision Finding feature that lets users track unknown AirTags.
Now, if Apple detects that an AirTag is moving alongside you, it will not only send a notification to any Apple device in close proximity, but it’ll also emit a sound when it is moved.
This only applies to AirTags that aren’t with their owner for a period of time, so you shouldn’t need to worry about your AirTag screeching when you hop on public transport or spend time with another iPhone user.
This update is set to roll out for AirTags automatically and is compatible with the iPhone 11 and above running iOS 16.2, so make sure to update your phone if you haven’t already.
Twitter might have broken a record here at Trusted Reviews as the social media platform won our loser title for the third week in a row.
Last week, we talked about how Twitter was tagging links to rival site Mastodon as malware and asked whether the bird app would escalate to blocking links from Facebook or Instagram further down the line.
That line turned out to be much shorter than we anticipated as Twitter announced that it would be prohibiting links to a number of other platforms going forward.
“Twitter will no longer allow free promotion of specific social media platforms on Twitter,” stated the policy, which listed Facebook, Instagram, Mastodon, Truth Social, Tribel, Post and Nostr as banned (via AppleInsider).
It didn’t take long before Elon Musk relented to loosening these restrictions before announcing that, going forward, major policy changes would be put to a vote – including his own job.
The CEO subsequently posted a poll asking users if he should step down as head of Twitter and Twitter has spoken.
Musk has promised to resign as CEO as soon as he finds someone else fit for the job. After that, he says he will continue to run the software and servers team, meaning he won’t be giving up his influence just yet.
Sadly, it seems this may not be the last time we’ll see Twitter in the loser column.