Autumn is well and truly upon us now that we’ve switched back the clocks, and with fresh coronavirus restrictions enforced across the UK and, dare I say, the festive season right around the corner, it’s been a busy month on the tech news front. Here’s our roundup of what you might have missed in the tech world.
The UK finally launched its COVID-19 track and trace app and, of course, it wouldn’t be an app launch without a few hiccups. After receiving more than 10 million downloads, users were reporting “possible COVID-19 exposure” notifications which would disappear once tapped on, looking quite concerning and confusing. After the app’s Twitter account confirmed the specific notification needed to self-isolate, the app was eventually updated and the glitch finally fixed. Phew!
Misinformation seemed to once again be a big topic in the media this month with Bill Gates speaking out, and many content-sharing platforms announcing more measures to curb misleading information. YouTube announced that videos promoting misinformation around Covid vaccines would be banned and removed tens of thousands of videos relating to the QAnon conspiracy theory group. Facebook also took action against QAnon by announcing that will be removing all QAnon pages from its platform ahead of the US election. And speaking of the US election, guess which candidate had his tweet removed for violating misinformation rules?
Meanwhile, Apple’s latest iPhone was unveiled in a virtual event this month. Launching in range of sizes and specs, the iPhone 12 will be the first iPhone to support 5G and will cost upwards of £699 and as much as £949 depending on which model and the amount of storage it comes with. The company also announced a new, smaller HomePod smart speaker to compete with Google and Amazon.
Elsewhere, EU regulators are preparing to draw up a “hit list” of up to 20 large internet companies that will face tougher rules around transparency and data sharing in a bid to curb their market power. It’s not yet known which companies will be on the list, but Facebook and Apple are the likely contenders along with other Silicon Valley giants.
And finally, after 11 years, Facebook has pulled the plug on one of its once most popular games, FarmVille. The game, which had more than 80 million players at its peak, required players to tend to crops and raise animals with the help of their Facebook friends but unfortunately, from December, Facebook will no longer support Flash-based games making FarmVille unplayable.
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