The Morning After: Russia bans Apple devices for state officials

The country's intelligence agency claimed it had uncovered an iPhone spying operation.

Sputnik Photo Agency / reuters

Russian authorities are banning government employees from using Apple devices for official state use, according to the Financial Times. As of Monday, the country’s trade ministry will prohibit the use of iPhones for all “work purposes.” Other agencies, including Russia’s telecommunications and mass media ministry, either have similar mandates already in place or plan to enforce some soon. The Financial Times reports the ban covers all Apple products – no, not Yuri’s AirPods, too? Well, officials will apparently be able to continue using those for personal use.

The ban comes after Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) claimed at the start of June it had uncovered a “spying operation by US intelligence agencies” involving Apple devices. The FSB said thousands of iPhones, including those in use by the country’s diplomatic missions in NATO countries, had been “infected” with monitoring software. The FSB claimed — without showing evidence — that Apple had worked closely with US signal intelligence to provide agents “with a wide range of control tools.” The company denies this. The move comes when Russia is also trying to reduce its dependence on foreign-made tech.

– Mat Smith

The biggest stories you might have missed

Microsoft and Sony agree to keep Call of Duty on PlayStation

Bluesky allowed people to include the n-word in their usernames

Larry Hryb, Xbox’s ‘Major Nelson,’ is leaving Microsoft


The NES at 40

Seven ways it changed the gaming world forever.

To celebrate Nintendo’s first home console’s anniversary, we’ve taken a closer look at some of the major ways it’s shaped gaming since 1983. That includes innovations (at the time!) like the d-pad, the idea of gaming franchises and game characters and mascots that have stood the test of time.

Continue reading.

iOS 17 preview: FaceTime, everywhere

Plus, a better messaging experience.


Ahead of its full launch later this year, there's plenty to test out in the latest iOS beta. Its new StandBy feature might not be a smart display killer, but it’s possibly a free alternative. Other highlights include a revitalized FaceTime experience, a streamlined Messages app and a long-overdue solution for sharing contact details.

Continue reading.

Elon Musk says Twitter’s ad revenue has dropped by 50 percent

"We're still negative cash flow."

To the shock of none, Elon Musk tweeted the company was suffering an approximate 50 percent drop in advertising revenue and heavy debt burden. According to an estimate research firm Sensor Tower shared with Bloomberg, advertising spending fell by 89 percent to $7.6 million during a two-month period earlier this year. The admission comes in the same week Twitter’s ad-revenue sharing program began paying out some creators, including a handful of controversial far-right influencers. On Friday, Musk also claimed the social network could see “all-time high device user seconds usage” sometime this week.

Continue reading.

Apple’s first M3 Macs could arrive in October

There may be new iMac and MacBook Air models.

Writing in his latest newsletter, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman reports there “should be another launch” after the company’s annual iPhone event in September, with a new slate of Macs likely the focus of whatever Apple has planned. “October is too early for new high-end MacBook Pros or desktops, so the first beneficiaries of the new [M3] chip should be the next iMac, 13-inch MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Pro,” he notes.

In the past, Apple has typically announced new iPad models alongside its latest Macs, but it sounds like that won’t be the case this time. “I wouldn’t expect any major upgrades until the M3 iPad Pros with OLED screens arrive next year,” Gurman writes.

Continue reading.

Assassin's Creed haptic shirt will give you 'exclusive sensations never felt before'

Don’t want to feel like I’m being stabbed though, thanks.


Ubisoft has teamed up with OWO to release an Assassin's Creed Mirage edition haptic feedback shirt. You'll apparently be able to feel parkour, impacts and "exclusive sensations never felt before" — yes, really. You might want to close the door while you're playing, from the sound of it. OWO's shirt includes haptic points on your chest, stomach, lower back and arms. The trick is an algorithm that adjusts nine wave parameters to simulate interactions ranging from the wind to a dagger. Details of pricing and release date are TBC, but it will work with PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S and PC. The game comes out October 12th, and the OWO shirt will include a game code. OWO's Founder Edition shirt sold for a heady €499 ($560).

Continue reading.