The Morning After: iOS 17.4 is here

Apple’s latest update to iOS has an important addition — at least in the European Union. With the arrival of iOS 17.4, Apple now officially supports third-party app stores on the iPhone. Web browser makers no longer have to base their apps on Apple’s WebKit, and Apple is opening up the NFC chip to wireless payment methods other than Apple Pay. All of these changes are in line with strict new EU regulations. (Expect to hear more changes from Apple, Google and other major tech players as the EU’s Digital Markets Act takes effect.)

If you have no in the EU (the same), Apple Podcasts now offers automatic transcriptions in English, Spanish, French, and German. You can search and tap text to play the audio at the granular word level. It wouldn’t be an iOS update with more emojis (finally phoenix emojis), tons of bug fixes, and more.

– Matt Smith

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A budget phone packed with personality.



Contrary to popular belief and the phones sold at your nearest electronics store, cheap mid-range smartphones don’t have to be boring. Taking a leaf out of Pixel’s strategy book, Nothing’s latest phone, the 2a, is cheaper, has slightly lower specs, and still packs most of the essentials with an eye-catching display for $349.

There is a caveat, of course. People in the US will have to sign up for the company’s Developer program to buy the Phone 2a, and while the phone supports 5G on T-Mobile, you won’t get any 5G on AT&T or Verizon. Check out the full review.

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Meta even banned some users.

Meta said it fixed an issue that prevented people from accessing Facebook, Instagram, and Threads. The problem started around 10am with reports of outages for services (and WhatsApp). Facebook spokesman Andy Stone wrote on the X page: “Earlier today, a technical issue caused people to have difficulty accessing some of our services. “We have resolved the issue as quickly as possible for everyone affected and apologize for the inconvenience.”

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‘Don’t make it old.’


Colored products

Colorware has colored a lot of things over the years going back to the iPhone 3G and beyond, but its latest product is particularly clever. The limited edition Apple Pencil #2 makes Apple’s second generation pencil a facsimile of the standard HB #2 pencil. Underneath the smart skin is still the high-latency Apple Pencil. The Apple Pencil Number 2 is $215, and the dull, white second-generation Apple Pencil with buttons is $79.

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Creator Rewards is no longer in beta and will pay for videos longer than one minute.

Last year, TikTok introduced a new monetization system for broadcasters called the Creative Program to encourage longer videos that sell more ads. Now the company is rolling out the scheme with a new name, the Creative Rewards Program, which only pays for videos longer than a minute. Time for us Launch our TikTok.

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