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Winners and Losers: iPhone saves lives while the Twitter spiral worsens

OPINION: Apple’s iPhone 14 managed an extraordinary feat this week while Elon Musks’ Twitter drama reaches new and completely unexpected lows.

With Christmas and the holiday season approaching, the will to kick back and relax is certainly increasing as the news cycle gradually takes its brief (but much appreciated) moment of slowdown. Still, even as we all prepare for a much needed break, there are still a few key headlines that have hit our news desk this week.

Gamers have had a lot to rejoice about – following last week’s announcements at The Game Awards, we now know that the long-awaited Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 will arrive in autumn 2023. For our money however, it was Apple’s terrific week for its SOS feature that got our attention, while another round of questionable decisions from Twitter have left us scratching our heads all over again.

The 6.1-inch OLED screen on the iPhone 14

Winner: Apple

One of the best new features that Apple originally touted for the iPhone 14 range is Emegency SOS. This feature allows users in distress and out of signal range to connect to satellites to establish their whereabouts and call for help.

The feature was only available in the US at launch but Apple has finally seen fit to bring it over to the UK and a select few countries in the European region.

That’s a huge boon for anyone who’s already invested in the latest iPhone range, but Apple had a fantastic bit of PR to go along with Emegency SOS’ international launch.

The feature was used to save a couple who had driven into a canyon. Emergency SOS was able to pinpoint their location and sending a distress signal to the local authorities. While a horribly unfortunate even, there’s no denying that Emegency SOS looks a lot better now that it’s been successfully put to test in the real world.

Twitter
Image credit: Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

Loser: Twitter

After last week’s Winners and Losers, I vowed amongst the TR team never to discuss Twitter again for this column. Well, I have plenty of egg on my face now because I have broken that vow in only a week.

On Thursday, Elon Musk jumped into a Twitter Spaces group to discuss some of his recent decisions with journalists, notably the banning of account Elonjet which tracked the whereabouts of Musk’s private jet.

As the discussion continued and Elon fielded more questions about his decision making, the Twitter head promptly departed from the Space in question, bringing the debate to a screeching halt.

That’s embarrassing enough but some Twitter users have also spotted the service not playing fair with links to its competitor, Mastodon. In some cases, links to Mastodon are being flagged as containing malware.

Mastodon is a more direct competitor to Twitter than most social media sites, but it does bring up the question of whether or not Twitter might take a harsher stance across the board with links to the likes of Facebook or Instagram down the line. Only time will tell as the Twitter spiral continues.

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