iPhone 14 Emergency Satellite Capability Rollout; WhatsApp Companion Mode; Google to Improve Location Tracking; Jobs’ Old Sandals Bring Big $$

Apple today started rolling out the emergency satellite SOS system to iPhone 14 handsets. Macrumors.com reports that it is initially only for the US and Canada. The service is free for the first two years, and so far Apple hasn’t said what it might cost after that. Emergency SOS via Satellite works by utilizing technology built into all ‌iPhone 14‌ models that allow them to connect to satellites in orbit around the earth to contact emergency services when a user is outside cellular and Wi-Fi coverage. It sends the user’s location (including altitude), battery level, and medical ID if you have that in your phone. The messages are sent directly to dispatchers or sent to a center of Apple‑trained specialists who can call emergency services on a user’s behalf. This is or should be a killer feature for anyone who hikes or travels into areas with no cell coverage. 

WhatsApp is testing ‘companion mode,’ which will expand use of your account on multiple devices. According to mashable.com, the feature is in beta right now, but it is expected to drop soon. Up to now, there has bee account sharing between a phone and your computer. With this feature, you will be able to use your WhatsApp account on multiple phones, tablet, and computers. All your messages and history will follow you from device to device. Note that the present beta is only on Android so far…no iPhones yet. 

After a privacy investigation launched by the US government, Google has settled for $392 million and agreed to improve disclosures and controls around location tracking for Android users and account holders. 9to5google.com says the investigation started in 2018 when it was discovered that Google was recording the location data of its Android users even when the users had turned off various location settings. Google has agreed to “provide even greater controls and transparency over location data.” Look for the changes in 2023. 

Probably more than you or I will pay for all the shoes we ever own all our lives…that’s what Steve Jobs’ raggedy old sandals he wore when he first started Apple brought. Theverge.com reports the shabby Birkenstocks brought $218,750 for the footwear. To sweeten the pot, the buyer also picked up a 360 degree NFT, or non-fungible token as well. Apparently, part of the reason for the pricing is that, according to Jobs’ estate manager Mark Sheff, is that Jobs kept very few things over the years. The sandals were only expected to bring $60,000 to $80,000. ONLY.

I’m Clark Reid, and you’re ‘technified’ for now. 


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