Meta has said it will launch a new safety tool to block children from receiving and discourage them from sending nude images, including in encrypted chats later this year. The tool is likely to be optional and available to adults too on Instagram and Facebook. It follows criticism from government and police after Meta started to encrypt Messenger chats by default. They say encryption will make it harder for the firm to detect child abuse. According to Meta the new feature is solely designed to protect users, particularly women and teenagers from being sent nude images or being pressured into sending them. BBC
Apple is to allow EU customers to download apps without going through its own store, as the iPhone maker adapts to new Brussels laws. Under the changes, the US tech company will also give iPhone users a range of browsers to choose from as their default, allow the use of alternative payment systems to Apple Pay, and permit the installation of alternatives to its App Store, which could theoretically include the Google Play store. But there is a catch: for the first time, developers who take advantage of the option will be charged a flat fee per installation. Guardian
The Google Pixel 8 Pro is now able to measure body temperature. Previously the phone’s temperature sensor was only able to scan objects while Google awaited FDA approval for the body temperature functionality – that approval has now been granted. The sensor was one of the features touted at the Pixel 8 Pro’s announcement back in October. But at the phone’s launch, the sensor could only take the temperature of objects not humans. Now, body temperature measurement is one of the new updates included in the latest feature drop, with Google referring to it as a “medical-grade feature”. Tech Radar
Elon Musk has often described production of Tesla’s first mass-market car as “excruciating”. As his electric car company struggled to ramp up manufacturing of the Model 3, the billionaire barely left the factory floor, working 120-hour weeks and sleeping in his office. “Model 3 production was three years of hell, some of the really worst years of my life, frankly,” he noted on Wednesday. Yet now, with Tesla facing a range of new threats, Musk is preparing to do it all over again. The entrepreneur and his company have promised a new, even cheaper car. And it is one he hopes will finally carry a symbolically important price tag of $30,000 (£23,600), Telegraph
Canalys posted a report on smartphone sales in China for the last quarter and the full calendar year of 2023. According to the analysis, companies shipped 5% fewer devices compared with 2022, which was already the worst year in a decade.
The Q4 period showed signs of recovery with only a 1% decline, or 73.9 million in total. Huawei was the “dark horse” as it emerged to fourth place and almost doubled its shipments compared to the same time last year. GSM Arena
Some more industry news has broken this week, and this time it relates to Microsoft’s Xbox division, which last year finalised its acquisition of Activision Blizzard and has in recent times reiterated its support for Nintendo platforms. In a message from the Xbox and Microsoft gaming boss Phil Spencer (via IGN), it’s been revealed 1,900 roles out of 22,000 in total across the team have been axed. This includes many roles within ZeniMax (Bethesda) and Activision Blizzard. The reasoning behind this is so the leadership of the business aligns on a “strategy and an execution plan with a sustainable cost structure” that will support the whole of the growing business. NintendoLife