WhatsApp reduces minimum age to 13 in UK/EU, Apple eases self-repair policy

Children as young as nine have been added to malicious WhatsApp groups promoting self-harm, sexual violence and racism, a BBC investigation has found. Thousands of parents with children at schools across Tyneside have been sent a warning issued by Northumbria Police. One parent said her 12-year-old daughter had viewed sexual images, racism and swearing that “no child should be seeing”. WhatsApp owner Meta said all users had “options to control who can add them to groups” and the ability to block and report unknown numbers. It comes after the minimum age for WhatsApp users in the UK and Europe was reduced from 16 to 13.  BBC 

Social media giant Meta has been urged to reverse the lowering of the minimum age to use WhatsApp. The change, which reduces the age limit from 16 to 13, came into force in the UK and EU on Thursday. Campaign group Smartphone Free Childhood said the move by Meta, which also owns Facebook and Instagram, was “tone deaf”. Co-founder Daisy Greenwell told The Times: “WhatsApp is putting shareholder profits first and children’s safety second. Independent 

Apple is easing up its self-repair policy, allowing iPhone owners to fix their devices with used parts instead of forcing them to buy new replacements. The tech giant told The Washington Post the update will apply to screens, batteries, and cameras among other things. Apple states in its announcement post that they have plans to grow the program to include biometric sensors. The changes are scheduled to take effect this autumn, starting with the iPhone 15 and future models. Tech Radar 

The government needs a TikTok strategy to help combat misinformation directed at young people, MPs have said. Members of the cross-party culture, media and sport committee said the government needed to adapt to new apps and platforms that appeal to young people who are increasingly turning away from traditional sources of news. The recommendation is part of a wider report published on Friday that calls for more use of “trusted voices” to communicate important information and combat conspiracy theories. The Guardian 

Sony Xperia 1 VI leaked renders show the new aspect ratio
Sony’s upcoming Xperia 1 VI has so far been rumored to sport a very similar design to its predecessor, just with a different screen aspect ratio – less tall, a little bit wider this time around. We’ve also heard the 4K resolution might be gone, and that the cameras could be exactly the same as those on the Xperia 1 V from last year. Today we get to actually look at the Xperia 1 VI, courtesy of some leaked CAD-based renders of the device. The source of these renders claims the phone will have a 6.5-inch screen, headphone jack and dedicated camera shutter button. GSM Arena 

Early next year we expect to see the latest version of Apple’s “budget” iPhone model, the iPhone SE 4, launch with some major changes. According to a tweet from freelance coder Nguyen Phi Hung, unlike the iPhone SE 3, which was released in 2022 and was based on the iPhone 8, the iPhone SE 4 will be based on the iPhone 13. That means it will be the first iPhone SE handset to feature an OLED panel, the notch, and Face ID. Phone Arena 

Google is shutting down its VPN by Google One service, according to a vague customer email seen by Android Authority, less than four years after it was rolled out in October 2020. The email doesn’t specify when this will happen, only that the VPN service will be discontinued “later this year.” Subscription prices for Google One’s VPN start at $1.99, with availability on Android, iOS, Mac, and Windows. The company told 9to5Google that it is killing the service because “people simply weren’t using it.” The Verge 

Chris Price