We take a weekly look at mobile and tech stories from around the world. Headlines include… FCC to declare AI-generated voices in robocalls illegal under existing law, Apple Vision Pro: Here’s everything you need to know, Verizon switches to Google’s flavor of RCS. That’s a good thing, here’s why… and much more…
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is planning to vote on a proposal that would make the use of AI-generated voices in robocalls illegal. The move is in response to the escalation of AI-generated voices in robocalls over recent years, posing a potential threat of misinformation by imitating the voices of celebrities, political candidates, and family members. FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel’s proposed Declaratory Ruling aims to categorize calls made with AI-generated voices as “artificial” voices under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), thereby making voice cloning technology used in common robocalls scams illegal. The commissioners are expected to vote on the proposal in the coming weeks.
At its WWDC 2023 conference, Apple unveiled the Vision Pro, its long-anticipated augmented reality (AR) headset. Packed with advanced technology, including a new operating system called visionOS, the Vision Pro is set to go on sale on February 2. Preorders are already open on the Apple Store. Despite the imminent launch, there is a limited number of natively developed apps for the Vision Pro, and some major apps like Netflix, Spotify, and YouTube are currently absent. However, early users can expect content such as 3D movies, streaming services like Disney+, and 180-degree recordings captured with Apple’s Spatial Audio technology.
Verizon has announced that it will use Google’s Jibe servers to deliver Rich Communications Services (RCS) messaging to its consumer and enterprise customers. This move is part of Google’s effort to unify carrier-based messaging services through RCS. RCS is seen as a modern and feature-rich replacement for traditional SMS, offering capabilities such as read receipts, typing indicators, high-quality media sharing, and more. The adoption of RCS by Verizon comes after a prolonged trial in the U.S. wireless industry and is a significant step toward a more universal and standardized messaging experience across carriers and devices.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is driving the next wave of tech innovation, and data is its fuel. To meet the demands of AI in the distributed and often-disconnected environments common to Internet of Things (IoT) applications, having a database that can handle these demands is crucial. A mobile database platform with built-in data synchronization and support for AI can accelerate the development of AI-based features in edge applications. This enables AI-powered apps to run faster and become more reliable by eliminating dependencies on an unreliable internet, as data is located physically closer to the point of interaction.
Apple’s implementation of Rich Communication Services (RCS) on iPhones is expected to bring several missing features to text messages. RCS is set to replace SMS and MMS, offering improvements like longer messages, high-quality pictures, read receipts, typing indicators, GIFs, location sharing, and enhanced group messaging. However, the future of Apple’s RCS implementation in terms of security is uncertain. While RCS itself has several security measures, the specifics of Apple’s approach may raise questions, especially in the context of Apple’s commitment to privacy.
Four major European telecommunications industry associations—ECTA, ETNO, GIGAEurope—are expressing strong concerns about the ongoing negotiations related to the Gigabit Infrastructure Act (GIA). They warn that the current trajectory of the negotiations may result in penalizing telecom operators without achieving the intended benefits of administrative simplification. The GIA is designed to promote high-capacity network establishment by facilitating shared use of existing infrastructure and supporting efficient deployment of new infrastructure. However, the associations argue that proposed measures could lead to unintended consequences and hinder rather than accelerate network rollout and cost reduction. The concerns emphasize the need for careful consideration of the potential impacts on the telecom industry.
Phishing, a form of cybercrime aimed at stealing personally identifiable information, has become increasingly sophisticated and prevalent. Scammers utilize various communication channels, including mobile phones, to engage individuals and extract confidential information, leading to potential financial and personal harm. Although there was a brief slowdown in phishing activity during the second quarter of 2023, the overall trend has been on the rise. Professional cybercriminals continuously enhance their capabilities, making it crucial for individuals to stay vigilant and adopt measures to protect against phishing attempts. Notable law enforcement efforts, such as Operation Cookiemonster targeting Genesis Market and actions against malware like Qakbot and the HIVE ransomware group, have contributed to addressing these threats.
Counter-Strike 2 (CS2) is widely appreciated for its competitive gameplay and strategic depth, but one of its notable features is the concept of case openings. These cases allow players to acquire new skins and items for their weapons, adding a personalized and enhanced dimension to the gaming experience. The rise of mobile technology has significantly altered the dynamics of interacting with CS2 cases. The integration of mobile platforms has made the process of opening cases more accessible and dynamic. Players can now engage with CS2 cases at any time and from any location, introducing a new level of convenience and immediacy to the experience. Mobile apps and platforms have brought forth innovative features like real-time alerts for new cases, seamless trading capabilities, and even augmented reality previews of skins. This mobile revolution not only enhances the practical aspects of case openings but also deepens the player’s connection to the game, making the experience of obtaining new skins more thrilling and engaging than ever.
Microsoft is adding touch controls to its Xbox apps for iOS and Android devices. The software maker started testing the touch controls in beta versions of the Xbox mobile apps this week, allowing Xbox owners to remotely control their consoles and play games on phones and tablets without a Bluetooth controller.
The touch controls are identical to the ones found on Microsoft’s Xbox Cloud Gaming service, providing an on-screen overlay to let you remotely navigate around the Xbox UI and open up games and stream them all from your own console without needing to use a controller.