Friday Five: Apple announces new features and big profits

Zone’s Ross Basham handpicks and shares the five best new stories on digital trends, experiences and technologies…

1. Apple announces new features and big profits

Apple has announced its new iOS 14.5 update for iPhone and iPad, with most headlines focusing on the new App Tracking Transparency function. This means users will have to opt in if they want their online activity tracked by companies — an update that has caused a huge rift between Apple and Facebook.

2. UK to retool NHS app as vaccine passport

The transport secretary, Grant Shapps, has announced that the UK government is retooling an NHS app as a vaccine passport for international travel. The app will provide proof that people have been vaccinated or received a negative test for the Covid-19 virus when international travel is due to resume on 17 May.

3. Sporting world joins social media boycott

The world of sport is boycotting social media for four days this weekend as a protest against racism and discrimination online. The boycott was announced by the leading English football organisations and anti-discrimination charity Kick it Out last weekend after many footballers spoke out about the abuse they had received online.

4. ‘Self-driving’ cars on UK roads by end of year

‘Self-driving’ vehicles could be on UK roads by the end of 2021, according to the government. However, before you start picturing driverless cars zipping around town, ‘self-driving’ here means automated lane-keeping systems (ALKS), which simply controls the position and speed of a car in a single lane and is limited to 37mph.

5. Microsoft deletes Calibri as its font of choice

Everyone has a favourite font, and plenty of articles have been written about what your font of choice says about you (insert Comic Sans joke here). And changing that font is a serious task — just ask Microsoft, which has decided to replace its default font, Calibri, which itself usurped Times New Roman back in 2007.

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