Hashtag Trending June 21 – Too much smartphone use; family sues Apple over Amber Alert volume in AirPods; and Telegram’s premium tier

Most Americans believe they’re using their phones too much, one family is suing Apple for alleged hearing damage caused by AirPod earphones, and Telegram now offers a premium tier service.

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This is all the tech news that’s trending right now, welcome to Hashtag Trending. It’s Tuesday, June 21, and I’m your host, Tom Li

A new survey reveals that a majority of U.S. adults now believe they use their smartphones too much. On average, nearly 60 per cent of the 30,000 survey respondents believe they’re glued to their phones. The sentiment is especially strong among people between 18 to 29, with 81 per cent showing the same concern when asked. Although staring at a screen all day probably isn’t ideal, most Americans believe that smartphones have made their lives easier. Twenty-one per cent of survey respondents believe that smartphones significantly enhanced their lives, while 44 per cent believe it’s made a little better.

Source: Gallup

One family is suing Apple for hearing damage caused by AirPod Pro earbuds when an Amber Alert came through. Global News caught the news last month. According to the family, the incident happened two years ago, but the lawsuit has just now been filed in San Antonio. The couple suing Apple says that their 12-year-old son was listening to music on low volume when his device received an Amber Alert. The alert was allegedly played at such a high volume that it tore apart the child’s eardrum, causing significant damage to his hearing. The suit claimed that Apple’s AirPods failed to reduce the alert volume to a safe level, pointing to several online threads of people complaining about the issue.

Source: Global News

Telegram has launched a premium tier service with a few extra perks. For $5 a month, Telegram Premium provides benefits like larger file transfer size, faster transfer speeds, and double the user count for chats and groups. Additionally, it will provide a built-in audio-to-text message converter and, of course, exclusive stickers and reactions. Paying also would remove all ads, and the money will go towards improving the free version as well. In parallel, Telegram also enhanced chat previews and a “request to join” feature to help chat admins vet members before letting them in.

Source: 9to5Mac

Canada is banning companies from importing some single-use plastics by the end of the year. According to Reuters, the ban will cover single-use plastic items including checkout bags, cutlery, food containers containing difficult-to-recycle plastic, stir sticks and straws. The sale of items will be prohibited in December 2023, giving businesses one year to transition to alternatives. The government estimates that 15 billion plastic checkout bags are used every year and 16 million straws are used daily in Canada.

Source: Engadget, Reuters

That’s all the tech news that’s trending right now. Hashtag Trending is a part of the ITWC Podcast network. Add us to your Alexa Flash briefings or your Google Home daily briefing. Make sure to sign up for our Daily IT Wire newsletter to get all the news that matters directly in your inbox every day. Also, catch the next episode of Hashtag Tendances, our weekly Hashtag Trending episode in French, which drops every Thursday morning. If you have a suggestion or a tip, drop us a line in the comments or via email. Thank you for listening, I’m Tom Li.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Tom Li
Tom Li
Telecommunication and consumer hardware are Tom's main beats at Channel Daily News. He loves to talk about Canada's network infrastructure, semiconductor products, and of course, anything hot and new in the consumer technology space. You'll also occasionally see his name appended to articles on cloud, security, and SaaS-related news. If you're ever up for a lengthy discussion about the nuances of each of the above sectors or have an upcoming product that people will love, feel free to drop him a line at tli@itwc.ca.

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