Apple and Swiss Federal Railways to meet over clock design dispute

apple and swiss railway to meet over clock design dispute mondaineThe latest version of Apple’s iOS mobile operating system, rolled out to users last week, comes with more than 200 new features, the Cupertino company says.

It includes updates to Mail, Safari and Photos, as well as brand new features including Panorama, Passbook and Maps, though the less said about that, the better.

iPad users who’ve upgraded to iOS 6 will also have noticed a new clock app on their device. The new feature also caught the attention of Swiss Federal Railways (SBB), who couldn’t help noticing how similar the app’s clock face looked to the iconic design of its own clock used at train stations across the country – a decades-old design that happens to be trademarked. In fact, “similar” is hardly an appropriate word here – it’s difficult to see any differences at all.

SBB evidently hadn’t been consulted about the design of Apple’s new time-telling app, and is seeking to resolve the issue with the tech giant.

“We enjoy the fact that the Swiss railway clock is being used by Apple,” SBB spokesperson Christian Ginsig said. “It once again proves that it’s a real piece of design. This act, however, is an unauthorized use [of the clock’s design] by Apple.”

Another SBB spokesperson, Patricia Claivaz, confirmed that a meeting has been requested with Apple’s legal team, though she dismissed reports that the state-owned train service was intent on securing a financial settlement, telling AFP that SBB did not want to “upset them by asking for money.”

She event went as far as to say that SBB was “proud” that its station clock face design – created by Swiss engineer Hans Hilfiker in 1944 – had been chosen “for 80 million iPads.”

Claivaz added, “There are a lot of brands that use the SBB logo, though nothing like Apple. It’s not just about exchanging money, rather drawing up a contract stating where the logo can be used, under what conditions and for how long.”

It’ll be interesting to see what kind of agreement or deal Apple makes with SBB, or whether they end up dumping the design for a completely different look. For its part, SBB seems pretty laid back about the affair, though one can’t help wondering if Apple would approach the matter in quite the same relaxed fashion if the situation was the other way around.

[Source: Cnet, Ars Technica] [Image: Apple/Mondaine]

Product Review

Say goodbye to the snooze bar. Amazon's Echo Spot is an alarm clock for 2018

The Amazon Echo Spot, the newest member of Amazon’s smart speaker family, is cute, fun, and sleek. But if you use it for an alarm clock, you might want to turn off the camera. Find out more in our review.
Home Theater

What is MHL, exactly, and how does it work with your TV?

There are more ways to mirror your smartphone or tablet to your TV than you might think. Check out our rundown of MHL for everything you need to know about the wired protocol and its myriad uses.
Mobile

What’s the point of the Note’s S Pen? Samsung needs to find one or kill it

The Galaxy Note 9’s announcement will bring with it another S Pen stylus, a feature only the artistic will get excited about. Samsung should be embarrassed about its lack of use, and we’re hoping the Note 9’s stylus includes new…
Mobile

Apple just released iOS 12 Beta 5 and Siri Shortcuts just got a lot better

At this year's Worldwide Developer Conference, Apple unveiled its latest operating system, iOS 12. From app updates to group FaceTime, ARKit 2.0, and more, here are all the new features in iOS 12.
Mobile

Mophie vs. Belkin vs. Anker vs. iOttie: Finding the best wireless charging pad for iPhones

Ever since wireless charging for the iPhone was introduced almost a year ago, an influx of different wireless chargers have appeared on the market. To help make it easier, we tested out four different wireless charging pads with the iPhone…
Computing

A brand-new Mac can be hacked remotely during its first Wi-Fi connection

Researchers discovered a security flaw affecting versions of MacOS prior to 10.13.6 that allows hackers to take control of a Mac during first-time setup and device provisioning. Malicious code can then be injected into the Mac.
Cars

Head Tesla engineer leaves for Apple to possibly reboot self-driving car

Apple's self-driving car project could get the reboot as a former chief engineer for Tesla Motors left the company to go back to Apple. Doug Field, who worked at Tesla from 2013 until last month, will go back to Apple.
Deals

Save up to $900 with the best smartphone deals for August 2018

Need a better phone but don't want to spend a fortune? It's never a bad time to score a new smartphone and save some cash. We rounded up the best smartphone deals available that can save you as much as $900.
Apple

Sprint holds another flash sale, offers the iPhone X for $5 per month

For those looking for a good deal on an iPhone, Sprint recently announced another flash sale. For a limited time, the carrier is offering the iPhone X for $5 per month to new and existing customers.
Mobile

Looking to remove unwanted apps from your iPhone? Here's how

Have too many apps piled up on your iPhone? With all the games, apps, and bloatware out there, it is easy to run out of room on your phone. Here's how to delete apps on an iPhone, so you can free up some space for something new.
Computing

Should you OK Google, Hey Siri, or talk to Cortana? Here's the top voice assistant

In this virtual assistant comparison, we examine how they're becoming an important part of our lives. So how do Cortana, Google Assistant, and Siri stack up against one another when it comes to features and voice recognition?
Mobile

Marco? Polo! Let's explore the app known as the 'video walkie-talkie'

Marco Polo has been dubbed the "video walkie-talkie," but how does the video messaging app stack up against competitors like Snapchat and Instagram? From unique filters to personalized video messages, we explore the Marco Polo app.
Computing

Apple preps production of updated MacBook Air for a 2018 launch

To reach its rumored launch timeline of later this year for its low-cost notebook, Apple is expected to begin production of its updated MacBook Air soon. The sub-$1,000 laptop could launch as early as September or October.
Apple

Apple's AirPower charging pad may cost $150, sport 22 wireless charging coils

At its September event last year, Apple unveiled the AirPower -- its new wireless charging mat that will allow you to charge multiple devices at one time. It has not yer been released. Here's everything we know about the device so far.