According to reports, Apple Maps and Weather applications for users outside of Russia are now presenting Crimea as part of Ukraine.
According to Mashable, Apple apps previously failed to recognize Crimea as a part of Ukraine.
So, what exactly happened? Is it a glitch? Or something bigger is at play?
Let’s find out together…
Apple's Maps and Weather apps now show Crimea as a part of Ukraine when used outside of Russia. So it appears that Apple has quietly changed its position on the territorial issue.
Of course, the recent Russian incursion into Ukraine could be a factor in it.
Before, the apps of Apple tried to get around issues by refusing to declare Crimea as a part of any country when it was accessed from most locations.
However, in 2019, Apple has updated the Maps and Weather apps to display Crimea as a part of Russia when seen within Russia and the rest of the world.
Thereby eroding the consensus of the world and infuriating Ukrainians.
The decision to recognize Russia's claim was slammed in the eyes of Ukrainian government officials at the moment, with Kyiv's U.S. embassy tweeting,
"Let's everyone remind Apple that Crimea is Ukraine and has been under Russian occupation, not under its sovereignty." In the meantime, Russian officials described the decision as a correction to some "inaccuracy."
The latest reports suggest that Apple adopts an entirely different position and identifies the peninsula as being part of Ukraine—at the very least, outside of Russia.
Apple Maps and Weather now think of Crimea as Ukrainian territory when it is accessed from various countries, such as Australia, the U.S., Australia, and obviously Ukraine.
Mashable has approached Apple to ask about the date of the change and if Crimea remains a Russian territory when it is accessed from Russia.
Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014, launching a military assault on the peninsula and also installing new officials. The vote was later held to determine whether Crimea wanted to go to Ukraine and provided no alternative to staying.
The vast majority of the international community opposed Russia's actions. They refused to acknowledge its claims over Crimea and deemed the referendum to be illegal and forceful. Following the invasion, Russia was also exiled from the G8 and was subject to sanctions.
None of these sanctions appear to have stopped Russia, however, if its latest incursion into Ukraine is an indication.
In the earlier part of this month, Apple took action against the Russian invasion by suspending sales of its products in Russia and also removing Russia Today and Sputnik News from App Stores that are not in Russia. However, modifications made to Apple Maps and Weather apps weren't mentioned within the statement.
Apple said in an official statement: "We are deeply worried about the Russian invasion of Ukraine and our support for all the affected people due to this violence." "We remain committed to analyzing the situation and will be communicating with the relevant authorities about the actions we're taking."