Apple Watch Pride face is blocked in Russia by watchOS 5

Posted:
in Apple Watch
Developer discovers that the LGBTQ-friendly Watch face is prevented by code from being accessed in that country.

Apple Pride Watch face


Apple introduced the rainbow-colored Pride Apple Watch face, as well as a corresponding watch band, at WWDC back in June. But in recent weeks, observers have speculated as to why the Pride Watch face is not available in Russia. One developer appears to have found the reason, right in Apple's own code.

Developer Guilherme Rambo discovered this week that "the Apple Watch pride face is hardcoded to not show up if the paired iPhone is using the Russian locale," according to code extracted from the latest watchOS beta release.

The Apple Watch pride face is hardcoded to not show up if the paired iPhone is using the Russian locale pic.twitter.com/vEP8XquYsP

-- Guilherme Rambo (@_inside)


Rambo is the same developer who also discovered the leaked "iPhone XS" photos this week.

Apple has long put itself forward as an LGBTQ-friendly company, as Tim Cook is one of the few openly gay CEOs of a Fortune 500 company. Cook and other executives participated in San Francisco's Pride parade in June, and in 2017 the company introduced a Pride Watch band, donating some proceeds to LGBTQ organizations.

Russia, however, has passed a "gay propaganda" law, among other anti-LGBTQ laws enacted by the government of President Vladimir Putin. Much like Apple's various efforts in China, this is another case of Apple's core values as a company coming into conflict with the customs of a foreign country in which it seeks to do business.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 27
    racerhomie3racerhomie3 Posts: 1,062member
    It’s a watch Face , not a cross on your forehead. Why is this news?
  • Reply 2 of 27
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 6,972member
    How many here would like to see Apple completely pull out of any country or region that has human rights issues? Wouldn't that mean a complete shutdown of the company, including in the United States? This is reality, people. You either work within the system or take your ball and go home. The true engines of change work within the system they have issues with. There is no hypocrisy here unless you have horse blinders on.
    lamboaudi4mike1DAalsethargonautanton zuykovmaestro64randominternetperson[Deleted User]kingofsomewherehotzroger73
  • Reply 3 of 27
    leighrleighr Posts: 180member
    Perhaps the default watch faces should just be watch faces, instead of political statements. If someone wants to make a statement they can add their own background in themselves.
    albegarcElCapitanvadimyuryev[Deleted User]macpluspluszroger73mcdavemonstrosity
  • Reply 4 of 27
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 7,331member
    It’s a watch Face , not a cross on your forehead. Why is this news?
    Because it's remarkable first that a rainbow watch face is not allowed in Russia, and second that Apple went along with Putin's order to pretend homosexuals don't exist in his country. 
    dysamoriaSolistanhopezroger73lordjohnwhorfintannertannertannerJustAnotherLonelyVoice
  • Reply 5 of 27
    The amount of people that are upset over this shows just how well propaganda works. Just be happy you have freedom over here in the States. Russia is perfectly fine without pride watch faces and bands. 
    (My personal opinion that is protected by the first amendment) 
    SpamSandwichalbegarcmacplusplustoysandme
  • Reply 6 of 27
    leighr said:
    Perhaps the default watch faces should just be watch faces, instead of political statements. If someone wants to make a statement they can add their own background in themselves.
    And why is it automatically a political statement? Oh, by the way, if the entire watch face is verboten, then one cannot surreptiously add it on his own. Endlessly interesting how those with nothing to lose always recommend giving up everything by those who do, no matter what it is.

    In any case, the ban is no doubt being met with wild approval from American techie boyz. 
    edited August 2018 dysamoria
  • Reply 7 of 27
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 4,529member
    Oh this is not going to end well, lots of people are going to be upset over this. Apple and Google are being hammered for human rights issues for doing business in China. You know these same groups are going to demand answers why Apple choose to do this.

    Better get the popcorn out.
    edited August 2018 albegarc
  • Reply 8 of 27
    It’s a watch Face , not a cross on your forehead. Why is this news?
    Because it's remarkable first that a rainbow watch face is not allowed in Russia, and second that Apple went along with Putin's order to pretend homosexuals don't exist in his country. 
    remarkable? During USSR era, homosexuality was punishable by prison time (and I don't mean by couple of days in jail). Still bad, tho, but it is Russian, so what did you expect.
    king editor the grate
  • Reply 9 of 27
    The amount of people that are upset over this shows just how well propaganda works. Just be happy you have freedom over here in the States. Russia is perfectly fine without pride watch faces and bands. 
    (My personal opinion that is protected by the first amendment) 
    Dude, you don't need to say "My personal opinion that is protected by the first amendment", because it is recognized here anyway. Although, admins do have the right to remove your post, since this website is not run by the gov-t, but by a private enterprise, and the first amendment is not applicable in this case.
    dysamoria[Deleted User]StrangeDayslordjohnwhorfintannertannertannerbb-15
  • Reply 10 of 27
    dysamoriadysamoria Posts: 2,083member
    It’s a watch Face , not a cross on your forehead. Why is this news?
    It sounds like you're saying "this doesn't matter to me, personally, so why do I have to see an article about it?"

    These social issues matter to people who aren't you. That's why it's news.
    stanhopelordjohnwhorfinbb-15mr. harlomediabonobobJustAnotherLonelyVoice
  • Reply 11 of 27
    dysamoriadysamoria Posts: 2,083member
    leighr said:
    Perhaps the default watch faces should just be watch faces, instead of political statements. If someone wants to make a statement they can add their own background in themselves.
    Political statements? Passive symbolic acknowledgment of a group of human beings is a political statement?
    stanhopemr. hbb-15claire1
  • Reply 11 of 27
    ZRyserZRyser Posts: 33member
    ...Russia is perfectly fine without pride watch faces and bands....
    Russia is all sorts of things, except for perfectly fine, mate. Regardless of any watch face.
    randominternetpersonStrangeDaysstanhopeanton zuykovkuduarlomediaminicoffeeJustAnotherLonelyVoice
  • Reply 13 of 27
    dysamoriadysamoria Posts: 2,083member
    The amount of people that are upset over this shows just how well propaganda works. Just be happy you have freedom over here in the States. Russia is perfectly fine without pride watch faces and bands. 
    (My personal opinion that is protected by the first amendment) 
    Russia is fine? You're clearly not an LGBTQ citizen of Russia.

    Your personal opinion isn't protected from anything but government suppression or persecution. The first amendment doesn't protect you from the reactions of other people, nor from other consequences of speech (such as Apple Insider suppressing it, should they choose to, since this is a forum provided by a private entity and your first amendment right is irrelevant in this context). 
    [Deleted User]stanhopegatorguykudumr. hbb-15minicoffee
  • Reply 14 of 27
    dysamoriadysamoria Posts: 2,083member
    maestro64 said:
    Oh this is not going to end well, lots of people are going to be upset over this. Apple and Google are being hammered for human rights issues for doing business in China. You know these same groups are going to demand answers why Apple choose to do this.

    Better get the popcorn out.
    You're entertained by human conflict? Must be nice to not have to be part of it.
    bonobobminicoffeeJustAnotherLonelyVoice
  • Reply 15 of 27
    dysamoriadysamoria Posts: 2,083member

    It’s a watch Face , not a cross on your forehead. Why is this news?
    Because it's remarkable first that a rainbow watch face is not allowed in Russia, and second that Apple went along with Putin's order to pretend homosexuals don't exist in his country. 
    remarkable? During USSR era, homosexuality was punishable by prison time (and I don't mean by couple of days in jail). Still bad, tho, but it is Russian, so what did you expect.
    Remarkable: worth remarking about.
  • Reply 16 of 27
    mac_128mac_128 Posts: 3,414member
    The amount of people that are upset over this shows just how well propaganda works. Just be happy you have freedom over here in the States. Russia is perfectly fine without pride watch faces and bands. 
    (My personal opinion that is protected by the first amendment) 
    This could be construed as hate speech, which is not protected by the first amendment, even if that applied to this private forum, which it doesn’t. I’m guessing you haven’t passed your US citizenship exam, or are otherwise living in the US illegally?
    edited August 2018
  • Reply 17 of 27
    This might be one of the few times that having an openly gay CEO is an asset (as opposed to a non-issue).  It will be hard for roast Apple over this given Cook's (and Apple's) public support for the LGBTQAWE community.
    bb-15bonobob
  • Reply 18 of 27
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 7,331member
    The amount of people that are upset over this shows just how well propaganda works. Just be happy you have freedom over here in the States. Russia is perfectly fine without pride watch faces and bands. 
    (My personal opinion that is protected by the first amendment) 
    I'm guessing you're not homosexual. Gay-related civil rights sometimes don't seem as important to non-gays. Just like minority rights in the US didn't seem very important to the white majority for a very long time. Perspective bias in both cases.

    No, Russia is not perfectly fine when its citizens aren't free to use whatever watch face they want. That you believe state-censorship is cool is troubling.
    edited August 2018 auxiostanhopezroger73kuduanantksundarambb-15bonobobminicoffee
  • Reply 19 of 27
     Too bad, isn't that a shame :)
    SpamSandwichmonstrosity
  • Reply 20 of 27
    I would understand outrage if it was banned in a country such as the USA but why be shocked at Russia? Just like China or countries in the middle-east which our governments tend to turn a blind-eye to because they're rich (Saudi Arabia etc.), they have different laws and social values. You might not like it but it's for the Russian people themselves to be outraged if it bothers them considerably. Apple has a moral decision to operate in such countries and take their money or take a stand and pull out completely - they've obviously chose to take the money and play by their rules.
This discussion has been closed.