iCloud Down: What’s happening and when will it return?

Apple's iCloud service is encountering service disruptions across at least one of its major services, with users expressing their frustration on X (formerly Twitter), with some TechRadar staff being locked out as well.

So what's going on and when will iCloud be back to full service? We've reached out to Apple for answers and are covering the outage so you can find out when you'll be back to business as normal on Apple's popular cloud service.

An Apple iCloud error message

(Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)

Apple iCloud services are down for at least some of TechRadar's US staff, with widespread reports online from frustrated users who cannot access Apple's iCloud email server.

Users have taken to X (formerly Twitter) to express their frustration with the iCloud outage, with Downdetector reporting at least 1,499 reports of trouble as of 4:06PM EST.

See more
See more

A screenshot of downdetector showing an Apple iCloud outage

(Image credit: Downdetector)

The major services that appear to be hit are iCloud mail, which Apple reports as a total outage, with some partial outages being reported for other apps.

See more

TechRadar – All the latest technology news

Read More

iCloud Down: What’s happening and when will it return?

Apple's iCloud service is encountering service disruptions across at least one of its major services, with users expressing their frustration on X (formerly Twitter), with some TechRadar staff being locked out as well.

So what's going on and when will iCloud be back to full service? We've reached out to Apple for answers and are covering the outage so you can find out when you'll be back to business as normal on Apple's popular cloud service.

An Apple iCloud error message

(Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)

Apple iCloud services are down for at least some of TechRadar's US staff, with widespread reports online from frustrated users who cannot access Apple's iCloud email server.

Users have taken to X (formerly Twitter) to express their frustration with the iCloud outage, with Downdetector reporting at least 1,499 reports of trouble as of 4:06PM EST.

See more
See more

TechRadar – All the latest technology news

Read More

Students take note: Windows 11 update reportedly has a bug that’s taking down Wi-Fi at universities

Windows 11 just received a new cumulative update, but apparently Microsoft’s round of patching for December introduces a big problem for some students.

Windows Latest highlights reports from a number of students who are readers of the tech site – and universities themselves – about patch KB5033375 breaking Wi-Fi networks on campus.

Apparently, this isn’t happening to everyone by any means, but it is a serious glitch for some of those running Windows 11 who aren’t getting internet on their own laptop. As Brunel University London (UK), one of the affected unis, informs us, this isn’t happening with official university hardware, but BYOD notebooks (possibly because admins have already side-stepped the issue, perhaps?).

One theory from a system admin at a university, as Windows Latest points out, is that there may be a compatibility issue at play here (involving the Qualcomm QCA61x4a wireless adapter, and maybe others).

Another establishment to warn its students about the December update is the University of New Haven (Connecticut, US), which advises: “A recent Windows update released on 12/12/2023 has caused users to not be able to connect to the wireless networks. This update is known as KB5033375.”

Other reports are present on Reddit, with students in European countries being affected, and the issue seemingly pertaining to other Qualcomm wireless adapters.


Analysis: Update removal seems to be the only way forward, for now

In fairness to the December update, it does contain some useful fixes, including the solution to a longstanding problem with File Explorer randomly popping up on the desktop.

However, if you’re at university, any potential plus points here are likely to be outweighed by the danger of not being able to get on Wi-Fi, which is a nasty problem indeed.

A commonality here seems to be Qualcomm components, and the above mentioned Qualcomm QCA61x4a wireless adapter is a commonly used piece of hardware seen in notebooks such as the Microsoft Surface Laptop 3, Lenovo Yoga models, and many other laptops besides.

This problem also affects some business users, but for students, the only realistic way of resolving the bug is to uninstall the update, as the universities in question are recommending. (To do this, go to Windows Update in Settings, and click to view the Update History – that shows all the updates installed, and you can remove KB5033375 from here).

Hopefully Microsoft is looking into this one, and we’ve contacted the software giant to check if there’s an investigation underway. We’ll update this article if we hear anything back as to what’s going on here.

You might also like…

TechRadar – All the latest technology news

Read More

AI might take a ‘winter break’ as GPT-4 Turbo apparently learns from us to wind down for the Holidays

It seems that GPT-4 Turbo – the most recent incarnation of the large language model (LLM) from OpenAI – winds down for the winter, just as many people are doing as December rolls onwards.

We all get those end-of-year Holiday season chill vibes (probably) and indeed that appears to be why GPT-4 Turbo – which Microsoft’s Copilot AI will soon be upgraded to – is acting in this manner.

As Wccftech highlighted, the interesting observation on the AI’s behavior was made by an LLM enthusiast, Rob Lynch, on X (formerly Twitter).

See more

The claim is that GPT-4 Turbo produces shorter responses – to a statistically significant extent – when the AI believes that it’s December, as opposed to May (with the testing done by changing the date in the system prompt).

So, the tentative conclusion is that it appears GPT-4 Turbo learns this behavior from us, an idea advanced by Ethan Mollick (an Associate Professor at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania who specializes in AI).

See more

Apparently GPT-4 Turbo is about 5% less productive if the AI thinks it’s the Holiday season. 


Analysis: Winter break hypothesis

This is known as the ‘AI winter break hypothesis’ and it’s an area that is worth exploring further.

What it goes to show is how unintended influences can be picked up by an AI that we wouldn’t dream of considering – although some researchers obviously did notice and consider it, and then test it. But still, you get what we mean – and there’s a whole lot of worry around these kinds of unexpected developments.

As AI progresses, its influences, and the direction that the tech takes itself in, need careful watching over, hence all the talk of safeguards for AI being vital.

We’re rushing ahead with developing AI – or rather, the likes of OpenAI (GPT), Microsoft (Copilot), and Google (Bard) certainly are – caught up in a tech arms race, with most of the focus on driving progress as hard as possible, with safeguards being more of an afterthought. And there’s an obvious danger therein which one word sums up nicely: Skynet.

At any rate, regarding this specific experiment, it’s just one piece of evidence that the winter break theory is true for GPT-4 Turbo, and Lynch has urged others to get in touch if they can reproduce the results – and we do have one report of a successful reproduction so far. Still, that’s not enough for a concrete conclusion yet – watch this space, we guess.

As mentioned above, Microsoft is currently upgrading its Copilot AI from GPT-4 to GPT-4 Turbo, which has been advanced in terms of being more accurate and offering higher quality responses in general. Google, meanwhile, is far from standing still with its rival Bard AI, which is powered by its new LLM, Gemini.

You might also like …

TechRadar – All the latest technology news

Read More

Google is shutting down Play Movies & TV, but don’t worry, your purchases are safe

Google will be pulling the plug on the last vestiges of Play Movies & TV, and to help with the transition, it’ll be moving users’ purchased content to other services.

The tech giant has been slowly shutting down the platform for the past two years beginning with its removal from various smart TVs. The storefront has since existed on Android TV devices and Google Play undisturbed until recently when a post on the Android TV Help website announced the changes. According to the page, the update will roll out over the coming weeks, but the day you’ll receive the patch depends on what country you live in. Then on January 17, Google will officially move everything you bought on or are currently renting from Play Movies & TV to its new home. Something you should know is access to your content depends on what hardware you own.

For example, if you have an Android TV or streaming device, you can find your purchases over “in the Your Library row on the Shop tab.” People who own a cable or set-top box “powered by Android TV” will have to open the YouTube app and then go to the Movies & TV section. Media will be under the Purchased tab. On web browsers, it’s the same process: head over to YouTube and hop on over to Movies & TV on your account.

Also, the post from earlier mentions you can view content on the Google TV mobile app. It doesn’t say exactly where people can find their media, but if we have to take a wild stab in the dark, it’ll most likely be under Your Stuff.

A small limitation

There aren’t a lot of restrictions. One we found is the fact that the ability to buy or rent movies on YouTube isn’t available around the globe. It's only in a few regions. A full list of supporting countries can be found on Google’s Help website. It’s worth mentioning some online reports claim they’ve already received the patch as they’re “already seeing old movie buys” on YouTube so the release may be happening sooner than expected.

We reached out to Google asking for some clarification on the rollout, like are certain countries being prioritized first? Additionally, what if someone gets the update earlier than January 17? Does this mean they'll be locked out of their purchases until then? We’ll let you know what the company says if they respond.

Be sure to check out TechRadar's list of the best Android box of 2023 if you're looking for a way to upgrade your TV.

You might also like

TechRadar – All the latest technology news

Read More

Windows 11 23H2 reportedly has a nasty bug slowing down PC games – but there’s a fix

Windows 11 is having serious issues with PC games due to the latest 23H2 update, according to a cluster of recent reports.

Neowin flagged up the performance hitches purportedly caused by the annual upgrade for Windows 11, which seemingly affects PCs with AMD processors in the main.

Redditor BNSoul describes the issue in a post that has garnered some serious attention, and a lot of other users chiming in that they’re suffering similar gaming woes.

BNSoul writes: “Every CPU benchmark shows significantly reduced CPU performance after updating to Windows 11 23H2 from 22H2, even after a fresh/clean install.

“I could add an endless list of benchmark results here but just let’s say it’s always 23H2 5-8% slower in every single one be it single or multi-thread compared to 22H2.”

They add: “Games are also affected with random stuttering, all of this fixed by rolling back to 22H2.”

Another user on Microsoft’s Answers.com forum, Anant Acharya, makes a similar complaint backed up by others further in the thread: “After I had updated to the Windows 23H2 update. I have been noticing sudden stutters and drastic FPS drops in the above-mentioned games [Valorant, CS:GO, Grand Theft Auto 5, Forza Horizon 5].”

The stuttering encountered is pretty bad according to those experiencing the problem, so this is a nasty one. The good news is that Microsoft has supplied a solution to the Redditor who made the original post, which we’ll discuss next.


Analysis: Defendius Kedavra

That solution apparently provided by Microsoft customer support involves resetting Microsoft Defender, so the conclusion tentatively drawn is that the security app is involved in some way here.

At any rate, the downside is that the procedure outlined is not completely straightforward, sadly, and involves using PowerShell commands – that’s not the tricky bit, mind, but it’s the main meat of the solution.

So, to fire up PowerShell, just right-click the Start button (or press the Windows key + X) and click on ‘Windows PowerShell (admin).’ While it’s not clear that you need admin mode – you could just run the plain ‘Windows PowerShell’ option – it might not hurt to use it.

Once open, run the following two commands in PowerShell (type them in and press enter). Firstly:

Set-ExecutionPolicy Unrestricted

And then:

Get-AppxPackage Microsoft.SecHealthUI -AllUsers | Reset-AppxPackage

That second command resets Defender, and you then reboot your PC.

The instructions then say when rebooting you should head to your BIOS and ensure that CPU Virtualization is enabled. Rummaging in the BIOS is the slightly trickier bit – as BIOSes are all differently laid out and have their own interfaces and quirks (consult relevant help resources from your motherboard vendor) – but many PCs may already have this turned on anyway, so you might not need to do it.

Finally, when back at the Windows 11 desktop, fire up Windows Security (type that in the search box, and open the app that pops up), select ‘Device Security’ in the left-hand panel, and in Core Isolation settings you should turn on Memory Integrity. Again, you’ll need to reboot your PC.

Then you’re done, and according to BNSoul and others, this process gives you the same level of gaming performance for 23H2 as seen with 22H2.

If the above procedure sounds like a hassle, or doesn’t work for you, then you can always revert to 22H2 and wait for Microsoft to investigate and hopefully fix this issue. Or if you haven’t upgraded yet and you’re concerned about these reports, you can always hold off on the 23H2 upgrade for the time being.

We’ve dropped a line to Microsoft to try and find out what’s going on here, and whether a fix is underway. We’ll update this story if we hear anything back.

You might also like…

TechRadar – All the latest technology news

Read More

Windows 11 Pro users beware: Microsoft’s BitLocker encryption could be seriously slowing down your PC

Microsoft’s software encryption for SSDs, BitLocker, has been found to be slowing down SSD performance by up to 45% in Windows 11 Pro. BitLocker is enabled automatically when Windows 11 Pro is installed and set up, and is intended to increase the security of SSD-related processes. 

Eager to analyze the issue, TomsHardware tested the feature and found that SSD speeds could be seriously affected when running some applications. 

Apparently, this happens because the software-based BitLocker constantly prompts encryption and decryption processes with data on your SSD while your computer carries out read and write processes. So, as your computer extracts and puts away files and data from your SSD as you go about your business, each of these inward and outward actions from the SSD is coupled with an additional encryption or decryption process that kicks off automatically every time. 

A pcwelt.de article (translated by PCWorld) points the finger at Windows 11 developers including the encryption software as part of the installation process of Windows 11 Pro.  According to pcwelt.de, many modern SSDs have their own built-in hardware-based encryption processes, and that results in all decryption and encryption processes being handled by SSD itself. Regardless, Bitlocker is activated when Windows 11 Pro is set up without giving users the option to opt-out or disable it.

Person Working on Surface Laptop at Home

(Image credit: Microsoft)

What is the heart of the problem and does it affect you?

It’s speculated that Microsoft insists on doing this because if it doesn’t, then it must give up control of encryption to SSD manufacturers. This means that Microsoft would have to depend on these SSD manufacturers to manage such a vital feature for Windows 11 Pro users, and, in recent years, there have been vulnerability issues in the hardware encryption code created by the SSD manufacturers. 

These manufacturers have been attentive and patched these vulnerabilities, but perhaps understandably, Microsoft doesn’t want to have to rely on a third-party to guarantee users SSD security. 

It seems like Windows 11 Home isn’t affected by this specific issue because BitLocker encryption isn’t supported. 

To find out if your SSD is affected by this problem, you can do the following:

  1. Open the Windows 11 Pro Command line with administrator rights. 
  2. Enter the following command:  manage-bde -status

This should open up the BitLocker Drive Encryption: Configuration Tool which allows you to analyze all the drives in your computer. 

If you open Conversion Status, you’ll be able to figure out how your SSD data is encrypted. Next, if you look at Encryption Method, you should see what type of encryption is used on a particular drive: software encryption (“XTS-AES”) or hardware encryption (“Hardware Encryption”). “XTS-AES” means that BitLocker is enabled and is running software encryption, while “Fully decrypted” means BitLock is disabled and encryption processes take place in the SSD. 

When users use programs that greatly involve the SSD, because every in and out process of the SSD is compounded with an extra encryption or decryption process, the SSD has to handle more processes altogether and experiences greater strain. Microsoft may be working on a software patch to address this whole issue in Windows 11 Pro, but it’s unconfirmed if this is currently being developed. 

Developers

(Image credit: Startup Stock Photos / Pexels)

How to configure BitLocker in Windows 11 Pro

To speed up your device, you might consider disabling BitLocker, but you have to make an informed decision, as BitLocker and the extra security it provides is beneficial to those who use corporate and business devices, and those who find themselves travelling often, and find that they’re in situations where there’s heightened risk of the device being stolen in general. 

If you have BitLocker installed, because it’s integrated with your system on a software and operating system level, you can only access the computer’s data by entering the Windows account details tied to that specific Windows 11 Pro device. 

If corporate and business devices come with Windows 11 Pro, then it’s likely that they have default settings, and that these devices are experiencing this specific type of slowdown.

After careful consideration and understanding, if you need higher-level data protection and you still want to get rid of this SSD encryption protection, then you can deactivate BitLocker by taking the following steps. Make sure that you understand clearly what level of encryption you need before you do this! 

  1. Open the Windows 11 Pro Command line with administrator rights
  2. Enter the following command: manage-bde -off C:

C: here represents whatever drive you want to turn off BitLocker for, and if it’s not C: then you need to change it to the drive you want to remove BitLocker from. After that, you will need to restart your computer to complete the process of disabling BitLocker. 

There is a way to not totally disable SSD encryption altogether, but switch it from software encryption to hardware encryption and this process has also been detailed by pcwelt.de (translated by PCWorld).

I personally would only consider disabling BitLocker if you don’t use your computer in any work capacity, or if you don’t have any data or files on it that you consider particularly sensitive. However, this is still useful information in terms of understanding more about the inner workings of your computer and digital security. 

MORE STORIES LIKE THIS

TechRadar – All the latest technology news

Read More

Moment 4 update is reportedly slowing down Windows 11 and playing havoc with some AMD GPUs

Some Windows 11 users are reporting problems with the update that provided the Copilot AI when it arrived last week (among a good deal of other features).

That’s the KB5030310 update, which we should note is a preview update for those using Windows 11 22H2. (Folks can get the upgrade, and Copilot plus other goodies, by ensuring that they have chosen the option to ‘Get the latest updates as soon as they’re available’ in Windows Update).

As Windows Latest reports, some users who have installed KB5030310 (with the mentioned option to get the latest features activated) have run into some fairly nasty gremlins.

That includes reports of File Explorer – the central part of the Windows 11 interface that lets you work with folders and files on the desktop – becoming more prone to buggy behavior, and running noticeably slower in general. (Including sluggishness rendering the actual interface which sounds jarring indeed, as mentioned on Reddit).

Other folks are complaining about weirdness with the search box in the taskbar, with it failing to work, or the magnifying glass icon not rendering properly (in fact it’s shown as a letter ‘C’, oddly).

More worryingly, Windows Latest brings our attention to system crashes post-update, and black screens (the latter aren’t complete lock-ups, at least in some reported cases, and can be escaped from by bringing up the Task Manager).

Another bigger glitch here affects those who are using AMD graphics cards, and running the latest driver – apparently, KB5030310 doesn’t play nice with the Adrenalin driver 23.9.3. Every time the PC is restarted, those AMD GPU owners are telling us that their settings are being reset, which is going to get pretty old, pretty fast.


Analysis: The perils of previews

That’s a fair old raft of problems, then, some of which are going to be unpleasant to be visited on your PC. However, this is a preview update, and Microsoft is still working on the functionality therein – so it’s hardly unexpected to see flaws popping up. In fact, it’s very much expected, and of course, we get glitches on finished updates for Windows 11, not just those still officially in testing.

Unfortunately, if you want to get the latest features like Copilot straight away – as per the aforementioned toggle – via a preview release, then you have to be aware that you’re running some level of additional risk for encountering bugs.

What’s a bit more baffling is despite the reports coming in via Reddit and Microsoft’s Feedback Hub that Windows Latest has highlighted here, Microsoft still doesn’t see anything wrong.

In the support document for KB5030310, the company states: “Microsoft is not currently aware of any issues with this update.”

There may, however, be investigations underway regarding the reports of the various glitches covered above, so we might hear soon enough from Microsoft as to what’s going on with these apparent issues (and how widespread they might be, perhaps).

You might also like

TechRadar – All the latest technology news

Read More

Windows 11 update is reportedly slowing down PCs and breaking internet connections

Windows 11 just received a new cumulative update (Moment 3) a couple of days back, and don’t look now – well, actually do look, or you’ll struggle to read this article – but there are complaints filtering through about a number of issues.

The main bones of contention with patch KB5028185 for Windows 11 22H2 are instances of performance slowdown – with severe cases going by some reports – and problems with flaky internet connections.

Let’s tackle the performance bugbears first, and it might be worth noting to kick off that the sluggish SSD issue still isn’t resolved with this update, as we recently predicted (that’s been an ongoing barrel of woes).

Aside from that, on the Reddit thread announcing the update we see multiple complaints of PCs running more slowly, and/or booting more sluggishly.

For example, one Redditor notes: “KB5028185 is trash. Thanks to this update, my restart and startup times are both far longer, sitting at the Welcome Screen for 17 seconds where it used to be about 4½ seconds. The shutdown time is longer too but I didn’t time it.”

That problem went away after uninstalling the update.

Another user observes: “Why after [updating], all my games and apps became very laggy?”

And another person replies to that: “Same happened to me. Can’t believe how abysmal the performance is. I uninstalled the update and it’s back to normal. I hate how Microsoft forces such broken updates all the time in Windows 10/11. Never had this problem with Windows 7/8.”

A further complaint reads: “Has anyone else been dealing with your PC chugging super hard after the update? Worked perfectly fine last night, got the updates this morning, took 4 hours for the updates to download/install, another 45 minutes to properly install after 2 restarts, and now, 4 hours later after the restarts completed, everything is STILL super slow.”

A person looking very surprised at a laptop

(Image credit: Shutterstock / Roman Samborskyi)

Okay, onto the second major issue that’s being reported, namely the internet connection going down the proverbial tubes. There are reports of both Wi-Fi and Ethernet (wired) connections being hit.

Again, here are some posts from affected Redditors. One person writes: “My pc won’t get on the internet now. No wifi or ethernet. And my firewall won’t start. Was fine before this ‘update.’”

Here’s another: “My Ethernet does not work as well since yesterday’s update… Edit: After removing updates KB5028851, KB5028185 via settings menu, my Internet connection is working again! Took 10 minutes.”

And another: “KB5028185 broke my internet also, no connection via Ethernet or WiFi/hotspot, they both said ‘connected, but no internet available.’ The troubleshooters were useless in resolving the issue so I decided to uninstall the update and everything works fine.”

Elsewhere we see complaints about Wi-Fi network stability in general.

A third annoyance here is the Windows Security icon in the system tray (far right of the taskbar) is broken in some cases, meaning nothing happens when you click on it (but virus scans are still working okay). Again, there are multiple confirmations of this glitch.


Analysis: What to do? Well, there are workarounds, but with catches

It seems that KB5028185 is problematic on a number of fronts, sadly. If you’ve installed the July cumulative update and have run into one of these problems – or random crashes, which we’ve also seen reported – then a temporary workaround is to uninstall KB5028185.

The downside is that you’ll be left without all the latest security fixes on your Windows 11 PC, which isn’t great. And also, the update will automatically install itself eventually (you can only put it off for so long with Windows 11 Home edition).

Meantime, all we can do is hope that Microsoft is investigating the aforementioned bugs, and will be producing some cures for the PCs hit by these problems.

The only other suggestion floated on Reddit is turning off Core Isolation (Memory Integrity), as some folks have claimed that this is causing most of the problems around system lag and crashes. Turning it off – just search for ‘Core Isolation’, go to the panel, and click the slider to disable Memory Integrity (then reboot) – may remedy your performance issues (or indeed internet dropouts), we’re told.

However, there’s a big caveat here, namely that this is a security feature you really should have running to defend yourself against potential exploits.

So, you’re taking a chance either way – running without the update, or without an important security feature – but if the problems with KB5028185 are bugging you that much, it may be a chance you want to take (at your own risk, as ever).

TechRadar – All the latest technology news

Read More

The end of Reddit? Here’s why most of the site is down – and what happens next

If you've been finding Reddit to be a little quieter than usual today, there's a very good reason for that – most of the site's Subreddit communities have just gone dark in protest against the site's controversial charges for third-party app developers.

The blackout, which is scheduled to last for 48 hours from Monday, June 11, but could last longer, has seen 87% of Reddit's subreddits – including most of its biggest ones – go down (according to the useful Reddit blackout tracker).

This has been possible because Reddit relies on a vast army of volunteer moderators who keep discussions on topic and remove comments – but can also make subreddits private, or effectively take them 'dark'.

On Friday, June 9, Reddit chief executive Steve Huffman responded to the blackout plans by stating that the site “needs to be a self-sustaining business” and that “we respect when you and your communities take action to highlight the things you need, including, at times, going private”.

Yet the blackout could lead to something of a stand-off. Four of the biggest third-party apps for browsing Reddit – Apollo, Reddit is Fun, ReddPlanet, and Sync – have all said that they will be shutting down due to the cost of Reddit's new API (application programming interface) pricing. Apollo developer Christian Selig has said it could cost him $ 20 million  (around £15.9m / AU$ 29.5m) a year to keep the app running.

So what happens next? And when are you going to be able to get your fix of r/funny, r/mildlyinteresting, and r/catswithjobs again? Here's all the latest news about the self-styled “front page of the internet”.

Reddit blackout: why is this happening?

Back in April, Reddit announced that it would start charging developers for access to its API. This API has allowed developers to build popular, alternative smartphones apps like Apollo, which they did well before Reddit introduced its own official app in 2016.

Those charges are due to come into play from June 19, which is why many third-party apps – including Apollo and Reddit is Fun – have announced that they'll no longer be available.

While Reddit hasn't officially revealed its new API pricing details, some developers have lifted the lid on the potential costs. In a post on r/apolloapp, the developer Christian Selig said that based on the “7 billion requests” (or times a user has triggered a need for API access) it would cost him $ 1.7 million (around £1.35m / AU$ 2.51m) per month.

A laptop showing a message from the Reddit r/funny subreddit saying that it's gone private due to the blackout

(Image credit: Future)

Although Selig stated that he is “deeply disappointed in this price”, particularly as it has echoes of a similar policy by Twitter that he says was “publicly ridiculed”, Reddit has denied that it has priced out developers of all third-party apps. 

We've asked Reddit for official comment and will update this story when we hear back, but representatives told the BBC that “expansive access to data has impact and costs involved” and that it spends “millions of dollars on hosting fees”. 

Reddit added that Apollo is “notably less efficient than other third-party apps” and that “the vast majority of API users will not have to pay for access”. According to the site, “the Reddit Data API is free to use within the published rate limits so long as apps are not monetized”.

But the issue is that existing apps like Apollo aren't really feasible as entirely free propositions, given the work involved, which is why the most popular third-party apps have all stated that they'll be unable to continue.

Reddit blackout: what happens next?

The blackout is seriously damaging for Reddit's management, both in terms of reputation and revenue – and it isn't yet clear exactly how the saga is going to conclude.

Some are hopeful that Reddit will have a change of heart and at least compromise on its new API pricing. In another post on r/apolloapp on the eve of the blackout, Christian Selig states “I really hope Reddit listens” and that “I think showing humanity through apologizing for and recognizing that this process was handled poorly, and concrete promises to give developers more time, would go a long way to making people feel heard and instilling community confidence”.

Reddit application icon on Apple iPhone X smartphone screen close-up. Reddit app icon. Reddit is an online social media network.

(Image credit: BigTunaOnline via Shutterstock)

In r/Save3rdPartyApps thread announcing the protest, most subreddits stated that their subreddit communities would go private for 48 hours in protest of the new API charges. But if Reddit doesn't back down or at least compromise, it's possible that the blackout could continue for longer than that. 

We've asked Reddit for official comment on what it's doing to resolve the protests and will update this article when we hear back.

Reddit blackout: why not just use the official app?

While it'd be incredibly sad to see the end of third-party apps like Apollo, the official Reddit app would obviously live on if there's no compromise – so why couldn't fans simply switch to that?

Aside from the obvious annoyance that it'd be a forced change, there are lots of reasons why fans prefer third-party apps. One of the big ones is that the likes of Apollo help preserve a traditional Reddit experience, rather than the more image-led one that Reddit's moving towards. 

Also, apps like Apollo are more customizable than the official Reddit app, often offer an ad-free experience, and harken back to the days of the Alien Blue app, which disappeared when the official Reddit app landed in 2026.

TechRadar's Managing Editor for Entertainment, Matthew Bolton, is an Apollo fan and explains: “I only use Apollo for Reddit because it cuts back the chaos. I like to browse particular subreddits that have good communities; I don’t want to be spammed with all the stuff that the algorithm has flagged as controversial in a desperate attempt to get me to engage,” he says. 

“I want to scroll through the things I like the most without the ads,” he adds. “The Reddit app wants me to think of it like a social network, but I want to use it like a combination of Flipboard and an old-school forum – and that’s exactly what I do with Apollo. The official app is like trying to read a magazine while people keep slipping flyers about their pet views or irrelevant news between the pages.”

TechRadar – All the latest technology news

Read More