Apple Watch Pride face doesn't seem to work in Russia, and not due to any bug

Apple Watch Pride face doesn't seem to work in Russia, and not due to any bug
Apple may have recently ramped up its global efforts to support the LGBTQ community, but in countries where “gay propaganda” is prohibited by law, the Cupertino-based tech giant seems wary of making waves.

The so-called Apple Watch “Pride” face introduced with iOS 11.4 and watchOS 4.3.1 back in June does not appear to work in Russia regardless of the software version installed on your local wearable device and handset.

According to an experienced iOS developer and 9to5Mac “mystery solver”, that's because the feature is “hardcoded to not show up if the paired iPhone is using the Russian locale.” Basically, if your iPhone’s region is set as Russia from the settings menu, and said iPhone is synced up to an Apple Watch, the latter’s face gallery will simply not display the Pride option.

The regional restriction has been verified by a number of Twitter users, including The Verge senior editor Tom Warren, and based on various Reddit threads and Apple support forum discussions dating back to June, this was always the case for Russian folks wanting to show their rainbow flag-inspired colors.

It’s worth pointing out that President Vladimir Putin signed an “anti-gay” bill into law back in 2013, purportedly aiming to protect children from exposure to content presenting homosexuality as being a norm in society.

The legislation was quickly and vehemently condemned by the United Nations, the Venice Commission, and human rights groups including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, for what ultimately came down to banning the public promotion of LGBT rights and culture.

As such, it shouldn’t really come as a surprise that Apple is avoiding legal problems or Putin clashes of any sort. By the way, the company also doesn’t sell Pride Edition Apple Watch bands in Russia, most likely for similar reasons.

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4 Comments

1. G1andonly

Posts: 31; Member since: Jun 13, 2013

Who gives a ____. Not everyone is on board with teaching kids about being gay/trans/ what ever else and should not be bullied into having to go along with it. That community has become the bully, good for Russia and Putin.

3. Feanor

Posts: 1420; Member since: Jun 20, 2012

Homosexuality is not something you can choose to endorse, it is scientific truth. Not wanting to teach it is like not wanting to teach that we have a heart or lungs, or that the solar system has eight planets (any Pluto supporters here?) Let alone that I don't see how a watchface teaches kids about homosexuality. This is all anti-gay slur.

2. darkkjedii

Posts: 31616; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Apple...you can not force the gay agenda on everyone. Just as people have a right to be gay, people also have the right to not want it pushed on them.

4. Feanor

Posts: 1420; Member since: Jun 20, 2012

Being gay is not an acquired right, nor a free choice. It's a naturally occurring sexual deviation from the statistically average norm. It has accompanied human nature since we appeared on this planet. Saying that you have the right to not want to have it pushed on you is like saying that you don't want to know if and why the earth rotates around the sun every 365.25 days. You can freely accept what you want but what exists in nature exists whether you accept to believe it or not. Their Pride watchface is as scientifically valid as their other ones with the jellyfish and the flowers. Would you complain that Apple cannot force on us their jellyfish propaganda?

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