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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