Items tagged with App Store

For years, Apple has featured solid marketing about its devices and App Store, leading people to believe it was the safest software ecosystem around. However, we are continuing to learn that the marketing does not always match the truth, and the App Store may not be as safe as people tend to think. In fact, one developer believes that fraudulent activity on the App Store could be measured in the billions, not millions. Kosta Eleftheriou is an app developer and self-proclaimed professional App Store critic going after the fraud and issues allegedly ignored by Apple. He recently found hidden casinos inside kid’s games, inappropriate games rated for ages four and up, as well as abundant fleeceware.... Read more...
While the Epic Games trial rages on in the background, it seems Apple may be trying to deflect blame or guilt. Yesterday, the Cupertino-based company announced that the App Store stopped “more than $1.5 billion in potentially fraudulent transactions in 2020.” Perhaps this is just a coincidence, or it is a good way to make Apple look high and mighty. The Apple blog post opens with the claim that the company “helps keep the App Store a safe and trusted place for users to discover apps by detecting and taking action against fraudulent developers and users.” This action purportedly takes quite a bit of legwork behind the scenes, but they managed to protect customers from more... Read more...
The antitrust trial pitting Epic Games versus Apple got off to an explosive start, with lawyers for each company issuing passionate opening remarks on why they think their clients should prevail. As part of her opening statement, Apple lawyer Karen Dunn accused Epic Games of wanting Apple to be like Android, which is something Tim Cook and the gang have no interest in becoming. "Epic wants us to be Android, but we don't want to be. And our consumers don't want that either. They want the choice," Dunn said, according to CNBC. The statement was in reference to being able to install apps from outside Google's Play Store onto Android devices, a practice known as side-loading. This is not something... Read more...
Since August of last year, Apple and Epic Games have been duking it out in courtrooms at home and abroad over the App Store fees and Fortnite's removal from the platform. With everything that has happened, it would seem that none of this is random nor a surprise and new reports from Apple indicate as much. Ahead of the trial beginning on May 3rd, Apple has filed several hundred pages of "Proposed Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law," which gives some interesting insight into the situation. When Apple launched the App Store back in 2008, some rules and basic principles were set that have not changed much, if at all, in the 13 years that followed. When Epic Games came to challenge this last... Read more...
A fraudulent app in Apple's App Store enabled a scammer to swipe $600,000 worth of Bitcoin from an iPhone user, depleting him of his life savings that he hoped would salvage his dry cleaning business. It's an unfortunate situation that both serves as a cautionary cryptocurrency tale, and highlights a need for better vetting of mobile apps. That latter part is an admittedly difficult task. There are nearly 2 million apps in the App Store, and new ones are being added all the time. There is a process developers have to go through. Even so, malicious apps sneak through, some of which contain malware, and others designed to trick users into forking over their cryptocurrency details. Sadly for Phillipe... Read more...
All that hissing and clawing you hear is not the neighborhood cats going at it, but Apple and Epic Games tussling with one another in a court of law. Well, their respective legal teams, anyway. The fight over Apple's App Store payment policies and Epic Games trying to sidestep them continues, and as far as Apple is concerned, Epic Games is embarking on a "self-serving" path with one of its lawsuit. All of this legal arm wrestling has to do with Epic Games suddenly deciding it did not want to continue paying Apple a royalty on in-app purchases, primarily as they related to Fortnite, a hugely popular game that generates a ton of revenue. So one day Epic Games updated its Fortnite app on iOS to... Read more...
In November, Apple announced that it would reduce its App Store fees to 15 percent for the first $1 million in yearly revenue for developers following pressure from Epic Games. Like Apple before its policy change, Google took a 30 percent cut of digital goods sold through its app marketplace. Today, Google announced that it would take the same approach as Apple with lower fees in the Play Store. Starting on July 1st, "99% of developers globally that sell digital goods and services with Play will see a 50% reduction in fees," said Sameer Samat, Google VP for Product Management. "These are funds that can help developers scale up at a critical phase of their growth by hiring... Read more...
As the Apple and Epic Games battle rages on, regular consumers and even lawmakers are starting to notice and weigh in on the situation. This includes the Arizona House, which introduced House Bill 2005 making it illegal to force an Arizona-based developer to use an app store’s payment processing service.  According to the Arizonan bill, digital application distribution platforms cannot do the following: Require a developer that is domiciled in this state to use a particular in-application payment system as the exclusive mode of accepting payments from a user to download a software application or purchase a digital or physical product or service through a software application. There... Read more...
This year, apps that let users listen or talk to live broadcasts over the internet are becoming more popular. One such app, Clubhouse, is sitting at number 6 in Social Networking on the Apple App store, and it only seems to be growing. However, just because it is popular does not mean it is safe and secure, as we are now finding out. According to the App Store's description, "Clubhouse is a space for casual, drop-in audio conversations—with friends and other interesting people around the world." Unabated free speech is a luxury most westernized nations have; however, countries like China do not. Thus, as the Snapchat of audio, Clubhouse took off for Chinese iPhone users leading to discussions... Read more...
When Apple introduced privacy labels, it seemed to be a solid way to provide transparency for users to know what data is collected on their devices. This system relies on honesty from the app developers, but some developers crossed their fingers behind their back when they agreed to the privacy labels it seems. New research has shown that some apps had outright false or misleading labels that they present to users. Recently, Washington Post tech columnist Geoffrey Fowler downloaded an app called “Satisfying Slime Generator,” which, as of writing, has a privacy label that states “developer does not collect any data from this app.” It seems that is not the case, though,... Read more...
When you are an app developer in a walled garden, sometimes the walls start to close in. It doesn't even matter if if a useful app has been around for six years and attracted over 400,000 downloads with high user satisfaction in the form of user reviews. Apple has its rules and follows them to the letter, sometimes to the detriment of its ecosystem's users -- just ask Epic about that one. One overzealous application of the rules could spell the sudden end of a successful business. This was almost the case for William Gustafson, developer of Amphetamine, which is a power management utility for macOS that has been available on the App Store since 2014.  Gustafson took to Twitter on Friday... Read more...
Advertisers and companies like Facebook that thrive on the targeted ads model are a little miffed at Apple right now, because an upcoming privacy policy could hamper their bottom line. Facebook in particular claims one of its targeted ad models could see up to a 50 percent hit in revenue when the new policy goes into effect. Cue the tiny violin. Companies have time to adjust, though not a lot time. Beginning sometime in 2021, Apple will start booting apps from the App Store that track users without receiving permission to do so. And not by way of burying permission in the fine print, presumably. Instead, this move effectively forces many app makers to change their targeted ad strategy. How so?... Read more...
Today, Apple got “into the holiday spirit” by dropping its royalty rate from 30% to 15% for developers who earned less than $1 million in the last year. Epic Games and Spotify, who both reside in the Coalition for App Fairness, were quick to call out this move. They essentially claimed it as a way for Apple to divide the developer community so Apple can come out on top of the issues they face. Epic Games has not been a fan of Apple, especially since the Fortnite ordeal began in August. With the move to give indie developers a Apple tax break of 15%, Epic CEO Tim Sweeney claimed in a statement reported by CNBC that “This would be something to celebrate were it not a calculated... Read more...
Apple is apparently getting into the holiday spirit by gifting smaller developers a reduced App Store commission rate. As part of its newly announced App Store Small Business Program, developers who earned less than $1 million in the last calendar year qualify for a 15 percent royalty rate, which represents a 50 percent reduction over Apple's normal commission fee. "Small businesses are the backbone of our global economy and the beating heart of innovation and opportunity in communities around the world. We’re launching this program to help small business owners write the next chapter of creativity and prosperity on the App Store, and to build the kind of quality apps our customers love,"... Read more...
Apple has been investigated and accused of anti-competitive practices over the last year, and in September, Epic Games formed a coalition against Apple for battling monopolistic store practices.  The U.S Department of Justice has also been increasing antitrust investigations and inquiries into big tech companies over the last year. Apple is likely not a fan of this scrutiny and wants to avoid any potential lawsuits, especially from the government, like the plague. Thus, Apple is apparently trying to appease regulators with a new feature in the newly-released iOS 14.3 beta, which will show third-party apps to new users during device setup. Yesterday, 9to5Mac found code within the iOS... Read more...
Apple has been on somewhat of a rampage with their App Store late this year, between the Fortnite debacle and new obtuse rules. In a seemingly reversed stance, Apple went up against Linux and Unix shell-app developers, claiming that they violated App Store Review Guidelines. Linux and Unix shells are essentially command-line interfaces, and in this case, are installed on devices that typically do not have command line functionality. Apps such as iSH and Blink Shell offer these tools to provide more features to the power users or IT wizards. They can eliminate the need for different devices on the go, especially if you can pair up a keyboard and get work done. The command-line functionality,... Read more...
In life, sports, and the court of law, you win some and you lose some. Case in point (literally). Epic Games has, for the time being, lost its legal battle with Apple, in which the developer sought a preliminary injunction that would prevent the Cupertino company from continuing to ban Fortnite from the App Store, in its current state that sidesteps royalty payments from in-game purchases. However, Unreal Engine can remain. It is more of an Epic loss than an Epic win, so to speak, because Fortnite is the bigger play and the cause for this legal showdown between Epic Games and Apple. It started when Epic Games suddenly decided it was tired of paying Apple a 30 percent royalty for in-game purchases,... Read more...
It looks like someone else is trying to circumvent Apple’s obtuse rules for their App Store. Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass Ultimate streaming subscription service -- namely, Project xCloud -- was blocked from the App Store because each game could not be individually reviewed. However, this will not stop Microsoft from developing a web-based application for Xbox Game Pass Ultimate. In August, Apple explained why Xbox Game Pass Ultimate got the boot from the App Store. Besides the rule for Apple to individually review games on the App Store, all games are required to appear in charts and search, which would likely not be possible for a streamed game. More recently, game streaming... Read more...
It looks as though the Trump administration is going nuclear on TikTok, and WeChat has been dragged into the mix as well. The U.S. Commerce Department has issued an order that goes into effect September 20th that will effectively ban anyone in the United States from downloading either app. The order [PDF], which was issued this morning, states, “Pursuant to Executive Order 13942, any transaction by any person, or with respect to any property, subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, with ByteDance Ltd. (a.k.a. Zìjié Tiàodòng), Beijing, China, or its subsidiaries, including TikTok Inc., in which any such company has any interest, as identified... Read more...
I am just going to say it—Apple is winning the war of words in its skirmish with Epic Games over Fortnite, and is likely to emerge victorious in court when all is said and done as well. It already has, to some extent. However, Epic is seeking a preliminary injunction that would legally compel Apple to let Fortnite back into the App Store, to which Apple has responded with some very strong language. Usually it is not very entertaining to read through a legal document (no offense, lawyers). This is not one of those times. Apple did not hold back in accusing Epic of creating this messy situation it now finds itself in, and basically says the developer is "holding its own [Fortnite] customers... Read more...
Apple has come under first in recent weeks from companies like Microsoft and Facebook for its onerous App Store policies regarding game streaming apps. This week, Apple updated their App Store Review Guidelines and subsequently made things more confusing. A few weeks ago, an app developer fought the Apple guidelines with respect to subscriptions. Now, Apple made an update to that rule with a subheading that both allows and does not allow for game streaming services like Project xCloud and Stadia. According to the rule: 3.1.2(a) Permissibles: (sub-point) You may offer a single subscription that is shared across your own apps and services. Games offered in a streaming game service subscription... Read more...
Just a few days ago, Epic Games founder and CEO Tim Sweeney likened Apple's power to banish apps from its App Store to a "death sentence" for the product in question, a notable description considering Fortnite was recently given the boot. While perhaps the banishment does not sound the death knell for Epic Games or Fortnite, the developer is projected to lose a lot money from Apple's decision—nearly $27 million each month. Fortnite is free to play, but rakes in a ridiculous amount of revenue through in-game purchases on cosmetics and other items. Players can optionally buy in-game currency called V-Bucks using real-world currency. Regular pricing for Fortnite's in-game currency ranges from... Read more...
1 2 3 4 5 Next ... Last