Items tagged with App Store

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...
At an interesting time for Apple with the Fortnite issues, Apple is now implementing guideline disputes into the App Store. With apps starting to challenge App Store rules, the score is 1-0 for the developers so far. At WWDC20, Apple’s developer conference, it was announced that there would be changes to the app review process. These changes are finally being implemented and Apple now has a news blurb about it. In it, they state that you can address guideline violations when you submit an app or app update. Alongside this, you can also appeal decisions and submit suggestions for App Store rules. Also, in the blurb is this interesting quote that says, “For apps that are already on... Read more...
Epic Games is gambling that it will win its lawsuit against Apple over a tweak to in-game payments in Fortnite, which enables players to make direct payments, allowing the developer to effectively bypass sharing a 30 percent cut with Apple. Maybe it will, probably it won't. It is also trying to win in the court of public opinion, by sending emails to Fortnite players on iOS who will not receive the latest update. Before we get to the emailed text, let's quickly recap. The Cliff Notes version is, Apple collects a 30 percent royalty on sales from apps in its App Store, including in-game purchases. Epic Games agreed to this when it put Fortnite in the App Store. Then earlier this month, Epic Games... Read more...
Under the cloud of madness that is Apple v. Epic Games, Unity Software is stepping up to go public sometime soon according to an SEC filing. The game engine and development software company is one of the largest out there with a self-reported 1.5 million active monthly creators and 3 billion Unity-based software downloads. Thanks to partnerships with a variety of companies, such as Google, it does not come as a huge surprise that Unity is going public.  Also, according to calculations by Bloomberg, Unity is reporting 40 percent revenue growth this year.  In its filing, Unity has a valuation in the initial public offering of $100 million and 1.5 million active monthly users.  According... Read more...
You win some, you lose some, and that is the way it just went with Apple and Epic Games over their public feud regarding Fortnite, Unreal Engine, the App Store, and in-app payments. In a lawsuit filed against Apple, developer Epic Games won a temporary restraining order effectively preventing Apple from banning it outright, so that it can maintain development tools like Unreal Engine. "Apple, are temporarily restrained from taking adverse action against Epic Games with respect to restricting, suspending, or terminating any affiliate of Epic Games, such as Epic International, from Apple's Developer Program, including as to Unreal Engine, on the basis that Epic Games enabled in-app payment processing... Read more...
Microsoft has chosen a side in the tiff between Epic Games and Apple, sparked by the latter's banishment of the former's immensely popular Fortnite game from the App Store over a dispute involving in-game payments. In a court filing, Microsoft's general manager of gaming developer experiences, Kevin Gammill, said Apple's decision will ultimate "harm game creators and gamers." That's because Epic Games develops and maintains the Unreal Engine, which is "one of the most popular third-party game engines" out there. It is Microsoft's view that there are just not many options outside of the Unreal Engine that offer the same balance of features, functionality, and cross-platform support, including... Read more...
It has now been a little over a week since Epic Games filed a lawsuit against Apple and Google, and the former has since responded with its own legal filing this past week. Is this legal battle merely a dog fight between two large corporations? The dispute between Epic Games, Apple and Google could potentially permanently impact the nature of app stores. These consequences will hopefully overall benefit the consumer. Epic Games introduced its Epic Direct Payment system for mobile users last week. Epic Games allowed users to purchase V-Bucks and other items through Epic Direct Payment instead of the Apple App Store or Google Play Store. This system would help consumers benefit from Epic Games’... Read more...
There are many layers to the onion that represents the fractured relationship between Apple and Epic Games. Sure, Epic has problems with Google as well, but Apple seems to be the primary target of its venom over the past week. The most recent shots were fired yesterday, when Epic announced that Apple had given it until August 28th to comply with App Store guidelines or have its developer accounts and access to iOS/macOS development tools revoked. Now, Apple is giving a bit more clarity to its reasoning behind its drastic actions and what it thinks of Epic's decision to disregard its App Store policies in a very public way. In short, Apple isn't planning on changing anything... Read more...
The bitter war between Apple and Epic Games has just entered a new phase. Epic has just revealed that Apple has given the company an ultimatum, which boils down to "get Fortnite in compliance" or face our ultimate wrath. In this case, Epic claims that if Fortnite doesn't shape up by August 28th, Apple will terminate all of its developers accounts and revoke access to both iOS and Mac development tools. Without access to the Apple Developer Program, Epic will no longer be able to distribute games through the iOS App Store or Mac App Store Apple removed Fortnite from the App Store and has informed Epic that on Friday, August 28 Apple will terminate all our developer accounts... Read more...
Facebook has finally gained clearance from Apple to launch its Facebook Gaming service in the App Store, though only after gimping the service, much to the social network's chagrin. In order to not be in violation of Apple's rules and guidelines for iOS apps hosted in the App Store, Facebook had to remove the ability to play mini games. For the most part, Facebook Gaming is used to watch others play games, similar to Twitch and Mixer (before Microsoft bowed out and abruptly shut Mixer down). But it does also have some mini games people can play, at least on the Android version in Google Play. No dice for iOS users, unfortunately. And Facebook isn't happy about the decision, as it relayed in a... Read more...
In the United Arab Emirates (UAE), popular messaging services that might be used in other parts of the world, like Skype and WhatsApp, are restricted. A homegrown alternative called ToTok was designed and released to the public. It was heavily downloaded in the Middle East and eventually by people all around the world in Europe, Asia, Africa, and North America. The catch with ToTok is that while it was a messaging app, it was also a tool used by the UAE government to spy on all who used it. ToTok became one of the most downloaded social apps in the U.S. last week, according to research firm App Annie. The app was developed by a company called Breej Holding, which is most likely a front company... Read more...
Security researchers discovered 17 malicious iPhone apps that managed to get through Apple's review process and land on the App Store. The infected apps, which have now been removed, had been infected with clicker trojan malware "designed to carry out ad fraud related tasks in the background," such as clicking on links and continuously opening webpages. "The objective of most clicker trojans is to generate revenue for the attacker on a pay-per-click basis by inflating website traffic. They can also be used to drain the budget of a competitor by artificially inflating the balance owed to the ad network," researchers at security firm Wandera state in a blog post. All of the apps came from the same... Read more...
A new app called Gradient has gone viral. The point of the app is to take a picture of you and then gradually match you with your celebrity look alike. It's certainly not the first app of the sort that is meant to show users who their celeb look-alike is, among other things. Gradient is available for iOS and Android devices and is developed by a group called Ticket to the Moon Inc. The app has seen a boom in popularity recently as it has been used and the results of its matchups shared by celebrities like Jimmy Kimmel (seen above), Diplo, and the Kardashians. Kimmel morphing into Matt Damon we have to believe is a joke. The two have a long-running fake beef that has been a subject of Kimmel's... Read more...
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