Items tagged with App Store

Hey, guess what? Apple has finally decided to allow sideloading on iOS devices! Just kidding—anyone fooled has not been paying attention to the almighty institution that is Apple, the guardian of consumers and overseer of mobile security. Or something like that. It is, however, being pressured to follow in Google's footsteps and allow sideloading, which prompted the company to issue a report on the many reasons why it feels that is a recipe for disaster. The biggest one? Citing a pair of Nokia threat intelligence reports from 2020 and 2019, Apple says Android devices over the past four years fell prey to 15-47 times more malware than iPhone handsets. The insinuation is that following in... Read more...
When it comes to games and who makes the biggest profit, one may not consider Apple being at the top of the list. But according to figures released as part of Apple’s recent antitrust trial, Apple made quite an operating profit from games in 2019. In fact, Apple made a massive $8.5 billion in profit from games in 2019. The fact that Apple does not make any of its own games makes this an astounding number. That was more than Nintendo, Microsoft, Sony and Activision Blizzard combined. This figure comes from the fact that Apple takes a 30% cut from all digital purchases made via its App Store. It is worth noting that Apple said during the trial that the total was incorrect and too high. To... Read more...
A court ruling earlier this month wasn't a decisive victory for either Apple or Epic Games regarding the pair's legal battle over App Store payments. While Epic scored a win in allowing app developers to choose alternative payment methods for in-app purchases, it also had to pay Apple 30 percent of its revenues for directing iOS users to the Epic Direct Payment System. In addition, presiding Judge Yvonne Gonzalez-Rogers found that Apple was not behaving as an illegal monopolist. Despite the "win" on in-app purchases, Epic CEO Tim Sweeney defiantly stated shortly after the ruling, "Fortnite will return to the iOS App Store when and where Epic can offer in-app payment in fair competition with... Read more...
Fortnite developer Epic Games filed lawsuits against Apple and Google last year to force changes in how both companies control the method of payment within their respective app stores. Epic claimed at the time that it wasn't just taking this course of action for its sake but also for smaller developers forced to hand over a significant portion of their in-app revenue to Apple/Google. Today, Epic scored a significant legal victory, as presiding Judge Yvonne Gonzalez-Rogers issued a permanent injunction in the highly-watched Epic v. Apple case. The ruling shut down Apple's "anti-steering" policy, which prevents app developers from providing links to other forms of payment for in-app purchases.... Read more...
Apple has made a concession that effectively ends a five-year investigation by the Japan Fair Trade Commission (JFTC) into anti-monopoly behavior. Beginning early next year, Apple will allow so-called "reader" apps to include a single external link to their website, where users can sign up for subscription services and manage their accounts. It's technically a win for services like Netflix and Spotify. How so? Apple charges a 30 percent commission on apps sold through its App Store, and the same goes for in-app purchases made from within an app on iOS. This is at the heart of the ongoing dispute between Apple and Epic Games, the latter of which spurred a legal battle after bypassing Apple's commission... Read more...
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...
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