App Store Stories May 5, 2021

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Microsoft tried to launch its xCloud game streaming service on the App Store for iPhone and iPad users, but Apple rejected the app due to its strict guidelines. Now emails revealed in the Epic vs. Apple trial on Wednesday show that Apple even removed a similar app from the App Store after its existence was mentioned by Microsoft.

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App Store Stories May 3, 2021

App Store tax and price changes coming to Kenya, Nigeria, Peru, and Sweden

Apple announced on Monday some changes coming to App Store taxes and prices in Kenya, Nigeria, Peru, and Sweden. While Apple will increase the price of apps and transactions in most of the mentioned countries, one of them will soon have prices decreased.

As Epic Games battles Apple, it buys ArtStation and cuts 30% commission to 12%

Epic Games has announced that it has acquired artist portfolio and sales site ArtStation, for an undisclosed fee. In a move likely designed to strengthen its antitrust case against Apple, Epic has told artists that it is reducing its standard commission from 30% to 12%.

App Store Stories April 30, 2021

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The long-awaited App Tracking Transparency feature became available to iPhone and iPad users this week with the release of iOS 14.5, and users can now opt out of being tracked by third-party apps. Now, app analysis firm AppFigures has revealed some statistics on the adoption of this feature.

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App Store Stories April 29, 2021

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Apple appears to be testing a notable change to the App Store as part of its efforts to improve the Search experience. While not fully rolled out yet, some iPhone users are now seeing tags in the App Store when searching for popular terms.

Update 4/29: Apple is officially rolling out the feature starting today.

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App Store Stories April 27, 2021

how to download family purchases iPhone
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Back in 2018, Apple started cracking down on third-party iOS parental control apps. In the wake of that, the Russian Federal Anti-monopoly Service (FAS) investigated Apple and found the company guilty of market abuse. Now the official fine has been announced with Apple owing $12 million to the Russian government.

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On the heels of last week’s Senate antitrust hearing with Apple, Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) has appeared on Nilay Patel’s Decoder podcast at the Verge. In the interview, Klobuchar outlines a variety of ways in which she hopes to rein in the power of big tech, particularly in regards to Apple and the App Store.

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App Store Stories April 22, 2021

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Apple has updated its Developer’s page to again waive the App Store requirement for paid online group services to use App Store in-app purchases for payments. This comes as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to cause businesses to pivot to digital services rather than in-person.

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App Store Stories April 21, 2021

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The latest antitrust hearing looking into concerns about Apple and Google’s market power is underway. Along with the companies getting a grilling from the Congressional subcommittee on antitrust, representatives from Spotify, Tile, and more are testifying about how they see the two tech giants as stifling competition.

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App Store Stories April 19, 2021

Parler app and website go offline
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After removing Parler from the App Store back in January, Apple has reportedly decided to allow the app to come back. According to a new report from CNN, Apple has approved Parler’s latest attempt to return to the App Store follow improvements to the moderation system…

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App Store Stories April 15, 2021

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Developer Kosta Eleftheriou has developed a knack for finding App Store scams over the last few months. And the latest one he’s exposed is quite interesting. The app disguises itself as a kids’ game but in reality, it’s an online casino that bypasses Apple’s in-app purchase system and appears to be scamming users out of unknown sums.

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App Store Stories April 12, 2021

Apple says the App Store now supports more than 243,000 jobs in Canada, up 18% year-over-year

Apple has shared a Newsroom post today featuring four Canadian App Store developers as well as highlighting the growth that the platform has seen in the country over the last year.

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At the end of last week, it was reported that Apple had refused to send a witness to a senate hearing on the state of app store policy and industry competition. Representatives from the US Senate Judiciary Subcommittee said that Apple had “abruptly declared” it would not provide a witness, and that lack of participation was unacceptable.

However, Apple says that this is inaccurate and Apple had simply asked for more time to arrange scheduling matters. The company will in fact be sending chief compliance officer Kyle Andeer to the proceedings.

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App Store Stories April 9, 2021

Apple anti-fraud engineer suggests App Store checks do not work
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Internal documents released as part of the Epic Games lawsuit reveal an Apple anti-fraud engineer suggesting that App Store checks were grossly inadequate.

Epic cited two particularly damning quotes from Eric Friedman, head of the company’s Fraud Engineering Algorithms and Risk unit, in internal documents …

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App Store Stories April 7, 2021

More scam iOS apps
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FlickType and Fleksy founder Kosta Eleftheriou has been pretty busy over the past few months exposing scam iOS apps, some of them bringing in millions of dollars of revenue. The latest of these is a VPN app that is promoting itself as “recommended by Apple” and which is estimated to be earning a million dollars a month.

Eleftheriou highlights six eye-opening aspects of the app, which not only made it through Apple’s vetting process, but was given significant visibility in the App Store thanks to the number of (fake) reviews …

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App Store Stories April 5, 2021

Digital taxes
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The UK government’s introduction of digital taxes on companies like Apple and Google could provoke a new trade war between the US and UK.

The digital taxes apply to online products sold within the UK such as App Store purchases, and have been estimated to total of almost a billion dollars a year …

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App Store Stories April 1, 2021

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Earlier today, we shared a report about the record spend on apps during the pandemic, and now a Sensor Tower research shows that iPhone users really have been spending more than ever in the App Store ecosystem. iPhone users in the US spent an average of $138 on apps in 2020, which is 38% more than in 2019.

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Record spend on apps during pandemic contonues
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The pandemic saw a record spend on apps last year, and App Annie reports that this has continued into the first quarter of this year.

The analytics firm says that demand for entertainment during lockdown saw developers enjoy the biggest quarter since records began…

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App Store Stories March 31, 2021

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The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced today that it’s going to launch a COVID passport for test results and vaccine certificates for the iPhone in mid-April, reports Reuters.

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Arizona App Store antitrust bill dead
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An Arizona app store antitrust bill has been officially withdrawn, following lobbying by Apple and Google. The bill would have allowed developers in the state to bypass app store payment systems, and thus avoid the 15% or 30% commission the companies charge.

The bill was narrowly passed in the Arizona House of Representatives, but a planned vote in the state Senate did not take place, and it now appears that the bill is dead …

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App Store Stories March 29, 2021

Apple says the App Store, iMessage, and other services are down for some users

Update: Apple’s System Status website now indicates that services are back to normal.

Apple has updated its System Status webpage this afternoon to note that a variety of its services are experiencing issues and downtime today. The company says the App Store may be “slow or unavailable” for some users, while other services such as iCloud Mail and iMessage are also down.

App Store Stories March 27, 2021

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While you wait for the Apple Arcade original Fantasian, by the Final Fantasy’s creator, Square Enix has brought Final Fantasy VIII Remastered to the iPhone and the iPad for the first time ever.

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App Store Stories March 26, 2021

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A new report from The Information this morning highlights that Apple is hosting a number of apps on the App Store made by a Chinese paramilitary group that’s been blacklisted by the US government. Apple says that it’s complying with US law but the news comes as the company is facing more pressure to cut any possible ties to abuse and genocide against the Uyghur Muslim people in the Xinjiang region.

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App Store Stories March 25, 2021

Apple says developers can bypass the App Store
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Apple has responded to an Australian antitrust complaint by claiming that it is already possible for iOS developers to bypass the App Store.

The company says developers can use the web to sell services like subscriptions. Amusingly, the company goes on to suggest that progressive web applications are a viable alternative to iOS apps …

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Arizona App Store vote disappeared
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Apple has been accused of doing some kind of backroom deal to prevent a vote on an Arizona App Store bill that was scheduled to happen yesterday. The vote failed to happen, despite being listed as the first item on yesterday’s Arizona State Senate agenda.

Had the bill passed, it would have made it legal in the state for developers to bypass the app stores of both Apple and Google …

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App Store Stories March 24, 2021

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Researchers at Avast discovered a total of 204 fleeceware apps with over a billion downloads and over $400 million in revenue on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. This comes as Apple faces increased scrutiny over scam apps in the App Store.

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App Store Stories March 23, 2021

Apple dismisses Epic's David versus Goliath portrayal
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The Epic Games versus Apple dispute is not the David versus Goliath battle the game developer wants people to believe, said the Cupertino company: It is instead a battle of two Goliaths.

Apple asked an Australian court to rule against a trial in the country, arguing that Epic agreed to terms that clearly state that any legal challenges need to be made in California …

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App Store Stories March 22, 2021

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Apple’s executive responsible for the App Store developer relations has retired after two decades at the company, according to a new report by Bloomberg. The role is being handed over to a veteran Apple marketing executive.

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Apple app review process
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Apple has defended the App Store app review process following formal complaints lodged by Epic Games and other developers to the Australian antitrust watchdog.

In addition to complaining about Apple’s 30% cut, Epic had told the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) that the app review process could delay the launch and update of apps; apps could be rejected by Apple without proper cause; and that it was hard to engage with the company when this happened …

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App Store Stories March 18, 2021

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Last month, we saw FlickType developer Kosta Eleftheriou take to Twitter to call out App Store scams with some reportedly lasting years and making millions of dollars. He later shared a detailed thread on how some developers abuse and game the App Store with fake ratings and reviews. Now Eleftheriou has filed a lawsuit with the claim that “Apple systematically flexes its monopoly muscle against potential competition through the App Store,” has breached its contract with developers, and more.

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The developer behind the Twitter client Aviary is launching a new app today. Vinyls is a minimalist app that displays a spinning vinyl when playing a song, and it’s built for Apple Music subscribers.

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App Store Stories March 17, 2021

Apple's 15% commission copied by Google
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Google has copied Apple’s 15% commission level for smaller developers in the App Store, offering almost exactly the same deal in the Play Store.

However, the way Google has done it is actually fairer, and is how Apple should have implemented the program in the first place …

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App Store Stories March 16, 2021

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Apple announced the App Store Small Business Program last year, which allows small developers to pay a reduced commission for each sale made through the App Store. While it may seem like the company is giving up a significant amount of money, new estimates from analyst firm Sensor Tower show that Apple’s revenue is expected to decrease by only 5% with the program.

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iPhone app privacy
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iPhone app privacy labels have been a real eye-opener in showing just how much of our personal data is accessed by certain apps. If you’ve ever wondered which apps collect and share the most data, cloud storage company pCloud did the legwork.

The company examined app privacy labels in the App Store, and compiled a ranking of apps by the percentage of personal data collected, as well as the amount of it passed to third parties…

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Apple gone wrong China
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ByteDance, TikTok’s owner; Tencent; and other tech giants in China are testing a tool to bypass Apple’s new privacy rules and continue to track iPhone users without their consent. The feature in question here is the App Tracking Transparency privacy protection capability.

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App Store Stories March 15, 2021

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Google is slowly updating its many iOS applications with App Store privacy labels, detailing the type of data it collects from users. The Google and Chrome applications were recently updated with these new labels, and DuckDuckGo is already using them to its advantage.

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First App Store antitrust ruling now close
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According to a report by the Wall Street Journal, Apple and Google have been hiring local lobbyists and immersing themselves in proposed legislation in Arizona, Maryland, and Virginia. In Apple’s case, the legislation often targets the App Store.

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App Store Stories March 10, 2021

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Apple announced last year the new App Store Small Business Program, which allows small developers to pay a reduced commission to Apple for sales made through the App Store. However, developer Sean Harding shared his story on Twitter about how he became ineligible for this program even though he’s an independent, small developer.

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In January, following the insurrection at the US Capital, Apple kicked the social media network Parler off the App Store, citing its lack of moderation. After a recent review, Apple has apparently declined Parler’s request to come back to the App Store.

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‘League of Legends: Wild Rift’ for iOS launching in beta this month following demo at iPhone 12 event

If you can’t wait to play League of Legends (LoL) on your iPhone, Wild Rift is set to start open beta later this month in North America. Riot Games has also announced that since the game has been delayed, it’s going to give exclusive items in the future to gamers…

Celebrate Mario Day with these apps and stickers on your iPhone

For those not familiar, March 10 is known as Mario Day, because of MAR10, and it’s officially here for 2021. This year, the franchise is also celebrating its 36th anniversary with the Super Nintendo World set to open at Universal Studios in Japan next week.

If you love the most famous plumber in the world, there are a few ways to celebrate Mario Day on your iPhone.

App Store Stories March 9, 2021

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Security researcher and founder of PingSafe AI, Anand Prakash, discovered a flaw in the popular iPhone app “Automatic Call Recorder.” This bug allowed anyone to access call recordings from other users by knowing their phone number.

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Twitter has announced a handful of new features recent: Spaces, Fleets, the acquisition of the newsletter product Revue, and the Super Follow function, which will let people pay creators on Twitter for special content.

In a new interview with the Verge, Kayvon Beykpour, Twitter head of consumer products, addressed the new Super Follow feature and sharing a 30% cut with Apple.

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Apple doesn't deliver on App Store promise
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Apple’s failure to deliver on its App Store promise could well end up costing it dearly in its defense of antitrust investigations all around the world.

Regulators are trying to answer two questions. First, does Apple’s approach to the App Store harm developers? Second, does it harm consumers?

If the App Store lived up to the promises Apple makes, then the company would have a solid defense against the second charge. Unfortunately for the iPhone maker, that’s not really the case …

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App Store Stories March 8, 2021

Apple celebrates International Women’s Day with special collections in the App Store, Apple Music app, and more

On March 8, the world celebrates International Women’s Day. Apple is joining in by featuring apps, stories, podcasts, songs, and more created by women.

App Store Stories March 4, 2021

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Apple’s bad day for antitrust concerns continues. European Union antitrust investigators are planning to announce the results of their investigation into Apple in the coming weeks, as reported by Reuters. This comes after the UK announced that it is opening its own investigation into the App Store earlier on Thursday.

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UK opens App Store antitrust investigation
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Apple has faced App Store antitrust investigations around the world, from the US to Japan – and the UK is the latest to put the company’s control of iOS apps under scrutiny. The European Union currently has three open antitrust investigations into the App Store, but the UK leaving the EU means that it is no longer party to these.

The UK’s competition watchdog today announced plans to determine whether the App Store restricts competition …

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App Store Stories March 3, 2021

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Apple has always discouraged users from jailbreaking their iPhones, but that doesn’t mean that Apple engineers don’t have jailbroken iPhones for testing purposes. In a new Vice interview, Pandora executives revealed that none other than Scott Forstall suggested that they should use jailbroken iPhones to develop an iOS app before the App Store and an official iPhone SDK.

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