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Apple’s latest response to antitrust regulation is to announce a 27 percent App Store commission instead of the standard 30 percent for apps that offer alternative payment systems.
Not worldwide, of course. Apple is still reacting on a country-by-country, regulation-by-regulation, lawsuit-by-lawsuit basis – so this specific policy relates only to dating apps, and only in the Netherlands…
As we noted earlier, this is clearly the least the company thinks may be needed to comply with the law – and imposes an additional administrative burden on developers too.
A 27% commission does not exactly seem like a compelling option — when Apple’s own In-App Purchase system is easy to use and deeply integrated into the system. Apple says that the 27% cut is based on the price paid by the user, net of value-added tax. It says “this is a reduced rate that excludes value related to payment processing and related activities”.
Each month, developers will have to send a report to Apple that lists their sales. Apple will then send out invoices for its commission, that must be paid within 45 days.
Not only that, but the reduction of just three percentage points is smaller than the four points Google offered in South Korea, and that has been received with disappointment and concern.
The official said the KCC was aware of concern over Google’s planned policy of only reducing its service charge to developers by 4 percentage points when users choose an alternative billing system, and the regulator is waiting for additional information from Google.
Apple is, once again, doing the absolute minimum it thinks it can get away with. I’ve argued before that Apple could have headed off this whole antitrust avalanche by being proactive at an early stage, and emerged looking like the good guy instead of the guy who grumbles as he does the smallest things required of him.
I can only echo my earlier amazement at the incompetence of the company when it comes to protecting its most valuable asset: its brand image.
For a company whose business is “skating to where the puck will be,” it’s astonishing to me how badly the company does this when it comes to reputational issues.
For each of the big issues that have brought the company bad publicity this year, Apple has taken its usual “We know best” approach. When it has made changes, it has been dragged kicking and screaming to its revised position, rather than taking a lead.
I mean, I get it, the company wants to protect as much of its Services income as possible, and it wants to avoid setting precedents that will hurt it in other countries. But that train has not only left the station, it’s halfway to its destination and its passengers are settling down to dinner.
For as long as Apple maintains its miserly approach to concessions, it will continue to face ever more additions to the mountain of antitrust pressure, legislation, and lawsuits it faces around the world. It is utterly insane to try to respond to each new development with a rushed and minor change to policy in one country at a time.
Apple needs to behave like a global company, and like a responsible one that cares about its reputation. It needs to make meaningful change; it needs to do so globally; and it needs to do it proactively, rather than waiting to be forced into compliance.
Photo: Priscilla Du Preez/Unsplash
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If you fire up Apple’s official shopping app for the iPhone and iPad, called Apple Store, there’s a new freebie waiting for you: a cooking app called Green Kitchen.
Created by Amazing Applications AB, Green Kitchen retails in the App Store for $4.99 a pop, but can be yours at no charge whatsoever provided you grab it through the Apple Store app (not to be confused with the App Store).
This premium app is very nicely done and is highly recommended for epicures and those who like to be creative in the kitchen.
Featuring crisp typography, great photography, stunning Retina graphics and easy to follow instructions, Green Kitchen is filled with inspiring vegetarian food with ingredients straight from nature and a bare minimum of gluten, sugar and dairy products.
Following its November 2013 debut, the app has never been free before. Here’s what needs to be done to claim your free copy of Green Kitchen.How to grab Green Kitchen for free
Step 1: Download Apple’s free Apple Store app to your iPhone, iPod touch or iPad.
Step 2: Fire up the Apple Store app on your iPhone, iPod touch or iPad.
Step 3: Tap on the Featured tab at the bottom and scroll halfway down. You should see the “Download Green Kitchen free” option.
Tap it to get started.
Step 3: A new screen with Green Kitchen description should appear. Now tap the green “Download now for free” button at the bottom.
Step 4: You’ll be yanked out of the Apple Store app and taken right into the App Store. Upon confirming your Apple ID password and tapping the Redeem button in the upper right corner of the screen, the app will automatically start downloading to your device.
Once Green Kitchen has downloaded, you’ll be able to re-download it later at no additional costs and put it on your other devices through the App Store’s Purchased tab.
This offer is exclusive for users of the Apple Store app and expires on July 30, 2023. More importantly, it’s valid only on the U.S. App Store, but that shouldn’t be a problem if you cunningly create one alongside your local App Store’s account.
If you’re outside the United States and have trouble accessing the offer, try disabling location access in the Apple Store section of the Settings app.
Even if you’re not a full-time vegetarian and just wanna eat more greens, Green Kitchen is the perfect companion in your kitchen. The app was amongst the runner ups on the App Store’s Best of 2012 charts.
As a nice little bonus, all recipes in Green Kitchen are also available also in Spanish, French and Italian.
Green Kitchen highlights:
A mixed variety of main courses, snacks and healthy drinks.
110 handpicked premium recipes.
Switch seamlessly between English (metric units), English (US units), German, Spanish, French, Italian and Japanese.
Save your favourites so you can return to them quickly.
Shopping list: Just email or SMS the ingredients to your iPhone!
Estimated cooking time for each recipe.
All recipes are marked if they are vegan, raw, gluten free, sugar free or whole grain.
Step by step cooking instructions, tap on a step to mark it as completed.
Universal app – run it on both your iPhone and your iPad.
The 320-megabyte app requires an iPhone, iPod touch or iPad with iOS 8.0 or later.
Green Kitchen is optimized for the iPhone 5/5s/5c, iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus screen sizes and has a WatchKit component with a glance and an Apple Watch app.
Apple can’t escape App Store antitrust lawsuit rules Supreme Court
Apple’s hopes to get an App Store antitrust lawsuit dismissed have fallen flat, with the US Supreme Court giving the go-ahead to a case alleging the iOS software download store is, indeed, a monopoly situation. The lawsuit, Apple v. Pepper, saw four iPhone owners sue the Cupertino company, arguing that the App Store allows Apple to unfairly control software prices by virtue of it being the only official place to download titles.
Apple, unsurprisingly, didn’t agree. It insisted that App Store customers were those of third-party developers using the download store to sell their titles, rather than direct Apple customers.
It was an argument that convinced the District Court initially, but the Ninth Circuit Court of a Appeals overturned that. The case moved up to the Supreme Court, which announced its ruling today. Unfortunately for Apple, it’s not good news for the firm.
In a 5-4 decision, which saw controversial Justice Brett Kavanaugh join his liberal counterparts on the bench, the Court disagreed with Apple’s assertion that App Store shoppers weren’t its direct customers. “We disagree,” Kavanaugh wrote in the Opinion of the Court. “The plaintiffs purchased apps directly from Apple and therefore are direct purchasers under Illinois Brick.”
Illinois Brick was a ruling in a 1977 case, which saw the government of Illinois filing a suit against eleven concrete brick manufacturers, alleging that they had conspired around price fixing while selling materials to the state. Although the eleven firms had just settled with the US government over price fixing, the Supreme Court decided against Illinois’ claims. It argued that indirect victims of a price-fixing conspiracy would not have a basis for suing over antitrust violations for raised prices.
Apple’s argument in this case was that the precedent of Illinois Brick applied today. The Supreme Court, though, threw out that argument. “Unlike the consumer in Illinois Brick,” it writes, “the iPhone owners here are not consumers at the bottom of a vertical distribution chain who are attempting to sue manufacturers at the top of the chain. The absence of an intermediary in the distribution chain between Apple and the consumer is dispositive.”
It’s the structure of the App Store which is stinging Apple here. The Supreme Court upheld the Ninth Circuit’s stance that, because iPhone owners pay Apple for apps from the App Store, they are a direct customer of the Cupertino firm. The Ninth Circuit argued that Illinois Brick’s precedent only prevented consumers from suing alleged monopolists that are two or more steps removed in a vertical distribution chain.
What this isn’t, however, is any sort of judgement on whether the allegations of antitrust behavior and anti-competitive pricing are sound. Indeed, Justice Kavanaugh goes out of his way to highlight the fact that it’s early days on that front.
“At this early pleadings stage of the litigation, we do not assess the merits of the plaintiffs’ antitrust claims against Apple, nor do we consider any other defenses Apple might have,” the judge writes. “We merely hold that the Illinois Brick direct-purchaser rule does not bar these plaintiffs from suing Apple under the antitrust laws.”
Update: Apple has issued the following statement:
“Today’s decision means plaintiffs can proceed with their case in District court. We’re confident we will prevail when the facts are presented and that the App Store is not a monopoly by any metric.
We’re proud to have created the safest, most secure and trusted platform for customers and a great business opportunity for all developers around the world. Developers set the price they want to charge for their app and Apple has no role in that. The vast majority of apps on the App Store are free and Apple gets nothing from them. The only instance where Apple shares in revenue is if the developer chooses to sell digital services through the App Store.
Developers have a number of platforms to choose from to deliver their software — from other apps stores, to Smart TVs to gaming consoles – and we work hard every day to make our store is the best, safest and most competitive in the world”
ASO is a process that aims to improve the visibility of your apps within the search results of various app stores, such as Apple’s App Store or Google Play. It involves using various resources to help you improve the ranking of your apps in these stores. The main goal of ASO is to increase the number of people who download your app and support other goals, such as traffic to your website.
One of the most effective ways to increase the organic visibility of a mobile app is through app store optimization. This process involves developing a cohesive marketing strategy that includes a variety of creative assets and metadata. Having the right data sets is very important in order to get the most out of your marketing efforts.What is the Definition of ASO?
ASO is a strategy that aims to improve an app’s visibility in the app store. It involves using keywords, images, and descriptions that are optimized for the store. Having these elements can help boost an app’s rank and attract more users. Although ASO is often associated with SEO, it only applies to the app store’s ranking and search function. There are a variety of ways that they overlap, and it can help you improve the rankings of your app.
ASO is a closed-site approach to searching for content. Similar to SEO, it requires the right indexation and manipulation of the app store’s ranking algorithms to reach its users and increase installs. One of the most important factors that you can consider when it comes to improving the app store’s rankings is having the right communication with the users.How Important is ASO?
One of the most significant benefits of ASO is that it can help increase the visibility of your app in app stores even if people were not looking for it in the first place. This is because search is the most used method to find new apps. A good app store optimization strategy can help you connect with your audience and promote your unique selling points. It can also boost the number of installs and prove to be an effective marketing tool.Key Ranking Factors
App short description
App long description
Installs and engagement
Reviews and ratings
In-app purchase titles and descriptionsASO Marketing Strategy
Follow these steps to start optimizing your app store. As you go through the process, you’ll notice the differences between the Google Play and Apple App Stores.App Title and Subtitle
One of the most important factors that you should consider when it comes to optimizing your app’s title is ensuring that it’s well-written and memorable. It’s also one of the most prominent factors in the search results of both the App Store and Google. Having a good title and name is very important to ensure that your users will find it easy to navigate through. While you can use keywords in your app name, make sure that you use them in a way that doesn’t feel unnatural.Add Keywords
You can enter keywords that will be used to describe your app in the Apple App Store’s results. These are the keywords that Apple will consider when it comes to ranking it. Although you can select as many as you wish, you’re limited to only 100 characters per sentence.
This is a space where you can get creative with your keywords, and it’s also a good place to test different combinations and keywords to see which works best for your app’s features. Ideally, you should try to strike a balance between the most competitive and common keywords that you’re likely to rank for and the less competitive ones that you might rank for.Description
Your app’s description fields are very important for ASO strategies, as they give users a more comprehensive view of your app’s features and actions. Google Play provides a short and a long description field, respectively, which are used for app store ranking. Apple’s App Store only has a long one, and it doesn’t appear to be used for ranking. Although it doesn’t appear to be used, the long one’s importance is still significant.Add Elements Tips for App Store Optimization
When it comes to app stores, they use keyword triggers in their descriptions, names, and associated fields to help you find the most relevant keywords. You should also regularly revisit these areas to find opportunities to improve your search engine optimization.
Through Apple’s app store, users can search for apps they have already installed. This feature, known as Spotlight Search, can help boost engagement levels and app use. It can also make your app more visible to users.Conclusion
Your app’s features and audience will constantly change, and this is why it’s important that your ASO also reflects this. The top apps in the app store regularly update and maintain their content. They do so to reflect the feedback of their users and add new features to the description. One way to improve your ranking is by studying the practices of other apps in the same category.
The rise of app store optimization has outpaced the growth trends of the past few years. As a result, it has become more important than ever that the marketing mix includes the value of apps. The challenge now is how to get the most out of this strategy by attracting users to the various app stores.
Yesterday, the organization Coalition for a Safer Web filed a lawsuit, in which the Telegram leadership is accused of the fact that the messenger does not in any way fight against calls for violence and messages with extremist content. In particular, the situation with the breaking in of the US Capitol in early January is mentioned. The lawsuit says it violates Apple’s App Store Terms of Service.
In this regard, the plaintiffs demand to remove Telegram from the App Store. It is also reported that Coalition for a Safer Web plans to ask the court to remove Telegram from the Google Play store. Recall that in the latter case, Android users always have the opportunity to download applications from other sources. iOS users don’t have this option.
Pavel Durov said that in the first week of January, Telegram’s active user base exceeded 500 million people a month. As of January 12, 25 million new users joined Telegram within 72 hours.Telegram become the second most downloaded app in the US
As reported by The Telegraph, Telegram messenger is already ranked second in the ranking of the most downloaded applications in the United States. This happened after Twitter blocked the account of US President Donald Trump; and Apple and Google removed from their app stores the popular social network of his supporters Parler.
The founder of Telegram, Pavel Durov, confirmed that after the introduction of the new WhatsApp rules, there were noticeably more new users in Telegram.Gizchina News of the week
Join GizChina on TelegramTelegram new update brings voice chats and more features
The telegram team has recently released an update to the popular messenger. This is the twelfth and last major Telegram update in 2023, the next batch of innovations will be presented by the developers in 2023. Telegram version 7.3 brings group voice chats for all users, improved editing capabilities, new animated emojis, and so on.
Voice chat is described by the developers as a new type of audio conferencing that group members can connect to at any time. You can start voice chat in parallel with regular correspondence in any group – text and voice will complement each other in a single space.
Unlike regular calls, participants do not have to agree on a time. The voice chat is open on an ongoing basis. In the group, you can immediately see which of the participants is currently speaking in the chat. For Android users, the display mode is available on top of other applications. In this mode, you can control the microphone and see who is talking in the chat; even if the Telegram application is minimized.Telegram gets new features
Another innovation for Android is that SD card storage is now supported. For iOS users, it became possible to read messages using the Siri voice assistant.
In addition, for Android, it became possible to edit sent photos without re-uploading; for example, adding a picture, text or stickers to a photo in the media editor. IOS users can quickly edit and send back the resulting photo, without having to save it and re-upload it. Each of these features was previously only available on one of the platforms; but now iOS and Android users have the same editing capabilities.
The developers did not ignore such a beloved area as animated emojis. Almost a couple of dozen new animated emojis were added, as well as several animated emoji with sound.
Recently, Pavel Durov, the founder of Telegram, also announced that this year the messenger monetization will begin; some new functions will be paid, but the current services will continue to be available for free.
Without entering into the subject of this court case, it’s fascinating to learn more about Apple App Stores numbers. While over 500 people review 100,000 apps per week, we have learned that the majority of the apps reviewed are iPhone apps.
Analyzing numbers from the week of November 16 of 2023, there’s a big discrepancy in iOS numbers over tvOS and macOS numbers:
58,875 iPhone apps were submitted, 15,069 were new apps
681 Mac apps were submitted, 152 were new apps
142 Apple TV apps were submitted, 27 were new apps
Only 73 new apps for watchOS were submitted this week, for example, which shows that apart from the iPhone and iPad App Store, there’s not much to find on other Apple stores.
According to these numbers Apple shared in this case, in 2023, there were 10,009 tvOS apps available and 27,240 macOS apps available in its stores, while more than one million apps were available on the iPhone/iPad App Store.
These numbers mean at least two things: the iPhone is Apple’s biggest hit, and developers are not willing to create apps for tvOS and watchOS.What happened to tvOS and watchOS App Stores?
When Apple launched the fourth-generation Apple TV and its App Store, it was a chance for the company to promote the Apple TV as a console device-like. The problem was some limitations the company imposed for developers. Here’s what Apple demanded from developers in 2023:
Requirements for Games That Support Game Controllers
Apple has created specific requirements you must follow for any game that supports game controllers. These requirements are designed to make sure that games are always playable.
Your game must support the Apple TV remote. Your game may not require the use of a controller.
tvOS games that support controllers must support the extended control layout. All controllers for tvOS are nonformfitting extended controllers.
Games must be playable using standalone controllers. If you support an extended controller, the game must be playable solely with that controller.
You must support the pause button. All controllers include a pause button. When gameplay is active, pressing the pause button should pause gameplay. When the game is not being played, such as when you are at a menu screen, the pause button moves to a previous screen of content.
This changed a year later, but since the Apple TV was never a hit, the developers probably just didn’t think it was worth the effort creating an entire app for Apple’s set-top-box.
In Apple Watch’s case, developers usually say the WatchKit SDK is limited and many native Apple Watch apps use private APIs that other apps can’t access to offer the same experience. Over the years, Apple improved the experience to develop for watchOS, but many developers who bet on the platform in the early days, never develop for the Watch again.
In 2023, for example, Instagram was one of the many apps that were pulled out from the Apple Watch App Store as Apple required native apps in updates:
As of 2023, Spotify is one of the few apps that are back to the Watch App Store, but it’s still less efficient than the Apple Music Watch app.Wrap-up
The Epic vs. Apple case will follow for another two weeks, as we expect to learn more about Apple’s structure. It’s also interesting to see the company’s effort in the past three years to make developers continue to create apps through all its Apple Stores.
It was also in 2023, at WWDC, the company introduced the Catalyst project to help developers make their iOS apps compatible with the Mac. Since then, Apple released more Apple Watch APIs for developers as well the ability to create its own custom — although still limited — Watch Faces.
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