Published On: Wed, Dec 16th, 2020

This Week in Apps: Google Play gets new rules, Apple launches app selling tools, EU looks to rein in tech giants

Welcome behind to This Week in Apps, the TechCrunch array that recaps a latest OS news, a applications they support and a income that flows by it all.

The app attention is as taboo as ever, with a record 204 billion downloads and $120 billion in consumer spending in 2019. People are now spending three hours and 40 mins per day regulating apps, rivaling TV. Apps aren’t usually a approach to pass idle hours — they’re a large business. In 2019, mobile-first companies had a combined $544 billion valuation, 6.5x aloft than those though a mobile focus.

In this series, we assistance we keep adult with a latest news from a universe of apps, delivered on a weekly basis.

Google changes a app store rules, too

Google Play Store screen

Google Play Store screen

Just a integrate of weeks ago, Apple revised a App Store manners to assent diversion streaming apps and explain manners around in-app purchases, among other things. Now, Google has updated a rules, as well.

Under hazard of regulation, Google announced this week it’s updating a Google Play billing policies to softened explain that forms of exchange will be theme to Google’s commissions on in-app purchases. While a some-more minute denunciation doesn’t indeed change a progressing policy’s intention, it will impact a commission of developers who don’t now use Google Play’s billing complement when offered digital products in their app.

In addition, a association announced it will make changes in Android 12 that will make it easier for users to implement and use third-party app stores as an choice to Google Play.

The association says that a current billing policies usually ask to reduction than 3% of apps on Google Play. Of those apps, 97% already use Google Play’s billing library. That means there’s usually a tiny commission of apps that will need to come into correspondence underneath a simplified terms.

App stores saw record 204 billion app downloads in 2019, consumer spend of $120 billion

The manners seem to wish to move into correspondence incomparable services trimming in-app squeeze rules, like Netflix and Spotify . But it’s not transparent nonetheless how approving Google will be about permitting apps to promulgate choice ways to pay. Currently, Google says developers can tell users about how to pointer adult and use choice payments outward of a Google Play app. But we don’t know if Google will concede such a couple to be prominently placed on an app’s home screen, how it will concede such a couple to be worded or either an app can support usually to existent subscribers, and other pivotal factors.

EU order could force Apple and Google to share patron data, anathema pre-installed apps

app store idol 2

Image Credits: TechCrunch

Major tech companies, including Apple and Google, might be compulsory to share patron information with rivals, if a due EU rule, a Digital Services Act, comes to pass. The order takes aim during anticompetitive business practices among tech’s tip players, like Apple, Google, Amazon and Facebook . One measure, minute by The Financial Times, says platforms can’t use a information they collect for their possess blurb activities unless that’s common with businesses posterior a same activities.

The breeze also now recommends that large tech companies could be taboo from bearing their possess services on their websites and platforms, definition they couldn’t pre-install their possess apps on laptops or phones, or forced businesses to pre-install their apps to benefit entrance to their platform. In practice, that could meant Android phones that boat though Google apps, like Gmail or Drive, or iPhones though batch apps over those that offer core functionality, like a Camera.

In addition, another proviso would anathema a tech companies from restraint rivals that offer their products to business outward a gatekeeper’s possess platform, Reuters reports. This could impact a stream app store manners around payments and in-app purchases.

Google to softened make Play Store in-app squeeze policies, palliate use of third-party app stores

Anticipating regulatory pushback, Apple has done tiny concessions with iOS 14. Already, Apple had authorised users to undo some, though not all, of a batch apps. In iOS 14, Apple now lets users name their elite web browser and email app, too. And both it and Google (see above) recently mutated their app store discipline to offer some-more clarity with courtesy to their right to collect height fees in specific circumstances.

Apple and Google will, of course, intent to any attempts during regulation. Google, in a acquiescence to a Act, argued that a height might usually have marketplace energy in some sectors, though could be a new entrant or extrinsic actor in others.


Image Credits: Apple screenshot around TechCrunch

  • Apple releases new app selling tools. Apple introduced new collection that concede developers to beget brief links or embeddable codes that couple to their App Store product page. These can also arrangement your app icon, a QR formula or an App Store badge.
  • Second open beta of iOS 14.2 and iPadOS 14.2 arrive. The releases move new emoji (see below), and changes to a Now Playing shade in a Control Center and a Home app.
  • Apple’s iOS 14.2 will move new emoji. A new set of emoji are being tested in a beta chronicle of iOS 14.2. The refurbish will embody the transgender flag, a smiling face with tear, pinched fingers, dual people hugging, some insects and animals, a sheltered face and more.
  • Google takes aim during beauty filters. Pixel phones will refurbish to safeguard face retouching facilities are off by default while labels and icons use “value-free” descriptions. The association pronounced a preference to tweak a interface was formed on consultant recommendations over filters’ impact on people’s courage and mental health.
  • Android Partner Vulnerability Initiative launches. The module will concentration on handling confidence issues specific to Android OEMs, expostulate remediation and yield clarity to users about issues Google detected that impact device models shipped by Android partners.
  • Apple bans some-more RSS readers in China App Store. Apple is still scouring a App Store for any services that don’t approve with Chinese censorship laws. This week, RSS reader apps — Reeder, Fiery Feeds and others — pronounced their apps had been private from a China App Store over calm deemed “illegal.” Fiery Feeds usually had around 1,000 MAUs, though Feedly’s latest app had 100K downloads.

Apple to recover new emojis with iOS 14.2


  • Google Play Pass launches in 24 new European countries. The understanding brings Google’s subscription-based apps and games store to 34 sum markets, including a U.S.
  • Twilio launches an app for frontline workers, a new IoT height and a giveaway video service, Video Web RTC Go. The latter allows we to supplement 1:1 video discuss to mobile and web apps, like those directed during stretch training or remote customer consultations. It also launched Twilio Frontline, a React Native-based app for frontline workers who need to promulgate with customers.

Twilio launches an app for frontline workers, a giveaway 1:1 video toolkit and a new IoT platform


Image Credits: Sensor Tower

  • Designer earns 6 total in 6 days for iOS 14 idol set. In a blog post, indie engineer @traf sum his knowledge building tradition icons for a iOS home shade redesign trend. After a twitter arrangement off his home shade gained interest, he fast combined a website to sell his idol packs. Then YouTuber MKBHD related to him and soon, he was creation large sales. The day after a video, sales jumped from $6K to $40K, and as of a time of essay a post this week, a set had warranted him $116,147.
  • Global app income adult 32% year-over-year in Q3. Sensor Tower reports worldwide consumer spend grew to $29.3B and installs reached 36.5B opposite a App Store and Google Play in a third quarter. TikTok aws a highest-earning non-game app globally and a many downloaded.

Other News

  • Indian startups try choice app store to quarrel Google’s monopoly. More than 150 startups and firms in India are operative to form an fondness and toying with a thought of rising an app store to cut their faith on Google, TechCrunch reported this week. Participants embody Paytm co-founder and CEO Vijay Shekhar Sharma, Deep Kalra of transport ticketing organisation MakeMyTrip, and executives from PolicyBazaar, RazorPay and ShareChat.
  • App Store fees authorised conflict to be attempted by a judge, not jury. Apple and Epic Games concluded this week that their justice conflict should be motionless in a dais hearing by a judge, not a jury. Apple had formerly been pulling for a jury trial, though withdrew a request. The decider suggested a jury hearing is preferred, as it would have authorised genuine people to have a voice on what’s moulding adult to be a vital anti-trust case. She also had oppressive difference for many of Epic’s strategy and arguments presented so far, observant that walled gardens already exist elsewhere and Fortnite players have many other places to play besides iOS.
  • Astropad comes to Windows. A association sherlocked by Apple brought a Astropad complement to Windows. The company’s dongle turns an iPad into a second display, now for a Windows PC, a marketplace Apple’s Sidecar doesn’t address.
  • TikTok’s U.K. numbers revealed. A leaked selling display suggested that 1 in 4 U.K. users now launch TikTok each months, with 17 million users spending over an hour per day on a app. That means a app has achieved a following roughly half as large as Facebook in a marketplace in usually 3 years.
  • TikTok launches a U.S. elections guide. The association betrothed not to save users’ domestic affiliations for use in ad targeting or recommendations.
  • Google Maps rolls out softened AR directions. Google Maps updated Live View, a AR walking directions underline that launched final year. The feature, that uses a camera and GPS to assistance we navigate, can now be invoked from a movement tab, brand landmarks in vital cities, and use Live View in multiple with Google Maps’ plcae pity feature.
  • Microsoft’s Bing hunt app will seem as a download prompt on new Android phones in Germany, a U.K. and France after it won slots in a Google auction for rivals.

Google Maps gets softened Live View AR directions

  • Jamf acquires Mondada. MDM resolution provider Jamf bought Melbourne-based Mondada, a builder of patch government solutions, Kinobi and Kinobi Pro. The understanding will concede Jamf to enhance Jamf’s concentration lifecycle capabilities, it said.
  • Bloomscape raises $15 million, acquires plant caring app Vera. Online garden emporium Bloomscape lifted a $15 million Series B from General Catalyst and others for a e-commerce business that ships live plants to customers’ homes. It also bought Vera, a plant caring and tips app, for an undisclosed sum.
  • Homer raises $50 million. Early training app builder lifted $50 million from Lego, Sesame Workshop and Gymboree for a apps that concentration on early education and soon, more.
  • Humane raises $30 million Series A to build a subsequent iPhone…or something. Humane’s ex-Apple founders, Imran Chaudhri and Bethany Bongiorno, haven’t suggested what they’re operative on, though are earnest to build something that’s as groundbreaking as a iPhone. Chaudhri had worked on a strange UI pattern of iPhone and iPad and Bongiorno helped launch iPad. They trust record is a net disastrous for multitude as it’s been built today, and their thought is to come adult with a new computing prophesy entirely.
  • Macrometa raises $7 million. An corner computing use for app developers, Macrometa lifted a $7 million seed turn led by DNX Ventures for a Global Data Network that allows developers to send app requests to regions closest to them.
  • Beijing-based Sina Corp. agrees to go private in $2.6 billion deal. The association is a latest to delist following flourishing inspection from U.S. regulators.


Mixed existence storytelling developer Aconite launched a new, story-driven nonplus diversion HoloVista on iOS, where players try environments with a iPhone’s 360-degree camera in a puzzling palace full of secrets. The diversion combines elements of dark intent search, puzzles and amicable media as we play as Carmen, a youth designer and new sinecure during an disdainful firm. The diversion also touches on themes like society’s concentration on amicable media, for example, and a attribute with record ($4.99 on a App Store).

Macrometa, an corner computing use for app developers, lands $7M seed turn led by DNX

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