Published On: Tue, Sep 22nd, 2020

This Week in Apps: iOS 14’s warn arrival, Apple’s app bundle, TikTok & WeChat criminialized from app stores Sunday

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 prohibited 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 only a approach to pass idle hours — they’re a vast 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.

How iOS 14 and Apple’s other new skeleton impact apps

At Apple’s hardware eventuality this week, a association announced a new Apple Watch Series 6, an Apple Watch SE, an eighth-generation iPad and a new iPad Air, among other things.

But a bigger news for app makers was a warn recover of iOS 14. Typically, developers are given a many longer heads-up and during slightest have a updated chronicle of their developer collection good before a tangible iOS launch day. This year, however, Apple repelled app developers with an proclamation during a live eventuality that a new program platforms, iOS 14, iPadOS 14, watchOS 7 and tvOS 14, would arrive in reduction than 24 hours.

Apple browns developer goodwill with warn recover of iOS 14

The pierce was a low blow from Apple during a time when a developer village was already feeling disrespected by Apple’s worse position on a use of in-app purchases and boost in erratic app rejections, not to discuss a denunciation Apple used to report their contributions to iPhone’s success in Apple’s lawsuit with Epic Games .

But now iOS 14 is here, and with it comes a radical change to how apps are presented and used on iPhone.

App Clips will concede users to launch “mini app” practice when a full app download isn’t needed, like in a box of wanting to compensate during a parking scale regulating a local app. Widgets will concede developers to boost their participation on a home screen, potentially augmenting their significance to their many constant users. But on a flip side, intermittently used apps might now be deserted in a new App Library.

Any app that doesn’t get a home shade mark in a new chronicle of iOS presumably as an app idol or widget might shortly find that a MAUs and DAUs decrease after users ascent to iOS 14.

New iOS 14 widgets we can try today

Being relegated to a App Library is a homogeneous of being stranded inside a folder on a behind shade — out of steer and forgotten. App developers who consider they haven’t finished a cut in a vast iOS redesign will need to make crafty use of pull notifications to rekindle their attribute with users. But this, too, is a excellent line. Too many notifications or pulling low-value notifications will see users branch to other iOS collection — like a choice to simply overpower or switch off notifications wholly for a app in question. And then, though any prominence or a approach to connect, a app will be truly forgotten.

Apple also challenged a whole aptness app attention with a launch of a Fitness+ subscription service. Wall Street investors weren’t too disturbed about a long-term intensity impact to tip brands, like Peloton and Fitbit. But these companies are not indispensably deputy of a smaller aptness app maker. For $10 per month or only $80 per year, Apple is charity a home gym membership of sorts, with low integrations with Apple Watch. Fitness+ offers workouts and instructions set to song that can be used opposite Apple devices. Because it’s from Apple, a workouts will also rightly sync to a Apple Watch for accurate recording of several examination metrics, like calories burned, gait or distance, for example.

The aptness marketplace doesn’t seem too frightened by Apple Fitness+

The use is also being bundled in Apple’s new Apple One subscription in a tip tier, that might interest to Apple’s stream subscribers looking to save income by profitable for an all-in-one use instead of particular apps. And what could a aptness app builder do to contest with this? Or a song app, for that matter? Third-parties don’t typically have a choice to get bundled into a high-value package alongside other tip apps from separate industries, unless a association goes out and forges those deals itself — like Spotify once did with Hulu.

Given that Apple is still being investigated over antitrust issues, it’s rather confidant to launch a gold understanding like this while stability to elect a competitors — rivals who have no other means of reaching iPhone’s assembly outward a App Store.

Apple One bundles iCloud, Music, TV+, Arcade, News+ and Fitness+ for $30 a month

Another new Apple use puts family tracking apps on notice. Though apps like Life360 have turn must-have collection in a helicopter primogenitor era, Apple’s new Family Setup aims to renovate a kid-tracking attention by holding a opposite tactic: it’s for families who aren’t shopping kids an iPhone only yet. Instead, Apple will captivate new business by creation a Apple Watch — and specifically, a some-more affordable Apple Watch SE — kids’ initial Apple device.

Kids get to use Apple Watch’s pivotal features, like Emergency SOS, Maps, Siri, Alarms, Memoji, Apple Pay, and more, while relatives get to shorten who a child can call or text. By a time a child upgrades to iPhone and a wider universe of apps that comes with it, families might see no need for a third-party choice for family safety. That means child trackers will need to ascent their offerings to embody facilities that Apple doesn’t, like Life360 does with a pushing features, like pile-up showing or weekly motorist reports, for instance.

Continuing disharmony around a TikTok ban

There is zero candid about a TikTok ban. Like many of a Executive Order activity entrance from a stream administration, a extended sequence is expelled though a sum are left to be worked out on a fly, heading to chaos.

In a box of a TikTok understanding and a app’s intensity anathema in a U.S., during a commencement of this week we schooled China would rather see TikTok criminialized than forced into a sale, and that conjunction Oracle nor Microsoft would get to acquire TikTok’s U.S. business. Microsoft was pronounced to have apparently pissed off TikTok owners ByteDance by pursuit a app a confidence risk and was cut out of a deal. Later in a week, Oracle put out a press recover observant it would be a record partner for TikTok, and Walmart alone claimed to still be involved.

Oh, and it seems Instagram owner and former CEO Kevin Systrom was approached for a TikTok CEO pursuit during one point. Lord.

So what’s function now? The U.S. supervision and ByteDance continue to negotiate on specific terms. As of late, a U.S. wants Oracle to determine to examination TikTok source formula for backdoors, ByteDance to emanate a new classification for a U.S. operations with a house authorized by a U.S. supervision and for there to be a permit agreement for TikTok’s algorithms. As TechCrunch reported, these terms desire a doubt as to how TikTok could presumably continue to labour a algorithms in genuine time though entrance to U.S. TikTok user data, or when it has to reconstruct a infrastructure on Oracle, distant from a core product being grown elsewhere. But nevertheless, reports explain ByteDance has concluded to a government’s terms and also skeleton to IPO TikTok’s tellurian business.

On Friday, a Commerce Dept. announced a sum of how it skeleton to make a shutdown, observant that both TikTok and WeChat, a other Chinese app impacted by a ban, would no longer be distributed on U.S. app stores as of Sep 20. But TikTok gets an prolongation that allows it to still work until Nov 12 as a parties try to produce out a difficult deal. That deadline means a app will continue to work by a U.S. elections, formed on how a terms are spelled out now. But those could change during any time, given a pell-mell inlet of how this intensity anathema has progressed so far.

Despite being one of TikTok’s arch rivals, Instagram — that recently copied TikTok with a possess feature, Reels — has come out opposite a ban. Instagram conduct Adam Mosseri pronounced a U.S. anathema of a app would be bad for a internet some-more broadly, including companies like Facebook and Instagram. TikTok halt CEO  Vanessa Pappas afterwards publicly asked him for assistance with a litigation.

By a time we review this, several some-more updates about a TikTok understanding might have been released. Stay tuned.

  • U.S. supervision scrutinizes Epic and Riot Games’ deals with Tencent. First TikTok and WeChat, afterwards a full line-up of Chinese investment in tech? The TikTok-Oracle partnership isn’t even a finished understanding yet, though a U.S. supervision is relocating on to a subsequent targets. The Committee on Foreign Investment in a United States (CFIUS) has now sent letters to Epic, Riot and other gaming companies to scrutinise about how they’re doing U.S. users’ personal information due to their ties with China’s Tencent. The Chinese hulk has finished over 300 investments, including those in many of a tip gaming companies worldwide. (Jenny Leonard, Saleha Mohsin and David McLaughlin/Bloomberg)
  • Google bans stalkerware from Play Store. Apps that concede a user to lane someone’s location, movement, phone calls or messages, and record other apps’ activity — a difficulty broadly famous as “stalkerware” — are marketed toward people looking to lane intrigue spouses or view on their kids. Google has hosted hundreds of these apps to date. This week, a association updated a Developer Program Policy to mention that any apps of this inlet have to surprise a finish user or benefit agree and uncover a determined presentation that their actions are being tracked. The updated process also combined other new restrictions, including on falsification and gambling. (Catalin Cimpanu/ZDNet)
  • Tinder relaunches Swipe Night, a in-app interactive video series, in a U.S. on Sep 12. Tinder claims a pestilence has not heavily impacted a business. But a association is operative to supplement video dating and is readying another run of a video array in a app — indications that a primary concentration for Tinder these days is not on assisting users make real-life connections. (Tinder)
  • Google criminialized India’s Paytm from Play Store for gambling violations. Paytm is India’s many profitable startup and claims over 50M MAUs. Its app, a opposition to Google Play, was private from a Play Store in India this week. Paytm is indicted of regularly violating Play Store’s policies around gambling. The app had recently launched “Paytm Cricket League,” that Google believed to be in defilement of a newly updated policies around gambling apps. The app returned to a store in a few hours. (Manish Singh/TechCrunch)
  • YouTube launches a TikTok rival, Shorts. YouTube this week launched a new short-form video knowledge called YouTube Shorts. The underline will concede users, primarily in India, to upload 15-second or reduction short-form videos regulating a new set of creator tools, including a multi-segment camera, identical to TikTok, speed controls and a timer and a countdown feature. The videos can also be set to music, interjection to YouTube’s entrance to a vast library of songs that it says will continue to grow over time. (Sarah Perez/TechCrunch)
  • Apple calls Epic Games a brag in latest justice filing. Apple pounded a diversion maker, observant Epic follows a “strategy of coercing platforms for a possess gain.” Pot, accommodate kettle. (Stephen Warwick/iMore)
  • Facebook Messenger adds “Watch Together.” Facebook joins a co-viewing trend with a launch of a new underline that lets adult to 8 friends in a Messenger video call or adult to 50 in Messenger Room watch video calm together around Facebook Watch integrations. (Sarah Perez/TechCrunch)
  • Summer sent transport apps consumer spend adult 30%. Despite a pandemic, consumer tellurian spend in transport apps prove there was 30% expansion in transport apps during summer months, compared with a 3 months prior. Still, those before months were during a tallness of a lockdown, when roughly no one was going anywhere. So this might not be as flushed a design of a liberation as you’d think. (Lexi Sydow/App Annie)
  • Triller capitalizes on TikTok play to onboard influencers. At TechCrunch Disrupt, Triller CEO Mike Lu talked about new high-profile additions, including influencers and open total like TikTok star Charli D’Amelio and family, Addison Rae, and even Trump. (Sarah Perez/TechCrunch)
  • iOS 14 bug resets Mail and Safari as a default apps. A bug we say? Okay, we trust you. (Chance Miller/9to5Mac)
  • Addicted to losing: How casino-like apps have emptied people of millions, by Cyrus Farivar, NBC News. The story delves into a casino app industry, that is roughly wholly unregulated. The story facilities interviews with 21 people who got bending on these apps and mislaid poignant sums of money.
  • In-App Purchase Rules, by Marco Arment, In a blog post, Arment highlights how involved Apple’s IAP manners have turn by inventory out all a exceptions Apple has forged out for itself over a years as it attempts to clear a right to collect from all IAPs.
  • User-generated e-learning site Kahoot and builder of a operation of training apps for iOS and Android acquired Actimo for adult to $33 million to concentration on a corporate sector.
  • Indoor training app Zwift landed a large $450 million in appropriation led by KKR, that took a minority interest in a business, now valued during $1 billion+.
  • Social gaming startup Bunch sealed on $20 million in Series A appropriation for a Discord-like video discuss app for multiplayer mobile games. MAUs are adult 50x given March, commanding 1 million. Funding was led by General Catalyst and enclosed vital gaming companies, like Electronic Arts, Take-Two Interactive and Krafton, a builder of PUBG.
  • Mobile bank Chime raises $485 million during a $14.5B gratefulness in a Series F round.


Image Credits: Aviary (widget shown in tip right)

Aviary’s recently launched Twitter app ($4.99) is prepared for iOS 14, with home shade widgets and support for mixed columns on iPad.

Color Widgets

Image Credits: Color Widgets

A elementary app is No. 1 on a (non-game) App Store because, clearly, iOS users were prepared for widgets. The Color Widgets app lets we collect a color, rise and thesis for a simple widget that displays a date, day of a week, time and battery level. Isn’t that pretty?


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