Category: app-store

June 4, 2019 Off

With antitrust investigations looming, Apple reverses course on bans of parental control apps

By Jill T Frey

With congressional probes and greater scrutiny from federal regulators on the horizon, Apple has abruptly reversed course on its bans of parental control apps available in its app store.

As reported by The New York Times, Apple quietly updated its App Store guidelines to reverse its decision to ban certain parental control apps.

The battle between Apple and certain app developers dates back to last year when the iPhone maker first put companies on notice that it would cut their access to the app store if they didn’t make changes to their monitoring technologies.

The heart of the issue is the use of mobile device management (MDM) technologies in the parental control apps that Apple has removed from the App Store, Apple said in a statement earlier this year.

These device management tools give to a third party control … Read the rest

June 4, 2019 Off

Aptoide, a Play Store rival, cries antitrust foul over Google hiding its app

By Jill T Frey

As US regulators gear up to launch another antitrust probe of Google’s business, an alternative Android app store is dialling up its long time complaint of anti-competitive behavior against the search and smartphone OS giant.

Portugal-based Aptoide is launching a campaign website to press its case and call for Google to “Play Fair” — accusing Mountain View of squeezing consumer choice by “preventing users from freely choosing their preferred app store”.

Aptoide filed its first EU antitrust complaint against Google all the way back in 2014, joining a bunch of other complainants crying foul over how Google was operating Android.

And while the European Commission did eventually step in, slapping Google with a $5BN penalty for antitrust abuses last summer after a multi-year investigation, rivals continue to complain the Android maker still isn’t playing fair.

In the case of Aptoide, the alternative Android app store says Google has … Read the rest

May 29, 2019 Off

Apple’s new App Store website takes aim at antitrust, anti-competitive claims

By Jill T Frey

Just ahead of WWDC, Apple has launched a new App Store website in the hopes of better defending itself against recent antitrust and anti-competitive accusations. The website details how Apple runs its App Store, including how apps are curated and reviewed, and what business models are available to developers. It also features a section entitled “A Store that welcomes competition,” where Apple makes the case for a marketplace where its own apps live alongside those from third-party developers.

For example, it showcases how Apple’s own Messages app competes with Messenger, Slack, Snapchat and Viber; Apple’s Mail competes with Gmail, Outlook, Spark and Yahoo Mail; Maps competes with Google Maps, Citymapper, MAPS.ME and Waze; and so on.

Spotify, naturally, is listed among the competitors for both Apple’s Music and Podcasts apps.

That’s not a surprise, given that Spotify has recently been making the case that Apple operates an anti-competitive environment. … Read the rest

May 16, 2019 Off

OpenFin raises $17 million for its OS for finance

By Jill T Frey

OpenFin, the company looking to provide the operating system for the financial services industry, has raised $17 million in funding through a Series C round led by Wells Fargo, with participation from Barclays and existing investors including Bain Capital Ventures, J.P. Morgan and Pivot Investment Partners. Previous investors in OpenFin also include DRW Venture Capital, Euclid Opportunities and NYCA Partners.

Likening itself to “the OS of finance,” OpenFin seeks to be the operating layer on which applications used by financial services companies are built and launched, akin to iOS or Android for your smartphone.

OpenFin’s operating system provides three key solutions which, while present on your mobile phone, has previously been absent in the financial services industry: easier deployment of apps to end users, fast security assurances for applications and interoperability.

Traders, analysts and other financial service employees often find themselves using several separate … Read the rest

May 13, 2019 Off

Supreme Court rules against Apple, allows an App Store antitrust case to proceed

By Jill T Frey

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 against Apple on Monday on a case involving whether or not a group of iPhone users will be allowed to bring an antitrust lawsuit against the company regarding its App Store practices. The iPhone owners allege that Apple’s 30% commission on App Store sales is passed along to users, representing an unlawful and unfair use of Apple’s monopoly power.

Apple had moved to have the case dismissed, arguing that consumers were buying their apps from the developers — not from Apple. And it was the developers who were setting the prices. The court disagreed, saying that Apple contracts with the third-party developers to sell the 2 million apps that are live today on its App Store, keeping its 30% commission on every sale along the way.

In addition, the court ruled in favor of the iPhone owners’ lawsuit proceeding for several other reasons. It … Read the rest

May 10, 2019 Off

Apple CEO Tim Cook talks WWDC student program, coding initiatives and SAP

By Jill T Frey

For the past few years, Apple has been inviting student developers to attend its WWDC conference, which centers on development topics and software. A few students from this year’s batch are getting some more personal attention from Apple as it tries to raise awareness of the program and coding literacy via its Swift Playgrounds and other resources for students and teachers.

Most of those students, though, won’t get a surprise personal visit from CEO Tim Cook, which is what happened this week when Lyman High School student Liam Rosenfeld got to the Millenia Mall Apple Store in Orlando, Fla. Liam was there to participate, he thought, in an interview with myself and a local journalist from the Orlando Sentinel about his admission to the program.

As a surprise, and fresh off an appearance at the SAP Sapphire conference to announce an expanded partnership, Cook came to visit the store to … Read the rest

April 29, 2019 Off

Apple defends its takedown of some apps monitoring screen-time

By Jill T Frey

Apple is defending its removal of certain parental control apps from the app store in a new statement.

The company has come under fire for its removal of certain apps that were pitched as tools giving parents more control over their children’s screen-time, but that Apple said relied on technology that was too invasive for private use.

“We recently removed several parental control apps from the App Store, and we did it for a simple reason: they put users’ privacy and security at risk. It’s important to understand why and how this happened,” the company said in a statement

The heart of the issue is the use of mobile device management technologies in the parental control apps that Apple has removed from the app store, the company said.

These device management tools give  control and access over a device’s user location, app use, email accounts, camera permissions and … Read the rest

April 25, 2019 Off

Apple patches iOS App Store bug that was preventing app downloads

By Jill T Frey

Apple is rolling out a fix for an App Store bug that was preventing users from downloading new iOS apps or app updates. The issue, which impacted an unknown number of users, involved a Terms & Conditions dialog box that would continue to pop up even when users tapped the “Agree” button.

The issue had frustrated users who took to Twitter in an attempt to get help from Apple Support.

9to5Mac and AppleInsider previously reported on the problem, citing the social media complaints. The Apple Support account had not responded publicly to those who reached out, beyond asking customers to get in touch on DM with more details or pointing those with more vague complaints to a support doc about connection issues.

The bug was affecting a small percentage of Apple’s iOS user base worldwide, we understand from people familiar with the problem at Apple. However, even a … Read the rest