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Apple lowers commissions on in-app purchases for news publishers who participate in Apple News – Yahoo News Canada

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Apple today is launching a new program that will allow subscription news organizations that participate in the Apple News app and meet certain requirements to lower their commission rate to 15% on qualifying in-app purchases taking place inside their apps on the App Store. Typically, Apple’s model for subscription-based apps involves a standard 30% commission during their first year on the App Store, which then drops to 15% in year two. But the new Apple News Partner Program, announced today, will now make 15% the commission rate for participants starting on day one.

There are a few caveats to this condition, and they benefit Apple. To qualify, the news publisher must maintain a presence on Apple News and they have to provide their content in the Apple News Format (ANF). The latter is the JavaScript Object Notation (JSON) format that’s used to create articles for Apple News which are optimized for Mac, iPhone and other Apple mobile devices. Typically, this involves a bit of setup to translate news articles from a publisher’s website or from their CMS (content management system) to the supported JSON format. For WordPress and other popular CMS’s, there are also plugins available to make this process easier.

Meanwhile, for publishers headquartered outside one of the four existing Apple News markets — the U.S., U.K., Australia or Canada — they can instead satisfy the program’s obligations by providing Apple with an RSS feed.

On the App Store, the partner app qualifying for the 15% commission must be used to deliver “original, professionally authored” news content, and they must offer their auto-renewable subscriptions using Apple’s in-app purchase system.

Image Credits: Apple

While there is some initial work involved in establishing the publisher’s connection to Apple News, it’s worth noting that most major publishers already participate on Apple’s platform. That means they won’t have to do any additional work beyond what they’re already doing in order to transition over to the reduced commission for their apps. However, the program also serves as a way to push news organizations to continue to participate in the Apple News ecosystem, as it will make more financial sense to do so across their broader business.

That will likely be an area of contention for publishers, who would probably prefer that the reduced App Store commission didn’t come with strings attached.

Some publishers already worry that they’re giving up too much control over their business by tying themselves to the Apple News ecosystem. Last year, for example, The New York Times announced it would exit its partnership with Apple News, saying that Apple didn’t allow it to have as direct a relationship with readers as it wanted, and it would rather drive readers to its own app and website.

Apple, however, would argue that it doesn’t stand in the way of publishers’ businesses — it lets them paywall their content and keep 100% of the ad revenue from the ads they sell. (If they can’t sell it all or would prefer Apple to do so on their behalf, they then split the commission with Apple, keeping 70% of revenues instead.) In addition, for the company’s Apple News+ subscription service — where the subscription revenue split is much higher — it could be argued that it’s “found money.” That is, Apple markets the service to customers the publisher hadn’t been able to attract on its own anyway.

The launch of the new Apple News Partner program comes amid regulatory scrutiny over how Apple manages its App Store business and more recently, proposed legislation aiming to address alleged anticompetitive issues both in the U.S. and in major App Store markets, like South Korea.

Sensing this shift in the market, Apple had already been working to provide itself cover from antitrust complaints and lawsuits — like the one underway now with Epic Games — by adjusting its App Store commissions. Last year, it launched the App Store Small Business Program, which also lowered commissions on in-app purchases from 30% to 15% — but only for developers earning up to $1 million in revenues.

This program may have helped smaller publishers, but it was clear some major publishers still weren’t satisfied. After the reduced commissions for small businesses were announced in November, the publisher trade organization Digital Content Next (DCN) — a representative for the AP, The New York Times, NPR, ESPN, Vox, The Washington Post, Meredith, Bloomberg, NBCU, The Financial Times and others — joined the advocacy group and lobbying organization the Coalition for App Fairness (CAF) the very next month.

These publishers, which had previously written to Apple CEO Tim Cook to demand lower commissions — had other complaints about the revenue share beyond just the size of the split. They also didn’t want to be required to use Apple’s services for in-app purchases for their subscriptions, saying this “Apple tax” forces them to raise their prices for consumers.

It remains to be seen how these publishers will now react to the launch of the Apple News Partner program.

While it gives them a way to lower their App Store fees, it doesn’t address their broader complaints against Apple’s platform and its rules. If anything, it ties the lower fees to a program that locks them in further to the Apple ecosystem.

Apple, in a gesture of goodwill, also said today it would recommit support to three leading media nonprofits: Common Sense Media, the News Literacy Project, and Osservatorio Permanente Giovani-Editori. These nonprofits offer nonpartisan, independent media literacy programs, which Apple views as key to its larger mission to empower people to become smart and active news readers. Apple also said it would later announce further media literacy projects from other organizations. The company would not disclose the size of its commitment from a financial standpoint however, nor discuss how much it has sent such organizations in the past.

“Providing Apple News customers with access to trusted information from our publishing partners has been our priority from day one,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Services, in a statement. “For more than a decade, Apple has offered our customers many ways to access and enjoy news content across our products and services. We have hundreds of news apps from dozens of countries around the world available in the App Store, and created Apple News Format to offer publishers a tool to showcase their content and provide a great experience for millions of Apple News users,” he added.

More details about the program and the application form will be available at the News Partner Program website.

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EU demands that every smartphone, tablet be capable of being charged using a USB-C cable. – guru3d.com

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A standard USB-C charger with a USB-C connection will be required for all telephones, tablets, and other consumer gadgets sold in the European Union by 2023. This is stated in a bill that was presented by the European Commission (EC) on Thursday.

According to the European Commission, this is significantly more convenient for customers because numerous different charges are now frequently required for various gadgets. This, according to European Commissioner Thierry Breton, needs to be addressed immediately. It should be possible for everyone in the family to use the same charger in the near future, regardless of what phone they have.”

Furthermore, because manufacturers continue to include standard chargers with their products, a universal charger could help to reduce waste significantly. The new legislation will have a significant impact on Apple, in particular, because the business now supplies all of its mobile phones with a Lightning connector, which was previously unavailable. Numerous Android phone makers are already utilizing the USB Type-C connector.

Electronic earphones, smart watches, and fitness trackers will not be covered by the new rule. According to the European Commission, this is due to the size and manner in which these devices are used.

Apple doesn’t like European plans
Apple has already stated that it does not agree with the European Union’s objectives for the future. According to the tech giant, this would result in a stagnation of innovation as well as mountains of electronic garbage, as previously advertised accessories for Apple products would no longer be able to be utilized.Since 2010, the European Union has been developing ideas for a universal charger, but has so far relied on voluntary action from the sector to move forward. They were mainly unsuccessful in their endeavors.

Before it can be implemented, the law must first be passed by the EU’s member states as well as the European Parliament. The European Parliament has previously been informed of an important finding regarding a universal charger. Manufacturers will have two years to adjust to the new standard following the passage of the legislation.

With the new legislation, Apple’s Lightning cable would become obsolete.


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Google CEO sought to keep Incognito mode issues out of spotlight, lawsuit alleges – Yahoo News Canada

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By Paresh Dave

(Reuters) – Google Chief Executive Sundar Pichai in 2019 was warned that describing the company’s Incognito browsing mode as “private” was problematic, yet it stayed the course because he did not want the feature “under the spotlight,” according to a new court filing.

Google spokesman José Castañeda told Reuters that the filing “mischaracterizes emails referencing unrelated second and third-hand accounts.”

The Alphabet Inc unit’s privacy disclosures have generated regulatory and legal scrutiny in recent years amid growing public concerns about online surveillance.

Users last June alleged in a lawsuit that Google unlawfully tracked their internet use when they were browsing Incognito in its Chrome browser. Google has said it makes clear that Incognito only stops data from being saved to a user’s device and is fighting the lawsuit.

In a written update on trial preparations filed Thursday in U.S. district court, attorneys for the users said they “anticipate seeking to depose” Pichai and Google Chief Marketing Officer Lorraine Twohill.

The attorneys, citing Google documents, said Pichai “was informed in 2019 as part of a project driven by Twohill that Incognito should not be referred to as ‘private’ because that ran ‘the risk of exacerbating known misconceptions about protections Incognito mode provides.'”

The filing continued, “As part of those discussions, Pichai decided that he ‘didn’t want to put incognito under the spotlight’ and Google continued without addressing those known issues.”

Castañeda said teams “routinely discuss ways to improve the privacy controls built into our services.” Google’s attorneys said they would oppose efforts to depose Pichai and Twohill.

Last month, plaintiffs deposed Google vice president Brian Rakowski, described in the filing as “the ‘father’ of Incognito mode.” He testified that though Google states Incognito enables browsing “privately,” what users expect “may not match” up with the reality, according to the plaintiffs’ write-up.

Google’s attorneys rejected the summary, writing that Rakowski also said terms including “private,” “anonymous,” and “invisible” with proper context “can be super helpful” in explaining Incognito.

(Reporting by Paresh Dave; Editing by David Gregorio)

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Apple iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max aren't rendering all apps in 120Hz – GSMArena.com news – GSMArena.com

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The iPhone 13 lineup officially went on sale on Friday September 24. As pre-order arrive to their customers’ doorsteps or Apple Stores in most markets, folks have noticed that the ProMotion feature isn’t working consistently.

The iPhone 13 Pro and 13 Pro Max both feature Apple’s ProMotion displays, meaning they support refresh rates of 120Hz. The feature has been on the iPad Pro since 2017, but this is the first time Apple brings the feature to the iPhone.

iOS 15 supports ProMotion across all apps while scrolling or performing full-screen transitions like switching apps or swiping Home. 9to5Mac reports that many animations are still capped at 60Hz, breaking the intended experience of the ProMotion displays.

The iPhone 13 Pro’s display is rendering most animations in 120Hz, but there are still many animations that aren’t taking full advantage of the higher refresh rate. Apple’s first-party apps have all properly implemented the smoother transitions across the board, the issue only occurs with third-party apps.

Apple has confirmed to 9to5Mac that developers need to enable their apps to support higher framerates for apps that use custom rendering such as games. This is achieved by the developer adding a new info.plist key in order to opt-in for their apps to support 120Hz. Apple will make this documentation available to developers soon and a firmware update will fix a bug that isn’t letting Core Animation drive the refresh rates higher than 60Hz.

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