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Epic argues Apple should return Fortnite to the App Store in new filing – MobileSyrup

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As the week closed out, a couple of court filings pushed the ongoing litigation between Epic, Apple and Google slowly forward. One filing from Google says the search giant will seek to dismiss Epic’s lawsuit, while a last-minute filing from Epic Friday evening ahead of the long weekend sought a preliminary injunction against Apple’s Fortnite ban.

Let’s start with Epic’s filing. In a 38-page (not including several additions) motion, Epic Games laid out its argument for the court to force Apple to let Fortnite back on the App Store.

You may recall that the courts previously decided to allow Apple to remove Epic’s developer account, which not only prevented updates to Fortnite (which was still accessible on devices that had it installed or had previously installed it before the ban) but also removed other games and software made by Epic.

Courts felt Epic bore some blame for the Fortnite ban

At the time, the courts also decided Apple could not target Epic’s other developer accounts, such as the one for Unreal Engine — a critical part of Epic’s business and used by many to create games, movies and more. The decisions concluded that Epic bore partial blame for the Fortnite ban since it intentionally broke Apple’s App Store rules and so the courts shouldn’t intervene since Epic could remedy the situation itself.

To be clear, that isn’t indicative of how the courts will rule regarding the lawsuit, since the issue at hand isn’t whether Epic broke Apple’s rules, but whether the rules are fair in the first place. For those who haven’t followed the ongoing fight between the companies, Epic updated its Fortnite game with a direct payment system that allowed players to pay Epic directly for content. The company made this available beside Apple’s in-app payment system. Developers who use Apple’s system must give the company a 30 percent cut of every purchase made through it. However, Apple’s App Store rules prevent the use of third-party payment systems, which Apple used as the basis for banning Fortnite.

As such, the courts felt that Epic could remedy its situation by removing the direct payment system. Apple agreed it would let Fortnite back on the App Store if Epic did so. However, the company refused, arguing doing so would support Apple’s monopoly over payments on the App Store.

Epic argues the Fortnite ban may have caused permanent harm

Now, Epic’s new filing argues that Apple harmed more than its reputation by banning Fortnite. In the filing, the company says daily active users on iOS declined by over 60 percent after Fortnite was removed from the App Store. It’s important to remember here that people who already had the game could keep playing.

However, a crucial issue was that the game’s removal meant Epic could no longer update Fortnite. As such, when the game’s latest season of content launched, Fortnite on iOS and macOS essentially became a separate game. Players were locked to old content and cross-play, a feature that lets people on different platforms play together, stopped working. In other words, those who play Fortnite on Apple devices can now only so with other Apple device users.

Further, Epic argues that iOS is the biggest Fortnite platform with 116 million registered users, about a third of the 350 million registered users Fortnite has in total. Epic also claims 63 percent of the iOS players only access the game through iOS.

The company says it’s worried the players lost in the 60 percent decline may not come back, and that the Fortnite community was torn apart by Apple’s ban. Finally, Epic says some of its other non-Fortnite customers were collateral damage, referring to Apple’s removal of Epic’s developer account and the subsequent removal of related Epic software from the App Store.

Finally, Epic accused Apple of threatening to deny the company’s attempts to apply for a new developer account “for at least a year.” Epic quotes a communication from Apple and argued that the harm caused by Apple denying it access to the more than one billion iOS users for at least a year is worth creating a preliminary injunction for.

Apple unsurprisingly did not respond to The Verge’s request for comment, or to Epic’s filing, since this all came about on Friday evening ahead of a long weekend.

Those interested in reading the full filing can find it here.

Google looking to dismiss Epic’s lawsuit

Earlier in the week, Google said it would seek to dismiss Epic’s lawsuit in a filing. Similar to the Apple situation, Epic filed a lawsuit against Google after the company removed Fortnite from the Play Store on Android. Of course, the situation is different on Android than on iOS since users can still install Fortnite from outside the Play Store.

Aside from seeking to dismiss Epic’s lawsuit, Google indicated in the filing that it was against merging the lawsuit and Epic’s ongoing battle with Apple into one legal challenge.

That doesn’t come as much of a surprise — it’s a safer play to let Apple go first, take the heat and then build a defence based on the outcome. For example, if Apple wins against Epic, Google has an easy case to make that the Play Store isn’t much different. On the other hand, if Apple loses, Google can argue that Android is more open and allows developers to bypass the Play Store. While true, Epic has previously accused Google of using its control over Android and the Play Store to disadvantage apps from third-party sources.

All this is to say what comes next will be both interesting and important, both in the Apple and Google lawsuits. On the Apple side, where hearings are scheduled for September 28th, the final decision will have a massive and lasting impact on how companies can manage digital storefronts. Considering many digital stores, including those run by Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo on consoles, apply similar rules to Apple and collect 30 percent of sales made on their platform, legal precedent set by this lawsuit could have a wide-sweeping impact.

As for the Google lawsuit, the significance largely depends on whether it merges with the Apple lawsuit or not. If it does, then the verdict will be similarly important. If the Epic vs Google lawsuit remains separate, it could potentially set separate precedent around what constitutes an open platform. As mentioned above, Android allows for other storefronts and installing apps from outside the Play Store, albeit with limitations. The question is whether those limits help Google maintain a monopoly over digital sales on Android, or if it offers enough competition for Google to dodge antitrust violations.

Source: The Verge, Android Police

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It's official: We're not getting a OnePlus 8T Pro – Android Authority

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OnePlus 8 Pro 16OnePlus 8 Pro 16

  • OnePlus has confirmed that there won’t be a OnePlus 8T Pro.
  • The company is directing users to the OnePlus 8 Pro instead.

OnePlus has offered a Pro variant of the OnePlus 7, OnePlus 7T, and OnePlus 8 series, but a major leak earlier this month pointed to the company skipping out on a OnePlus 8T Pro.

Now, OnePlus founder and CEO Liu Zuohu (aka Pete Lau) has confirmed on Weibo that the OnePlus 8T Pro won’t accompany the OnePlus 8T. Check out the post below.

OnePlus 8T Pro Pete Lau WeiboOnePlus 8T Pro Pete Lau Weibo

Lau directs users wanting a “Pro-level” phone to get the OnePlus 8 Pro instead. The machine-translated text also suggests that OnePlus felt they couldn’t deliver a major upgrade from the OnePlus 8 Pro by offering a OnePlus 8T Pro.

For what it’s worth, last year’s OnePlus 7T Pro wasn’t a major upgrade from the OnePlus 7 Pro at all. However, the OnePlus 7T earned critical acclaim for gaining several major upgrades over the OnePlus 7, such as a high refresh rate screen and a telephoto rear camera. So it seems like the company doesn’t want to repeat the OnePlus 7T Pro situation of launching a Pro model for the sake of it.

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OnePlus 8T rumors and teases point to a great flagship on paper, but the OnePlus 8 Pro still seems to offer a few extra features over the upcoming phone.

The 8T is expected to offer a 120Hz screen, a 4,500mAh battery, and faster wired charging. However, the 8 Pro adds wireless charging, a telephoto rear camera, a higher resolution ultra-wide camera, and an IP rating. Leaks and official disclosures point to the OnePlus 8T missing the three former features, while water/dust resistance isn’t confirmed yet either.

Which device would you buy if you had to choose one? Let us know in the poll above!

Next: OnePlus Watch — All the rumors and what we want to see

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OnePlus teases debut for mysterious "OnePlus World"

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oneplus world teaseroneplus world teaser

  • OnePlus has teased the debut of a “OnePlus World” on October 1.
  • The early hints suggest it’s a virtual space for fans or products.
  • It comes just two weeks before the OnePlus 8T launch.

OnePlus may precede the 8T launch with the debut of something… different. The company has teased (via GizmoChina) the premiere of a OnePlus World on October 1, with hints that it might be a virtual space.

The teaser doesn’t include many details, but the picture suggests OnePlus is launching a virtual reality-like environment with avatars. It could be a community hub or a product showcase — assuming it isn’t something else entirely. We wouldn’t count on requiring a VR headset if it is a digital environment. Adoption of VR technology is still low enough that relatively few fans would have the necessary hardware.

oneplus world virtual teaser squareoneplus world virtual teaser square

OnePlus is no stranger to virtual worlds, at least. It used an augmented reality app to launch the Nord due to the COVID-19 pandemic. An online space would also be helpful at a time when customers aren’t always comfortable visiting OnePlus’ physical locations.

The timing is difficult to ignore, too. OnePlus World is appearing just two weeks before the 8T introduction and might represent a way to discuss or showcase the new phone. Whatever World is for, it’s clear that OnePlus will be quite busy going into the fall — new hardware is just one part of a larger picture.

Next: Everything we know about the OnePlus 8T

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Source:- Android Authority

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COVID Alert app nears 3 million users, but only 514 positive test reports

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OTTAWA —
New numbers out of the Public Health Agency of Canada show only a gradual increase of downloads of Canada’s COVID-19 exposure notification app since the start of the month, while the number of Canadians using the tool to report their positive test remains low.

The organization told CTVNews.ca on Tuesday that the app has been downloaded 2.94 million times since July 31, however, only 514 users, all of whom are located in Ontario, have actually notified the app about their positive test results, despite the province having recorded more than 9,000 cases since the app came into effect. This is up from about 2.2 million downloads and 100 test disclosures in the first active month.

The new statistics come as politicians once again ramp up calls for Canadians to download the software amid climbing case counts nationwide.

After weeks of relative quiet about the use of COVID Alert, it got two prominent mentions last Wednesday during the much-anticipated Liberal throne speech and then again during Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s address to the nation later than evening.

“We’ve got the COVID Alert app. Take the teacher who felt fine, but he gets a positive after the app warned her she’d been exposed. COVID Alert meant she went home instead of the classroom. It’s a powerful, free tool that’s easy to use and protects your privacy. So if you haven’t already, download it off the App Store or Google Play,” said Trudeau.

COVID Alert allows users to disclose a positive coronavirus test and alerts anyone who has come close to that person within 14 days via Bluetooth tracking. Public health officials have stressed that it does not track location and has no way of knowing an individual’s location, address, contacts, or health information.

A spokesperson within the prime minister’s office told CTVNews.ca downloads of the app spiked immediately following his public address. Numbers show there were at least 100,000 downloads by Apple and Android users during the hour following.

Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Dominic LeBlanc, Health Minister Patty Hajdu, and Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam echoed Trudeau’s remarks on Tuesday during a public health update.

“Please download the COVID-19 Alert app and join the three million Canadians that have done so to date,” said Hajdu.

Tam also pointed to another online tool dubbed “COVID Trends” released by the Public Health Agency of Canada, which “provides [users] with a number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in your area within the last 14 days.”

Ontario Premier Doug Ford made an urgent plea for Ontarians to download COVID Alert on Monday when the province reported 700 new cases, the highest daily infections ever recorded.

Ontario was the first province to embrace the software in late July but since then, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Saskatchewan have all adopted the technology.

Questions still linger though about whether the app is achieving its intended goal of breaking “the cycle of infection.”

EXPERT OPINION

A July report in the Harvard Business Review argues that when adoption is voluntary, “contact-tracing apps present the classic chicken-and-egg — or “cold start” — problem experienced by any platform seeking strong network effects: They have virtually no value until they reach a critical mass of users.”

The solution goes beyond design features and marketing tactics, the authors state, but relies instead on localized uptake followed by national implementation.

“The contact-tracing app should be designed so it is instantly valuable to anyone in the targeted community who downloads it…One way to make the app instantly valuable is for it to provide information on local contagion so users know the risks. Another is to include a symptoms-tracking function so users can enter their symptoms and be told when to seek medical help.”

University of Waterloo Professor Plinio Mortia, who heads up the Ubiquitous Health Technology Lab, echoed the need for user customization.

“It’s one of the principles of persuasion design, that tailoring of the solution to the specific user. We’re trying to make an app that will be downloaded by 35 million people across Canada, but we’re being very generic to target everybody, which is not always the best solution,” he said, adding that there’s a key talking point missing from public health directives about the app: motivation.

“They need to tell the public why they should be doing this, why it’s important, why [Canadians] need to download it beyond the fact that it’s safe,” he said. “They still haven’t told people what the real impact having the app on your phone and reporting a COVID-19 diagnosis will have on the population.”

Blayne Haggart, associate professor at the department of political science at Brock University, who’s written extensively about technology use in public policy settings, argues the federal government’s messaging has been misguided.

“For a health policy intervention, you would think you would start with saying ‘this is going to have a great effect on you know, boosting the economy, or stopping a pandemic in this way’ but instead everyone was talking about it in terms of its privacy,” he said.

“That’s not a healthy way to design any kind of government policy.”

Haggart says while privacy is important, effectiveness is equally as vital.

At the time of publication, government officials had not yet responded to a CTVNews.ca inquiry about whether they had identified a threshold to measure success or failure of adoption and the impact of those results on public health.

“This is a general issue with technology and tech design when it’s put into the public policy sphere. It’s not considered in its full context,” said Haggart.

Manitoba and Quebec have also indicated they too will introduce COVID Alert into their regions. LeBlanc said the government is committed to working with and supporting provinces in their contact-tracing capabilities.

“Our government is actively working with other provinces and territories and [the app] will be rolled out to more Canadians very shortly, and I encourage everyone to download it,” he said.

Source:- CTV News

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