Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney has issued a series of public comments on his personal Twitter account regarding the legal fight the Fortnite creator initiated with Apple yesterday, following the iPhone maker’s removal of the game from the App Store. In the four-part thread, Sweeney says the fight isn’t about money. Rather, he says Epic is fighting for “the basic freedoms of all consumers and developers.”
“At the most basic level, we’re fighting for the freedom of people who bought smartphones to install apps from sources of their choosing, the freedom for creators of apps to distribute them as they choose, and the freedom of both groups to do business directly,” Sweeney tweeted. “The primary opposing argument is: ‘Smartphone markers can do whatever they want.’ This as an awful notion. We all have rights, and we need to fight to defend our rights against whoever would deny them. Even if that means fighting a beloved company like Apple.”
Finally, there’s nothing wrong with fighting about money. You work hard to earn this stuff. When you spent it, the way it’s divided determines whether your money funds the creation of games or is taken by middlemen who use their power to separate gamers from game creators.
— Tim Sweeney (@TimSweeneyEpic) August 14, 2020
Yesterday, Epic orchestrated a calculated public performance designed to highlight what it claims are Apple’s alleged monopolistic practices. Epic takes issue with Apple’s operation of the App Store and the rules that bar developers from using third-party payment systems that bypass the marketplace’s standard 30 percent cut, as well as restrictions banning developers from distributing software directly to consumers.
The feud began when the game developer implemented its own payment system into the iOS and Android versions of Fortnite. When Apple (and later on Google) removed the app for violating its developer guidelines, Epic launched an explosive social media campaign under the banner #FreeFortnite, complete with a 62-page legal complaint and lawsuit in addition to a video parodying Apple’s iconic “1984” Macintosh ad that went live on YouTube and played inside the world of Fortnite itself.
Apple acquires Scout FM app that transforms the podcast experience with smart stations – 9to5Mac
Apple recently acquired the startup Scout FM, according to a Bloomberg report. The company offers an app that creates smart stations for podcast listeners, bringing a similar experience to radio stations.
An Apple spokesman confirmed the acquisition, but no further details were provided. The report mentions that Apple bought Scout FM earlier this year to enhance its own podcast platform amid growing competition from Spotify.
As we covered once here on 9to5Mac, Scout FM brings a different approach to the podcast experience. Instead of offering individual podcasts, the app creates smart podcast stations based on different topics, such as sports or technology.
Scout FM uses artificial intelligence to identify user preferences and suggest new relevant content. Prior to being removed from the App Store, the app was available for Apple devices and it was also compatible with CarPlay and Amazon Alexa.
Apple has been investing in its Podcasts platform with new features and the production of original shows, as Spotify has been increasingly growing with similar efforts. The company didn’t say how Scout FM will be incorporated into its Podcasts app, but we’ll probably see some new related features beginning next year.
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Epic, Spotify and other Apple critics form coalition to take on App Store rules – CNET
More than a dozen app makers and other companies have joined together to form the Coalition for App Fairness, a nonprofit group that’s taking aim at Apple and its App Store rules. Among the founding members are , and Match Group, all of which have been vocal critics of the fees Apple charges developers.
“As enforcers, regulators, and legislators around the world investigate Apple for its anti-competitive behavior, The Coalition for App Fairness will be the voice of app and game developers in the effort to protect consumer choice and create a level playing field for all,” said Horacio Gutierrez, head of global affairs at Spotify, in a release on Thursday.
The coalition comes as Apple is locked in a public battle with Fortnite developer Epic Games. Fortnite was kicked off both the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store in August after Epic attempted to bypass the 30% fee Apple and Google charge developers. Epic countered by filing lawsuits against both companies. Apple earlier this month raised the stakes further by if it convinces a judge that it was within its rights to kick Fortnite off its more than 1.5 billion active iPhones and iPads.
Apple didn’t respond to a request for comment on the coalition. On Thursday, the company published several pages on its website highlighting the benefits of the App Store for users and developers. Apple says the pages provide context for its broader work to support its app store, which now counts more than 28 million developers worldwide, and 1.5 billion devices across 175 countries.
The App Store helps developers “from start to finish — to build, test, market, and distribute your products and grow your business,” says Apple’s site.
The Coalition for App Fairness also released a set of 10 App Store Principles that is says will help “protect the app economy” and ensure that the “benefits of digital technologies are shared by everyone.”
Here is the full list of coalition’s founding members: Basecamp, Blix, Blockchain.com, Deezer, Epic Games, the European Publishers Council, Match Group, News Media Europe, Prepear, Protonmail, SkyDemon, Spotify and Tile.
Amazon's new Echo Show 10's screen follows you around the room – MobileSyrup
Amazon has improved the Echo Show 10 in a few critical ways.
The first and most obvious change is a new design that looks like a screen attached to a cylinder speaker. What makes this interesting is that it can swivel in a 360-degree loop to follow the user around the room.
The Echo Show 10 also works as a Zigbee and Sidewalk hub, so it should allow people to connect a wide variety of smart home devices to it.
Since the screen features a 10-megapixel camera for video chatting, Amazon has repurposed it to be a security camera. That means when you are using your phone, you can look through the Echo Show’s camera to see what’s going on in the room it’s placed in.
Much like Facebook’s Portal smart devices, the camera on the Show 10 can also zoom in on users to crop and follow them around the room while they’re video chatting.
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