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Spotify, Epic, Tile, Match, and more are rallying developers against Apple’s App Store policies – The Verge

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Several of Apple’s biggest critics — including Epic Games, Spotify, Basecamp, Match Group, Tile, Blix, and Deezer — have banded together to create the Coalition for App Fairness, a new group aiming to “create a level playing field for app businesses and give people freedom of choice on their devices.”

While most of the founding members have individually fought or are fighting with Apple over its App Store policies, the Coalition for App Fairness marks a more coordinated effort for developers to formally protest Apple’s rules. The goal is to also provide a central organization for developers to join, especially those who may not have the clout or the resources to take on Apple alone.

The Coalition says that it welcomes “companies of any size, in any industry who are committed to protecting consumer choice, fostering competition, and creating a level playing field for all app and game developers globally.”

“We are joining the Coalition for App Fairness to defend the fundamental rights of creators to build apps and to do business directly with their customers,” said Tim Sweeney, CEO and founder of Epic Games in a statement announcing the news.

The Coalition for App Fairness cites three main issues of contention: Apple’s 30 percent cut of any payments sold through the store, the lack of any other competitive options for app distribution on iOS, and a claim that Apple uses its control over iOS to favor its own services.

None of these are new accusations. Spotify, for example, has formally filed an antitrust suit in the European Union against Apple over many of those issues. Basecamp clashed with Apple earlier this year, claiming that Apple was refusing to approve future updates for its Hey email app unless it sold subscriptions through Apple’s store. Blix claimed that Apple stole its ideas for anonymous email sign-in and then booted it from the App Store. (The company has previously tried to rally other developers to join its fight.) Tile testified in Congress that Apple used its platform to undercut its product’s usability on iOS. And of course, Epic has launched a full-fledged war over Apple’s 30 percent cut that’s resulted in the biggest game in the world being removed from the App Store entirely.

The Coalition for App Fairness has a proposed code of conduct that it’s asking Apple — and other platform owners — to adopt. They goals are ambitious, and include requests that developers not be forced to use an exclusive app store, that all developers should have equal access to the same technical information as the platform owner, and that developers should not be forced to pay “unfair, unreasonable or discriminatory fees or revenue shares,” in order to be listed on an app store.

The Coalition for App Fairness is hoping to gain influence over Apple through a united developer front. But even if other developers flock to join, Apple still holds all the cards; while Spotify, Match, Basecamp, and the rest are protesting Apple’s rules, at the end of the day, they’re still putting their apps in the App Store and paying Apple’s fees. As long as that’s the case, short of legal intervention, it’s hard to see Apple acquiescing to any of these demands — no matter how many developers complain.

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Here's what every major Wall Street analyst says about Apple's earnings report – CNBC

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CEO Tim Cook waves while arriving on stage during a previous Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in San Jose, California.
David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images

(This story is for CNBC Pro subscribers only).

Apple’s latest earnings report was received cautiously by top Wall Street analysts as uncertainty around iPhone sales weighed against better-than-expected headline numbers.

The consumer tech giant reported higher-than-expected earnings per share and revenue for its fiscal fourth quarter Thursday, with results for services, Mac computers and iPads beating projections. Sales of the flagship iPhone, however, fell short, and Apple did not provide guidance for the upcoming quarter.

Shares of Apple were down about 4% in premarket trading to around $111 per share as traders digested the report.

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PSA: Apple One Premier Bundle Only Available in US, UK, Canada, and Australia – MacRumors

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Apple’s new Apple One series of services bundles launches on Friday in over 100 countries and regions, but the top Premier tier will be limited to the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, and Canada.


The limited rollout of the $29.95 Premier tier is down to the fact that Apple News+ is currently only available in the above countries. Apple News+ is exclusive to the Premier tier, along with Apple Fitness+, which isn’t expected to arrive until later in the year.

Here’s how the Individual, Family, and Premier tiers stack up:

  • Individual: Apple Music, Apple TV+, Apple Arcade, and 50GB of iCloud storage for $14.95 per month
  • Family: Apple Music, Apple TV+, Apple Arcade, and 200GB of iCloud storage for $19.95 per month, can be shared among up to six family members
  • Premier: Apple Music, Apple TV+, Apple Arcade, Apple News+, Apple Fitness+, and 2TB of iCloud storage for $29.95 per month, can be shared among up to six family members

Apple One’s Individual tier offers savings of $6 per month, while the Family plan offers savings of over $8 per month, and the Premier plan offers a savings of over $25 per month, compared to standard monthly pricing. Apple One includes a 30-day free trial for any services that customers do not already have.

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PlayStation CEO thinks VR's bright future is still years away – Engadget

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Engadget

Sony offering PSVR owners a free camera adapter to use with the PS5 pretty much tells you that the company has no plans to release a new virtual reality headset anytime soon. Now, Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO Jim Ryan has confirmed to The Washington Post in an interview that there “won’t be any immediate leaps forward” from the company when it comes to virtual reality. He didn’t talk about hardware in particular, but based on what he said, it’s unclear when we’ll see the next-gen PSVR.

That doesn’t mean PlayStation is stepping back from virtual reality. Ryan told the publication that the company believes VR will “represent a meaningful component of interactive entertainment,” though it probably won’t happen anytime soon. He also said that the company is looking forward to seeing where the lessons it learned from PSVR will take it, ensuring PlayStation’s continued investment in virtual reality. He said:

“I think we’re more than a few minutes from the future of VR. PlayStation believes in VR. Sony believes in VR, and we definitely believe at some point in the future, VR will represent a meaningful component of interactive entertainment. Will it be this year? No. Will it be next year? No. But will it come at some stage? We believe that. And we’re very pleased with all the experience that we’ve gained with PlayStation VR, and we look forwarding to seeing where that takes us in the future.”

In addition, Ryan talked about Sony’s hopes to grow PlayStation Plus’ subscriber numbers. The company will offer Plus subscribers on the PS5 access to “20 free top-tier PS4 games” so they can give older games a try. When it comes to upcoming games for its next—gen console, Ryan said that putting technologies like “3D Audio and haptic feedback… in the hands of a great game developer” will take “immersiveness… to the next level.”

Ryan expects more games with rich storytelling and narrative elements, as well, since they’ll be much more powerful “when they’re realistic,” which is something the PS5 is capable of providing. “[T]here’s this kind of happy sort of synergy between technology progress and our great ability to tell stories,” he explained. “I see that’s a trend that will only continue.”

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Sony, PS5, Jim Ryan, news, gaming
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