Anyone who buys a new iPhone, iPad, Mac, iPod touch, or Apple TV after October 22nd gets free three-month trial of Apple Arcade, Apple has announced. Apple’s games subscription service normally costs $4.99 a month, and gives you access to over 100 downloadable games with no ads or in-game purchases.
Apple has long used lengthy free trial periods to advertise its subscription services. When it launched Apple TV Plus last year it gave customers a whole year of the service for free with the purchase of an eligible device, and recently extended these trials by up to three months. Three months is also the standard trial period for Apple Music. Until now, however, Apple has only offered a one month free trial of Apple Arcade with new sign-ups.
On Tuesday, Congress revealed whether it thinks Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google are sitting on monopolies. In some cases, the answer was yes.
But also, one app developer revealed to Congress that it — just like WordPress — had been forced to monetize a largely free app. That developer testified that Apple had demanded in-app purchases (IAP), even though Apple had approved its app without them two years earlier — and that when the dev dared send an email to customers notifying them of the change, Apple threatened to remove the app and blocked all updates.
That developer was ProtonMail, makers of an encrypted email app, and CEO Andy Yen had some fiery words for Apple in an interview with The Verge this week.
We’ve known for months that WordPress and Hey weren’t alone in being strong-armed by the most valuable company in the world, ever since Stratechery’s
ProtonMail’s chief executive officer said Apple forced the email service to introduce in-app purchases in a move he likened to “mafia extortion.”
The encrypted and privacy-focused email service launched on the App Store in 2016. Although it offered a premium tier on its website, there wasn’t an option to purchase it within the app.
In 2016, Apple told the email service “out of the blue” that it had to add an in-app purchase option to remain on the App Store, ProtonMail CEO Andy Yen said in an interview with The Verge.
“For the first two years we were in the App Store, that was fine, no issues there,” Yen said. “But a common practice we see … as you start getting significant uptake in uploads and downloads, they start looking at your situation more carefully, and then as any good mafia extortion goes, they come to shake you down
In an effort to increase its sustainable farming line, Syngenta has acquired the biologicals company Valagro. The purchase of the Atessa, Italy company — whose slogan “Where science meets nature,” is a continued effort by Syngenta to gain a larger foothold in the sustainable practices field.
“This acquisition underlines our growth ambitions in this area and positions us as one of the strongest players in the global biologicals market,” said Erik Fyrwald, CEO of Syngenta Group. “The investment also forms part of our $2 billion commitment to help farmers address the effects of climate change and improve agricultural sustainability as part of our Good Growth Plan.”
According to Sygenta’s website, some of the environmental progress it is working toward includes a partnership with The Nature Conservancy to improve soil health, resource efficiency and
Emarketer, the well-regarded source of much digital research data, has released data showing that in-app purchases (typically for virtual goods) in mobile apps are growing as a revenue source, and that advertising, due to Covid is shrinking. The mobile app economy has been dominated by in-app purchases since the advent of the smartphone, particularly due to the presence of extensive in-app purchases items in mobile gaming apps. In non-gaming apps there is rising revenue driven by content subscriptions.
Sensor Tower, a well-known data analytics firm in the mobile app arena, according to eMarketer, estimated that global app revenues from in-app purchases rose by 23.4% year-over-year in the first half of 2020 and $36.6 billion came from within games, an increase of more than 20% YOY.
Taking a page out of Apple’s (AAPL) – Get Report book, Google will begin more strictly enforcing rules that require developers to use Google’s (GOOGL) – Get Report payment system for in-app purchases.
Google announced the change on its Android developer blog on Monday, describing it as a clarification of Google’s existing rules on in-app purchases. Google had an existing policy requiring developers to use Google’s billing system, but the policy had been loosely enforced.
“We’ve always required developers who distribute their apps on Play to use Google Play’s billing system if they offer in-app purchases of digital goods, and pay a service fee from a percentage of the purchase,” wrote Sameer Samat, VP of product management at Android. “We only collect a service fee if the developer charges users to download their app or they sell in-app digital items, and we think that is fair.
New European rules on Strong Customer Authentication (SCA) could block more than one-third of online purchases and cost merchants more than $100 billion in lost sales, according to an analyis by payments consultancy CMSPI.
The consultancy says problems will arise for e-commerce merchants beginning January with the introduction of 3D-Secure Version 2.0, an authentication protocol developed by the major card schemes.
The CMSPI report describes the technology as “relatively new and unproven”, adding “significant unnecessary friction to the online commerce experience.”
With the new security protocol adding between 60 seconds and two minutes to the checkout process, testing shows 25% of 3DS2 transactions are abandoned by consumers, compared with single-digit numbers without the technology.
Overall, as many as 35% of 3DS2 transactions fail to go through, either because they are declined, abandoned by frustrated consumers or because of technical errors. If not corrected, that would amount to €108.1 billion
Google plans to push harder for developers to give the company a cut of in-app purchases through its Play app store, according to people with knowledge of the move.
The Alphabet Inc. unit plans to issue updated guidelines as early as next week that clarify a requirement for most apps to use Google’s billing service for in-app content downloads, game upgrades and subscriptions. This system gives the company a 30% cut of purchases inside of apps on Android.
While this requirement has existed for years, some major developers including Netflix Inc., Spotify Technology SA, Match Group Inc. and Epic Games Inc., have circumvented the rule. Netflix and Spotify apps prompt consumers to pay using a credit card, rather than their Play app store account, bypassing Google’s fee. Last year, Match Group’s Tinder dating app launched a similar payment process.
More recently, Epic Games started letting players buy in-game upgrades for
MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) – The Meridian Public School District will be getting extra help making distance learning possible for all students. Funds from the CARES Act and the Equity in Distance Learning Act are being used to purchase new devices for students and teachers.
“I’m expecting [the new technology] in the next 30-days,” said Tim Boutwell, the director of technology for the Meridian Public School District. “The devices have been ordered a couple weeks ago now, so 30 days gives me about 6 weeks leeway, so I’m expecting them in the next 30 days.”
K1 students will be receiving iPad’s and students in other grades will be receiving Chromebook’s. Teachers who have not recently been given new laptops will be getting new ones with the funds.
“If we had to close on a moment’s notice for any purpose, you