Users of two major mobile payment services in China — Alipay and WeChat Pay — have reported unauthorized Apple App Store spending in recent days, with some losing nearly $300 through fraudulent transactions. The companies say that stolen Apple IDs are to blame, the Wall Street Journal reports, and Alipay has asked Apple to investigate. In the meantime, Alipay is telling its customers to minimize potential losses by reducing how much money can be used from their accounts without a password.
After Alex Jones and InfoWars drew bans from Facebook, YouTube and Apple Podcasts over repeated violations of their conduct policies, fans of the network downloaded its apps to continue accessing the same content. Tonight Apple confirmed to BuzzFeed News that it has permanently banned InfoWars from the iOS App Store.
Apple was not specific about what caused the move, simply referring to its guidelines about objectionable content in the store. Before Twitter finally banned Jones and his site yesterday, we listed a series of posts that violated its policies and had somehow not resulted in the accounts being removed. Despite whatever reason the app had avoided removal until now despite engaging in the kind of defamatory and discriminatory language explicitly banned, Jones’ move to confront reporters and even Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey around the Senate building on Wednesday while livestreaming and posting appears to have been the beginning of the Continue reading “Apple yanks Alex Jones’ InfoWars app”
Adware Doctor is a top app in Apple’s Mac App Store, sitting at number five in the list of top paid apps and leading the list of top utilities apps, as of writing. It says it’s meant to prevent “malware and malicious files from infecting your Mac” and claims to be one of the best apps to do so, but unbeknownst to its users, it’s also stealing their browser history and downloading it to servers in China.
Apple’s increasingly tougher stance on app privacy has led Facebook to pull one of its iOS apps. The Wall Street Journal has learned that Facebook is removing its VPN-based Onavo Protect program from the App Store after Apple warned the social network that it violated stricter policies (enacted in June) that limit how and why software collects data. Onavo Protect’s collection and analysis of user activity beyond the app reportedly violated the new data collection limits, a source said. It also broke a clause in the developer agreement forbidding apps from using that data for either unrelated purposes or advertising.
Source: Wall Street Journal, Matthew Panzarino (Twitter)
Netflix is bypassing App Store for its recurring subscription fees. Currently, Netflix pays a 30 percent cut of first-year subscription fees to Apple and 15 percent for each recurring year. But now in 33 countries, TechCrunch reports that new or lapsed customers in places including Canada, Germany, Mexico and Poland will be asked to pay via mobile web rather than in-app. The streaming service did something similar on Android earlier this year.
Apple is once again removing apps in response to Chinese government pressure, although under somewhat different circumstances this time around. State media reports that Apple pulled 25,000 gambling apps from China’s App Store after a bevy of media outlets (again government-backed) criticized it for inadequate filtering that let through the titles, which have long been illegal in the country. Some of them had slipped into the store by posing as lottery apps.
Via: Ars Technica
Source: Wall Street Journal
While a number of tech companies have purged their sites of Alex Jones podcasts and accounts over the last couple of days, not all InfoWars-related content has been taken down. And what’s still available continues to attract interest. CNBC reports today that the InfoWars app, which is still available through the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store, is being downloaded quite a bit, taking the fourth spot in Apple’s chart of top free news-related apps. As of writing, the app was number 12 in Google’s chart of top free news and magazine apps.
Via: CNBC, 9to5Mac
Starting on October 1st, apps won’t be part of Apple’s affiliate program anymore. Cupertino has announced that partners will no longer be getting commissions for iOS and Mac apps as well as in-app content after the next couple of months. The tech giant cited the launch of the new App Store and the fact that it was designed to be much better for app discovery as the reason behind its decision. Partners can only continue earning affiliate money if they recommend the other types of content Apple sells: music, movies, books and TV.
As the App Store turns 10 this month, it’s fascinating to see how it all began. While it may seem obvious that most people have a small rectangle of glass and metal that they spend a ton of time staring at now, it wasn’t always a foregone conclusion. Back in 2008, a reporter at the Wall Street Journal, now a senior editor at The Information, interviewed Steve Jobs at the App Store’s one-month mark. The Apple co-founder and CEO was clearly impressed by the performance of his company’s new service.
Source: The Wall Street Journal, The Information
The word “casual” has long been flung out as an insult on video-game forums and social media. It’s deployed to belittle the interests of people who enjoy more relaxing experiences than gritty shooters, strategy-rich online games or time-sucking RPGs. Unsurprisingly, it’s most often hurled at anyone who says they like mobile games.
For Voodoo, “casual” isn’t an insult. It’s a cash cow.
Ten years ago today, Apple officially launched the iOS App Store and — for better or worse — it helped rewrite the rules of society. The iPhone, which debuted about a year prior, came with just north of 12 built-in apps to start. But with the coming of iOS 2.0 and the App Store, the sort of functionality you could squeeze out of Apple’s smartphone was only constrained by a developer’s imagination … and how much storage you had left.
Apple will have one more shot at avoiding a proposed class-action lawsuit accusing it of price fixing with the App Store. The US Supreme Court has agreed to hear Apple’s appeal of a ruling that would resurrect the antitrust case, which asserted that the company was abusing its App Store-only requirement to keep prices higher and take a 30 percent cut. It’s not yet clear when the court will handle the challenge.
Apple updated its app guidelines last week, and while the biggest news was a widespread ban on cryptocurrency mining, the company also tightened its grip on what developers can and can’t do with user info. Specifically, it restricted apps’ abilities to collect, harness and share anyone’s contact information.
Apple blocked Steam Link’s launch on iOS to protect its business: Valve’s app reportedly broke App Store guidelines surrounding in-app purchases. Those generate serious money for the tech giant, which takes a 30 percent cut from every sale. Now, Cupertino has revised its guidelines to include what features are and aren’t acceptable for mirroring apps like Steam Link. The rules won’t only protect Apple’s revenue stream, but will also clarify what developers need to do in order to make sure their applications get approved. In other words, they could pave the way for Steam Link’s addition to the iOS App Store.
Source: Reuters, Apple App Store Guidelines
Apple has revealed a redesigned Mac App Store at WWDC 2018, which takes clear design cues from the iOS version of the shop. You’ll notice right away that it now looks a lot like the one on your iPhone and iPad, featuring a “Discover” tab that will highlight a wide range of curated content, anything from “best apps” lists to tutorials and behind-the-scenes stories from developers. Ratings and reviews of applications are now front and center, too, while video previews are making its debut on the Mac App Store for the first time — that’s a feature that launched on iOS in 2014.
Apple has finally rolled out the latest version of Telegram on the App Store, a day after company chief Pavel Durov said that the tech giant has been blocking its updates since April. Telegram version 4.8.2 will make the app GDPR-compliant — something that it should’ve been since the EU enforced the data protection and privacy law on May 25th. It also adds features that’ll allow you to stop updating your contacts and to delete your synced ones, as well as to disable link previews in Secret Chats.
If you’re wondering why Telegram hasn’t updated its iOS app in two months, there’s a clear reason for that, according to founder and CEO Pavel Durov. He says Apple blocked Telegram from issuing updates after Russia ordered the app’s removal from the App Store last month.
Source: Pavel Durov (Telegram)
Sarah Perez, reporting for TechCrunch:
The App Store shrank for the first time in 2017, according to a new report from Appfigures. The report found the App Store lost 5 percent of its total apps over the course of the year, dropping from 2.2 million published iOS apps in the beginning of the year to 2.1 million by year-end.
Appfigures speculated the changes had to do with a combination of factors, including stricter enforcement of Apple’s review guidelines, along with a technical change requiring app developers to update their apps to the 64-bit architecture.
With the previously announced App Store cleanup and iOS 11’s 32-bit purge, it’s no surprise at all that the App Store shrank during the year. To the average user though, a store with 2.1 million apps is no different than one with 2.2 million. Plus, in theory the apps that Continue reading “The Shrinking App Store”
Getting a new car is getting even easier these days. BMW, Lexus and Volvo have all started selling cars via subscription. The Care by Volvo program gives you an all-wheel drive XC40, insurance, routine maintenance, roadside assistance and no money down for $600 a month. That sounds pretty great, but it’s also super easy to sign up. Now you can sign up and pay for your monthly car sub via an iOS app and Apple Pay.
Source: Volvo/App Store
Kaspersky Lab says it spotted evidence of a vulnerability in the desktop version of Telegram that allowed attackers to install cryptocurrency mining malware on users’ computers. The zero-day exploit was used to trick Telegram users into downloading malicious files, which could then be used to deliver cryptocurrency mining software and spyware. According to Kaspersky, those behind the exploit used the computers their malware had been installed on to mine digital currencies like Monero, Zcash, Fantomcoin and others. Kaspersky also says it found a stolen cache of Telegram data on one of the attackers’ servers.