The Biden administration is taking aim at Apple and Google’s mobile app stores, representing perhaps one of the biggest challenge they have yet faced.
Apple has released a report on the App Store, revealing the company has paid developers $320 billion.
The Google Plays Store has a problem, with more Android apps abandoned in the last six months than those updated.
Apple has informed developers it will be raising App Store prices in multiple regions, effective October 5, 2022.
Apple is moving ahead with its plans to introduce more ads to the App Store, inviting developers to purchase slots for end-of-year rollout.
Developers in South Korea can now use the payment system of their choice rather than being locked into Apple’s method.
Apple is receiving some major backing in its fight with Epic, with former national security officials and Roblox defending the company’s App Store policies.
Developers of “reader apps,” such as Netflix, Spotify, and Kindle, can now include a link to alternative payment methods.
Microsoft is throwing down the gauntlet in the app store market, releasing a set of “Open App Store Principles” that take aim at Apple and Google.
Developers with an in-house or private app can now submit it to the Apple App Store as an unlisted app.
86% of Developers Want Legislation to Open App Stores
With the Open App Markets Act (OAMA) making its way through the Senate, at least 86% of developers are in favor of app marketplace legislation.
The OAMA is bipartisan legislation aimed at Apple’s App Store and Google’s Play Store. The legislation is designed to reduce Apple and Google’s role as gatekeepers for their respective platforms.
“This legislation will tear down coercive anticompetitive walls in the app economy, giving consumers more choices and smaller startup tech companies a fighting chance,” said Senator Richard Blumenthal. “For years, Apple and Google have squashed competitors and kept consumers in the dark—pocketing hefty windfalls while acting as supposedly benevolent gatekeepers of this multi-billion dollar market. I’m proud to partner with Senators Blackburn and Klobuchar in this breakthrough blow against Big Tech bullying. This bipartisan bill will help break these tech giants’ ironclad grip, open the app economy to new competitors, and give mobile users more control over their own devices.”
According to the Coalition of App Fairness, 86% of developers want legislation that will prevent anti-competitive practices, as well as prevent Apple and Google from favoring their own apps and services. Developers clearly hope the OAMA will help level the playing field.
“The evidence is clear – app developers want the Open App Markets Act to pass so that they can have the opportunity to compete in a fair digital marketplace,” said Meghan DiMuzio, Executive Director for the Coalition for App Fairness. “For too long, developers have been harmed by gatekeepers’ monopolistic practices, and consumers have suffered from less choice and innovation. We applaud Congress’ leadership on this issue to date and continue to urge members of Congress to act quickly to ensure a fair and competitive marketplace.”
Nvidia is doing what Epic can’t, bringing Fortnite back to iOS and Android via its GeForce NOW gaming platform.
South Korea is pressuring Apple and Google to ban existing and future play-to-earn (P2E) games, in another move against the app economy.
Apple won an appeal to delay an order that would allow developers to avoid its App Store commission while the company continues the appeal process.
New data indicates the Apple App Store is on track to blow past last year’s earnings, topping $85 billion in 2021.
The judge in Apple’s case versus Epic has denied the company a stay on implementing court-ordered App Store changes until appeals are exhausted.
Apple has released TestFlight for macOS, making the utility available on the Mac for the first time.
Google has announced it is lowering its Play Store fees for subscriptions to 15%, and Media Experience apps to 10%.