The Legal-Mess Edition Friday, May 17, 2019

Apple Ruling Opens A Can Of Worms For Digital Storefronts, by Rob Fahey,

One potentially enormous corollary to the ruling is that consumers now have standing to take cases over the nature not just of a store's treatment of them as customers, but over any knock-on impact the terms of the store's business agreement with developers may have on said consumers. If App Store consumers have standing to sue over Apple's revenue split with its developers, then consumers of any store can presumably sue over any aspect of the store's business relationship with developers that they consider to have negatively impacted them -- which is going to open the door to a lot of legal messes.

That's why the lawyers will be earning their big bucks this week, even for companies a long way from the smartphone app space. Valve and Epic are two firms that will no doubt be watching this closely, since the competition that's heating up between them in the PC space is increasingly using developer agreements -- revenue shares, exclusivity deals and so on -- as a battleground. The very existence of that competition will shield the dominant Steam platform from most anti-trust claims, of course, but if consumers have standing to take legal cases based on the content of those developer agreements, it means there's now a whole new legal minefield for these companies to tiptoe around as they try to go head-to-head over the future of the PC digital distribution space.

Minecraft Earth Wants To Be The Next Pokémon Go—But Bigger, by Peter Rubin, Wired

Minecraft Earth, which Microsoft announces today, is an augmented reality-driven mobile game that blockifies the planet. When it comes out later this summer, iOS and Android users will be able to construct a “build,” as the block-based environments are known, anywhere they want—on a tabletop, on their couch, on the floor—and even invite their friends to help. When they’re done, they can make that build life-size and walk around inside it. Out in the world, in parks and at other landmarks, players can take part in short adventures by themselves or with anyone else in the area, then use the spoils to level up their character and make their build even more impressive. It’s a massive undertaking that quite literally covers the entire globe in Minecraft—and is the biggest step yet taken toward the two-ply world of shared, persistent augmented reality.


Amazon, Roku, And Apple TV "Channels" Are A Well-intentioned Mess, by Jared Newman, TechHive

The whole concept just makes a big mess out of what is already a potentially confusing situation, and it doesn’t help much in the end because most streaming services don’t support Channels anyway.

Review Of The “New” Brydge Pro Keyboard For The 2018 12.9-inch iPad Pro, by Desmond Fuller, Apple World Today

The Brydge Pro is a keyboard that is well made and easily converts your iPad Pro into a laptop. You can just as quickly change it back to a tablet by removing it from the clips. If you want the best typing experience on an iPad, you can not beat the Brydge Pro keyboard.

Japan's Seven-Eleven Stores Will Sell Apple's Own iPhone Accessories, by William Gallagher, AppleInsider

The majority of Japan's 20,925-strong chain of Seven-Eleven convenience stores will stock official Apple iPhone accessories including cables, power adapters and EarPods.


The Best Ideas Are The Ones That Make The Least Sense, by Rory Sutherland, Entrepreneur

While the modern world often turns its back on this kind of illogic, it is uniquely powerful. Alongside the inarguably valuable products of science and logic, there are also hundreds of seemingly irrational solutions to human problems just waiting to be discovered, if only we dare to abandon conventional logic in the search for answers.

At Ogilvy, the advertising agency I’ve been at for more than 30 years, I founded a division that employs psychology graduates to search for illogical solutions to problems. We look at human behavior through a new lens. Our mantra is “Test counterintuitive things, because no one else ever does.”