The Outside-Payment Edition Friday, August 27, 2021

Apple’s $100 Million Settlement Agreement Changes A Key App Store Rule For Developers, by Jay Peters, Sean Hollister, and Richard Lawler, The Verge

A proposed agreement between Apple and a class-action lawsuit representing US app developers includes a $100 million payout from Apple. The settlement agreement also has Apple “clarifying” its policies to explain that iOS developers can contact their customers, with permission, using information collected inside their apps to tell them about payment options outside the App Store. The change is a shift to the anti-steering policy that has been a big point of contention between Apple and its critics for years.

The change, while potentially important for developers, isn’t quite as significant as it may seem. In an update to the App Store Guidelines in June, Apple already changed its rules to allow developers to communicate with customers outside of their apps, but at that time, they weren’t allowed to contact users about alternate payment options using information obtained inside the app — they would have had to figure out how to obtain their contact info another way.

Apple Loosens Rules For Developers In Major Concession Amid Antitrust Pressure, by Rachel Lerman, Cat Zakrzewski and Heather Kelly, Washington Post

Some lawmakers offered tentative praise for the move. Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), chair of the Senate Judiciary antitrust subcommittee, said that Apple has significant control over apps, particularly as the world goes more mobile.

“This power raises serious competition concerns and impacts consumers and app developers alike,” she said in a statement. “This new action by Apple is a good first step towards addressing some of these competition concerns, but more must be done to ensure an open, competitive mobile app marketplace, including common sense legislation to set rules of the road for dominant app stores.

Apple's App Store Changes Are The Least It Could Have Done – Literally, by Ben Lovejoy, 9to5Mac

Before, developers couldn’t even email app users to let them know about alternative payment options. Now they can – but that’s it.

Developers still can’t provide a link within the app to an alternative payment platform. Indeed, the company confirmed to us that developers aren’t even allowed to mention alternative payment methods inside the app.

Apple Will Halve Its Cut Of In-App Purchases For Publishers That Also Participate In Apple News, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

The Apple News Partner Program means that if a publisher has a significant presence inside of the Apple News app, including adopting of Apple’s custom Apple News Format for generating articles, that publisher will get a discount on the commission on subscriptions taken out inside their native iPhone and iPad app.

This program represents a halving of the standard 30% commission for In-App Purchases, and means that participating news apps will collect 85% of the revenue from in-app subscriptions from day one.


How I Remixed Lady Gaga Like A Pro DJ With My iPad And GarageBand, by Tamara Palmer, Macworld

The latest GarageBand update for iOS and iPadOS includes two Remix Sessions that allow you to create new versions of songs by pop stars Lady Gaga and Dua Lipa. Using GarageBand’s Live Loops feature, you can manipulate and record sounds from their tracks as well as hundreds more to be found in the app. The sound loops are represented visually as circular waveforms that you can touch or click to start and stop. You can also tinker with sound levels, effects such as echo and reverb, tempo and key, as well as connect external instruments or add our voice to jam along.

Apple Promoting Olivia Rodrigo's Latest Music Video As It Was 'Made On iPad', by Filipe Espósito, 9to5Mac

Apple partnered with singer and actress Olivia Rodrigo earlier this month to promote her new song “Brutal” with various digital masks created on the iPad with Procreate and Apple Pencil. Now that the “Brutal” music video is available, Apple made a short clip highlighting that it was “Made with iPad.”

Apple Rolling Out New Firmware Version For AirTag Item Trackers, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

There is also no way to force it to update. Instead, just make sure your AirTag is in range of your iPhone, and it should automatically update.

The 6 Best Goal-setting Apps For Work And Life Outside The Cubicle, by R. Dallon Adams, TechRepublic

During the busy workday or while juggling a loaded personal itinerary, staying on top of a laundry list of to-dos can be challenging. There are a number of goal-setting apps on the market to help people set goals, follow their progress and hold themselves accountable to these targets. From apps with coaching capabilities built in to gamified offerings, here are some of the best goal-setting apps for personal and professional growth.

The Best Apple Watch Bands For Every Style And Budget, by Men's Journal

While the watch itself gets most of the attention (and rightly so, it’s an incredible piece of technology), finding the right band will make the watch more comfortable, functional, and stylish, too.

Classic Mac Game 'Myst' Comes To Apple Silicon, by William Gallagher, AppleInsider

As well as being available for both Intel and M1 Macs, the game is now also localized in multiple languages, "for the first time in Myst's history."


How Small Developers Compete With The Defaults On Your Phone, by Chaim Gartenberg, The Verge

The key is standing out: creating a better, richer experience than the more pared-down default apps provide, by offering apps with more advanced, unique, or different features than Apple’s vanilla alternative.

A New Type Of Healing, Supported By Apple, by Apple

SweetBio was founded by sister and brother team Kayla Rodriguez Graff and Isaac Rodriguez, whose family is from Puerto Rico. Their goal is advanced wound care for all, and to achieve this, they’ve harnessed the power of a surprising source: honey. Specifically, Manuka honey, which is derived from bees pollinating the Manuka tree and has been shown to have antibacterial and healing properties, according to some studies.

SweetBio is one of a number of Latinx-founded companies that has received funding from VamosVentures, a venture capital impact fund that invests in diverse, technology-enabled companies across the country.

Tim Cook Receives Over Five Million Shares Of Apple Stock Worth $750 Million, by Kif Leswing, CNBC

Apple CEO Tim Cook received more than five million shares of Apple stock this week, selling most of the stock for more than $750 million, according to an SEC filing posted by Apple on Thursday.

The tranche of stock is the final part of the compensation package that Cook received when he took over as CEO of Apple 10 years ago.

Bottom of the Page

One of the most memorable Apple advertistment from the iPod days was "Rip Mix Burn." iTunes + iPod had great support for mixing things up, ranging from the plain do-it-yourself playlists, on-the-go playlists, smart playlists, and even playlists that can be created using AppleScripts.

Unfortunately, it seems Apple no longer believe in Rip Mix Burn. Apple Music has poor support for any smartness in playlists. I no longer have any idea how to set up a good podcast playlist in Apple Podcast app. Apple News is not available where I am, but from what I can see, I'd probably still prefer my RSS reader.

Now that we have a 'real' computer in all our pockets, it is disappointing we can no longer Rip Mix Burn with it.


Thanks for reading.