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Apple just kicked Fortnite off the App Store

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Apple has removed Epic Games’ battle royale Fortnite from the App Store after the developer on Thursday implemented its own in-app payment system that bypassed Apple’s standard 30 percent fee. The decision marks a significant escalation in the feud between Epic and one of the most popular mobile app stores in the US, and it comes at an especially fraught time for Apple as the iPhone maker navigates antitrust concerns over its operation of its mobile marketplace and the rules it imposes on certain developers.

Apple said in a statement to The Verge that it plans to work with Epic to “resolve these violations” but that it has no intention to create a “special arrangement” for the company. Here’s the company’s statement in full:

Today, Epic Games took the unfortunate step of violating the App Store guidelines that are applied equally to every developer and designed to keep the store safe for our users. As a result their Fortnite app has been removed from the store. Epic enabled a feature in its app which was not reviewed or approved by Apple, and they did so with the express intent of violating the App Store guidelines regarding in-app payments that apply to every developer who sells digital goods or services.

Epic has had apps on the App Store for a decade, and have benefited from the App Store ecosystem – including its tools, testing, and distribution that Apple provides to all developers. Epic agreed to the App Store terms and guidelines freely and we’re glad they’ve built such a successful business on the App Store. The fact that their business interests now lead them to push for a special arrangement does not change the fact that these guidelines create a level playing field for all developers and make the store safe for all users. We will make every effort to work with Epic to resolve these violations so they can return Fortnite to the App Store.

Epic’s approach seem designed to provoke Apple into a response, as the Fortnite studio explicitly laid out in its new iOS update how using Epic’s in-app payment system would result in cheaper prices. For instance, 1,000 V-bucks, which is roughly equivalent to $10 in-game Fortnite currency, now costs just $7.99 if you use Epic direct payment instead of the standard Apple payment processing. Normally, that amount of currency costs $9.99. Epic says, in this case, customers keep the extra savings, not the company. That cast the new arrangement as a pro-consumer move instead of a greedy power play.

Epic isn’t just trying to weasel its way out of money it rightly owes. CEO Tim Sweeney has long complained that mobile app stores no longer justify the 30 percent cut they take from all developers, and he’s called for substantial changes to how companies like Apple and Google conduct business with third-party developers. “It’s time for change,” Sweeney told The Verge in 2018. “Apple, Google, and Android manufacturers make vast, vast profits from the sale of their devices and do not in any way justify the 30 percent cut.” Epic launched a game store on PC in which it takes only 12 percent of revenue as a way to try to encourage a similar change in competitor Valve’s Steam marketplace.

The debate is larger than just the 30 percent cut. Apple is facing heightened criticism these days over how it not only manages the App Store and its mandatory fees, but also for how it applies its guidelines in ways some developers and critics feel is unfair and may in fact be designed to benefit Apple over its competitors.

For instance, Apple recently gave Amazon an exemption to the 30 percent fee when selling TV show and movie rentals through its Prime Video app, something the company says is only allowed for certain streaming video platforms. Additionally, court documents released during the Big Tech antitrust hearing last month revealed Apple cut a special deal with Amazon in 2016 to lower the fees it takes on Prime Video subscriptions from 30 percent down to 15 percent to get Amazon’s app on the App Store.

Meanwhile, four years later, Apple just laid out why it will never approve cloud gaming apps and game subscription services like Microsoft’s xCloud and Xbox Game Pass as well as Google Stadia. Apple’s justification for doing so — that it cannot individually review all of the games offered by cloud gaming platforms as it would standard iOS apps — provoked Sweeney to issue another harsh condemnation. “Apple has outlawed the metaverse,” he wrote on Twitter. “The principle they state, taken literally, would rule out all cross-platform ecosystems and games with user created modes: not just XCloud, Stadia, and GeForce NOW, but also Fortnite, Minecraft, and Roblox.”

Since Fortnite first arrived on mobile in 2018, the game has existed as a standard iOS app; Sweeney has openly said his company only did so because there is no other way to enter Apple’s closed ecosystem. That means Apple has taken 30 percent of all in-app purchases of Fortnite currency used to purchase its battle pass subscription service and the cosmetic skins, emotes, and other digital goods that make the battle royale one of the most lucrative entertainment properties on the planet. Fortnite earned Epic $2.4 billion in 2018 and $1.8 billion in 2019, helped in large part by its popularity across platforms, as players can use the same account across iOS, Nintendo Switch, PS4, Xbox One, and PC.

Epic previously bypassed Google’s Play Store on Android by releasing Fortnite as a direct download through its own software launcher. But the studio eventually relented earlier this year after failing to appeal Google for an exemption of its similar 30 percent cut of all in-app purchases. “After 18 months of operating Fortnite on Android outside of the Google Play Store, we’ve come to a basic realization,” reads Epic’s statement. “Google puts software downloadable outside of Google Play at a disadvantage.”

Epic’s statement at the time was transparent in its displeasure at how Google, and by extension Apple, treat third-party software that doesn’t abide by its rules. Epic also later joined Match Group, the parent company of Tinder and other dating apps, in issuing statements of support for two ongoing antitrust investigations into Apple conducted by the European Union, launched only after Spotify and other app makers protested App Store policies they say unfairly punish Apple competitors.

Source : TheVergeRead More

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Charge Your Phone Wirelessly With 50% off a Multifunctional LED Lamp

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Best Tech DealsBest Tech DealsThe best tech deals from around the web, updated daily.

White Wireless Charge Lamp | $18 | Amazon | Clip coupon + code ABC88699
Black Wireless Charger Lamp | $20 | Amazon | Promo code ABC88699

When you’re ready to turn in for the night, you don’t want to forget to charge your phone— especially if your mobile device doubles as your alarm clock.

With this wireless charger lamp, you can make this crucial step of your nightly routine even easier by just setting your phone on the wireless charging pad and… well, that’s all there is to it!

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Other functions include multiple lighting modes as well as a sleep timer option for auto shut-off of the light after 30 or 60 minutes.

This lamp can be yours in white for $18 if you clip the coupon on Amazon (it’s below the original $40 price) and add promo code ABC88699 at checkout.

You can snag the black version for $20 using the same code—no coupon though, sorry.

Don’t sleep on this deal! Who knows how long stock or the coupon code will last?

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Keep That Hotdish Hot With 65% Off a Luncia Casserole Carrier, Only $11 With Promo Code

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Best Home DealsBest Home DealsThe best home, kitchen, smart home, and automotive deals from around the web, updated daily.

Luncia Double-Decker Dish Carrier | $11 | Amazon | Promo code SDDU9S7F

It has been a long time since the days we could safely have a potluck or other gatherings, but we have a fantastic deal perfect for once those times return. These double-decker Luncia dish carriers can be had for 65% off when you add promo code SDDU9S7F at checkout and clip the coupon on the site (it’s just below the price). These holders fit 9″x 13″ sized baking dishes.

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That means you can insulate and keep two dishes of food warm for only $11 instead of $30. What’s more, your Luncia carrier will arrive by Christmas if you order today as a Prime member.

Just add promo code SDDU9S7F and clip the 5% off coupon to bring the price down to $11 for the blue or the grey option.

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Grab this offer while it’s still around!


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Conquer Your Pup’s Dander and Fur With $700 Off a Cobalt or Charcoal Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum

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Best Home DealsBest Home DealsThe best home, kitchen, smart home, and automotive deals from around the web, updated daily.

Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum & Mop (Cobalt) | $200 | Best Buy

Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum & Mop (Charcoal) | $200 | Best Buy

Allergies can be bad enough as the seasons change. Don’t let pet hair and dander add to that by vacuuming it up early and often. That chore is easier said than done— unless you have a robot vacuum to do the work for you. This lovely bright cobalt Bobsweep PetHair Plus robot vacuum and mop, only $200 today at Best Buy seems like an ideal option. That’s a whopping $700 off, by the way.

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You can get the same deal for the charcoal version of the robot vac, too. This model is not only specially made for picking up pet hair, it self docks and charges when it’s finished with the work.

It also comes with a mop attachment, so it can take care of those kitchen floors for you as well. Grab it while it’s still available for this fantastic price!

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