Apps

Apple lowers its cut from App Store apps made by small businesses

Developers who earn up to US$ 1 million may take advantage of a lower 15% cut

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Apple recently launched a new developer program aimed at small businesses and indie developers. The major takeaway from the program is the reduced commission rate which will greatly benefit most developers and act as a band-aid solution to problematic App Store policies.

Through the App Store Small Business Program, Apple would only take 15% of the cut from the total revenue generated from paid apps and in-app purchases. This constitutes a 50% decrease in the standard commission rate of the company.

Apple’s rationale for launching the program is to help small businesses and developers during these difficult times. Tim Cook cited the importance of these businesses to the economy and how the App Store creates new opportunities for them. In Apple’s marketing speak, the program will help spur innovation and support entrepreneurs with their “next big thing”.

That, of course, is one way of putting it. This year, Apple’s commission rate of 30% came under fire from a majority of developers who saw that it is too much. Even big-time developers criticized this 30% cut — think Facebook, Microsoft, and Epic Games.

As such, this new developer program could be seen as a band-aid solution to appease these developers calling for a change to the company’s policies.

Eligibility for the program

Comprehensive details about the program will be made public by early December. However, Apple has already laid out the rules for a developer to be eligible for the program. The rules are as follows:

  • A developer must earn up to US$ 1 million by the end of 2020 for all the paid apps and in-app purchases.
  • Developers who signed-up this 2020 will automatically qualify for the program.
  • The standard commission rate of 30% will apply once a developer’s total revenue exceeds US$ 1 million, good for the remainder of the year.
  • Developers whose revenue falls again in the succeeding year can requalify once again the year after.

The standard 30% cut will still apply to businesses and developers earning above US$ 1 million. According to Apple, 30% is the optimum commission rate since it is the standard across app distribution and gaming platforms.

The new developer program will surely boost the earnings of most developers — particularly indie developers — who rely on paid apps or in-app purchases for their income. It is also a welcome move for Apple, especially when its App Store policies are coming under fire recently.

Apps

Netflix is working on its first PC game

It’s a AAA title

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Though off to a relatively slow start, Netflix is now a gaming company as well. As of late, the platform included a variety of mobile games in its catalog of content. Every Netflix subscriber can play any of the games. Now, Netflix is working on something else entirely: a game for the PC.

Spotted by Mobilegamer.biz, Netflix has recently posted new job openings for a game director, an art director, and a technical director. All three listings describe a “brand-new AAA PC game” as a project. One listing even describes “one of Netflix’s first generation of internally developed original games.”

Currently, Netflix taps into other game studios to produce titles for them. Aside from a few independent developers, the platform even partnered with Ubisoft for mobile titles. (One of which will be based on the Assassin’s Creed franchise.)

With the listings in place, the company is expanding its efforts to developing its own titles. Right now, the unnamed project doesn’t feature a lot of details. While the project is still looking for a creative director, it’s likely that the plot isn’t finalized either.

Throughout the past year, the company has bled for subscribers. Since then, they have tried various strategies, including potential punishments for account sharing and cheaper subscription tiers.

SEE ALSO: Netflix will now let you kick people from your account

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TikTok is now under investigation by the European Union

For transferring data to China

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TikTok has now found its way under the microscope of the European Union. The collective is now investigating the platform for allegedly shipping off its citizens’ data to Chinese servers.

In a letter shared by FCC commissioner Brendan Carr (via Engadget), the current president of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen has confirmed ongoing investigations concerning TikTok in several countries in the European Union.

For one, Ireland is currently investigating how the platform transfers data to China and how it processes the data of minors. The Netherlands is also investigating the same data transfers and TikTok’s advertising towards minors.

For a while now, the European Union has persistently investigated various tech companies to review their compliance with the continent’s General Data Protection Regulation, which presents a stricter view on data privacy. Various companies have already found themselves on the receiving end of penalties brought down by EU courts.

An investigation on TikTok has been a long time coming. For years, the United States has doggedly hounded TikTok for the same violation of shipping user data to Chinese servers. The company continues to face threats of a ban on foreign soil.

Though an investigation in Europe is just another fight the company must face, it’s nothing to shrug off. Lately, the European Union’s ruling on charging standards is forcing Apple to finally ship their devices with USB-C, instead of the proprietary Lightning cable. The Union, especially when completely united across all the included countries, can very well make an impact on the tech industry.

SEE ALSO: TikTok, Tencent linked to sexually violent ads on Facebook

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Ford elevates automobile experience through FordPass

Start, stop, lock, and unlock using your mobile device!

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Ford is inching closer to becoming a technology company with its array of innovative features packed in its automobiles.

During the 25th anniversary celebration of Ford in the Philippines, the company marked the advent of FordPass in the country. It’s a mobile application that allows access to vehicle-specific content and support, making it a smart all-in-one platform for connectivity and security.

Vehicles equipped with FordPass Connect — or a cellular model containing an eSim that enables the vehicle to connect to the internet — can utilize remote control functions. For instance, Ford vehicle owners can remotely start, stop, lock, and unlock their automobiles, as well as check the fuel level through their smartphones.

There’s also a vehicle locator feature that allows Ford owners to find their vehicles in crowded parking areas. The feature is extremely useful for those who always forget where they parked their cars.

next-gen ford everest

How to install FordPass?

To install FordPass, simply download the app via the App Store and Google Play Store. Select the FordPass icon on the homescreen, select “Philippines” and create your account.

After you enter your details, you can request a code for a one-time pin (OTP) to be sent via SMS. Registration will be complete when you received an SMS confirmation.

FordPass is available on mobile devices running Android 7.0 and above, and iOS 14.0 and above.

How to add a Ford Vehicle on FordPass?

If you have the next-generation Ford Ranger and next-generation Ford Everest (all models), you can add your vehicle to your FordPass app.

Click the drop-down on top of the screen and select ‘Add Vehicle’. It will prompt you to enter your vehicle identification number (VIN) and you’ll have to wait for confirmation. Once done, you can enter a nickname for your Ford Vehicle. Then, activate it.

FordPass is accessible to Ford owners starting December 2, 2022.

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