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

Facebook on iOS now has dark mode

It’s more dim than dark

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Facebook Dark Mode

Took them a while but it appears Facebook on iOS now has dark mode. The company started publicly testing the feature back in early November and it looks like more users are now able to make the switch.

To turn your Facebook app into dark mode on iOS, you only need to tap the Menu button on the lower-right hand side of the screen. Scroll down and look for Settings and Privacy then tap that. Afterwards, the Settings and Privacy option will expand. You’ll then see Dark Mode right up above App Language. Tap on Dark Mode. It’s turned off by default but you have the option to turn it on or match your system settings.

Earlier reports suggest the company is also testing the dark mode on Android. However, as of the moment, it’s only more widely available for iOS users.

Android users should be able to see the update come to their devices in the next few weeks.

It’s important to note that this is different from the dark mode that some Android UI/UX. This particular app date is native to the app versus the one forced by the Android skin.

SEE ALSO: Facebook launches dark mode for desktop

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Apps

The best apps in the App Store this 2020

According to Apple

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It’s that time of the year! Apple finally presented its App Store Best of 2020 winners. The technology giant recognized 15 apps and games that contributed to making life easier, healthier, and more connected this year.

Best Apps of 2020

iPhone App of the Year: Wakeout!, developed by Andres Canella

iPad App of the Year: Zoom

Mac App of the Year: Fantastical, developed by Flexibits

Apple TV App of the Year: Disney+

Apple Watch App of the Year: Endel

Best Games of 2020

iPhone Game of the Year: “Genshin Impact,” from miHoYo

iPad Game of the Year: “Legends of Runeterra,” from Riot Games

Mac Game of the Year: “Disco Elysium,” from ZA/UM

Apple TV Game of the Year: “Dandara Trials of Fear,” from Raw Fury

Apple Arcade Game of the Year: “Sneaky Sasquatch,” from RAC7

App Trends of 2020

App Trend of the Year: Shine, for helping users practice self-care.

App Trend of the Year: Caribu, for connecting families to loved ones.

App Trend of the Year: “Pokémon GO,” for reinventing the way we play, from Niantic.

App Trend of the Year: ShareTheMeal, for helping users make a difference.

App Trend of the Year: Explain Everything Whiteboard, for helping bring remote classrooms to life.

App Store Best of 2020 award

To celebrate these 15 apps, Apple had its designers bring meticulous craftsmanship, creating the first-ever physical App Store Best of 2020 award. It was inspired by the signature blue App Store icon.

Committing to its sustainability mission, each award reveals the App Store logo set into 100 percent recycled Aluminium, with the winner’s name engraved on the other side.

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Apps

Enterprise giant Salesforce acquires Slack for $27.7 billion

Salesforce’s biggest purchase in the 21st century

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Business software pioneer Salesforce is buying work-chatting service Slack for US$ 27.7 billion. The acquisition of Slack is being hailed as Salesforce’s biggest purchase in the 21st century.

Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff has said that together the two companies will shape the future of enterprise software. Salesforce has a robust unified platform for businesses to connect with their employees, customers, and partners, making it a perfect match for Slack.

The deal comes as the communication platform struggles to fully capitalize on the Coronavirus pandemic. With remote working becoming the new norm, the demand for enterprise communication apps has skyrocketed.

It faces a lot of competition from Microsoft Teams, which is deeply connected with Office and Outlook. Even Facebook and Google joined the race. However, their solutions lacked deep integration with other enterprise modules.

Slack was founded as a gaming company in 2009 in Canada but it soon emerged as the widely used workplace messaging app. It focused on real-time communication, giving teams the option to rely on an instant messaging app over email.

Details of the sale

According to the acquisition terms, Slack shareholders will receive US$ 26.79 in cash and 0.0776 shares of Salesforce common stock for each Slack share or US$ 45.5 per share based on Salesforce’s closing price on Tuesday.

Salesforce was the first company in the world to widely adopt the SaaS (Software as a Service) model, and it has worked wonders. The company was also among the first to leverage the cloud computing trend. It designed its entire systems around a decentralized hub that can be accessed remotely from any device, anywhere.

If the deal goes through as planned, Salesforce hopes to control Slack sometime from May to July 2021.

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