Digest ASO News, August 2020
Last month, Apple quarreled with everyone: Facebook, WordPress, FAS, and especially Epic Games. Google meanwhile backed Apple in the fight and bypassed the requirements of the EU regulation. We delivered a free Keyword Density Counter!
App Store News
Apple removes Fortnite developer account from App Store
The biggest scandal of the month is the removal of the Epic Games account, the developer of Fortnite, from the App Store. Apple has warned it will remove the Epic Games account unless the developer releases the Fortnite update, with the remove of an option to buy in-game currency directly, bypassing the App Store, Epic Games decided to fight Apple’s monopoly, and filed a lawsuit. Apple failed to completely delete Epic accounts due to the court decision. The Unreal Engine account and all the tools associated with this engine are still available on the App Store.
Apple blocked Facebook update due to 30% warning
In a new version of the app, Facebook included a feature that allows users to buy tickets to events online but made the mistake of putting a warning that 30% of the money payed would go to Apple, because the purchase is made through an iOS application.
Facebook said it had asked Apple to give up its 30% stake so that all revenues under pandemic circumstances would go to event organizers, but Apple refused and even forced Facebook to rewrite the purchase screen, removing the notice that Apple would get a significant part of the purchase.
Now instead of the initial text “Apple takes 30% of this purchase” it says “Facebook doesn’t take a fee from this purchase”.
Apple blocked WordPress updates on App Store due to lack of built-in purchases
Apple demanded to implement the possibility of buying paid tariffs, despite the fact that similar functionality in the WordPress mobile app had never previously existed. In the end, WordPress agreed to the introduction of built-in purchases, which allowed the iOS app to be updated.
Apple relaxed App Store policy in the part of moderating updates and allowed guidelines to be challenged
Apple confirmed that changes to the App Store policy that were announced on WWDC20 are already in place.
What are these changes:
1️. Moderators will not block app updates that violate the rules if the program was previously available on the App Store and if it has nothing to do with legal issues. App Store updates will now be released more quickly.
2️. Developers will now be able to appeal not only moderators’ decisions regarding violations, but also App Store guidelines. You can write suggestions for improvement using Apple’s development platform.
Many attribute the disablement to the conflict of Apple and Epic Games, as well as the blocking of Facebook and WordPress updates.
FAS finds Apple is violating antitrust laws
The FAS recognized Apple actions as a violation of antitrust laws after an appeal sued by Kaspersky Lab.
Third-party developers should be able to distribute their apps on the App Store without losing important features, said the public affairs office of FAS.
Apple must comply with the antitrust authority’s requirements by November 30, 2020, the department said.
Facebook claims iOS 14 could cut ad revenue by more than 50%
Facebook chief financial officer David Wehner said that according to their estimations changes to the way Apple’s iOS handles ad tracking tools will affect the social network’s totals, by more 50%. The new user privacy features, which will be released on iOS 14 this fall, will limit the company’s ability to target consumers and measure the effectiveness of advertising. Users are asked to enable The Identifier for Advertisers (IDFA) for each application separately. IDFA numbers are used by advertising servers to track user activity without revealing sensitive data.
Google Play News
Epic Games sues Google
Google following Apple removed Epic Games from the app store and was also countersued. Epic Games refers to the old clause “Don’t be evil” of Google’s ethics code. The developer claims the company violated antitrust rules by “using its scale to do evil to competitors”.
Google Play has a native window to evaluate apps
Users can now leave feedback on an app without returning to Google Play. The API allows developers to choose when to prompt users to leave a review. At the same time, you can’t ask people opinion about the application before showing the window.
Google has become the seller of all apps in Europe
In July, a new regulation came into force in the EU that aims to improve communication of developers and brokerage platforms distributing software.
According to the regulations, companies must notify the developer of the application’s deletion 30 days in advance and provide an explanation of the reasons. The developer should have the right to appeal the removal and make changes. In addition, app stores had to eliminate preferences to big publishers and make everyone equal.
So Google decided to solve these problems and having done one small change to the Play Store: the Company itself sells now all apps in Europe, not the developers. In all countries of Europe now, the seller is Google Commerce Ltd. You can see this if you add &gl=gb (or any other European country) to the original application link.
There is finally a solution to the problem of two-factor authentication of accounts
Now we can accept and send codes, which means that ASO Dashboard and Store Console are there again for all users.
Previously, we could only work with App Store Connect accounts without two-factor authentication, but we did not support the ability to send a code in a device/SMS and paste it in to go to the App Store Connect. Since some time Apple no longer allows you to create accounts without two-factor authentication, only users of old accounts with the ability to disable two-factor authentication could work with ASO Dashboard and StoreConsole. We have solved this problem and now everyone can use App Store Connect and get access to ASO Dashboard and Store Console.
New free Keyword Density Counter tool
In early August, we announced Keyword Density Counter, it is a new free tool for Keyword Research and Description Optimization for Google Play. Just insert your description or competitor’s description into a special field and click on the “Count” button to check how many times words are repeated in the text. No registration is required to use this tool. Read more.
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