Sen. Elizabeth Warren took shots at Apple, Google and Amazon during a speech in Washington today, claiming Silicon Valley’s big fish are making it impossible for the small fry to compete.
“The opportunity to compete must remain open for new entrants and smaller competitors,” said Warren. During her rant against Apple, the senator specifically mentioned the unfair advantages Apple Music enjoys against its competitors.
After the speech, Spotify rallied behind Warren with some Apple bashing of its own.
Slowly but surely, T-Mobile has been trying to not only become the leader of the prepaid cell phone market, but to totally corner it. It’s latest ultra-simple plan takes that mission even further, making pay-as-you-go as simple as $0.10 per minute or text, flat.
With less than a day to wait for the new Xbox One, Microsoft has announced that its new console will have an official YouTube app, after all. What’s more, you’ll be able to send videos to it from your Android and iOS devices.
One of the lesser talked-about features of the upcoming OS X Mavericks system is that of Mac App Store subscriptions. In iOS, developers are able to charge users on a recurring basis, like a subscription. Magazines in Newsstand do this fairly easily, and I have several subscriptions to magazines there.
This wasn’t available to OS X apps until the release of OS X Mavericks, and you can manage your subscriptions from the Mac App Store right now if you’re running the new Mavericks beta on your Mac right now. Here’s how.
The official Skype apps for iOS have been updated today to add free and unlimited video messaging, which previously required a $4.99 per month Skype Premium subscription. The updates also bring a number of other improvements to things like photo sharing and call stability.
Next Issue Media just became available for the iPad, making the jump from its Android roots. The app is a subscription-based magazine app that may redefine what you think of when you hear the words ‘magazine suscription.’
With Next Issue, you purchase a subscription to ALL the magazines in their service, for one fee. Techcrunch makes the obvious comparison to Netflix, for good reason, but we’ll try to avoid that here. Oops.
When Apple announced the terms for Newsstand and digital subscriptions, many publications felt that the company was being too hard on them. Apple’s requirement that publishers offer the same deals through the App Store that they do elsewhere while still taking its typical 30% cut of the income ruffled a lot of feathers in the publishing world. While there was a lot of angry discussion about the policy when Apple announced and implemented it, many publications decided to accept the policy – at least initially.
Since then, however, a handful of publications have decided to abandon their presence on iOS devices. Some are planning to build a web app as their only iOS or mobile presence. Others are looking to create deals with various news aggregators. Regardless of their plans, Apple’s terms are one of the key reasons that publishers are getting out of the App Store.
With the release of Apple’s own dedicated Podcasts app today, it’s clear that Apple is finally taking Podcasts seriously. When podcasts were first brought to iTunes in 2005, Apple made a strong push to promote what they felt was the future of broadcasting. Apple’s own Eddy Cue even said at the time: “We really think podcasting is the next generation of radio.”
Unfortunately, as time marched on, podcasts were pushed to the side and left pretty much unattended. iOS has always had minimal support for podcasts, and even iTunes itself offers no real compelling way to manage your subscriptions. What makes today’s announcement big is that it marks a new, renewed effort on Apple’s part to make podcasts a key part of their iTunes ecosystem.
A recent update to the iTunes Terms and Conditions adds an interesting clause regarding free trials for in-app subscriptions in the iOS App Store. Ever since the launch of the App Store in 2007, users have been clamoring for some kind of demoing system for paid apps. It looks like Apple may be slowly making strides towards that reality.
Publishers “may offer a free trial period” via in-app subscriptions in an iOS app, according to Apple.