Disney+ racks up 5 million downloads on launch day in Europe

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disney.plus.uk.2
Disney+ has finally landed in the UK.
Photo: Apple

The Disney+ mobile app is off to a roaring start in Europe and the UK just days after it launched earlier this week.

Third-party app analytics firm App Annie revealed that the Disney+ app has been downloaded over 5 million times on launch day, possibly thanks to millions of residents having to shelter-in-place due to the coronavirus pandemic.

YouTube, Amazon Prime Video follow Netflix in throttling video quality throughout Europe [Update]

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YouTube and Amazon Prime Video cut streaming bitrates in Europe.
YouTube and Amazon Prime Video cut streaming bitrates in Europe.
Image: Brad Gibson/Cult of Mac

YouTube and Amazon Prime Video confirmed Friday they will will start throttling video quality in Europe in an effort to reduce the strain on network infrastructure during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The temporary measure will see all YouTube videos displayed in standard definition by default, though, it is still be possible for viewers to select a higher resolution.

Apple Maps transit directions expand reach across Europe

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iOS 9 transit maps
Now live in France, Germany, Spain, and more.
Photo: Apple

Apple Maps transit directions are now expanding their reach across Europe.

The feature was previously available in only a handful of regions outside the United States. It can now be enjoyed in cities across France, Germany, and Spain as part of Apple’s mission to improve functionality for Europe in 2020.

European Commission could get even tougher on tech in 2020

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European Commission could get even tougher on tech in 2020
Tech giants might be in trouble next year.
Illustration: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

The European Commission famously handed Apple a massive $14.5 billion bill in 2016. But from the sound of things it’s only going to get tougher with Silicon Valley’s biggest tech giants.

According to a new report, EU antitrust regulators are “considering taking a tougher line” against companies. This could affect the likes of Facebook, Amazon, Apple and Google.

Apple Pay expands its reach to more banks across Europe

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ING-Apple-Pay
ING in Germany is finally ready for Apple Pay.
Photo: ING

Apple Pay is now supported by a number of new banks across Europe.

Bunq in Austria, ING in Germany, and ABN AMRO in the Netherlands have all adopted Apple’s mobile payments service. Phyre in Bulgaria and two banks in the Czech Republic are also in on the action.

Privacy-pushing iPhone billboards arrive in Europe

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iPhone-billboard-Germany
"Reveals as little about Hamburgers as hamburgers."
Photo: Macerkopf

Billboards promoting iPhone’s strict approach to privacy have now made their way to Europe.

Apple fans started noticing the ads in Germany today after they popped up in the U.S. and Canada earlier this year. Each features a clever, location-based tagline that sends one clear message.

iWork, Office and Google Docs banned from German schools

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iWork
iWork could expose user data to U.S. authorities.
Photo: Apple

Apple’s iWork platform has been banned from German schools alongside Microsoft Office 365 and Google Docs.

Privacy regulators say that using the cloud-based services “exposes personal information about students and teachers.” They also suggest that the data might be accessed by U.S. authorities.

Team Rocket hot air balloon signals Pokémon Go arrival

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Pokémon GO’s best year yet shows novelty doesn't have to wear off
Pokémon GO’s best year yet shows novelty doesn't have to wear off
Photo: The Pokémon Company

A Team Rocket hot air balloon flown over Dortmund, Germany, this week all but confirms the evil gang’s imminent arrival in Pokémon Go.

Emblazoned with a Team Rocket logo, the balloon appeared on day one of Europe’s first ever Pokémon Go Fest. It’s the latest in a number of teasers Niantic has put out to signal Team Rocket’s introduction.

But what will it mean for Pokémon Go?

iPads help refugee children learn new languages

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Students learn German language on iPad
iPad helps students in Germany learn a new language.
Photo: Apple

Teachers in Europe dealing with a flood of refugees are successfully teaching children new languages with iPads.

After a school in Germany gave every student in its German-as-a-second-language program an Apple tablet, the graduation rate rose to 100 percent.