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iPhone owners are pickier about apps than Android users


iPhone owners are pickier about apps than Android users
iPhone users have higher standards for third-party software than Android users.
Image: Cult of Mac

Third-party iPhone apps scored significantly lower than their Android counterparts, according to an analysis of user reviews of 4,400 top mobile apps.

This does not necessarily mean that Android offers better third-party software, though. iPhone users simply expect more from their apps.

“The data shows iOS users are more critical of mobile apps than Android users are,” said David Kravets, senior content marketing manager for unitQ, the company that did the research, in an interview with Cult of Mac.

And after going through nearly 122 million reviews, unitQ analysts say there’s “lots of room for improvement” in mobile software.

Google lets Android devs test third-party payment options (unlike Apple)


Google tests third-party payments on Android
Spotify will be first to offer its own billing method.
Image: Google

Google on Thursday confirmed that it will give “a small number of participating developers” the ability to implement third-party payment methods in their Android apps as part of a pilot program called User Choice Billing.

Spotify, first to take advantage of the change, will offer Google Play’s billing system as well as its own. The move puts even more pressure on Apple, which has been fighting hard to block third-party payment systems on iOS.

Yet another bill calls for Apple to allow third-party app payments


2021 App Store Awards
Illinois wants new legislation against Apple and Google.
Image: Apple

Illinois is the latest U.S. state to file a bill that could force Apple and Google to accept third-party payment systems inside apps.

The “Freedom to Subscribe Directly Act,” supported by Hey app developer Basecamp, wants to prohibit both companies from requiring developers to use the App Store and Google Play to sell software and subscriptions.

Epic CEO calls for single App Store for all, says ‘Apple must be stopped’


Epic Games vs. the App Store
Tim Sweeney is not a fan of the App Store.
Photo: Epic Games

Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney renewed his attack on the App Store, telling a conference in South Korea that “Apple must be stopped.”

Sweeney, who spoke Tuesday at the Global Conference for Mobile Application Ecosystem Fairness, accused Apple of complying with “oppressive foreign laws.” He also called for “a single store that works with all platforms.”

Fleeceware apps scam $400 million out of unsuspecting users


Fleeceware tricks people into paying enourmous subscription fees.
Don’t get fleeced.
Photo: Cult of Mac/Skitterphoto/Pexels CC

Applications that trick users into paying huge subscription fees raked in over $400 million from the Apple App Store and Google Play Store, according to research done by Avast.

The so-called “fleeceware” takes advantage of a weakness in both app stores: deleting an application tied to a subscription doesn’t cancel the subscription.

App Store subscriptions boom in 2020, dwarfing Google Play


App Store image
App Store continues to rake in money.
Photo: James Yarema/Unsplash CC

Subscription apps are thriving right now, and nowhere more so than on iOS. According to a new report from app analytics platform Sensor Tower, worldwide spending on the top 100 subscription apps on the App Store generated $10.3 billion in 2020.

That’s a massive 32% increase from the $7.8 billion spent in 2019. It’s also close to four times what Android apps in the Google Play store pulled in in 2020. (They earned just $2.7 billion.)

App Store pulled in a massive $19 billion in Q3, nearly double Google Play


App Store graphic
The App Store is a massive economic engine in its own right.
Photo: Apple

Despite far fewer installs than the Google Play app store, Apple’s iOS App Store raked in $19 billion to Google’s $10.3 billion in the third quarter of 2020, according to a new report by Sensor Tower.

Overall spending grew 32 percent in the quarter across both platforms. Meanwhile, overall installs increased 23.3 percent to a total of 36.5 billion. These record-breaking numbers likely had a lot to do with the coronavirus pandemic, which shut down large parts of the economy, but caused a spike in interest for developers while people were stuck home.

Korean developers want Apple and Google investigated over app store fees


App Store graphic
Do Apple and Google have too much control over developers?
Photo: Apple

South Korea may be joining the countries scrutinizing tech giants’ ownership of app stores.

Local startups have submitted a petition to the Korea Communications Commission, requesting an investigation into Apple and Google regarding whether the tech giants are violating laws by charging 30% commission on app purchases.

Fortnite offers discounts on in-app purchases made directly to Epic Games [Updated]


Fortnite discounts are here to stay.
The Fortnite Mega Drop brings permanent discounts to in-app purchases. But not for everyone.
Photo: Epic Games

Epic Games launched the Fortnite Mega Drop on Thursday. This offers up to 20% discounts on in-app purchases made on iPhone, iPad or Android, as long as these are direct payments — not ones that go through the App Store or Google Play.

And V-Bucks or real-money purchases made on Mac, PC and other platforms are also discounted by up to 20%.

Update: Apple responded by expelling Fortnite from the App Store.

App Store revenue continues to dwarf Google Play’s in 2020


The App Store was a cash-printing giant in the first half of 2020.
Photo: Apple

Total App Store spending surged to a massive $32.8 billion in the first half of 2020, combining money spent on premium downloads, subscriptions, and in-app purchases, a recent blog post from app analytics firm Sensor Tower suggests.

Not only is that an enormous amount of cash, but it’s also close to double the estimated gross revenue spent in the Google Play store, despite the bigger market share enjoyed by Android. User spending on Google Play reportedly hit $17.3 billion in the first half of the year.