Weekly News For You To Stay Updated With The App Industry
We’re back with our Weekly News Wr(app) and the biggest news is probably the Government of India wanting to build an alternative operating system.
But there’s more from our world of apps with popular apps bringing new features, and big tech firms getting in trouble again. We’ve also got news about a new recipe app.
Read on for all those stories and more.
1. Twitter Looking to copy Instagram’s “Close Friends” Feature
You may soon be allowed to send tweets to a certain number of followers, or your “Flock”. A “Flock” will be a list of up to 150 of your Twitter followers with whom you wish to communicate exclusively.
Twitter spokesperson Tattiana Britt was quoted as saying, “Twitter is always working on new ways to help people engage in healthy conversations, and we’re currently exploring ways to let people share more privately”.
Social Media platforms are constantly looking for ways to increase engagement, and this yet-to-be-released feature is clearly an attempt at just that.
2. “There is no Third One”: Government Mulling Over Making an Indian OS
Hello? Hello? What’s this that popped up on 25th January 2022? Oh, it’s just the small matter of the Government of India and the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) looking to build an operating system that is not Google or Apple.
According to Union Minister for Electronics and IT Rajeev Chandrasekhar, the “government is looking for capabilities within start-up and academic ecosystems for development of an indigenous operating system (OS)”.
It’s impressive that they’re thinking about this now. But Indus OS was ahead of its time. We’ve trodden the path of building an indigenous operating system, with some success.
CEO of Indus OS Rakesh Deshmukh wrote about the challenges of building such software in the current market conditions. With Google’s grip and restrictive policies in the Android market, new players are going to find it hard.
Nevertheless, we’re keeping our eyes peeled and ears open to the GoI’s next move. This could provide a new lease of life to app developers in India.
3. WhatsApp Group Admins will Soon be Allowed to Delete Messages of Individual Users for Everyone
Admins of WhatsApp groups may soon get the power to delete individual messages of group participants for everyone. Currently, admins (and any user) can delete their own messages only. But this new feature, which is still in testing will grant them more privileges.
This is really helpful if admins want to remove inappropriate messages from groups (or those pesky WhatsApp forwards).
4. Swiggy Surpasses Zomato in Valuation with Latest Funding
Food delivery startup Swiggy raised $700 million in a Series K round of funding valuing it at $10.7 billion.
They plan to focus their efforts on the instant delivery sphere. The rage for 10-15 minute delivery is on with various startups like Zepto and Blinkit trying to capture the market. Competition is good news for the consumer. We can expect these companies to amp up their services and make it for us.
Does this make you feel like ordering some delicious dessert? It sure makes us feel like it!
5. Dutch Regulators Fining Apple €5 million Every Week
The Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) had ordered Apple to allow third-party payments for dating apps back in December 2021. Apple said they would comply but without an actual date of implementation.
However it looks like Apple has delayed on their promise making the ACM fine them 5 million euros a week, till they comply.
Apple are not planning to make it easy for developers to allow their users to choose alternative payment methods. They’ve expressed their intention to collect commissions from developers who use alternative payment methods and Apple also expects them to make a separate version of their app to make use of third-party payments.
Wow Apple, you guys are not backing down without a fight, are you?
Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney couldn’t help but get involved in the proceedings by regularly tweeting updates about the case. They’ve got a vested interest in such cases given their own clash with Apple since 2020.
6. Pestle, a New Recipe App Here to Make Cooking Easier for You
A new iOS app called Pestle is out to help those frustrated with looking for recipes online. The creator Will Bishop was himself annoyed by the chaotic experience he had while searching for recipes online.
With Pestle, he aims to help users to save and organize their favorite recipes, but also plan meals, create shopping lists, and keep up with new recipes.
Users can easily integrate the app with their browser and share recipes with their friends and family. They can also enjoy a hands-free cooking experience with the help of Apple SharePlay or FaceTime.
Currently, the app is available on iOS only but Will Bishop plans to roll out the app on other platforms too.
7. Google Pulled Up for Location Tracking Case
Three states in America have filed a lawsuit against Google for misleading consumers on data privacy controls.
"Google falsely led consumers to believe that changing their account and device settings would allow customers to protect their privacy and control what personal data the company could access," Washington, D.C., Attorney General Karl Racine's office said in a statement.
Yet they continue to surveil consumers and profit from the data, the statement also said. This comes at a time when users are concerned about their privacy more than before. Research from Go Verizon showed that 81% of American users were concerned about their social privacy and 90% of users were worried about companies monetizing their data.
These big tech firms are always caught for some malfeasance or another. When will it all catch up to them? When will they mend their ways? It’s anyone's guess at the moment.
8. Hypercasual Games Dominated 2021 Downloads
Games in the hypercasual genre like Join Clash 3D and Hair Challenge contributed to 50% of total mobile game downloads in 2021.
That trend is still continuing in 2022 according to research by AppMagic. It seems the genre has a good future in the coming months, which should get developers scrambling to provide the next biggest hypercasual hit.