The Weekly News Wr(app) – Microsoft Making Big Moves, Apps Changing Shopping Behaviour, Netflix Slipping Down the Ranks


Weekly News For You To Stay Updated With The App Industry

We’re back with more news from the app world with our latest edition of the Weekly News Wr(app).

This week we’ve got news on Microsoft’s big move in the gaming market, Apple’s latest antitrust case, and a new app called Weavit. Read on to find out more.

1. Netflix Reports Lowest Growth Since 2015

The streaming app that brought us hit shows like House of Cards and Narcos seems to be slipping down the ranks, as per its latest reports.

Their data showed that they added a total of 8.3 million subscribers in the last quarter, falling short of their 8.5 million subscribers mark.

Netflix is competing with the likes of Disney+, HBO Max, and Amazon Prime Video. They’ve also played with prices to improve revenue. In India, they recently reduced prices with the hope of attracting more subscribers, while in North America they increased subscription fees.

The company is also entering the gaming sphere to diversify and generate more revenue.


2. Two Giants Merge: Microsoft to Acquire Activision in 2023

A giant is absorbing another giant to become a bigger giant. That’s a crude way of putting Microsoft’s latest move. The acquisition, pending approval, will make it the third-largest gaming company behind Tencent and Sony.

Microsoft, like many other companies, is trying its best to make it in the mobile gaming industry. The company has already made massive efforts to improve its gaming wing with acquisitions of Candy Crush makers King and Bethesda, makers of Fallout. But this move makes Microsoft appear to be a serious contender for the mobile gaming throne.

The Microsoft-Activision Blizzard merger does give a feel of a nascent gaming monopoly, but that is yet to be seen.


3. Instagram Benefiting from TikTok Ban with 10% More Installs

Instagram recorded a 10% increase in installs in the last quarter, the best they’ve ever had. And no thanks to India’s ban on TikTok in 2020. Instagram and many other Indian-made short video apps have benefited from the ban.

In fact, India is one of the main reasons Instagram numbers look so healthy. According to Sensor Tower, 39% of downloads in Q4 2021 were from India.

It should be noted that these numbers reflect Android installs. TikTok and YouTuber topped the Apple App Store charts.


4. Developers Face Problems with Google’s Language Localization

The maker of an app called Catima was wrongly flagged by Google because it had the word “free” in it.

A little bit of context here, Google has been scouring the Play Store for spammy apps and removing them for the sake of user safety and to make the Play Store look cleaner. 

However, the world free can mean different things in a different context. Catima didn’t use the word free in the sense of getting free things, but free in the “freedom of open software” sense, which Google is not opposed to. However, Google’s machine translation can’t pick up on such nuances, and therefore machines simply do what machines do, follow the code.

F-Droid, an alternative to the Play Store has also faced similar problems and has been rejected by Google.

Honestly, app stores need to have more human beings to help with language localization rather than machines. Such problems could be avoided then.


5. New App Weavit wants to be a “Shazam for your Thoughts”

The new note-taking app wants to change the way you take and organize your notes. Weavit allows users to take notes at the press of a button. You can either type or speak to capture your notes, and the app will link these notes to your contacts, meeting, topics, etc.

The idea is to allow yourself to capture several different thoughts in an unstructured way. The structuring is left to the app. “You just want to throw a thought out there, and you want the machine to do the organization for you — so you can surface that information at a later stage and have it all neatly organized”, says Komal Narwani, founder of Weavit.

The app is currently available on iOS only, through an access code since it’s still in its early testing phase.


6. More Shoppers Using Apps Even When They’re Inside a Store

It seems shoppers want to use related apps even when they’re physically present in a store. The study was conducted among 9,000 users in many countries including India.

The reasons for this behavior, according to consumers, are “checking out a retailer’s website, using their app, using loyalty cards or coupons, scanning QR codes, comparing prices or reading reviews, buying online or curtsied and paying contactless”.

It looks like apps are still an integral part of a user’s shopping experience and almost every experience. 


7. Apple Facing Heat from American Senators

The new “Freedom to Subscribe Directly Act” put forth by US senators from Illinois is an attempt to make Apple allow alternate payment methods for companies.

The bill is supported by software company Basecamp, which is also based in Illinois. The company’s co-founder went on record to say that they were forced by Apple to use their payment methods and pay the huge 30% commission. He also said that Basecamp is not the only one dealing with such “oppressive regimes”.

Strong words, and not the first time we’re hearing something like this. How will Apple navigate this latest antitrust case remains to be seen.


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