Weekly News For You To Stay Updated With The App Industry
Bye-bye Garena Free Fire, and goodbye Facebook News Feed. No, Facebook isn’t banned, it’s just a name change. But Free Fire is out after the latest app ban. Also, Windows 11 now includes Android apps (a bigger deal than you think).
[In case you missed our Valentine’s Day live session #KaroKhudSePyaar, you can watch it on Instagram here]
As usual, the app world is teeming with interesting stories and we’ve narrowed it down to about eight of them for your perusal.
So, enjoy our latest edition of the Weekly News Wr(app):
1. Garena Free Fire is banished from India in Government’s latest round of app banning
India banned a total of 54 apps which included a list of duds and popular games. Garena Free Fire is probably the most popular on that banned list, with a total of 40 million users in India alone. Other banned apps also included games like Astracraft and Badlanders.
[We can imagine that the exile of Free Fire must’ve left a gaping hole in many gamers' lives. So if you’re one of the 40 million users reading this, we have a list of Garena Free Fire alternatives you can check out]
The official statement from the government says that the ban has to do with the security of the nation. They claim that these apps collect user data for some nefarious purposes.
Most of the banned apps are linked to China, thus we’re led to believe that India is talking about China. We don’t know, we’re just wondering why the Singaporean game Garena Free Fire was banned.
2. Apple is facing a fresh $5.6 million fine in the Netherlands
And just like that, Apple gets another fine. This is the fourth fine that’s been levied on Apple for non-compliance with the Authority for Consumers and Markets regarding dating apps.
We’ve brought you stories previously on how Apple is making it hard for dating app developers to function since it allowed third-party payment options. Apple has been facing fines every week and now the total stands at $22.6 million.
These fines seem to leave Apple unaffected (they are a trillion-dollar organization after all). We just shrug and see how things will unfold.
3. Windows 11 now has Android apps through the Amazon App Store
In a groundbreaking release, Android apps will be available on Windows 11 through Microsoft’s partnership with Amazon. Users can download their favorite apps like how they do on their phones and use them like how they would on their smartphones.
But, as you can expect, the features are limited. Amazon App Store on Windows 11 has only about 1,000 apps to choose from and you need to have a compatible device (like 8GB of RAM, an SSD, and whatnot). Also, the feature is still in preview mode so we should wait patiently for newer updates.
Nevertheless, native support of Android apps via a third-party app store on the widely used Windows PCs can spark some kind of change in how we use apps. Maybe we need an Indian app store on these Windows computers too. Do you know of any? 😉
4. Instagram to add Story Likes to Help DMs be Clutter-free
The app that makes you think that everyone is living a blissful life in paradise is adding a new feature that will help keep your likes in a viewer’s sheet rather than in your DMs.
Next time you like a Story, the receiver of the like will not be notified via a DM but on the Story itself. This feature is already available on Instagram Reels so it's kinda neat that it’s coming to Stories too. Head of Instagram Adam Mosseri revealed Story Likes through a video on Twitter.
With this feature, you should hopefully have a clean and organized Direct Messages space. And maybe better and important conversations.
5. Facebook changes the name “News Feed” to “Feed”
After 15 years since the introduction of the News Feed on Facebook, Meta is renaming it simply “Feed”. I know, who cares right? Facebook is now a place for your aunt to share some cringe content and Mark Zuckerberg is a lizard-man.
No wait, there is a significance to the name change.
The term “News Feed” led users to believe that it’s an avenue to get stories on news around the world (a News Tab was not present back then). Also, Facebook is notorious for the spread of misinformation and extreme political stances. So maybe it wants to distance itself from all that.
Ultimately, the name change doesn’t affect the user experience as confirmed by Facebook spokesperson Dami Oyefeso.
6. Flipkart introduces 45-minute grocery delivery
Walmart owned Flipkart is offering customers in Bengaluru a 45-minute grocery delivery option. Earlier, Flipkart started with 90-minute deliveries across 14 cities in India and they plan to expand to 200 cities in 2022. The service goes by the name of “Flipkart Quick” and they're competing with other quick commerce brands like Zepto, Blinkit, and Swiggy Instamart.
But what is a 45-minute delivery in a 10-minute delivery world?
According to Flipkart, they believe that these shorter delivery times are an unsustainable model in the long run. Also, they claim that since they offer more products they take longer to deliver.
CEO of Flipkart Group, Kalyan Krishnamurthy said this model of 45-minute delivery is “looking at the convenience business, rather than force-fitting a consumer need which is actually not there in the market.”
Yeah, maybe we don’t need that bag of chips delivered in 10 minutes. It’ll be great if that happens though, in a safe and effective manner, however.
7. Spending on dating apps reached $4.2 billion in 2021
The pandemic hasn’t stopped people from pursuing a loving relationship. According to data.ai (formerly known as App Annie), global consumer spending on dating apps increased by 30% in 2021 amounting to a total of $4.2 billion worldwide.
In India, the top 3 dating apps for Consumer Spend were Tinder, Chamet, and ParaU. While worldwide it was Tinder, Bumble App, and Azar.
Tinder is the undisputed leader of downloads with more than 500 million lifetime downloads worldwide. That happened around Valentine’s Day in fact.
These dating apps have plans to leverage the metaverse in the future. That could add a lot of AR and VR in the coming days.
8. Snapchat users can finally change their handles from February 23rd
You’ve asked for it and you’ve got it. Snapchat users can change usernames starting from February 23rd.
They claim that this was Snapchats most requested feature and thus they’ve obliged and done the needful. They said that they’re “aware that people grow and change and may want to change their handles”.
But use it wisely! You can change your handle only once a year, so don’t do anything stupid (actually you can do what you want).