The Weekly News Wr(app) – Wordle Sold to the NY Times, Indian Gaming Industry excited by Budget 2022, Gmail getting a New Layout

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Weekly News For You To Stay Updated With The App Industry

The world of apps and technology is always churning up new stories. We’ve got some of the most interesting stories here in our latest Weekly News Wr(app).

Read how the Indian gaming industry is excited by the Union Budget 2022, how Twitter is trying to improve the quality of conversations on the app, and much more.

If you missed last week’s News Wr(app), click here to catch up.

1. The New York Times Buys Wordle, 2022’s Most Popular Game

The wordle, erm, I mean the word on the street is that the New York Times is acquiring the super popular word game, Wordle for a “low seven-figure amount”. Wordle made its debut back in October 2021 and gained popularity with many players posting their “scores” on social media.

To play the game, a player has to guess the word of the day in six tries. The faster you guess the smarter you can appear to be to your social media followers *wink wink*.

For the New York Times, this is another addition to its gaming catalog. The game remains free for new and existing users, but may soon require you to pay for it.


2. Sony buys gaming studio Bungie, the Original Creators of Halo and Destiny

In a deal that is valued at $3.6 billion, Sony acquires Bungie. It looks like the gaming companies are out to consolidate their empires with acquisitions. A fortnight ago, Microsoft bought Activision to make it the third-largest gaming company (still behind Sony though).

Sony is looking to capitalize on the new form of gaming called “live service gaming” or “gaming-as-a-service”, which means releasing a game and generating revenue by further releases of updates of a game.

The gaming wars are getting heated. Hope gamers continue to get quality games.


3. Google testing iMessage reactions for Google Messages

After the spat last month, Android is rolling out iMessage reactions for beta testing. The feature will finally allow Android users to see those iPhone reactions when they respond to SMS or MMS.

The introduction of this feature will be far from easy given that Android should take care in communicating the original intent of the senders.


4. The Indian gaming industry excited by Budget 2022

The top brass of gaming companies in India was excitable following the Union Budget of 2022-23. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced the formation of the Animation, Visual effects, Gaming, and Comics (AVGC) task force that will focus on expanding the gaming sector in India.

This could see the growth of different kinds of gaming including mobile gaming. Plus the announcement will invite more talented individuals to work and develop quality games.

The budget also focused on the 5G rollout for next year and the expansion of India’s digital infrastructure. The latter announcement has techies perk up since it means that more Indians will be connected to the internet which directly results in access to a larger user base.

As we saw during our Christmas campaign, India’s internet penetration is quite low even though we have the second-largest number of internet users. But with the focus on improving the digital infrastructure, we could see more users from Tier 3 and Tier 4 go online.

Ultimately, it’s exciting times for digital India.


5. Twitter trying out Downvotes for Tweets

The micro-blogging platform is testing “downvotes” for a limited number of users. A tweet put out by the Twitter Safety account said they’re trying to improve the quality of each conversation by allowing users to downvote any reply that they found irrelevant or offensive.

Twitter said they’re planning a global rollout of the feature soon.


6. Apple reduces commission fees for Dating Apps in the Netherlands by only 3%

The current setup sees Apple collect 30% commission from developers on all digital transactions. Following the ruling by the Dutch antitrust body Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM), Apple allowed developers to use alternative payment methods but will still collect a commission of 27%. Which is ridiculously close to how much they originally charge.

Last week we wrote how Apple was fined 5 million euros per week for non-compliance. In response, Apple allowed developers to make use of alternative in-app payment methods, but they required them to submit separate versions of their apps to the App Store. On the outside, it looks like Apple is trying to make it harder for developers.

Dutch developers will probably stick to Apple’s payment system rather than inviting hardship to their app development journey (even the Koreans are unhappy according to reports).

Not cool Apple, not cool at all.


7. Gmail is planning to Integrate Chat, Meet, and Space in a New Layout

From this month onwards, Gmail is rolling out an optional layout change for all its users. The new layout will include all your work-related integrations on one screen. That means you won’t have to leave the Gmail tab to attend a meeting on Google Meet or leave the tab to work on a sheet.

The new layout will be compulsorily rolled out for all users by April this year.

According to Google spokesperson Amanda Lam, “the focus of the new integrated view is for users who use multiple apps. By the end of the year, this means users would get this experience if they opt-in to Google Chat or Google Meet.”


8. Microsoft Teams introduces a Music Feature

Now it doesn’t mean you can blast your favorite tunes, but the new Music feature on Microsoft Teams will help you to deliver high-quality presentations that include audio and video elements.

The mode goes by the name of “High Fidelity Audio Mode” and according to Microsoft, the mode will give users “richer sound experiences when sharing non-speech content like live music, and songs through their applications, or medical signals during a virtual appointment with a physician”.


9. We may soon get to use Reactions on WhatsApp

Hey oh! We may finally get to react to messages instead of replying to each text. Right now the feature is in its beta testing phase by WABetaInfo released screenshots on its Twitter account to give us a glimpse of how it will look on iOS and Android.

At the moment it looks like there will only be six reactions to choose from but more may appear soon. Nevertheless, it's good for WhatsApp users.


10. Netflix now allows you to Remove stuff from the “Continue Watching” Row

It must’ve been annoying to see half-watched shows or movies under the Continue Watching row as soon as you opened Netflix. Maybe you were also ridden with guilt because you told yourself that you’ll get back to watching that show, and you never did.

Now you can do away with these feelings because Netflix now allows you to remove them. What a relief. The feature is available on TV, web, and mobile app.


To read more of our Weekly News Wr(app)s, click here.

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