Tag: play

04
Oct
2020
Posted in technology

Google delays mandating Play Store’s 30% cut in India to April 2022

Google is postponing the enforcement of its new Play Store billing policy in India to April 2022, days after more than 150 startups in the world’s second largest internet market forged an informal coalition to express concerns over the 30% charge the Android-maker plans to mandate on its store and started to explore an alternative marketplace for their apps.

The company, which is going live globally with the new Play Store rule in September 2021, is deferring the enforcement of the policy only in India, it said. It is also listening to developers and willing to engage to allay their concerns, it said.

Last week, Google said it would no longer allow any apps to circumvent its payment system within the Play Store. The move, pitched by Google as a “clarification” of its existing policy, would allow the company to ensure it gets as high as a 30% cut on in-app purchases made through Android apps operating in a range of a categories.

Google’s announcement today is a direct response to the loudest scrutiny it has received in a decade in India — its biggest market by users but also a place where, compared to Western markets, it generates little revenue. More than 150 startups in India last week formed an informal coalition to fight the company’s strong hold on Indian app ecosystem. Google commands 99% of the smartphone market in India, according to research firm Counterpoint.

Among the startups that have expressed concerns over Google’s new policy are Paytm, India’s most valuable startup, payments processor Razorpay, fantasy sports firm Dream11, social network ShareChat, and business e-commerce IndiaMART.

More than 50 Indian executives relayed these concerns to India’s Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology over a video call on Saturday, according to three people who attended the call.

Several businesses

04
Oct
2020
Posted in technology

Indian Startups Band Up Against Google Dominance, Want To Build National Alternative To Play Store

KEY POINTS

  • Google Play will collect a 30% commission on in-app purchases from 2021
  • Indian startup founders called these charges “unfeasible”
  • Google’s Android holds a 95.8% market share in India

More than 150 top Indian startups and businesses, some of them big names, have banded together to challenge Google’s monopoly over the Android app ecosystem in India  and build an app store that the country can call its own, TechCrunch reported.

The move by Indian businesses to to build a national altenative to Google Play was prompted by Google’s recent annoucement to force app developers on its store to use its payments system, which takes a 30% cut on transactions including in-app purchases. Reports said founders of leading startups like Paytm, a payments app simiar to Google Pay and is India’s most valuable startup; MakeMyTrip and PolicyBazaar discussed Google’s policy and the concerns on dependence on Google on a call.

It is not yet clear how far the effort has progressed.

TechCrunch said without naming any sources that dozens of executives “from nearly every top startup and firm” in India attended the call Tuesday and agreed that a Google’s 30% cut was “simply unfeasible” and will hurt Indian businesses. It said the meeting discussed Google’s “monopolistic” hold on India, which has one of the world’s largest startup ecosystems, and what the executives alleged were unfair and inconsistent enforcement of Play Store guidelines in the country by Google.

Google Play Store Google’s new Play Pass subscription service gives users access to hundreds of apps and games from the Play Store. Photo: REUTERS/Stephen Lam

Last month Google reiterated Play Store’s gambling policy and even pulled Paytm’s app from the store for some time, citing repeated violations of the policy. Google leads the mobile payments market in India, and is a direct competitor to Paytm in

03
Oct
2020
Posted in technology

Google Play gets new rules, Apple launches app marketing tools, EU looks to rein in tech giants

Welcome back to This Week in Apps, the TechCrunch series that recaps the latest OS news, the applications they support and the money that flows through it all.

The app industry is as hot as ever, with a record 204 billion downloads and $120 billion in consumer spending in 2019. People are now spending three hours and 40 minutes per day using apps, rivaling TV. Apps aren’t just a way to pass idle hours — they’re a big business. In 2019, mobile-first companies had a combined $544 billion valuation, 6.5x higher than those without a mobile focus.

In this series, we help you keep up with the latest news from the world of apps, delivered on a weekly basis.

Google changes its app store rules, too

Google Play Store screen
Google Play Store screen

Google Play Store screen

Just a couple of weeks ago, Apple revised its App Store rules to permit game streaming apps and clarify rules around in-app purchases, among other things. Now, Google has updated its rules, as well.

Under threat of regulation, Google announced this week it’s updating its Google Play billing policies to better clarify which types of transactions will be subject to Google’s commissions on in-app purchases. While the more detailed language doesn’t actually change the earlier policy’s intention, it will impact a percentage of developers who don’t currently use Google Play’s billing system when selling digital goods in their app.

In addition, the company announced it will make changes in Android 12 that will make it easier for users to install and use third-party app stores as an alternative to Google Play.

The company says that its current billing policies only apply to less than 3% of apps on Google Play. Of those apps, 97% already use Google Play’s billing library. That means there’s only a small

02
Oct
2020
Posted in programming

In virtual admissions programming, Yale students play starring role

Even as campus remains closed to visitors amid the pandemic, tens of thousands of high school students around the world are getting an inside view of the student experience directly from Yale undergraduates.

Since April, the Office of Undergraduate Admissions has been offering daily hour-long virtual information sessions with admissions officers and current students, as well as informal virtual student forums that give participants direct, real-time access to Yale students. 

Given the turmoil of the pandemic, the admissions office initially expected summer registrations for the new virtual events to fall short of the more than 20,000 visitors who attended on-campus events in summer 2019. But the opposite has been true: total registrations were up nearly 40%. 

Virtual events really make our reach global,” said Debra Johns, associate director of admissions, who coordinates the office’s visitor programming. “In a single virtual session in June, we had prospective students participating from 23 different countries.”

The new sessions are offered at various times throughout the week to make attendance convenient irrespective of time zones.

Yale’s undergraduate admissions office has hosted nearly 100 virtual information sessions since April, plus 50 virtual student forums and 50 virtual events with other colleges and universities. The number of people exploring Yale’s popular virtual tour also has increased significantly between April and August — by nearly 300%­.

Before public health considerations ruled out in-person admissions events, the admissions office had never offered virtual events to the public. 

We’ve learned a lot in a very short amount of time,” said Mark Dunn, the office’s director of outreach and communications. “One of the most obvious lessons is that there’s no going back. I expect we will continue to offer virtual events even after campus opens to visitors again.”

The pandemic has also led Yale’s corps of admissions officers

02
Oct
2020
Posted in technology

Google Play Pass comes to 24 more countries

Google Play Pass in Hand

  • Google has launched Play Pass in 24 new countries.
  • These new markets are all in Europe though.

Google Play Pass is the Play Store’s rival to Apple Arcade, offering a variety of apps and games for a monthly subscription fee. It’s only been available in a handful of countries, but Google is now pushing the service out to plenty more nations.

The company announced on Twitter and on its support page (h/t: Android Police) that 24 new countries are getting Google Play Pass. These markets are all in Europe though, so don’t hold your breath if you’re in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, or Central and South America. Check out the list of new additions below.

  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Bulgaria
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Latvia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Sweden

The new countries join Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, New Zealand, Spain, the UK, and the US. We’ll update this article if and when Google brings Play Pass to more markets.

Google’s subscription service has quite a few notable games, ranging from Knights of the Old Republic, Limbo, and the Monument Valley series to Stardew Valley, 80 Days, and Mini Metro. You can check out all the Play Pass games and apps via the previous link.

Next: What would a Google version of Apple One look like?

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