From the Editor's Desk: It's been an Epic week
It's Sunday once again, and boy, there has been some Epic news in the past week...
That's right. The talk of the town in the past few days has been the Epic Games versus Apple (and Google) battle, because Epic Games violated Apple's App Store guidelines with the Fortnite V-Bucks discounts that they were offering, which were only available via direct payment to Epic, thus circumventing going through the App Store and giving Apple (Google also has a similar system in the Play Store) a 30% cut of any in-app purchases. Apple removed Fortnite from the App Store, then Epic Games released a "Nineteen Eighty-Fortnite" video that mocks Apple's iconic 1984 ad and sues Apple, and then Google also removed Fortnite from the Play Store, and is also being sued by Epic.
Honestly, I think the entire thing is a mess, and there's a lot of pettiness going on all around. However, I mean, what did Epic think was going to happen? After all, the App Store is Apple's digital storefront, and they have the right to remove anything that violates the rules that they have set in place. It's not much different than when stores sold physical copies of software — publishers needed to pay for the shelf space to have product in the store to sell. When it comes to making in-app purchases, I trust going through Apple as well, and I'm sure many other people do, because it's safe and secure due to Apple's restrictions — I am skeptical of going through outside means to purchase IAPs; what if there has been a hack? I feel more comfortable having my purchase go through Apple than a third-party source, basically.
But this isn't to say that I don't see the other side of it — a 30% cut can be a lot, especially for smaller developers and publishers. This also brings up the whole antitrust hearing debate and whether Apple is competing unfairly with competition. I mean, we can't deny that Apple has a monopoly with the App Store, and even though Google pulled Fortnite from the Play Store, there are still other ways to grab Fortnite on Android, which you can't do on iOS. Perhaps what Epic is doing will help bring even more awareness about the anti-competitive practices of Apple, but I could have done without the pettiness of it all.
Either way, I guess we will have to see how those lawsuits are going to hold up. Honestly, I am not sure Epic will have much of a case — it's Apple's digital store, after all, but we'll see.
In other news, the watchOS 7 public beta dropped this week as well, making it the first time that watchOS is available as a public beta. Our own Joe Keller wrote up a fantastic preview of watchOS 7, so make sure to give that a read if you haven't already. I'm eager to get watchOS 7 on my Apple Watch this fall.
There was also a report about Apple releasing a services bundle, dubbed "Apple One," as soon as October. This could allow people to get access to multiple Apple services, such as Apple Music, Apple Arcade, Apple News+, and more, for a cheaper rate than paying for each one individually. However, it may be possible that the savings won't be worth it, because the report suggests bundles are only going to save somewhere between $2-$5. Still, there is some time before these bundles even happen, and Bryan M. Wolfe wrote up a great take on what the Apple One bundles will need to be worth signing up for.
That's it for this week, folks. Now, place your bets on who will win The Great Tech Wars: Apple and Google versus Epic Games! I mean, what else is there to do these days? If only we could see billionaires duke it out via fisticuffs though...
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Christine Romero-Chan was formerly a Senior Editor for iMore. She has been writing about technology, specifically Apple, for over a decade at a variety of websites. She is currently part of the Digital Trends team, and has been using Apple’s smartphone since the original iPhone back in 2007. While her main speciality is the iPhone, she also covers Apple Watch, iPad, and Mac when needed.
When she isn’t writing about Apple, Christine can often be found at Disneyland in Anaheim, California, as she is a passholder and obsessed with all things Disney, especially Star Wars. Christine also enjoys coffee, food, photography, mechanical keyboards, and spending as much time with her new daughter as possible.