Archive for October 21, 2021

Thursday, October 21, 2021

Google Play Store Drops Fees on Subscriptions and Content

Sameer Samat (MacRumors, Hacker News):

To help support the specific needs of developers offering subscriptions, starting on January 1, 2022, we’re decreasing the service fee for all subscriptions on Google Play from 30% to 15%, starting from day one.

For developers offering subscriptions, this means that first-year subscription fees will be cut in half.

This applies to all developers, whereas the previous cut to 15% was for after the first year or for non-subscription revenue below $1 million.

Ebooks and on-demand music streaming services, where content costs account for the majority of sales, will now be eligible for a service fee as low as 10%.

Meanwhile, Apple recently implied that the App Store Small Business program is only temporary.


Update (2021-10-25): See also: Hacker News.

Ryan Jones:

Subs pay 15%
IAP’s pay 30%

…so every Game has a 15% incentive to turn their gem IAP’s to a subscription.

There is also a good discussion in the 10/22 episode of Dithering.

Yahoo Finance App Removed From Chinese App Store

Sophia Yan:

Chinese internet users have lost one of their last avenues to foreign news after the Yahoo Finance app disappeared from Apple’s store, as the Communist Party intensifies its censorship of information from abroad.

The Yahoo app republishes news from foreign media organisations, including outlets whose websites are blocked in China, such as Bloomberg and Reuters, as well as stock market data.

This allowed users to skirt official censorship bans, a feature that likely drew the ire of Chinese authorities.

Mikey Campbell:

Days prior to its App Store expulsion, Yahoo Finance republished a Bloomberg story critical of China’s crackdown on the tech industry, the report said. The article contained reference to supposed preferential treatment afforded to Apple in exchange for compliance with government requests, including app takedown notices.


More recently, Apple last week reportedly pulled Quran Majeed at the behest of government officials. Other apps that present users with religious texts and material, including “Olive Tree Bible,” “Holy Bible King James” and “Jehovah’s Witnesses Kingdom,” were also expelled from China’s App Store.


On The Much Improved State of Macintosh Hardware

Quentin Carnicelli:

Back in mid-2018, there wasn’t a single Macintosh computer that was free of major drawbacks or otherwise ridiculously out of date. After yet another disappointing WWDC, I took to my keyboard to air some grievances, with a lengthy complaint entitled “On The Sad State of Macintosh Hardware”. That post was written out of a deeper frustration with Apple’s failure to keep the Mac product line current.

A little over three years later, it’s time to do the opposite. With Apple’s announcement of new M1 Pro- and M1 Max-based MacBook Pros, they are more than halfway through their transition from Intel to their own Apple Silicon chips. The state of Macintosh hardware is now much closer to “Jubilant” than “Sad”.

The biggest Mac problem is still software quality.


Yoink for iOS Uses Picture-in-Picture

Matthias Gansrigler:

After releasing Yoink v2.3, which brought the app up-to-speed on all things iOS 15, I have another great update out for Yoink for iPad and iPhone, which allows you to make the app monitor your clipboard in the background and save almost anything you copy or cut.


So in addition to sharing content to Yoink with its Share extension, manually pasting content into the app, and Siri Shortcuts, you can now have anything you copy stored automatically in Yoink.

Federico Viticci (tweet):

The result is unlike anything else I’ve seen on iOS and iPadOS, and it unlocks the kind of flexibility and peace of mind I’ve long missed from macOS. It’s almost too good to be true, and I hope I won’t cause any trouble by writing about it.


Several years ago back when Pastebot was also available on iPhone, Tapbots attempted to let it run persistently in the background by playing a silent audio track that would trick iOS into not suspending Pastebot when it was closed. The feature was promptly shut down by Apple.

Unable to devise other methods to let apps run in the background without interruptions, developers of clipboard managers then converged on the same idea: using old-school Today widgets to capture the contents of the clipboard as soon as the user opened the Today page.


Yoink’s persistent clipboard monitoring is a new spin on an old concept: it uses an audio/video trick to let the app run in the background and make iOS/iPadOS think it’s always in the foreground, capable of capturing your clipboard. Specifically, Yoink uses Apple’s Picture in Picture technology to remain active even if you close the app, monitor what you copy, and save it into the main Yoink app.

Sounds like a great idea, and one arm of Apple is currently promoting Yoink in the App Store. Hopefully, another arm doesn’t decide that this is not how the Picture-in-Picture API was intended to be used.


The Impossible Move

Rob Griffiths:

  1. Create a screen full of apps and folders, such that there’s no remaining space.
  2. Position a folder in the rightmost lower corner of the screen.
  3. Attempt to drag an app from another screen into that folder.


The only solution I’ve found that works for all cases is this one:

  1. Move the target folder to another location on the screen.
  2. Move the target app into the target folder.
  3. Move the target folder back to its original location.

To reiterate my earlier tweet…please, Apple, provide an official solution for home screen management using a Mac.


Update (2021-10-25): Jesse Squires:

This bug also happens on macOS “Launchpad”