Monday, July 8, 2024

Epic Games Store Temporarily Allowed

Epic Games:

Apple has informed us that our previously rejected Epic Games Store notarization submission has now been accepted.

Eric Slivka (Hacker News):

Apple today said it has approved the third-party Epic Games Store in the European Union, allowing the Fortnite developer to launch its alternative app marketplace in those countries, reports Reuters.

Is running to the EU the new running to the press?

Tim Sweeney:

Now about those 9 to 16 day TestFlight app approval delays…

App Review Guidelines:

5.2.5 Apple Products: Don’t create an app that appears confusingly similar to an existing Apple product, interface (e.g. Finder), app (such as the App Store, iTunes Store, or Messages) or advertising theme.

Malcolm Owen:

Epic had defended itself, insisting it used the same naming conventions employed across different platforms. Epic also said it followed standard conventions for buttons in iOS apps.

Tim Sweeney:

Apple is now telling reporters that this approval is temporary and are demanding we change the buttons in the next version - which would make our store less standard and harder to use.

We’ll fight this.

Matthew Connatser:

If Epic is representing Apple’s position accurately, this would be a very strange reason to reject a third-party storefront. It’s unclear why Epic needs to use significantly different language than is used in the App Store, not to mention that the online souk is just one of many storefronts in the digital world where the words “install” and “in-app purchases” are used.

Is Apple’s position that it’s “confusingly similar” if it says “Epic Games Store” in large friendly letters but the buttons have the same titles and colors as in the App Store? Or are they complaining about specific pixels in the design? If so, are Epic’s buttons on other platforms copyright infringements of the App Store?

Nick Heer:

As far as I know, there are no screenshots of the version of Epic Games’ store submitted to Apple. Maybe it is designed in a way that duplicates Apple’s App Store to the point where it is confusing, as Apple argues. […] Regardless, it seems like a bad idea for Apple to be using its moderate control over alternative app stores are distributed to litigate intellectual property disputes. Perhaps when trust in the company’s processes is healthier, it would be less objectionable. But right now? If Apple wants to give competition investigators more material, it appears to be succeeding.

John Gruber (Mastodon):

Epic is certainly under no obligation to reveal screenshots of its in-progress iOS games marketplace, but without screenshots, there’s also no reason for anyone to take their own description of the notarization dispute with Apple at face value. Epic Games is an unreliable narrator.

Well, the screenshots were submitted to the EU, and it would look really bad if Epic were found to be lying about this, so what would be the point? My recollection is that Epic has been accurate in its descriptions of its disputes with Apple, whereas Apple has a history of making misleading statements about Epic. Gruber started calling Epic an “unreliable narrator” after Epic claimed that Apple was going to punish its customers who had used “Sign In with Apple.” However, documents from court filings later showed that his sources were wrong and Epic’s version of story and timeline were correct.

Previously:

Update (2024-07-15): See also: ArsTechnica (Hacker News).

17 Comments RSS · Twitter · Mastodon

Old Unix Geek

It seems to me that Apple is treating people like kindergartners. It would be so much simpler for Apple to approve Epic's store, and if it got a lot of complaints from customers, to go back to Epic and to tell them to fix their design, evidence in hand. But by preventing any possible "harm" to users, they've become overbearing.

I don’t disagree with Gruber’s general assessment of Epic as not being 100% reliable, but honestly with how much bad faith Apple has demonstrated with everything involved with with EU compliance, I don’t care if Epic copied Apple’s store pixel for pixel as long as they called Epic Store or something.

Apple didn’t bend at all so now they are going to have to play nice with the people they hate.

> Gruber started calling Epic an “unreliable narrator” after Epic claimed that Apple was going to punish its customers who had used “Sign In with Apple.” However, documents from court filings later showed that his sources were wrong and Epic’s version of story and timeline were correct.

Had forgotten that point. Gruber is generally a good observer of Apple in that he understands what they are thinking frequently, but he is way too inside the distortion field to be objective about any of this.

Gruber has once again proven himself an unreliable shill. Can’t say it’s a surprise at this point.

Gruber is no longer a trustworthy source when it comes to Apple stuff. Especially when it's Apple against anyone else. He's always going to support Apple, even when they're blatantly wrong, like in the original situation he used to start calling Epic an "unreliable narrator" and he keeps using that language long after it's been debunked

I used to read his blog regularly but haven't visited in months because he no longer provides valuable insight. He's just a mouthpiece for Apple except in very rare situations

One of th eno-brainer rules for better UIs is to NOT reinvent the wheel. Don't call "Install" "Aquire" or "In-app purchases" "Optional add-ons" etc.

So I hope Apple isn't trying to force that kind of nonsense. Another good thing is to use native UI elements, so I hope apple isn't trying to force *that* kind of nonsense.

I'm sure Schiller can come up with a laundry list of reasons for breaking the most basic of UI rules. But he won't be doing t to protect Apple users.

When Gruber lambasts EU car makers for installing speed limiters, and acting like it's some kind of farce to save lives by making it at least a little inconvenient for someone to drive their car at 100 mph... I just can't take him seriously. He clearly has Car Brain if he thinks it's ok for people to drive 4,000 lbs of steel at high speed without a single inconvenience... as if the lives of the 40,000+ people killed every year in the U.S. due to car violence don't matter. What a clown.

Old Unix Geek

@Ben G:

My neighbour saved his daughter by driving like a maniac to the hospital after she was bitten by a snake. He overtook me, and at the time I wondered what the F was wrong with him, but once I found out, I understood. The opinion you are espousing is very easy to have if you live in a city. But if you live an hour away from emergency services (and they often say they can't find you even with GPS), it's a very different story.

On Slashdot someone commented about someone who survived Mount St Helena's eruption by driving 110 mph, but people who drove 70mph didn't.

Secondly I had the "privilege" of renting a car with just such a system. It constantly got the "speed recognition" wrong, nagging I was going too fast because it saw a sign on a lorry, or missed a sign. It also got the lane detection wrong, particularly in work zones, and almost caused a crash pulling me into another lane by turning the steering wheel to where it thought the lane was. There even was a tree which it consistently misrecognized as a speed limit sign. I found it an incredibly frustrating experience but at least I could impose my will on it.

So unlike you, I think car speed limiting is a stupid move by city dwelling Eurocrats. None of which is to say that I support people driving recklessly in normal situations.

Old Unix Geek

Having now actually read the legislation I see it is can still be overridden. That's good.

Nevertheless, having one's car doing things on its own seems undesirable to me. The last thing I need is for the accelerator pedal to start pushing back. Not only is it distracting, it's more complex, and probably will go wrong. As it is, we've had cases of cars refusing to stop when you press the brakes.

I much prefer tools that do as they're told, rather than being treated like a Kindergartner because others don't trust each other to behave as adults. If that's an issue, perhaps we shouldn't be giving driving licenses out like candy.

Could you please put any car discussion here?

Good to see Gruber taking a stance that people aught to be able to do what they want with stuff they've bought and paid for.

Or is this just another example of his growing xenophobia, now extending to anything european as well as asian?

> Good to see Gruber taking a stance that people aught to be able to do what they want with stuff they've bought and paid for.

Except on their mobile devices, where Apple’s right to control is absolute, because … capitalism?

Sorry OUG, I agree with most of your points most of the time, but I don't think extremely unlikely scenarios like poisonous snake bites and historic volcanic eruptions should be used to justify driving cars at lethal speeds (or for that matter, making cars that go beyond 100 mph for any reason). What if your neighbor had hit another car, or some children on bicycles, or an elderly person crossing the street, on the way to the hospital and killed them?

These fantastical and extremely unlikely situations are the same reason why we have highways, stroads, and major arterials crisscrossing every American city... and why even our neighborhood streets are 30+ feet wide... with no speed bumps or traffic calming or any physical infrastructure that tells drivers to slow down (besides some paint and signs, which they are free to ignore)... because it's "more important" for emergency services to be able to travel down those streets once every 50 years, and arrive at a fire 10 seconds faster, than to make the street safe, comfortable, and convenient for all users, all the time, 24/7/365. It's ridiculous and a totally fabricated red herring. Same as "What if I need to go 125 mph to outrun a pack of rabid elephants?!?!?? Does the EU prefer that I die???"

In reality, furthering dependence on cars is making our cities worse and causing MORE congested streets. Those fire trucks could get where they are going a lot faster if most of the people were walking or biking or taking the bus/train where they're going. Instead in many American cities we have such horrible roads, nonexistent bike infrastructure, and completely insufficient sidewalks that LOTS of people will literally drive their car 1/2 mile to the supermarket instead of walking there. And they probably won't stick to the speed limit while doing so. That's crazy.

Old Unix Geek

If it occurred in my life, it is by definition not fantastical or extremely unlikely. You obviously live a very sheltered life, live in a city, or are still very young, if you've never lived through a natural emergency. The mere existence of urgency services should tell you that such events are common.

And no, my neighbor didn't kill anyone. I would prefer people to drive fast but pay attention than drive slowly but be on drugs or distracted. Germany has no speed limits on the Autobahn, but driving there is far less dangerous than France or the US.

Yes American cities could do better on many fronts, but the solution is to make public transport more convenient, not to force people to behave how you'd prefer. When I lived in a place where public transport was actually reliable, readily available, and went where I wanted to go, I didn't have a car: it's cheaper and less hassle.

"Germany has no speed limits on the Autobahn"

WRONG, typical from OUG.

"Much of the system has no speed limit for some classes of vehicles.[1] However, limits are posted and enforced in areas that are urbanised, substandard, accident-prone, or under construction. On speed-unrestricted stretches, an advisory speed limit (Richtgeschwindigkeit) of 130 kilometres per hour (81 mph) applies.[2] While driving faster is not illegal in the absence of a speed limit, it can cause an increased liability in the case of a collision (which mandatory auto insurance has to cover); courts have ruled that an "ideal driver" who is exempt from absolute liability for "inevitable" tort under the law would not exceed the advisory speed limit."

It's a fact that 40,000+ people are killed per year due to car violence in the US, primarily due to excessive speed. How many people die every year due to fire trucks arriving at a fire 10 seconds later because they had to go over a few speed bumps that make a neighborhood safer (and not due to actual traffic congestion and/or entitled drivers that won't get out of the way which is probably a lot more common and causes a lot more delays), or how many people died because they got bit by a lethal snake but only drove 80 mph to the hospital instead of 120 mph? I'm guessing it's probably not even 100 people.

Old Unix Geek

@One: "Typical from OUG". [Citation needed] Sure, there are speed limits in town or work zones. Never said there weren't. Your argument doesn't change the accident statistics: the US has more speed limits, wider roads, and more car accidents per mile traveled and per capita than Germany, or even France, which is quite the achievement given that everyone there is told to get Toxoplasmosis before having children.

@BenG: There is a large part of the EU (in fact most of it) which isn't in cities. In that world, things aren't delayed just by 10 seconds. In that world, things aren't connected by public transport, and the ambulances don't magically come from 5 minutes away. It's where people end up bitten by snakes. And it is that world which the EU's regulations will affect because the only means of transport is the car. If you live in large European city, you don't need a car, so don't get one. If you live in a large American city, this EU law doesn't even apply to you, and you've probably never experienced the other bullshit measures the EU has imposed on cars, so you really don't know what you are talking about.

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