Apple Inc, facing accusations from rivals that it has too much control over its App Store, on Monday presented plans to increase user privacy and keep consumer data out of the hands of other companies, by offering features such as extended video conferencing and government virtual ID storage on iPhone.
The changes came at Apple’s annual global developer conference for software developers, some of whom began to complain about Apple’s grip on the apps that can appear on its devices, as well as its commissions. 15% to 30% on digital sales.
Many new features allow users to protect data, entrusting information to the Apple brand. Users will be able to scan ID cards in participating US states, and the cards will be encrypted in a user’s digital wallet, along with credit cards and transit cards in select US cities. It works with the United States Transportation Security Administration to accept digital credentials at airports.
In many cases, Apple itself cannot see all of the information. The company updated the paid version of its iCloud storage service to include a service that hides a user’s browsing habits, even from Apple. Another new iCloud feature will allow users to hide their real email address, which is increasingly used as an identifier by digital marketers to track users. Apple said iCloud’s prices won’t change with the new features.
Apple has also altered some of its apps and services in ways that intensify its rivalries with Zoom Video Communications Inc and Microsoft Corp teams, both of which rose to prominence during the pandemic.
It updated its FaceTime video chat app to allow scheduling calls with multiple participants and to make the software compatible with Android and Windows devices.
Apple also introduced what it calls in-app events, a way for developers to host live events within apps and present those events in real time in the App Store. Video game developers, for example, could run live tournaments and market them on the App Store, which Apple’s current systems aren’t designed to handle.
The move could intensify competition with Facebook Inc, which announced Monday that it plans to launch an online events business that will be free until 2023 and then charge commissions below 30% of Apple’s fees for the move. ‘App Store.
Several of the other features Apple introduced Monday, such as the ability to take a photo of a sign and use artificial intelligence to extract the written text, have been present on competing Android operating system for several years.
The rest of Apple’s conference is devoted to technical sessions for developers, some of whom bristled at its controls and expense.
These issues have undergone regulatory scrutiny and are at the heart of an antitrust lawsuit brought by the creator of “Fortnite” Epic Games, in which a federal judge is considering how to rule.
Apple said its practices in the App Store are expanding the market for mobile software by creating an environment for paid apps that consumers trust, and Apple CEO Tim Cook and his team have not addressed relations with developers frayed during the presentation.
Not all developers have negative feelings, said Ben Bajarin, CEO of Creative Strategies, who surveyed Apple developers and found that more than 90% had no plans to stop building apps. for Apple devices.
However, some complaints are widespread, with more than half of developers saying fees should be capped at 10%, and many want more clarity on why apps are being rejected from the App Store and how to fix these issues. Bajarin said.