We keep tracking the most important news in the mobile industry. Believe it or not, there’s actually news besides the mess with Apple and Epic Games and TikTok’s ongoing trouble in the US (and if only there!). It includes Reels launch, Unity’s universal multistore tool, VPN boom, in-app review API by Google Play, and much more. Just like always, we’ll make it short and neat.
The Unity tool, Google Play’s review API, and three bits of news from Apple
Unity has launched a tool that will let game developers work with many stores at once (Samsung Galaxy Store, Huawei AppGallery, Xiaomi GetApps, and so on). Google Play now has an in-app review API. Apple launches new beta versions to upgrade its streaming radio service and subscription bundles. The standard subscription bundle will include Apple Music and Apple TV+.
TikTok clones, Reels launch, and VPN boom
Instagram has launched Reels in 50 countries. Do you think it’s a TikTok copy? You know, Robby Stein, Instagram ‘s product director, doesn’t think so: “At the end of the day, no two products are exactly alike, and ours are not either.” Reels isn’t alone in competing with TikTok though. Facebook is testing a similar video format in India. And Likee, TikTok’s major rival, is growing rapidly as it’s reached 150M monthly active users. By the way, due to widespread threats to ban TikTok (US, Australia, Japan) there’s a VPN boom right now.
The Instagram bug and TikTok searching for ways to get back on its feet
Instagram, as it turns out, kept storing long-deleted photos and messages on its servers. A security researcher got $ 6,000 for discovering the bug. And TikTok has delivered again. It’s been abusing a weakness in Google Android’s privacy system to collect unique identifiers of millions of its users. For sure, TikTok has had some bad luck lately. But they seem to do their best trying to recover as they’ve updated their policies, banned deep fakes before the coming US elections, and expanded fact-checks. What’s more, TikTok has launched an in-house information portal and announced the first data center in Europe.
Contact tracing and Epic Fail of the Month
Another fail of the month is related to a contact tracing app launched by a Michigan college. Besides tracking the students’ whereabouts, it turned out to have other flaws. By the way, we’ve reviewed some similar apps from different countries, so if you’re curious, feel free to read our post. Nevertheless, the Epic Fail of the Month goes to … the Fortnite ban. And you know what’s most hilarious? Apple featured the Fortnite’s major competitor, PUBG Mobile, on their store right after the ban. That’s what we call a fail.
Snapchat updates, Amazon’s AR Fitting, and Facebook’s shopping feature
Snapchat has launched an off-app content sharing tool and added licensed music to videos. Facebook and Instagram are expanding their shopping options. The latter will, by the way, have more ads as the team has decided to add ads to the very end of the feed. Yeah, scrolling to the end of your friends’ posts is a doozy, did you know that? Amazon has introduced an AR tool that lets users view and place furniture options in their homes.
Android smartphones turn into seismometers, and more good news
From now on, Google Maps will have more details. WhatsApp has launched a new feature to verify forwarded messages. Facebook is letting small businesses monetize online events. Google will make it easier for developers to build Linux-based Android apps, and Android smartphones have turned into seismometers. Now we can forecast earthquakes. Isn’t that amazing? 🤔
Some more news for the icing on the cake. This August we’ve launched a new tool, a breakthrough for the whole ASO industry. It’s ASOindex Overview. Now you can evaluate your app optimization level by different parameters. Try it!