Apple Pay Now Accepted for iTunes, App Store, Apple Music, and iCloud Purchases in Some Countries

Apple Pay is now an accepted payment method for iTunes, App Store, and Apple Books purchases, as well as Apple Music and iCloud storage subscriptions, as reflected in a recently updated Apple support document.


To link any credit or debit cards set up in the Wallet app with your Apple ID account, navigate to Settings > iTunes & App Store. Next, select your Apple ID email and then tap View Apple ID > Manage Payments > Add Payment Method. The cards should be listed under a new "Found in Wallet" section.

This functionality is rolling out as a server-side change in the United States, Canada, Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Russia, Ukraine, and the United Arab Emirates, so it is not available for all users yet.

In the United States, users can also link an Apple Pay Cash card to an Apple ID account.

There are a handful of benefits to Apple Pay billing for Apple ID account-tied purchases, including the ability to conveniently add multiple credit or debit cards, the improved security of Apple Pay, and the ability to better manage Apple Music and iCloud storage subscriptions from the Wallet app.

This functionality arrives ahead of the launch of the Apple Card credit card in the United States this summer.

(Thanks, Dean Lubaki!)


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Apple’s New Warren Buffett Game Pulled From App Store Outside of United States

Just one week after Apple surprised us all with its first iPhone game since 2008, starring billionaire investor Warren Buffett, the game has been pulled from the App Store outside of the United States with no confirmed reason.


Warren Buffett's Paper Wizard is a simple game that tasks players with flinging newspapers to collect Warren Bucks. The game gradually increases in difficulty as players make their way from Buffett's native Omaha, Nebraska to Apple's hometown of Cupertino, California, including a visit to Apple Park.

Buffett was a childhood newspaper carrier who for years held newspaper-tossing contests during Berkshire Hathaway's annual shareholders meeting.


Apple CEO Tim Cook unveiled the game during a surprise appearance at the annual meeting earlier this month. While the game's developer is listed as Wildlife Designs on the App Store, the app is copyrighted, maintained, and operated by Apple, making this its first iPhone game since Texas Hold'em back in 2008.

Cook makes a brief appearance in the game himself, welcoming players to Cupertino, referred to as the home of Apple.


Given that Warren Buffett's Paper Wizard only takes minutes to complete, and that Buffett's high score of 15,350 is seemingly unbreakable, the game appears to be little more than a short-lived novelty. As such, it is not all that surprising that the game has already been pulled internationally.


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Supreme Court Allows App Store Monopoly Lawsuit Against Apple to Proceed

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday ruled 5-4 against Apple in an anticompetitive case involving the App Store, allowing iPhone users to move forward with their class action lawsuit against the company, according to CNBC.


The lawsuit was filed in 2011 by a group of iPhone users who believe Apple violates federal antitrust laws by requiring apps to be sold through its App Store, where it collects a 30 percent commission from all purchases, leading to inflated prices as developers pass on the cost of the commission to customers.

In other words, the iPhone users believe that apps would be priced lower outside of the App Store, as Apple's 30 percent cut would not be baked in to prices.

The lawsuit was initially dismissed in 2013 by a California district court, due to errors in the complaint, but the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit revived the case in 2017. Apple then appealed with the Supreme Court.

From the start, Apple has argued that it doesn't set prices for paid apps, and that charging a 30 percent commission on the distribution of paid apps and in-app purchases does not violate antitrust laws in the United States. In 2017, the U.S. Department of Justice filed an amicus brief in support of Apple.


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Apple Offering 10% Bonus iTunes Credit When Adding Funds to Your Apple ID

Apple has begun offering users the chance to add 10 percent extra credit to their App Store and iTunes accounts this week, similar to past offers from the company. For this deal, you'll have to add money to your Apple ID account from a credit or debit card connected to your account.


To add the funds on your iPhone, visit the App Store, tap your profile picture, and then tap "Add Funds to Apple ID." Here you can choose from $1.00 to $200.00 to add to your account in order to get the 10 percent bonus credit. This means that the most you can get out of the offer is $20 in free iTunes credit when adding $200 to your account.

The promotion will last through Friday, May 10 and is available in the United States as well as other regions, including Japan. With the credit in your iTunes account, you can rent or purchase iTunes movies and TV shows, buy books in Apple Books, pay for your Apple Music or iCloud subscriptions, and much more.


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App Store Users Report Endless T&C Loop Preventing App Updates and Downloads

A number of iPhone and iPad users this morning are taking to Twitter and Reddit to report an issue with the App Store that prevents them from downloading or updating apps.

The problem starts when a user taps the Get button on an app listing, whereupon a pop-up informs them that "Apple Media Services Terms and Conditions have changed" and that they must read and accept them to continue.




However, tapping OK and then agreeing to the terms and conditions simply sends the user back to the app's App Store listing where they're asked to read and accept the T&Cs again, thus begetting an endless loop.

The T&C issue also appears to be affecting Apple's communication servers, with some users receiving multiple duplicate emails notifying them of the change in Apple Media Services terms. Yet Apple's System Status page is currently reporting no problems.

Some users report that simply tapping Cancel when the T&C notification first pops up makes it go away, allowing them to download or update the app in question. Have you been affected by the T&C issue currently besetting the App Store? Let us know your experience the comments below.

(Thanks, Mike!)


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Apple Adds Extra Confirmation Step When Purchasing Subscriptions in Apps

Apple has introduced an extra confirmation step when App Store users purchase an app available on a subscription basis or tap to subscribe to a premium service in an app, making sure no accidental subscription purchases occur.

The new subscription feature was highlighted on Twitter by developer David Barnard this afternoon and appears to have been implemented recently.


With this new confirmation step, when you download an app with a subscription or tap on a subscription option in an app where the subscription feature is optional, you'll see a second subscription popup warning after initially confirming a purchase with Face ID or Touch ID on your iPhone or iPad.


The popup warns that the subscription will continue unless canceled in the Settings app at least one day before a subscription period ends, requiring users to confirm the notice with an OK button or tap cancel to cancel the initiation of the subscription.

Adding a second confirmation screen to subscription purchases will thwart app developers who have been using nefarious tactics to trick users into purchasing subscriptions or making subscription costs and terms unclear.

Accidental subscription purchases have been an ongoing problem with Touch ID iPhones where a purchase could be made unintentionally when putting a finger on the Home button (such as when pressing to exit out of the App Store), but the new confirmation screen makes it clearer that you're initiating a recurring subscription on both Face ID and Touch ID iPhones.


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Dutch Antitrust Watchdog to Investigate Whether Apple Gives Itself Preferential Treatment in App Store

The Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets, or ACM for short, today announced that it will investigate whether Apple abuses its position in the App Store by, for example, giving preferential treatment to its own apps.


ACM says the investigation will initially focus on Apple because the majority of anticompetitive allegations it has received from other companies and developers have been about the App Store. More specifically, the investigation will revolve around Dutch apps for "news media" available in the App Store.

ACM board member Henk Don:
To a large degree, app providers depend on Apple and Google for offering apps to users. In the market study, ACM has received indications from app providers, which seem to indicate that Apple abuses its position in the App Store. That is why ACM sees sufficient reason for launching a follow-up investigation, on the basis of competition law.
However, the antitrust watchdog stresses that Apple is innocent unless proven guilty, and also encourages developers to come forward if they experience similar problems with Google's Play Store.

ACM launched the investigation upon completion of its market study that explores the influence of app stores. For numerous apps, the watchdog found that no realistic alternatives to the App Store and Play Store exist, potentially giving Apple and Google the opportunity to set unfair conditions.
On the one hand, Apple and Google have an interest in offering many different apps from app providers in their app stores. On the other hand, however, Apple and Google are app providers in their own right, too. So their apps compete with those of other market participants. These competing interests may pose antitrust problems.
ACM cites unnamed developers who say they do not always have a fair chance against Apple's and Google's preinstalled apps on mobile devices, must use Apple's and Google's in-app purchase mechanisms for digital goods and services, have difficulties communicating with Apple and Google, and more.

Many of these issues are at the core of Spotify's recent complaint with the European Commission over Apple's App Store practices. Last month, the streaming music company accused Apple of "acting as both a player and referee to deliberately disadvantage other app developers" that it competes with.

The investigation's initial focus on Dutch news apps is a rather narrow one, especially considering that Apple News is not yet available in the Netherlands. But, the premise seems to be that Apple News is a preinstalled app while other news providers must go through the App Store and pay Apple's "tax."

As the ACM notes, apps have become an increasingly important part of daily life, so it will be interesting to see how these investigations play out and how they impact the future of the App Store and Play Store.

Apple didn't immediately respond to a request for comment from Bloomberg, which first reported the news.


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Apple Announces ‘Apple Arcade’ Cross-Platform Subscription Games Service With Access to Over 100 Titles

Apple today announced Apple Arcade, a new subscription-based games service for mobile, desktop, and the living room, featuring hundreds of titles from top video game publishing houses including Disney, Sega, Lego, Cartoon Network, and Konami.


A subscription to Apple Arcade includes access to over 100 new and exclusive games that can be played both online and offline across iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple TV.

Apple Arcade will have a dedicated tab on the App Store, and games will be curated by Apple's team of App Store editors. Apple says the emphasis will be on personalized recommendations, and Apple promises that Apple Arcade games cannot collect any data about the user without consent.

All Apple Arcade games will be all-you-can-play experiences, with all features, content, and updates included at no extra charge, and with no ads or in-app purchases necessary.
"The App Store is the world's biggest and most successful game platform. Now we are going to take games even further with Apple Arcade, the first game subscription service for mobile, desktop and the living room," said Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. "We are working with some of the most innovative game developers in the world to create over 100 new and exclusive games to play across iPhone, iPad, Mac and Apple TV. Apple Arcade games will be great for families, respect user privacy and will not have ads or require any additional purchases. We think players of all ages are going to love Apple Arcade."
Apple Arcade will launch in fall 2019 in more than 150 countries across iOS, macOS and tvOS. Apple is asking developers interested in being considered for Apple Arcade to visit developer.apple.com/apple-arcade.


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Apple Requiring New and Updated Apps to Support iPhone XS Max and 12.9-Inch iPad Pro Starting March 27

Apple today announced that all new and updated iPhone and iPad apps submitted to the App Store on and after March 27, 2019 must be built with the iOS 12.1 SDK or later and support the iPhone XS Max and/or the latest 12.9-inch iPad Pro. App Store screenshots for those devices will also be required.


Likewise, all new apps and app updates for Apple Watch will need to be built with the watchOS 5.1 SDK or later and support the Apple Watch Series 4.

Related Roundups: iPad Pro, iPhone XS

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Original iPhone Game ‘Rolando’ Returning to App Store

Back in 2008, we wrote about Rolando, a platform-style puzzle game that was one of the first games back when the iPhone and the App Store were both new. At the time, our sister site TouchArcade said it was among "the best games the App Store has to offer."

The original Rolando game is no longer on the App Store because of the 2017 crackdown on 32-bit apps, but Rolando developer HandCircus today announced that a remastered version of the game is coming on April 3rd, which will be good news to fans of the Rolando series.


Rolando: Royal Edition is an overhauled version of the original Rolando game from 2008, with updated graphics, redesigned levels, and new mechanics. HandCircus says that the entire game has been updated with new content.

The award-winning iPhone classic is back and better than ever! This brand-new 'Royal Edition' is a completely remastered Rolando - every interaction, every course, flower, trampoline, bomb, catapult and squirrel has been given a thorough scrub, buff and shine, making this the most gorgeous version yet!
In Rolando, the goal of the game is to guide a gang of Rolandos through traps and puzzles on a quest to save the sages from the Shadow Creatures. With the exception of new mechanics and updates to the design, the original Rolando gameplay appears to be intact.

Rolando: Royal Edition can be pre-ordered from the App Store for $1.99, a 1/3 discount off of the planned launch price. [Direct Link]


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