Apple Accused Over its App Rules

Apple has been accused of using its app rules as ‘weapons’ in a bid to harm competitors, says Spotify.

The music subscription service accuses Apple of having tight controls on how third party apps are sold on the iPad and iPhone as a ‘weapon to harm competitors’.

Spotify has now written to Apple over its app style rules on subscription payments for apps and the restrictions on how developers can advertise lower prices for a service by redirecting customers to a specific website.

Lawyers for the music service say Apple is refusing to process an update for the iPhone and by doing so is raising issues under EU and US competition law.

The issue boils down to how much long-standing customers are paying for a monthly ad-free music streaming service and Apple has not yet responded to the claims.

China’s demands real names to be used

Mobile phone users in China must from 1 August use their real names for registering with mobile phone apps.

The country’s internet watchdog says the move will help keep information safe.

Now mobile phone application providers must verify the identities of its users by demanding mobile phone numbers and other information and once confirmed the user can then use a nickname.

The watchdog said that while apps are popular, they can also spread rumours, terrorism and pornography as well as being vehicles for fraud.

China currently has around 4 million mobile phone apps on its domestic app stores.

Mobile phone apps for hotels fail to wow

A survey of mobile phone apps for hotels has revealed they are not only lagging behind the industry but also fail to wow users.

The findings from QikServe reveal that more than two thirds of consumers who use mobile phones for researching and booking their travel and holiday plans are either unimpressed or unaware of the hotel app.

When the data is analysed, 81% of respondents said hotel apps are either lacking functionality or are behind the times, or users were unaware they existed.

The firm says there is a demand for hotel apps that are useful so visitors can make bookings, access hotel information and check in and out.

Users also wanted other features such as pre-ordering from hotel restaurants and bars, ordering room service and drinks in other parts of the hotel.

A spokesman for the firm said: “Many hotels have made huge investments in their mobile phone apps so this lack of knowledge may be down to poor promotion but low adoption might be because the apps do not cover the range of functionality for hotel guests.”

Pregnancy planning apps ‘no use’

Mobile phone apps for helping women plan or prevent pregnancy have, at best, questionable accuracy according to researchers.

Growing numbers of women are using apps for tracking their fertile days to become pregnant or using the data to prevent pregnancy but, researchers say, most apps are not reliable enough for delivering on either need.

Indeed, they say that most of the apps they tested failed to accurately track a woman’s fertile days.

Researchers looked at nearly 100 apps with very few using ‘evidence-based methodology’ and women should avoid using them, particularly if they are preventing pregnancy, say scientists.

In other mobile phone app news…

YouTube will soon be streamed live to mobile phones

YouTube is expanding its live streaming facilities by allowing Periscope and Facebook Live to stream on its platform.

The platform says users will soon be able to broadcast video from their phone to subscribers as well as to the larger YouTube audience.

The company announced there will be no need to download additional software and live streaming will begin by ‘hitting the big red captured button’.

Search and Mobile enthusiast, like to tinker in apps, machine learning, big data and currently Python.