The Morning After: Apple explains how third-party app stores will work in Europe

The Morning After: Apple explains how third-party app stores will work in Europe

Apple is making major changes to the App Store in Europe in response to new European Union laws. Beginning in March, Apple will allow users in the EU to download apps and make purchases from outside its App Store. These changes are already being stress-tested in the iOS 17.4 beta.

Developers will be able to take payments and distribute apps from outside the App Store for the first time. Apple will still enforce a review process for apps that don’t come through its store, but it will be “focused on platform integrity and protecting users” from things like malware. The company warns it has less chance of addressing other risks like scams, abuse and harmful content.

Apple is also changing its commission structure, so developers will pay 17 percent on subscriptions and in-app purchases, reducing the fee to 10 percent for “most developers” after the first year. The company is tacking on a new three percent “payment processing” fee for transactions through its store, and there’s a new €0.50 “core technology fee” for all app downloads after the first million installations.

That’s a lot of new money numbers to process, and it could shake out differently for different developers. Apple says the new fee structure will result in most developers paying the company less, since the core technology fee will have the greatest impact on larger developers.

This all means that yes, Fortnite is returning.

— Mat Smith

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Mesh is a place for your avatars to float around.

Microsoft

Microsoft has announced the launch of Mesh, a feature for employees’ avatars to meet in the same place, even if the actual people are spread out. The virtual connection platform is powered through Microsoft Teams. Currently, Microsoft’s Mesh is only available on desktop PCs and Meta Quest VR devices (if employees want a more immersive experience). Microsoft is offering a six-month free trial to anyone with a business or enterprise plan. But no legs, it seems.

Continue reading.

And worrying.

When we first reviewed the Ray-Ban Meta smart glasses, multimodal AI wasn’t ready. The feature enables the glasses to respond to queries based on what you’re looking at. Meta has now made multimodal search available for “early access.” Multimodal search is impressive, if not entirely useful yet. But Meta AI’s grasp of real-time information is shaky at best.

We tried asking it to help pick out clothes, like Mark Zuckerberg did in a recent Instagram post, and were underwhelmed. Then again, it may work best for a guy who famously wore the exact same shirt every day for years.

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Coming in 2025.

Elon Musk has confirmed a “next-generation low-cost” Tesla EV is in the works and is “optimistic” it’ll arrive in the second half of 2025, he said in an earnings call yesterday. He also promised “a revolutionary manufacturing system” for the vehicle. Reuters reported that the new vehicle would be a small crossover called Redwood. Musk previously stated the automaker is working on two new EV models that could sell up to five million per year, combined.

Musk said the company’s new manufacturing technique will be “very hard to copy” because “you have to copy the machine that makes the machine that makes the machine… manufacturing inception.”

I just audibly groaned reading that.

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It collected some data before shutting down.

TMA

JAXA

This picture just makes me sad.

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Mat Smith

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