Apple gets rid of 'Stadium App' that let users run Stadia on iOS devices

Agencies
October 24, 2020

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California, Oct 24: Multinational tech company Apple got rid of the 'Stadium' browser app that let users run Google Stadia on iOS devices. The company also shared details about the reason they decided to remove the app.

Mashable quoted a report by 9to5google in which Apple explained that Stadium makes use of "public APIs in a way that Apple does not intend". It stated that Stadium extends WebKit that exposes native APIs and allows websites access to Bluetooth,
Apple also referred to App Store Review Guideline section 2.5.1 and the Apple Developer Program License Agreement 3.31that requires apps to use public APIs only "for their intended" purposes.

The announcement around Apple removing 'Stadium' was made by developers on Twitter. He stated that Apple sent him a notice that they will be removing his app from the Store since the app was 'extending WebKit' beyond Apple's terms.

"I was "extending WebKit" by hooking it into the native GameController framework and thus Bluetooth controllers, which they didn't like," stated the developer on Twitter.

As per Mashable, the Stadium app was created by a Reddit user 'u/zmknox' who took the time to create a custom browser that not only works in full support of the App Store but allows users to run Google Stadia easily. It could be directly downloaded from the app store and users could use it with the help of a custom user agent that tricks the game streaming app.

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Agencies
November 19,2020

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Oakland, Nov 19: Apple Inc will pay $113 million to settle allegations from 33 US states and the District of Columbia that it slowed down iPhones to mask battery issues and get users to purchase new devices, state officials announced on Wednesday.

The deal with a coalition led by Arizona, Arkansas and Indiana is separate from a proposed settlement Apple reached in March to pay affected iPhone owners up to $500 million to stem a class action.

Apple in 2016 quietly updated software on models of the iPhone 6, 7 and SE to throttle chip speeds so that aging batteries on the devices would not send power spikes to the phone's processor and cause it to unexpectedly shut down. States contended Apple acted deceptively and should have replaced batteries or disclosed the issue.

Millions of users were affected by power shutoffs, according to an Arizona court filing.

"My colleagues and I are trying to get the attention of these big tech companies, and you would hope a multimillion-dollar judgment with more than 30 states will get their attention," Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich said in an interview.

"Companies cannot be disingenuous and conceal things," he added.

Apple, which has denied wrongdoing, declined to comment on the settlement.

Apple also agreed for the next three years to provide "truthful information" about iPhone power management across its website, software update notes and iPhone settings. Arizona said Apple's present disclosures and options are sufficient. The settlement with states is subject to court approval.

The multistate investigation into Apple, which Reuters first reported in July, is part of a wave of probes into the world's biggest technology providers.

Republican attorneys general in 11 US states last month joined the US Justice Department in an antitrust lawsuit against Alphabet Inc's Google, and large, bipartisan groups of attorneys general have ongoing investigations into Google and Facebook Inc over potentially deceptive and anticompetitive practices.

Apple acknowledged its update reduced power demands after researchers found unusual slowdowns in 2017. The company publicly apologized and slashed prices on battery replacements.

The settlement includes $5 million to Arizona, $24.6 million to Apple's home state of California and $7.6 million to Texas. The latter two states have the nation's Nos. 1 and 2 affected iPhone user bases. Brnovich said the penalty in his state would help fund more investigations into tech and other companies.

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Agencies
November 25,2020

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Washington, Nov 25: In partnership with UN Women and the UN Human Rights Office, Twitter is launching custom emojis to spread awareness on International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women on Wednesday and Human Rights Day on December 10.

The emojis will appear when people tweet with the hashtags #GenerationEquality, #OrangeTheWorld, #16Days, #HumanRightsDay, and other localised hashtags, Twitter said on Tuesday.

Twitter said it is also supporting local nonprofits across the world by providing "Ads for Good" grants to several partners to ensure that they can use the power of Twitter's advertising platform to reach more people.

Throughout the next #16Days, the microblogging platform will also amplify various regional campaigns and messages about the importance of gender equality and combatting violence against women to increase engagement and awareness.

"We have seen the whole world respond to the coronavirus pandemic with all hands on deck, and with responsive investment and protocols backed by determination. Violence against women is also a pandemic -- one that predates the virus and will outlive it," Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director, UN Women, said in a statement.

"As we face COVID-19's devastation, there has never been a more important moment to put our combined resources and commitment behind the biggest issues, and work with partners like Twitter to end violence against women and girls for good."

In addition to elevating the public conversation, Twitter has also partnered with health authorities and nonprofit organizations in various markets to expand its #ThereIsHelp notification service.

When people search terms associated with gender-based violence on Twitter, they will receive a notification with contact information for local hotlines and other resources to encourage them to reach out for help.

Since the initial rollout at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, Twitter has expanded the prompts to reach 24 markets spanning countries such as India, Australia, Mexico, Thailand, the UK, the US, and more.

Cases of violence against women have increased this year.

According to the United Nations Population Fund, for every three months the COVID-19 lockdown continues, an additional 15 million women are expected to be directly affected by violence.

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