Author: Alfonso

WPeMatico New 2.5 Version

WPeMatico New 2.5 Version

Highly recommended update, this version has important changes in terms of plugin security. Almost all of them requested by WordPress.org plugin moderators after a strict revision to follow the development standards of WordPress coding. It is recommended to test it on development servers before implementing…

New major version WPeMatico 2.4

New major version WPeMatico 2.4

We released version 2.4 of WPeMatico. In this version there is an outstanding feature that is the new external cron process. From now on we have deprecated the calling to the old file wpe-cron.php We still have it to keep the compatibility backwards, but if…

WPeMatico New 2.5 Version

WPeMatico New 2.5 Version

Highly recommended update, this version has important changes in terms of plugin security. Almost all of them requested by WordPress.org plugin moderators after a strict revision to follow the development standards of WordPress coding.
It is recommended to test it on development servers before implementing it on production sites.

The use of cURL and own download functions were replaced by WordPress file processing functions and remote file retrieval functions.

Take a look at the release note at http://www.wpematico.com/wpematico-free-core-v2-5/ It has a discount code inside for its extensions!

EDD MercadoPago 1.3.2 version

EDD MercadoPago 1.3.2 version

MercadoPago is one of the largest and most important payment gateways for many Central and South America countries. This platform allows the payment of products and services electronically through many different payment methods. They work with national and international credit cards. Payment links, QR payments,…

New major version WPeMatico 2.4

New major version WPeMatico 2.4

We released version 2.4 of WPeMatico. In this version there is an outstanding feature that is the new external cron process. From now on we have deprecated the calling to the old file wpe-cron.php We still have it to keep the compatibility backwards, but if…

This Week in Apps: App Store outrage, WWDC20 prep, Android subscriptions change

This Week in Apps: App Store outrage, WWDC20 prep, Android subscriptions change

Welcome back to This Week in Apps, the Extra Crunch series that recaps the latest OS news, the applications they support and the money that flows through it all.

The app industry is as hot as ever, with a record 204 billion downloads and $120 billion in consumer spending in 2019. People are now spending three hours and 40 minutes per day using apps, rivaling TV. Apps aren’t just a way to pass idle hours — they’re a big business. In 2019, mobile-first companies had a combined $544 billion valuation, 6.5x higher than those without a mobile focus.

In this Extra Crunch series, we help you keep up with the latest news from the world of apps, delivered on a weekly basis.

This week, one story completely took over the news cycle: Hey vs. Apple. An App Store developer dispute made headlines not because Apple was necessarily in the wrong, per its existing rules, but because of a growing swell of developer resentment against those rules. We’re giving extra bandwidth to this story this week, before jumping into the other headlines.

Also this week we look at what’s expected to arrive at next week’s WWDC20, the TikTok clone Zynn getting banned from both app stores (which is totally fine, I guess!), Facebook’s failed attempts to get its Gaming app approved by Apple, as well as some notable Android updates and other app industry trends.

Main Story: Hey vs. Apple

One story dominated this week’s app news. Unless you were living under the proverbial rock, there’s no way you missed it. After Basecamp received App Store approval for its new email app called Hey, the founders, David Heinemeier Hansson and Jason Fried, turned to Twitter to explain how Apple had now rejected the app’s further updates. Apple told Basecamp it had to offer in-app purchases (IAP) for its full email service within the app, in addition to offering it on the company website. They were not happy, to say the least.

This issue came to a head at a time when regulators are taking a closer look at Apple’s business. The company is facing antitrust investigations in both the U.S. and the E.U. which, in part, will attempt to determine if Apple is abusing its market power to unfairly dominate its competitors. In Hey’s case, the subscription-based app competes with Apple’s built-in free Mail app, which could put this case directly in the regulators’ crosshairs.

But it also brings up the larger concerns over how Apple’s App Store rules have evolved to become a confusing mess which developers — and apparently even Apple’s own App Store reviewers — don’t fully understand. (Apple reportedly told Basecamp that Hey should have never been approved in the first place without IAP.)

Apple has carved out a number of conditions where apps don’t have to implement IAP, by making exceptions for enterprise apps that may have per-seat licensing plans for users and for a set of apps that more directly compete with Apple’s own. These, Apple calls “reader” apps, as they were originally directed making an exception for Amazon’s Kindle. But now this rule offers exceptions to the IAP rule for apps focused on magazines, newspapers, books, audio, music, video, VoIP, access to professional databases, cloud storage, and more.

That leaves other digital service providers wondering why their apps have to pay when others don’t.

Apple didn’t help its argument, when earlier in the week it released a report that detailed how its App Store facilitated $519B in commerce last year. The company had aimed to prove how much business flows through the App Store without Apple taking a 30% commission, positioning the portion of the market Apple profits from as a tiny sliver. But after the Hey debacle, this report only drives home how Apple has singled out one type of app-based business — digital services — as the one that makes the App Store its money.

Apple’s decision to squander its goodwill with the developer community the week before WWDC is an odd one. Heinemeier Hansson, a content marketing expert, easily bested the $1.5 trillion dollar company by using Apple’s hesitance to speak publicly against it. He set the discussion on fire, posted App Store review email screenshots to serve as Apple’s voice, and let the community vent.

Amid the Twitter outrage, large publishers’ antitrust commentary added further fuel to the fire, including those from Spotify, Match, and Epic Games.

For more reading on this topic, here are some of the key articles:

  • TechCrunch’s exclusive interview with iOS App Store head, Phil Schiller. The exec said Apple’s position on the Hey app is unchanged and no changes to App Store rules are imminent. “You download the app and it doesn’t work, that’s not what we want on the store,” he argued. (Except of course, at those times when such an experience is totally fine with Apple, as in the case of “reader” apps.) Schiller also said Basecamp could have avoided the problems if Hey had offered a free version with paid upgrades, or if it offered IAP at a higher price than on its own website.
  • Daring Fireball’s comments on the “flimsiness” of Business vs. Consumer as a justification for Apple’s rejection of Hey. John Gruber points out that the line between what’s a business app and a consumer app is too blurred. Apple allows some business apps to forgo IAP if they sell enterprise plans (e.g. per seat plans) that often involve upgraded feature sets that aren’t even iOS-specific. But in this day and age, who’s to say that an email service doesn’t deserve the same ability to opt out of IAP in order to serve its own business user base? After all, what if it upgrades its paid service with web-only features — why should Apple get a cut of that business, too?
  • App Store policy criticism from The Verge. Nilay Patel sat down with Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI) and Basecamp CTO David Heinemeier Hansson to discuss the plight of Hey for its The Vergecast podcast. Cicilline said Apple’s fees were “exorbitant” and amounted to “highway robbery, basically.” He said Apple bullied developers by charging 30% of their business for access to its market — a decision which crushes smaller developers. “If there were real competition in this marketplace, this wouldn’t happen,” he added. The Verge’s Dieter Bohn also argued that Apple’s interpretation and enforcement of its App Store policies is terrible.
  • Basecamp CEO’s take on Apple’s App Store payment policies: Basecamp, the makers of the Hey app, put out a company statement about the App Store rules. The statement doesn’t add anything new to the conversation that wasn’t already in the tweetstorm, except the Basecamp response to Schiller’s suggestions which was something along the lines of 😝. The bottom line is that Hey wants to make the choice for its own business whether it needs the benefit of being able to acquire its users through the App Store or not. One way requires IAP and the other does not.
  • Vox’s Recode examines the antitrust case against Apple. The article doesn’t reference Hey, but lays out some of the other antitrust arguments being leveraged against Apple, including its “sherlocking” behavior,

Headlines

Apple has denied Facebook’s Gaming app at least 5 times since February

The Hey debacle is only one of many examples of how Apple exerts its market power over rivals. It has also repeatedly denied Facebook’s Gaming app entry to its App Store, citing the rule (Apple Store Review Guidelines, section 4.7) about not allowing apps whose main purpose is to sell other app, The NYT revealed this week.

Facebook’s Gaming app, which launched on Android in April, isn’t just another app store, however. The app offers users a hub to watch streamers play live, social networking tools, and the ability to play casual games like Zynga’s Words with Friends or Chobolabs Thug Life, for example. The latter is the point of contention, as Apple wants all games sold directly on the App Store, where it’s able to take a cut of their revenues.

One of the iterations Facebook tried was a version that looked almost exactly like how Facebook games are presented within the main Facebook iOS app — a single, alphabetized, unsortable list. The fact that this format was rejected when Apple already allows it elsewhere is an indication that even Apple doesn’t play by its own rules.

Zynn gets kicked out of App Store

Image Credits: Zynn

Zynn, the TikTok clone that shot to the top of the app store charts in late May, was pulled from Apple’s App Store on Monday. Before its removal, Sensor Tower estimates Zynn was downloaded 5 million times on iOS and 700,000 times on Google Play.

Startups Weekly: Which investor wrote the first check?

Startups Weekly: Which investor wrote the first check?

Editor’s note: Get this free weekly recap of TechCrunch news that any startup can use by email every Saturday morning (7am PT). Subscribe here. Which startups investors are actually first to backing the best companies? If you know this information before fundraising, you can avoid pitching investors…

Original Content podcast: ‘Da 5 Bloods’ provides a brutal look back at the Vietnam War

Original Content podcast: ‘Da 5 Bloods’ provides a brutal look back at the Vietnam War

“Da 5 Bloods,” the new Netflix film co-written and directed by Spike Lee, tells the story of four Black veterans who return to Vietnam decades after the war, in search of hidden gold and the body of their long-dead squad leader. The film seems to…

Startup Battlefield bonus: Application deadline extended one week

Startup Battlefield bonus: Application deadline extended one week

This one goes out to all the early-stage startup founders. Whether you’re overwhelmed by the state of the world, overworked — or procrastination is simply an intrinsic part of your DNA — it matters not. Here’s reason to smile. We’re giving you an extra week to apply to compete in Startup Battlefield during Disrupt 2020. Fill out your application before the new deadline expires on June 26 at 11:59 pm (PT).

This is your moment to grab a double fistful of opportunity and step into a global spotlight. The virtual Disrupt 2020 represents our largest viewing audience and our biggest launch platform ever — more investors, more media and more, well, everything. If you’re chosen to compete in our premier pitch-off, you’ll go up against some of the best early-stage startups around the world.

Here’s what’s at stake: Massive exposure that can — whether you win the battle or not — change the trajectory of your startup, a launch article on TC.com, a 6 week mini-training program with TC editorial, all the perks of a Digital Disrupt Digital Pro pass (and then some) and a shot at $100,000, the Disrupt cup and all the bragging rights.

You’re eligible to apply if your company is early stage, has an MVP with a tech component (software, hardware or platform) and hasn’t received much, if any, major media coverage. Note: TechCrunch does not charge any application or participation fees or take any equity. We accept founders from all backgrounds, geographies and industries.

Veteran TechCrunch Battlefield editors (such a picky bunch) review every application and select startups that meet their discerning standards for innovation and growth potential. The virtual competition takes place during Disrupt 2020, which runs from Sept. 14 – 18.

Feel that flop sweat building up? Don’t stress. All competing founders receive weeks of free expert coaching from TechCrunch. Your pitch, demo and business model will shine like never before on game day.

Startup Battlefield consists of two rounds. Each team has six minutes to pitch and demo to our panel of TC editors, expert VCs and top entrepreneurs. Each team also faces a six-minute Q&A. Out of the original cohort, a handful of teams will move to the finals — on the last day of Disrupt — and pitch again to a new set of judges. They’ll choose one team to take home the title, the cup and the $100,000 prize.

Let’s take a peek at what other opportunities Battlefield competitors enjoy.

  • Exhibit in Digital Startup Alley and demo your product to hundreds of people
  • Network with CrunchMatch, our AI-powered platform. Use it to set up virtual 1:1 meetings with investors, media, potential customers or any other startup influencers
  • Exclusive access to Leading Voices Webinars: Hear top industry minds share their strategies for adapting and thriving during and after the pandemic
  • A launch article featuring your startup on TechCrunch.com
  • A YouTube video promoted on TechCrunch.com
  • Free subscription to Extra Crunch
  • Free passes to future TechCrunch events

You’ll also join the likes of Vurb, Dropbox, GetAround, Mint, Yammer, Fitbit and other members of the Startup Battlefield Alumni community. This impressive group, comprised (so far) of 902 companies, has collectively raised $9 billion and generated 115 exits.

Rejoice, you have one extra week to apply to compete in Startup Battlefield at Disrupt 2020. The new deadline expires on June 26 at 11:59 pm (PT). Don’t wait another minute. Make the most of this extended opportunity.

Is your company interested in sponsoring or exhibiting at Disrupt 2020? Contact our sponsorship sales team by filling out this form.

A reading guide to Reliance Jio, the most important tech company in the world

A reading guide to Reliance Jio, the most important tech company in the world

Over the past few months, COVID-19 has brought much of the fundraising community to a standstill. However, amidst it all India’s hyper0growth telco Reliance Jio Platforms has put its fundraising efforts into full gear. Over the past three months, Jio has raised over $15.5 billion…