TechCrunch looks at Google’s alternative billing, Instagram time feeds, and digital driver licenses

This week in Applications is a week-long TechCrunch series featuring the latest in mobile OS news, mobile applications, and general application programming. According to the most recent weekend reports, the app industry will continue to grow, with a record number of downloads and user spending in all iOS and Google Play stores combined in 2021. By 2021, global spending on iOS, Google Play, and third-party Android app stores in China expect to increase 19% to $ 170 billion. Application revenues increased by 5% to 230 billion in 2021, while mobile advertising spending increased by 23% annually to $ 295 billion.

Consumers today spend more time in appliances than ever before – especially when they spend more time watching TV. The average American watches 3.1 hours of TV a day, for example, but in 2021, they spend 4.1 hours on their mobile device. And they are not even the heaviest mobile users in the world. In markets such as Brazil, Indonesia and South Korea, users will spend more than five hours a day on mobile devices in 2021.

Applications are not a way to go beyond working hours, either. They can grow to become big businesses. By 2021, 233 applications and games generated more than $ 100 million in consumer spending, and 13 generated $ 1 billion in revenue. This is 20% from 2020, when 193 applications and games raised $ 100 million in annual user spending, and eight applications received $ 1 billion. This week the Apps offers a way to keep up with the fast paced industry in one place, with the latest from the world of apps, including news, updates, startup expenses, collections and assets, and suggestions about new tools to try, especially.

Do you like This Week in Applications in your inbox every Saturday? Register here: techcrunch.com/newsletters. There is no bigger news in the world of applications this week than the announcement by Google that it will start to drive a third-party billing system in multiple markets. To be clear, this was the only driving program for the time being. And Google has so far announced only one partner: store agitator and observation critic, Spotify. But finally, Spotify said it intends to roll out a third-party payment option in all markets where it sells Spotify Premium, which is 184 global products.

One, is that this is not a way for developers to avoid Google strategy. Instead, Spotify and Google reached an agreement that Spotify considered “fair” – but no party would share the terms. For the most part, Google Play shares today range from 15% to 30%. And when Google opened up to third-party billing in South Korea, it only dropped commissions by 4%, arguing that it was still providing a host of other altar services it needed to charge for. Unsurprisingly, Spotify has managed to get itself in high hack. But the lack of transparency around these businesses is unfair to the wider app development community, which has the right to know where our boundaries are and how they are determined. For what it’s worth, Epic Games is not on board with this process.

Another thing to note in this new program is not yet complete. You also have to decide how this will appear in the Spotify app user interface or how users will go about tracking, controlling and canceling paid subscriptions outside the Play Store. Will they have to access the web via an in-app browser? Can they be turned on and off in the native material? Will Spotify be able to sell low-cost subscriptions to current subscribers through Google Play billing within the app? We will have to wait and see.

And while Spotify is roaming around the rolling world of third-party billing on its application after the tests are over, Google argues with any redesign of this program as “global” from mass. (No really, we have emails.) Google says it starts with “selecting products” and the exact areas are not decided at this point. While that may be, of course it is worth noting that this is not a US project, in either of the companies ’proposals.

The pilot reports, which indicate Google will start a process to further reduce its rankings, could also increase pressure on Apple to do the same. With this launch, Apple could not point to another major global mobile app store and argue that both are based in line with their respective plans. Surprisingly, Apple has allowed this battle to continue for so long. Fighting over plans has taken Apple by storm, growing customer relationships and hurting consumers who have to pay higher prices when developers launch a cost-of-in-app purchase to cover Apple hacking. Apple makes billions from its App Store, but it fights this battle as if reducing commissions or accepting other payments would be the end of your business. (Can anyone remind Apple that it looks, really rich?)

Besides, not all customers will even opt for another payment option, even if you allow it, because it is much easier to use Apple Pay and manage subscriptions in one world in the App Store.

Also, why can’t Apple find other ways to increase revenue to help make up for lost revenue across your App Store service? Maybe by expanding your company plan? Or by offering different levels of service to developers – such as those who provide developments with more direct links or better support from the App Store Review Team? Or maybe by giving them options to pay for faster speed reviews every year? After all, these are the problems that developers already complain about – the random and arbitrary creation of App Store rejections and the lengthy application review process as a result.

Apple is very secretive about accessing its App Store – it does not compromise on assets from other services. And Phil Schiller, who runs the App Store, pretended not to know whether Apple’s app market was profitable when questioned in the Epic antitrust trial. (“Don’t come up,” he said!) But court evidence shows that Apple’s App Store profit margin is 78% in 2019. And multibillion-dollar activity in the fiscal year 2021, paying $ 60 billion to the founders behind it. took its committees. Fast forward to Apple to give a little – or even a lot – to build the best App Store and further the upcoming processes without this whole game. Instead, it has fought hard against the tidal wave of changes, it may now have to explain group accumulation, alternative billing and third-party material stores if EU regulators get their way.

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