Apple Drops Free Apps, Forces Beats Music On Everybody, & More… [Tech News Digest]
Also, Walmart gets scammed, Firefox dumps Google, Spotify makes the charts, and Pac-Man gets a modern-day makeover.
Apple Gets Free Apps
Apple has dropped the word “Free” from the App Store, with the links under each of the formerly free apps now labeled with the rather more ungainly “Get.” The apps are still there and available to download for free, with the wording assigned to them being the only thing that has changed.
This is in response to the controversy surrounding freemium apps, which offer basic functionality for free but which can end up costing money. Apple recently had to pay out $30 million to parents whose children racked up big bills thanks to the lure of in-app purchases.
SlashGear sums this up perfectly in order to avoid any confusion… “Free apps? Still free; you just have to “Get” them. In-app purchases? Still not free, so tread lightly.” I couldn’t have said it any better myself, so I won’t bother trying.
Apple Pushes Beats Music
Apple is planning to push Beats Music out to everybody using an iDevice. This is according to the Financial Times [Paywall], which claims that Beats Music will be included in a future update to iOS, pushing it out to everyone who owns an iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch.
There has been intense speculation over Apple’s plans for Beats Music since the company acquired Beats for $3 billion earlier this year. Earlier rumors suggested Apple was planning on killing Beats Music entirely, but this new rumor suggests the company is doubling down on the music streaming service.
We should know more in the new year, which is when the report claims Beats Music will be given a permanent place on your iOS homescreen.
Walmart Changes Price-Match Policy
We’ve listened to our customers and our associates and have an update regarding our online price match policy. pic.twitter.com/SV8a3PybCN
— Walmart Newsroom (@WalmartNewsroom) November 19, 2014
Walmart has been forced to change its price-match policy after some sly customers used it to buy the PlayStation 4 for just $90. The PlayStation 4 is usually priced at around $399, so this led to the most enterprising punters nabbing an incredible bargain.
These customers forced Walmart to sell PlayStation 4 consoles to them for $90 apiece by citing the lowest price being offered on Amazon. It only took one person to list a PlayStation 4 at that price and the whole policy was compromised.
Walmart has unsurprisingly now updated the terms of its price-match policy, limiting it to “30 major online retailers.” The company will not match prices sourced from “marketplace vendors, third-party sellers, auction sites or sites requiring memberships.” Something it probably should have thought about sooner.
Firefox Chooses Yahoo Over Google
Yahoo becomes Firefox default search only in the U.S. Yandex becomes default in Russia, Baidu in China. Google stays default everywhere else
— Doug MacMillan (@dmac1) November 19, 2014
Mozilla has dumped Google as the default search engine on Firefox, with Yahoo replacing Google as part of a five-year deal. Yahoo is powered by Bing , which means Microsoft has got one over on Google for a change.
Yahoo will only be the default search engine in the U.S. Meanwhile, Yandex has become the default in Russia, Baidu the default in China, and in Europe and elsewhere, Google retains its position.
Spotify Makes The Charts
An artist’s popularity on streaming music services such as Spotify, Rdio, and the aforementioned Beats Music will soon affect their position in the Billboard charts. This is according to The New York Times, which suggests streams will be counted from Monday (Nov. 24).
A song will need to be streamed 1,500 times to equal one album sale, while 10 individual downloads will also count as an album sale. This change means the Billboard charts will be more of a popularity contest rather than a pure record of what music people are buying.
We wonder if this will be enough to change Taylor Swift’s views on Spotify .
If Pac-Man Was Released Today
And finally, this video clearly show the difference between gaming in 1982 and gaming in 2014. It’s almost enough to make me nostalgic for those simpler times. But then I remember how good GTA V looks on PS4 and I snap back to the present day.
In 1982, playing Pac-Man meant loading the game and playing it offline and alone until either completion or boredom. If Pac-Man had been released in 2014, you would have to install the game, install the obligatory updates, and then navigate nag screens and incoming messages in order to even survive the first level. Annoying.
We’re currently discovering what video game you’re playing at the moment, and it doesn’t matter whether it’s Pac-Man or GTA V. Click through to this week’s We Ask You to take part in the ongoing discussion.
Your Views On Today’s Tech News
Has Apple done the right thing in rebranding “free” apps? Is Apple wrong to be planning to force Beats Music on everybody using its products? Are you pleased to see music streaming services added to the charts?
Let us know your thoughts on the Tech News of the day by posting to the comments section below. Because a healthy discussion is always welcome.
Image Credit: Hakan Dahlstrom via Flickr
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