Tech News

Apple Drops Free Apps, Forces Beats Music On Everybody, & More… [Tech News Digest]

Dave Parrack 20-11-2014

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 Beats Music Reviews, DoD BlackBerry Love, Winning Windows Phone [Tech News Digest] Beats Music reviews, Yahoo Search is made secure, Department of Defense chooses BlackBerry, saga of Banned Bluebook is revealed, Twitter expands its targeted ads, and Windows Phone is beating the iPhone… sort of. Read More since the company acquired Beats for $3 billion Apple Finally Buys Beats, Microsoft Teases Skype Translator, Hidden Cash on Twitter [Tech News Digest] Apple gets Beats; a promise of real time translations from Microsoft; Chrome turns into a walled garden; Billboard ranks songs on Twitter; Uber gears up for the future; Avast hacked; and a Twitter cash grab. Read More 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

Walmart has been forced to change its price-match policy after some sly customers used it to buy the PlayStation 4 PS4 vs Xbox One: 5 Reasons To Buy The PS4 E3 2013 marked the moment when the next-generation truly began, with all three contenders -- the PlayStation 4 (PS4), Xbox One, and Wii U -- revealed in full. The Wii U is already on the... Read More for just $90. The PlayStation 4 Sony PlayStation 4 Review And Giveaway Ladies and gentlemen, the next generation of video game consoles is here, with the Sony PlayStation 4! Read More 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

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 Greater Than Google: The Best Bits Of Bing When we think of searching the Internet, we without a doubt think “Google”. And why not? It’s a fantastic search engine and has some great features. But even before the idea of writing this article,... Read More , 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 Why Taylor Swift Is Wrong About Spotify In the past week Taylor Swift has pulled her music from Spotify, inspired countless song-pun laden headlines and reignited the debate about streaming music services. Read More .

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 Grand Theft Auto V Reviews, Send Money Via Snapchat, & More... [Tech News Digest] Also, Spotify teams up with Uber, Microsoft pits Surface Pro 3 against MacBook Air, Goat Simulator becomes MMO, and Tony Hawk rides a hoverboard. Read More and I snap back to the present day.

In 1982, playing Pac-Man Pacmania: 4 Of The Best Pac-Man Clones Throughout History Would games even exist if Pacman had never existed? Maybe, maybe not, but it's impossible to deny that this game paved the way for arcade gaming and beyond. Read More 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

Related topics: Apple, Google, Mozilla Firefox, Spotify.

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  1. Jeff
    November 21, 2014 at 10:56 am

    Apple and Beats were made for each other.
    Overpriced hipster toys.

    • Dave Parrack
      November 21, 2014 at 1:39 pm

      I'm so glad you said that because I couldn't possibly be so biased ;)

  2. The Boojum
    November 20, 2014 at 12:38 pm

    Re Apple:

    One App to rule them all, One App to find them,
    One App to bring them all and in the darkness bind them
    In the Land of Cupertino where the Shadows lie.

    • eric jay
      November 20, 2014 at 11:42 pm

      haha. you got it.
      One word to lure them all.

    • Dave Parrack
      November 21, 2014 at 1:38 pm

      It feels like that needs an extra line t finish it off. Or are we all meant to join in?