Review: Logitech’s Folio Touch With Trackpad for iPad Pro is an Affordable Alternative to Apple’s Magic Keyboard

When Apple introduced updated iPad Pro models earlier this year they came with a new accessory, the Magic Keyboard. Priced starting at $299, the Magic Keyboard for ‌iPad Pro‌ is Apple’s most advanced keyboard yet, offering backlit full-size keys and, more importantly, a trackpad.

At launch, there was no third-party equivalent to the Magic Keyboard because trackpad support for the ‌iPad Pro‌ was new, but last month, Logitech unveiled the Folio Touch, a $160 keyboard case that works with 2018 and 2020 ‌iPad Pro‌ models.

The Folio Touch is more affordable than the Magic Keyboard while offering much of the same functionality, and in some cases, design choices that are more convenient, making it a worthy alternative to Apple’s own keyboard option. There’s one caveat — at the current time, the Folio Touch is only available for the 11-inch ‌iPad Pro‌, with no 12.9-inch model.

Design wise, the Folio Touch features a case that attaches to the ‌iPad Pro‌ along with an attached keyboard, all of which is covered with a soft gray fabric-like material. It feels pleasant to the touch, and isn’t too far off from the fabric material that Microsoft uses for its Surface Pro accessories. I prefer the fabric feel of this case to the more rubbery feel of the material that Apple uses for the Magic Keyboard, and it is less prone to spots, dust, and scuffs.

Even as a person that makes an effort to keep the Magic Keyboard clean, my ‌iPad Pro‌ Magic Keyboard’s cover still has some spots from water drips and scuffs from day to day usage, and while it’s not too difficult to clean, those spots and marks don’t always come off. The Folio Touch isn’t going to show spots like these and the color and pattern will mask grime, too.

The ‌iPad Pro‌ is designed to fit into the case portion of the Folio Touch, which is made from a malleable rubber material. There’s a square-shaped camera cutout that’s able to accommodate both the 2018 and 2020 ‌iPad Pro‌ models, plus there’s a cutout at the side where the USB-C port on the iPad is located, a Smart Connector attachment point, and a cutout for Apple Pencil charging.

With the ‌Smart Connector‌, the Folio Touch is powered by the ‌iPad Pro‌ and does not need to be recharged nor does it need Bluetooth to connect. The Magic Keyboard has a passthrough charging feature that lets the ‌iPad Pro‌ be charged through the case through an extra USB-C port – this is not present on the Folio Touch and the standard USB-C port on the ‌iPad‌ must be used. There’s a cutout for the USB-C port, but it’s small, so if you’re using a dock or dongle that’s wider than a USB-C connector, you’re going to run into trouble.

Because it’s a case and a cover, the Folio Touch is a little bit thicker than the Magic Keyboard, which is not ideal because the Magic Keyboard is already bulky. It’s still thinner and lighter than most laptops, though, and it can always be removed when not in use. I didn’t find it too difficult to get my ‌iPad Pro‌ in and out of the Folio Touch, and it fits like a traditional case. The Folio Touch is a bit longer and wider than the Magic Keyboard, but they’re ultimately similar enough in size that there’s not much difference using one over the other.

The case feels protective, especially when the keyboard portion is closed, and there is a strong magnetic flap that keeps it shut and holds an ‌Apple Pencil‌ in place. If you have a Logitech Crayon instead of an ‌Apple Pencil‌, there’s a slit in the flap where you can store it so it never gets lost or misplaced.

There’s a pull-out stand that’s at the back of the case that’s designed to prop the ‌iPad Pro‌ and upright while you type on the keyboard. The stand is okay. It’s not the sturdiest platform and I wasn’t a fan of using it in my lap because of the flex of the stand, but it works well enough on a flat surface. I’m not sure that the Folio Touch would be comfortable to use in a lap for a longer period of time due to the instability of the stand, which is something to keep in mind.

The stand and case have several viewing and usage modes. There’s Type Mode where the keyboard is extended and the ‌iPad Pro‌ is propped up with the stand, which is the most obvious way of using the Folio Touch, along with three modes where the keyboard is folded back.

View Mode for watching videos works by folding the keyboard and kickstand backward, Sketch Mode is similar to View Mode but with the stand pushed down to make a slightly angled surface ideal for drawing, and Read Mode is where the keyboard and the stand are both collapsed and the keyboard can be folded back so the ‌iPad‌ can be used in a standard tablet mode without the need to remove the case.

This is one area where the Folio Touch outshines the Magic Keyboard because Apple’s keyboard does not fold back and needs to be removed if you want to use the ‌iPad‌ in a flat orientation. The stand offers 40 degrees of adjustment, but since it doesn’t operate with a hinge or a locking mechanism, I’m a worried about how it’s going to hold up over time. It uses tension, and it seems like a mechanism that could loosen over time, but I don’t yet know if this will be the case.

I’ve been using the Magic Keyboard for ‌iPad Pro‌ for several months, and while it’s not difficult to take it off, it’s a hassle, so I appreciate the versatility the Folio Touch offers. The design of the case allows the ‌Apple Pencil‌ to be attached to the ‌iPad Pro‌ for charging purposes, and there is sleep/wake functionality for activating the ‌iPad‌’s display when the cover is opened.

Those who have used a Logitech ‌iPad‌ keyboard before will probably be familiar with the feel of the keys. They’re clicky, satisfying to press, and offer a decent amount of travel so there’s no serious compromise using the keyboard case over a standard keyboard. The feel is similar to the feel of the keys on the Magic Keyboard, but with a touch less travel and a touch more softness.

If forced to choose, I would say I prefer the feel of the keys on the Magic Keyboard, but the Folio Touch isn’t too far off, and it’s easy to adjust to a different key feel. The Logitech keyboard offers a function row of keys for adjusting screen brightness, accessing the Home Screen, searching, and controlling sound and media playback, which is something Apple’s keyboard doesn’t have and a feature I’ve missed with day to day usage.

The lack of these easy access function keys is one of the negatives to the Magic Keyboard, so anyone who uses those keys frequently might want to consider the Folio Touch. The Folio Touch also has backlit keys, much like the Magic Keyboard. The keys adjust to the ambient lighting but can be adjusted directly on the keyboard.

There’s a small trackpad at the bottom of the keyboard on the Folio Touch, which is what puts the case on par with Apple’s Magic Keyboard. The trackpad has a smooth, plastic like feel that’s hard to distinguish from the trackpad of the Magic Keyboard. Usage is close identical too, but you do need to press harder on the Folio Touch for it to register a click. With Tap to Click turned on, a feature I always use, it doesn’t matter.

Both trackpads support the exact same gestures and features that are baked into iPadOS, so there’s not much difference between them. Below, I’ve listed the pros and cons of each keyboard to make it easier to see the difference at a glance and to outline why you might want to choose one over the other.

Magic Keyboard Pros and Cons

  • Costs $300+
  • Available for 11 and 12.9-inch models
  • Adjustable viewing angles, but case must come off for tablet mode
  • Works well in the lap
  • Silicone material picks up dust, grime, and fingerprints but feels more premium
  • Thinner than Folio Touch, but not by too much
  • No full ‌iPad Pro‌ coverage
  • Space for charging ‌Apple Pencil‌
  • No function keys
  • Backlit keys
  • Keys have good travel and feel sturdy under the fingers
  • Trackpad is responsive and easy to use
  • Has extra USB-C port built into hinge for accessories
  • Connects with ‌Smart Connector‌

Logitech Folio Touch Pros and Cons

  • $160 price point ($140 cheaper than Magic Keyboard)
  • Only available for 11-inch ‌iPad Pro‌
  • Stand with multiple viewing angles and usage modes, including an option to fold case back
  • Does not work well in the lap
  • Soft fabric cover material is less prone to showing dirt
  • Thicker and heavier than Magic Keyboard
  • Rubber case protects ‌iPad Pro‌
  • Cutout for charging ‌Apple Pencil‌ plus flap to hold it in place when case is closed
  • Full row of function keys
  • Backlit keys
  • Solid key feel with good travel, but not quite as nice as Magic Keyboard keys
  • Trackpad takes more force for a click
  • USB-C port is accessible, but doesn’t offer an extra port
  • USB-C port cutout is small and doesn’t accommodate all accessories.
  • Connects with ‌Smart Connector‌

We also did an article and video that compare the Magic Keyboard to the Logitech Folio Touch, and the video is worth watching if you want to see both keyboards side by side.

Bottom Line

The Magic Keyboard is $300 and the Folio Touch is $160, so going by price alone, it’s a good deal and a solid alternative to Apple’s ‌iPad Pro‌ keyboard. I appreciate the versatility of the Folio Touch’s stand and the cover, and my only complaint is that it’s not ideal for lap use.

With the Magic Keyboard, I have to take it all the way off if I want to use my ‌iPad‌ for anything other than typing or watching videos, which isn’t the case with the Folio Touch. That’s a huge factor for someone who prefers a case that can be left on all the time. There are also function keys that are absent from the ‌iPad Pro‌.

The Folio Touch doesn’t have a USB-C port built in for more convenient charging, but it’s still possible to charge with the standard USB-C port on the ‌iPad Pro‌, so I didn’t miss this feature. I like the floating style of the Magic Keyboard, the hinge design, and I prefer the feel of the keys and the trackpad, but it’s so close that I think most people will want to save $140 and choose the Folio Touch.

If you’ve been holding off from purchasing a Magic Keyboard because of its price point, the Folio Touch is a solid alternative. Unfortunately, Logitech only makes the Folio Touch for the 11-inch ‌iPad Pro‌ models at this time, so 12.9-inch ‌iPad Pro‌ owners are stuck with Apple’s Magic Keyboard.

How to Buy

The Folio Touch for the 11-inch ‌iPad Pro‌ can be pre-ordered from the Logitech website for $160.

Note: Logitech provided MacRumors with a Folio Touch for ‌iPad Pro‌ for the purpose of this review. No other compensation was received.

President Trump on concerns WeChat ban could hurt Apple: ‘Whatever’

On Friday, U.S. President Trump seemed nonplused when asked about the ramifications of banning WeChat on Apple’s iPhone business in China.

Apple is among more than a dozen U.S. companies which during a conference call on Tuesday warned the Trump administration about the potential ramifications of banning WeChat from their platforms.

Trump wants to ban apps and services that are based in China, which is the case of ByteDance’s TikTok and Tencent’s WeChat. He signed an executive order on Thursday that bans not only these two apps in the US, but also any transactions with its parent companies. Both orders will take effect in 45 days.

President Trump on concerns WeChat ban could hurt Apple: 'Whatever'
U.S. President Donald Trump


Reporter: There’s a lot of alarm among American companies about your order on WeChat – Apple, Ford, Disney. They’re worried because it’s such a big communications platform and payment platform in China that if you ban U.S. businesses from working with them, they won’t be able to sell, you know, iPhones into China…

Trump: Whatever.

Reporter: So, you don’t mind if…

Trump: Gotta do what’s good in terms of the security of our country. We’ve been very badly let down by China.

The remarks regarding Apple begin at 14:55:

MacDailyNews Note: Trump’s executive order banning WeChat (and TikTok) goes into effect on September 20th, but there are many outstanding questions and a lot could happen before we start worrying about iPhone sales in China.

This article was originally posted here

Facebook says Apple’s 30% App Store fee hurts small businesses during COVID-19

Facebook on Friday became the latest iOS developer to criticize Apple’s 30% App Store commission on in-app purchases, stating that the cut hurts small businesses during the global pandemic.

The social media giant recently launched a new feature for its platform that allows businesses to charge users for live video streams, such as webinars or yoga classes. Facebook said that Apple refused to waive the 30% on those purchases, and won’t allow Facebook to use its own payment system on iOS.

Facebook app executive Fidji Simo told Bloomberg that Google also refused to waive its 30% fee, but allowed the social media company to process payments through Facebook Pay.

“Helping small businesses recover from Covid is a critical thing that all tech companies should help with,” Simo said. “The reason we’re calling [Apple] out here is we hope they join us and end up waving their fees, so that’s really the goal here.”

She added that Facebook isn’t taking any cut of purchases made through the new live webcast feature.

Simo said that Facebook would comply with Apple’s App Store policies, noting that “when developers go circumvent the rules on alternative payment methods, it doesn’t go well.”

Facebook’s criticism comes just a day after Epic Games — creator of Fortnitefiled a lawsuit against Apple accusing it of leveraging its market power in an anti-competitive manner.

Epic’s lawsuit came less than an hour after Apple removed Fortnite from the App Store and coincided with the release of a video spoofing the company’s “1984” Super Bowl ad. Earlier that day, Epic implemented a direct payment system to sidestep the 30% fee.

Apple takes a 15% to 30% commission on in-app purchases. Although platforms like the Google Play store take a similar cut, Apple’s App Store policies have come under antitrust scrutiny in the U.S. and globally. Other developers such as ClassPass and Airbnb have also called out the fee.

This article was originally posted here

Facebook says the ‘Apple tax’ is preventing it from helping struggling small businesses

The “Apple tax” exists. It has been around for a long time now, but that doesn’t mean many people out there in the world are fans of it. And, indeed, many of those voices of dissent are starting to get louder.

In light of a dust up between Epic Games and Apple (and Google), Facebook has decided to weigh in and offer its own viewpoint of the situation. As reported by The Verge, the social network says Apple’s baseline tax within the App Store is making it so it has to charge more to customers for a brand new app and digital platform. Facebook announced that Apple’s refusal to waive the fee is having a negative impact on a brand new digital platform it’s launching, and is by association making it harder for Facebook to help struggling small businesses.

First, here’s what Facebook is launching: it’s a new digital platform designed to make it easier for even organizers to create paid online events. Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic in-person events have basically been scrubbed from the schedule, so this new digital platform, according to Facebook, would make it easier for groups to create paid online ones.

Now, due to the “Apple tax”, the one Apple is refusing to waive for this particular Facebook venture, the social network says it has to charge more to event organizers and businesses to make up for the fee. Facebook also notes that Apple isn’t allowing the company to use its own payment method within the iOS app, as Apple’s requirement is to use the company’s payment method.

From Facebook:

We asked Apple to reduce its 30% App Store tax or allow us to offer Facebook Pay so we could absorb all costs for businesses struggling during COVID-19. Unfortunately, they dismissed both our requests and [small businesses] will only be paid 70% of their hard-earned revenue,” says Fidji Simo, the head of Facebook’s main app, in a statement

To support small businesses and creators, Facebook will not collect any fees from paid online events for at least the next year,” Simo adds. “For transactions on the web, and on Android in countries where we have rolled out Facebook Pay, small businesses will keep 100% of the revenue they generate from paid online events.” Simo, on a call with reporters on Friday, further clarified that this policy would remain in effect “while communities remain closed for the pandemic.

This new feature will be part of the main Facebook app and will serve as basically a one-stop-shop to handle all the essentials of launching an online event, allowing them to “create an online event, set a price, promote the event, collect payment and host the event, all in one place”. Facebook wants to create the platform to give organizers, businesses, and others to recuperate some of the money they have probably lost due to the ongoing pandemic.

This isn’t the first time that Facebook has run into an issue with Apple’s policies associated with the App Store. Earlier this month, for instance, Facebook launched a dedicated gaming app –Facebook Gaming– that doesn’t actually have any games available to play within it. Those who download the app on iOS can watch other people play games, but they can’t play games themselves. This rule also connects to Microsoft’s inability to launch its xCloud video game streaming service, which Apple will also not allow on the App Store.

But the big deal this week is Epic Games and the company’s decision to bring Apple into the court of public opinion and hash it out there. Apple managed to basically skate by at the U.S. antitrust investigation recently, but Epic Games and other companies are starting to become a lot more vocal regarding Apple’s 30% (and sometimes 15%) “Apple tax”.

Now, a recap

Here’s a quick refresher: Yesterday, Epic Games updated the popular battle royale game Fortnite to add a direct payment option within the iOS (and Android) apps, bypassing and ignoring Apple’s and Google’s rules. As a result, Apple pulled Fortnite from the App Store, not allowing any new downloads of the game and blocking subsequent software updates as well. Immediately after that, Epic Games launched a social media campaign with a hashtag and everything, asking Fortnite fans to tweet at Apple and demand they “#FreeFortnite*. Epic Games wants Apple to abolish the tax altogether, or at least reduce it, and Epic’s CEO Tim Sweeney would very much like the opportunity to launch his own digital storefront on iOS (and probably Android) devices at some point in the future.

Google, for its part, also removed Fortnite from the Play Store.

Epic Games sued both Apple and Google, claiming anticompetitive behavior across the board. And now this will probably last months, but the result may actually be pretty interesting because Apple has already made it pretty clear that it doesn’t plan on changing the rules or the fees associated with its digital storefront.

And, yes, Spotify has weighed in on this kerfuffle as well. And, yes, you can guess which side of the argument the music streaming service is on.

This probably won’t be settled any time soon, and if this trend continues we’re going to be hearing from a lot of different companies, both big and small, as they rage against Apple’s machine.

This article was originally posted here

Daily Deals: $7 iPhone cases, $8 car chargers, iTunes movie deals, and much more

Welcome to our Daily Deals column, where we round up the best tech deals from around the web. Here you’ll find discounts on everything from Apple products to accessories, video games and much more. But you better hurry, these prices won’t be around forever!

Featured Deals

Nomad sale takes 30% off site-wide

Shop the sale

  • Nomad Moment iPhone case, slim leather wallet – these are today’s 40% off deals. Get them here
  • Sony PS Plus 1- year membership – get instant access not only to online multiplayer gaming, but free games as well. These retail for $60, and average discount price is typically around $40-$45. Buy for $32
  • Anker SoundCore Portable Bluetooth speaker – here is a solid deal on this popular budget-friendly speaker. It comes with 24-hour battery life and it’s drop-proof. Buy for $21 
  • Polk Audio Command Sound Bar w/ Alexa – Polk Audio’s popular Alexa-friendly sound bar is back down to its Amazon low. Works great as a premium, smart Bluetooth speaker too. Buy for $200
  • Anker Mini 24W Dual USB car charger – this solid Anker car charger is a few bucks off its high right now. Comes with an 18-month warranty. Buy for $8.49
  • Eufy C1 Smart Scale – Eufy’s popular Bluetooth smart scale we mentioned last week at $30 is now down another $8, whew. Features include a companion app with Health app integration and 12 insightful measurements. Buy for $22
  • Totallee ultra thin TPU iPhone case – this might just be my favorite case ever. It’s super thin for being TPU, but it doesn’t feel flimsy at all. If you have an iPhone XS Max, take advantage of this deal now. Buy for $7
  • iTunes  movie deals – limited-time bundle pricing, hit movies like Lawless and Django Unchained for $5, and much more. Shop the sale

Exclusive deal for iDB readers on Hyper products

Our friends over at Hyper have given us an exclusive promo code for this month that takes 20% off their entire website. They make a wide variety of iOS and Mac accessories including Lighting cables, USB-C hubs, GaN chargers (including a new 4-port, 100w model), portable battery packs and much more. Just use the promo code HYPER-IDOWNLOAD20 at checkout.

Shop the sale

Get Atlas VPN Premium for less than $2/month

We have partnered with Atlas VPN to bring you an incredible deal. You can use the VPN service for free, but if you want the premium features, you can now get them for as little as $1.81 per month. Currently works for Windows, iOS and Android. MacOS app is expected to launch later this month.

More info

Apple device deals

  • Apple MacBook Pro 16-inch laptop – Amazon has discounted Apple’s new 16-inch MacBook Pro down to $2,100 for a limited time. That’s a solid $300 in savings. Buy for $2100
  • Apple 12.9″ iPad Pro Wi-Fi+LTE 64GB – this is the older 2018 model, but it still has the cleaner small bezel front with FaceID and there aren’t major differences between it and the 2020 model. $200 off. Buy for $799
  • Apple AirPods Pro wireless earbuds – Amazon is offering a nice discount on my favorite wireless earbuds ever. Buy for $234
  • Apple AirPods Pro + AppleCare+ kit – BHPhoto is offering a bundle deal on AirPods Pro and AppleCare+. Save $30! Buy for $249
  • Apple 13-inch MacBook Air (latest model) w/ 512GB – Amazon also has Apple’s latest MacBook Air model back down to its low price. This is $50 off its recent price tag and $100 off the going rate at Apple. Buy for $1199

iPhone/iPad/Mac accessory Deals

  • Apple Silicon Case for iPhone 11 Pro Max – no explanation needed here. Amazon has Apple’s popular silicone iPhone case at a big discount right now. Buy for $13
  • Apple clear case for iPhone 11 Pro Max – same thing as above but it’s Apple’s clear TPU case for the larger iPhone model. Buy for $20
  • Apple Leather Case for iPhone 11 Pro – Amazon has Apple’s own leather case for iPhone 11 Pro at a huge discount right now. Buy for $15

Headphones, speakers and more

  • Bose SoundLink II color Bluetooth speaker – if you want a premium looking, sounding Bluetooth speaker, the SoundLink II is back down to its Amazon low. Buy for $100
  • Far Cry 6 for PlayStation 4 pre-order – it’s not going to be out for a few months, but if you’re the pre-order type Amazon has a nice $10 discount right now. Buy for $50
  • Amazon Fire HD 8 tablet w/ 32GB – Amazon’s popular budget Android tablet gets even cheaper with today’s discount. Buy for $60
  • Philips SmartSleep therapy lamp and sunrise alarm clock – here is a great deal on this popular smart sleep/wakeup aid from Philips. Buy for $170
  • Google Nest Cam 1080p home security camera – this highly-rated Nest security camera features night vision, 2-way audio, intelligent push notifications, and it works with both Google Assistant and Alexa. It’s more than $50 off its usual price right now. Buy for $129
  • Beats Solo Pro wireless noise canceling headphones – features Apple’s H1 chip, active noise canceling, Hey Siri support and up to 40 hours of battery life. All-time low price. Buy for $230
  • Powerbeats Pro wireless headphones – Apple’s popular Powerbeats Pro wireless headphones are back down to their all-time Amazon low. Buy for $200
  • Bose 700 NC wireless headphones – these very highly rated headphones are some $60 off their average Amazon price right now. Buy for $300
  • DJI Osmo 4K action camera – Amazon has DJI’s popular 4K action camera the Osmo on sale right now at $40 off. Buy for $250

This article was originally posted here

Apple’s Creating Three New iPhone SE Models, One with In-Display Touch ID

Apple may have a few more surprises up its sleeve for those who want an iPhone but balk at the higher price tag of the iPhone 11 and the upcoming iPhone 12.

According to leakster @a_rumors0000, Apple is working on not one, not two, but three iPhone SE models with a variety of screen sizes and Touch ID options.

5.5-inch iPhone SE

The smallest model iPhone SE will come in at 5.5-inches, which is slightly bigger than the smallest rumored iPhone 12. It is rumored to ship with the new A14 Bionic chip and a dual camera with a telephoto and wide lens. It also will include a Touch ID Home button like the current iPhone SE 2020.

6.1-inch iPhone SE with Touch ID Side Button

Those who prefer a bigger screen may be interested in the 6.1-inch iPhone SE. This phone is rumored to share the same design as the iPhone XR and iPhone 11.

This iPhone model is likely to have the same A14 Bionic chipset as the 5.1-inch version along with a dual camera (telephoto and wide). It will still ship with Touch ID, but the sensor will be embedded into the side button.

6.1-inch iPhone SE with Touch ID Display

The third iPhone SE model will share the same design and specifications as the other 6.1-inch iPhone SE model but will embed Touch ID into the display.

Pricing and Availability

Apple updated the iPhone SE 2020 earlier this year, so these new models are not expected to debut until the second quarter of 2021.

Apple is supposedly only in the beginning stages of testing and manufacturing. It’s likely some of these models will not make it past the preliminary testing phase.

The iPhone SE is the company’s budget model, so Apple is allegedly working on keeping the phone affordable. Sources claim the company is trying to keep the price under $500, which is right in line with the $400 starting price tag for the current iPhone SE 2020.

This article was originally posted here

Facebook Claims Apple is Damaging Small Businesses by Collecting Fees From Paid Facebook Events

As Apple battles with Epic Games over its App Store fees, Facebook is joining the fight over its new Paid Online Events feature, which allows small businesses in 20 countries to charge Facebook users to attend online classes and events.

Facebook wants Apple to waive its 30 percent fee taken from in-app purchases or let Facebook process event payments with Facebook Pay, both of which Apple has refused.

We asked Apple to reduce its 30% ‌App Store‌ tax or allow us to offer Facebook Pay so we could absorb all costs for businesses struggling during COVID-19. Unfortunately, they dismissed both our requests and SMBs will only be paid 70% of their hard-earned revenue. Because this is complicated, as long as Facebook is waiving its fees, we will make all fees clear in our products.

When a business owner schedules an event through Facebook on iOS, Facebook will make it clear that Apple is taking a 30 percent cut of the purchase price. Facebook is waiving its own fees for the feature “for at least the next year.”

Transactions done on the web or on Android where Facebook Pay is available will allow business owners to keep 100 percent of revenue generated from paid online events. The feature is meant to allow Facebook Page owners to create an online event, set a price, promote the event, collect payment, and host the event all on Facebook.

Without calling out Apple directly, Facebook’s announcement for the new feature says that businesses “shouldn’t have to worry about fees charged by platforms” and points out that Apple’s fees will make it so businesses will only be paid “70 percent of their hard-earned revenue.”

Other companies, including Airbnb and ClassPass, have made similar complaints about Apple’s refusal to waive in-app fees for virtual classes and features that have been forced to transition to online due to the ongoing pandemic.

ClassPass, for example, normally allows users to book classes at local gyms, but has instead moved its business online and started offering virtual classes. Under Apple’s ‌App Store‌ rules, virtual classes require providing Apple its 30 percent commission, which ClassPass has balked at. ClassPass ultimately pulled virtual classes from the iPhone app.

Airbnb offers online experiences like virtual cooking classes and meditation sessions, which Apple also collects fees from. Apple has refused to grant special permission to apps like ClassPass, Facebook, and Airbnb in the name of fairness for other developers who are subject to the fees.

Facebook somehow blames Apple for lost events revenue during COVID-19

This afternoon Facebook has criticized Apple over how it runs its App Store regarding a new events streaming service on the social media platform. Facebook’s comments today suggested that Apple’s 30% App Store commission is “hurting small businesses during a global pandemic,” according to Bloomberg.

The criticism from Facebook came today as it launched a new service that hosts paid livestreamed events like fitness classes or seminars. Speaking to Bloomberg, Facebook says it asked Apple to skip taking a cut of App Store purchases for the new service but it declined.

The social network on Friday rolled out a paid events feature in 20 countries, offering businesses the ability to charge users for access to live video streams, like a yoga class or seminar. Facebook said that Apple didn’t agree to waive its usual 30% fee for all transactions that take place within apps on its devices, and won’t let Facebook process the payments using its own technology for iOS users.


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This article was originally posted here

Trump says ‘whatever’ to concerns about WeChat ban hurting Apple

During a press conference Friday, President Donald Trump appeared unconcerned with the possible impact that a WeChat ban could have on Apple’s business.

Earlier in August, Trump signed a pair of executive orders that would bar any transactions between U.S. companies and Chinese-owned TikTok and WeChat. That, in effect, would ban both apps from the U.S., though it’s unclear what impact it might have globally.

On Friday, Apple joined a growing number of other major companies calling for the president to end the executive orders. That includes Disney, Ford, and Walmart.

When asked by a Bloomberg reporter at a White House press conference Friday morning about whether he was concerned about the effect the ban could have on iPhone sales in China and other markets, Trump simply responded “whatever.”

“Gotta do what’s good in terms of the security of our country,” Trump said. “We’ve been very badly let down by China.”

WeChat is a wildly popular app among Chinese users. And in a Bloomberg survey conducted in August, 95% of respondents in China said that they would rather give up their iPhones for Androids than lose out on WeChat.

On Monday, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo cautioned than an outright ban on WeChat could cut global iPhone shipments by about 30%.

It isn’t clear whether the U.S. ban would only bar WeChat’s use in the country, or if its vague wording could force Apple to pull it from the global App Store. WeChat parent company TenCent said that it is seeking clarity.

Trump’s order to ban TikTok could be stopped if a U.S. company acquires the social media platform — which Microsoft is in talks to do. Such an acquisition has not been discussed for WeChat.

This article was originally posted here

Apple TV+ bags Idris Elba spy thriller after bidding war

Idris Elba set to star in an Apple TV+ movie
Idris Elba is bringing his many talents to Apple TV+.
Photo: BBC America

Idris Elba will star in a spy romance movie for Apple TV+, the company’s streaming video service. There was reportedly a bidding war over the picture, though what the Mac-maker paid for the rights is not known.

Really, not much is known about the film, other than it will be a “spy movie with romance,” and it will be set in Africa, according to Variety. It has not yet been named.

The script is being written by Travon Free, who won an Emmy for writing on Comedy Central’s The Daily Show in 2015.

There’s little doubt Elba will be able to handle whatever the script asks of him — he’s already played everything from Heimdall to Nelson Mandela. He won an Emmy and a Golden Globe for Luther.  He’s done voice-over work, he’s a rapper, singer, songwriter and DJ. And a kickboxer.

Who will play his love in this film interest has not yet been announced.

When this movie will appear on Apple TV+ is not yet known. It’ll apparently be one the films that will supposedly become an important part of this streaming service; a recent report indicated Apple is going to put a greater emphasis on movies in the future in hopes of growing is subscriber base.

Apple TV+ building wide contacts with Hollywood

The spy/romance film Apple just bought the rights to will be produced by Elba as well as Simon Kinberg, who wrote the spy-vs-spy flick Mr. & Mrs. Smith. Both men already have ties to Apple.

Elba signed a first-look deal with the Mac-maker in July, so Apple gets the right of first refusal for all projects dreamed up by Elba and his Green Door Pictures production company.

And Apple approved a 10-episode sci-fi series co-created by Kinberg, who wrote many of the X-Men movies going back to 2006.

This article was originally posted here