Eu lays down the law
Today the EU Council came to a provisional agreement regarding its tentpole ‘Digital Markets Act’ legislation (DMA). For those uninitiated, DMA is designed to curtail the power of tech giants and open up competition. The proposed legislation will have far-reaching consequences for various ‘Gatekeepers’ such as Apple, Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Facebook and others. In specific regards to Apple:
- They will be required to enable third payment payment processing options on the App Store
- Enable interoperability with other messaging platforms, particularly smaller ones like Signal
- Allow users to remove certain default apps such as the Safari web browser
Perhaps most notable is that the DMA will also require ‘side-loading’. Or put simply, allow users to install third-party App Stores. At this time, the legislation has been agreed in principle but it’s likely that further changes and clarifications will be implemented before final approval by the European Parliament. Below is a high-level overview of the legislation as described by the EU Council.
Gatekeepers Will Have To:
- Ensure that users have the right to unsubscribe from core platform services under similar conditions to subscription.
- For the the most important software (e.g. web browsers), not require this software by default upon installation of the operating system.
- Ensure the interoperability of their instant messaging services’ basic functionalities.
- Allow app developers fair access to the supplementary functionalities of smartphones (e.g. NFC chip).
- Give sellers access to their marketing or advertising performance data on the platform.
- Inform the European Commission of their acquisitions and mergers.
But They Can No Longer:
- Rank their own products or services higher than those of others (self-preferencing).
- Reuse private data collected during a service for the purposes of another service.
- Establish unfair conditions for business users.
- Pre-install certain software applications.
- Require app developers to use certain services (e.g. payment systems or identity providers) in order to be listed in app stores.
The AppleTLDR take
Side-loading will enable users to install apps from wherever they like. The EU suggests that users that prefer not to partake in this and enjoy a more ‘closed’ ecosystem, can simply choose not to install third-party App Stores. But of course, that isn’t true. Many companies will opt to supply Apps only via third-party stores. And if workplaces, schools and governments require you to install any App not found on the Apple App Store, then your choice to stay within the ecosystem is no longer your choice at all. It’s also notable that Android devices contain 47x more malware than iOS. Any guesses as to why? Side-loading.
Apple at the Oscars
Apple has enjoyed wide success on the awards circuit since the launch of its streaming service, Apple TV+. But this year it looks like the firm may be tipped for success at the Oscars. Apple CEO Tim Cook is rumoured to be in attendance at the 94th Academy Awards ceremony on Sunday.
Apple has been nominated for 6 Oscars including best picture for its movie “CODA”, best actor, best supporting actor and various other esteemed awards. That’s up from a single nomination in 2021.
MacBook Air size options
Following on from earlier reports this past week, the new MacBook Air is rumoured to come in a new range of size classes. Ross Young of Display Supply Chain Consultants (DSCC) outlined various predictions on Twitter. According to young, the new MacBook Air will be available in a 13.6″ and a 15″ model.
The former would be achieved by shrinking the bezels of the current MacBook Air with minimal changes to the size of the casing. As for the 15″ model, it’s likely to also feature a much smaller chassis than Apple’s previous 15″ MacBooks. The 15″ MacBook Pro for instance was actually 15.2″ and had much larger bezels. It was also thicker and heavier to accommodate discreet graphics cards. A 15″ Air would achieve a smaller design with reduced bezels, a thinner case and overall much less volume.
Featured image: Guillaume Périgois via Unsplash