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App Store Weekly Digest #18

2 min read

Apple tells app developers to disclose or remove screen recording code

Apple is telling app developers to remove or properly disclose their use of analytics code that allows them to record how a user interacts with their iPhone apps — or face removal from the app store, TechCrunch can confirm.

In an email, an Apple spokesperson said: “Protecting user privacy is paramount in the Apple ecosystem. Our App Store Review Guidelines require that apps request explicit user consent and provide a clear visual indication when recording, logging, or otherwise making a record of user activity.”

“We have notified the developers that are in violation of these strict privacy terms and guidelines, and will take immediate action if necessary,” the spokesperson added.

Match Group fully acquires relationship-focused app Hinge

Last year, Match Group acquired a 51 percent stake in the relationship-focused dating app Hinge, in order to diversify its portfolio of dating apps led by Tinder. The company has now confirmed that it fully bought out Hinge  in the past quarter, and today owns 100 percent of the app that has been gaining momentum both inside and outside of the U.S. following last year’s deal.

Opera adds a free VPN to its Android browser app


Opera became the first browser-maker to bundle a VPN with its service, and now that effort is expanding to mobile.

The company announced today that its Android browser app will begin offering a free VPN. The feature will be rolled out to beta users on a gradual basis. The VPN is free and unlimited, and it can be set to locations in America, Europe and Asia as well as an “optimal” setting that hooks up the fastest available connection. Switching on the VPN means that user traffic data isn’t collected by Opera, while it makes it harder for websites to track location and user data.

Spotify will now suspend or terminate accounts it finds are using ad blockers

Spotify will take a harder stance on ad blockers in its updated terms of service. In an email to users today, the streaming music and podcast platform said its new user guidelines “mak[e] it clear that all types of ad blockers, bots and fraudulent streaming activities are not permitted.” Accounts that use ad blockers in Spotify face immediate suspension or termination under the new terms of service, which go into effect on March 1.

Netflix launches ‘smart downloads’ feature on iOS to automate offline viewing


Netflix today is launching a new feature on iOS devices that will help make it easier to watch its shows when you’re offline. The “smart downloads” feature, as it’s called, will automatically delete a downloaded episode after you’ve finished watching, then download the next one — but only when you’re connected to Wi-Fi.

Snapchat’s Android usage keeps falling but rebuild tests well


How To Fix Humpty Dumpty Snapchat

Snap has finally begun publicly testing the engineering overhaul of its slow and buggy Android app that for years has cost Snapchat users. Promising early results and reduction in app startup time could help Snapchat fix its growth problem after daily active users sank in Q2 and Q3 before staying put at 186 million in Q4, Snap announced in its earnings report today.

Retail accounts for largest share of mobile search ad expenditure in 2018


Mobile accounted for 36% of digital search ad spend in the retail sector and 41% of spend across all verticals in Q4 2018, according to the latest benchmark report by Marin Software.

Therefore, mobile presented as a critical screen type for product purchasing decisions, particularly during the holiday season.

The report also noted that Instagram Stories ads were on the rise, at a 36% increase from the previous quarter. Instagram received 18% of total Facebook spend.


  • Reddit confirms $300M Series D led by China’s Tencent at $3B value
  • Barclays leads £10m round into loyalty app Bink
  • Meditation app Calm hits unicorn status with fresh $88 million funding
  • Food waste app Too Good To Go takes on €6m investment

Top Charts of February 12, 2019 from Mobile Action

App Store Top 10 Apps for February 12, 2019
Play Store Top 10 Apps for February 12, 2019

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