Apple faces off with Facebook over privacy and ad tracking and prepares for ‘Fortnite’ court case

We love our iPhones. Well, at least the 47% of U.S. smartphone owners who opt for Apple devices.

There will be 116.3 million iPhone users in the U.S. this year, compared to 131.2 million Android smartphone users, according to research firm eMarketer, which expects the Android operating system to continue to remain dominant through 2022.

But Apple has dominated the news cycle recently. When the Cupertino, Calif.-headquartered tech giant launched the latest version of its operating software that powers iPhones this week – and required apps to ask permission to track your online activity – even Facebook admitted the move would likely affect their bottom line going forward. If a significant number of Facebook users on iPhone opt to stop such tracking that could affect the social network’s U.S. digital advertising business, estimated by eMarketer to be about $40 billion. 

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Ban Trump? Not so fast:Florida is about to pass a law to stop Facebook and Twitter from censoring politicians

Apple continued its sales boom with consumers buying more iPhones, iPads, and Mac computers during the January-March period, fueled by people working and doing school work from home.

The iPhone maker also announced plans to commit $430 billion in the U.S. over the next five years, including a $1 billion campus in North Carolina expected to create 3,000 jobs.

All the news wasn’t rosy for the company. Security researchers criticized Apple for not fixing a vulnerability in its AirDrop feature on iPhones and MacBook computers – one that could let scammers get your email and phone numbers.

Regulators with the European Union also accused Apple of violating antitrust laws. One of the concerns centered on Apple’s 30% commission it collects from other apps such as for sales of streaming music subscriptions.

That topic will remain newsy as Apple and Epic Games go to federal court next week. The publisher of popular online game “Fortnite” added an option for mobile game players to directly pay Epic for downloads and bypass the Apple App store and Google Play store payment methods. That led to the game being booted from both online stores and subsequent suits filed by Epic. Apple also countersued Epic, and both cases will be argued over the next several weeks.

What else happened in tech?

Roku-Google showdown. Remember those cable TV disputes that led to favorite channels being removed? Well, they have come to streaming devices. Roku removed the YouTube TV app from its app library after its contract to carry it expired.

Cancel this. Florida has passed a bill that would prevent Facebook, Twitter and Google’s YouTube from “deplatforming” politicians like former President Donald Trump, and Gov. Ron DeSantis is expected to sign it into law.

Cha-ching. Apple isn’t the only tech giant with impressive sales so far this year. Amazon reported its second consecutive quarter of sales surpassing $100 billion, as consumers bought more products and streamed more shows and movies.

Game break

A familiar player is back in the video game: Atari. The company has a new console, the Atari VCS available for preorder $399.99 and due out later this spring. In addition to classics such as “Asteroids” and “Missile Command,” the device also lets you stream content such as Netflix and use it as a personal computer.

This week in Talking Tech

On this week’s Talking Tech podcast, we discuss whether nighttime modes on your smartphone actually help you get to sleep faster, the new Pokémon Snap game, and the short documentary in a video game that was nominated for an Oscar. Spoiler Alert: It won!

Author: USANEWS

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