We take a weekly look at mobile and tech stories from around the world. Headlines include… Meta calls for parental control laws for under-16s, New eSIM standard could be a shot in the arm for enterprise IoT, Nothing is bringing iMessage to its Android phone and more…
Apple plans to add support for the RCS standard on iOS next year, the iPhone-maker said Thursday in a major reversal that would resolve the widespread issue of compatibility in text messaging between iPhones and Android devices, a concern affecting millions worldwide known colloquially as the “green bubble” dread.
In an abrupt announcement, Apple said it believes “RCS Universal Profile will offer a better interoperability experience when compared to SMS or MMS.” The company added: “This will work alongside iMessage, which will continue to be the best and most secure messaging experience for Apple users.”
Meta has called for laws that would force app stores to get parental approval when a child downloads an app.
The proposal would put app stores, like those run by Apple and Google, on the hook for implementing parental controls – rather than social media companies.
Meta, owner of Instagram and Facebook, has faced criticism for how it handles teens using its platforms.
The firm’s safety chief called for a “simple, industry-wide solution” to govern children’s social media use.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is well-suited to using “virtual” eSIMs, but initial standards only went so far in realizing the potential.
A newly published standard, however, will make eSIMs much more flexible to use, signaling growth in cellular IoT devices and usage.
SIM cards have long been a tool for mobile operator control of user devices. Dedicated to and often issued by an operator, once inserted in a device there is a good chance that device would remain subscribed to the operator’s service for as long as it was being used. “Control” may be too strong of a word, but plastic SIMs certainly helped maintain a high level of customer “stickiness”.
Nothing Phone 2 owners get blue bubbles now. The company shared it has added iMessage to its newest phone through a new “Nothing Chats” app powered by the messaging platform Sunbird. The feature will be available to users in North America, the EU, and other European countries starting this Friday, November 17th.
Nothing writes on its page that it’s doing this because “messaging services are dividing phone users,” and it wants “to break those barriers down.” But doing so here requires you to trust Sunbird. Nothing’s FAQ says Sunbird’s “architecture provides a system to deliver a message from one user to another without ever storing it at any point in its journey,” and that messages aren’t stored on its servers.
AppsFlyer has released the 16th edition of its Performance Index, ranking the top media sources in mobile advertising across 11 regions and 22 app categories. The latest version of the Index, which originated in 2015, found the economic downturn had a significant impact on the mobile app media space throughout 2023, as nearly all top media sources saw declines and app install ad spend budgets reduced by 20 per cent in the third quarter of 2023 when compared to Q3 in 2022. The Index is based on an analysis of 75 media sources, with at least 11.5bn app installs from 30,000 apps, between April and September 2023.
Netflix pressed “Start” on Netflix Games in fall 2021 — not that most of the streamer’s 247 million global subscribers know about the service, let alone play it. However, betting against Netflix hasn’t made for a lot of wins. It would be “foolish” to “write off Netflix’s plans as non-consequential,” MoffettNathanson gaming analyst Clay Griffin wrote in a November 6 note to clients (and obtained by IndieWire). The film and TV industries once did that “at their own peril.”
Jacobson, who is the CEO of indie game studio Zollpa (“RoboSquad Revolution”), admits he’s one who has “questioned Netflix at every decision they’ve made.” The results? “I’ve always been wrong.”
What may be confusing here is Netflix gaming probably will not look like the Netflix of Gaming. And past streaming attempts to rival Microsoft’s Xbox console or Sony’s PlayStation — looking at you, Amazon Luna and Google Stadia — have fallen far short.
User acquisition and player retention is a core aspect for any mobile game. In such a saturated market it’s essential to be able to pull in users, and have them stick around. Some mobile game developers and publishers find themselves taking the risk bypassing user privacy for fear of impacting these core stats. However, as of next year changes are incoming that will make user consent high on the agenda for mobile games companies.
In this guest post, global director of apps solutions at Usercentrics, Valerio Sudrio looks at the twin threats of the Digital Markets Act and Google’s privacy sandbox and discusses the impact these new privacy initiatives will have on mobile games publishers and developers in 2024.