Microsoft has ended support for Cortana on both Android and iOS devices and removed the app from App Store and Google’s Play Store. “As we announced in July, we will soon be ending support for the Cortana app on Android and iOS, as Cortana continues its evolution as a productivity assistant,” Microsoft said. Cortana was launched on iOS and Android in Dec 2015 with the aim to connect Windows 10 PCs and smartphones but lost to Alexa, Google Assistant and Siri.
Google has postponed enforcing a 30% commission on in-app purchases from its Play Store from next Jan to next Sept. Like Apple, Google also collects a 30% commission on in-app purchases. Apple, last week, announced that it will reduce the commission on its App Store from 30% to 15% for developers with yearly proceeds of less than $1 mn from next year. Google apparently, as per reports, postponed the policy after it faced a strong backlash from South Korean developers.
Many Indian startups have raised concerns on Google’s Play billing system, saying that it cannot force Indian app developers/owners to sell digital services by using its billing systems. Many founders also believe that India now needs a local app store. The compounding fear is the current revenue sharing (30%) policy of the Play Store. It brings back the fears of not so old, deeply problematic revenue share model between VAS service provider and telecos.
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Google, under its Play billing policy, will now take 30% of the overall earnings made by the apps that sell digital content through Play Store; has provided time until Sept 30, 2021 for developers to integrate Play billing system in their apps. This includes in-app purchase of digital goods like unlocking additional features, game tokens etc; excludes physical goods or paying for content subscription via the developer’s own website won’t require Play billing.
Google has pulled Paytm from the Play Store for violating its gambling policies. Paytm is India’s most valuable start-up and claims over 50M monthly active users. Play Store prohibits online casinos and other gambling apps that facilitate sports betting in India. Paytm supports fantasy sports service and repeatedly violated Play Store’s policies. Paytm’s fantasy sports service Paytm First Games, which is also a standalone app, was also pulled from the Play Store.