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Waiting for the Apple Event? Here's how you can tune in live
by Paul Hill
Apple is set to live-stream its latest Apple Event in less than two hours. It's expected that the firm will show off a new range of iPhone and Apple Watch devices as well as the launch of the next iOS and macOS versions. We could also see a refresh to Apple's AirPods.
Apple has become a bit more open in recent years, you no longer need an Apple device to stream the company's events, instead, they are broadcast for all to watch on YouTube. If you'd like to tune in, check out the stream below. It's set to begin at 10 a.m. PT / 1 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. UTC and will likely run for a couple of hours.
If you won't be able to stick around for the live event, be sure to come back to Neowin regularly to check our coverage of the event and all the products that Apple announces today.
WhatsApp may soon transcribe your voice messages
by Anmol Mehrotra
WhatsApp is working on a new feature that will transcribe voice notes for users, so they don't have to listen to audio messages.
The feature was first spotted by WABetaInfo and is currently under development. Furthermore, the website notes that transcription will be done locally on the user's phone so Facebook will not have access to the audio recordings. The transcription, however, will be used by Apple to improve its speech recognition technology and is totally optional.
The transcribed messages will be stored locally so you can access them any time in the future without having to transcribe the message again. WhatsApp users can also jump to a specific timestamp if they don't need transcription for the whole message. Currently, the feature is in development for iOS users and there is no word on if or when the feature will be available for Android users. However, WhatsApp has a decent track record of bringing major features to both iOS and Android so we might see some solution for Android users in the future.
WhatsApp is expected to roll out the feature to iOS beta users in the near future. For now, there is no word on when the feature will start rolling out to WhatsApp for iOS users.
By Usama Jawad96
Court: Epic Games breached contract but Apple must allow external payment methods
by Usama Jawad
Apple and Epic have been locking horns in court ever since the latter tried to bypass the Cupertino tech giant's payment systems in order to avoid paying a 30% fee. The tussle started almost a year ago when Apple kicked out Fortnite from the App Store due to attempts to bypass it commercial systems. In return, Epic sued Apple, and was then countersued for breach of contract. It's been a mess, seriously. Today, the court has finally ruled on the case and awarded victories - or losses, depending upon how you look at it - to both parties, kind of.
Judge Yvonne Gonzalez-Rogers has essentially issued two rulings. The first (via The Verge) clearly states that Apple cannot restrict developers from guiding users to alternative external payment methods. The injunction will take effect in 90 days. The wording of the ruling is as follows:
Meanwhile, the second ruling favors Apple and says that Epic Games was indeed in breach of contract when it offered direct payments to customers on iOS between August and October 2020. As such, Epic Games now has to pay Apple 30% of all the associated revenue it earned in this time period. Since the revenue was around $12.17 million, this means that Epic now has to pay $3.6 million to Apple. An excerpt (thanks, 9to5Mac) from the ruling also reads:
Interestingly, in a statement to The Verge, Apple claimed the rulings to be a victory for itself, stating that:
In a similar vein, Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney expressed disappointment in the ruling on Twitter:
In subsequent tweets, the executive went on to say that:
Epic Games has confirmed to CNBC that it will appeal the court's decision. You can view the court's 185-page ruling here.
By Usman Khan Lodhi
Apple will let developers contact users about payment outside of their apps
by Usman Khan Lodhi
Apple announced today that it's settling its lawsuit with developers and as part of that agreement, developers will now finally be able to inform app users about payment methods that exist outside the iOS app. Previously, the firm had announced that developers were allowed to contact customers outside of their app, but they weren't permitted to do so using information obtained inside the app.
As part of the settlement, there are a couple of other concessions aimed to assist small developers. Developers who earned $1 million or less "for all of their apps in every calendar year in which the developers had an account between June 4, 2015, and April 26, 2021" will benefit from a fund. They will also be entitled to a reduced commission, while larger developers will continue to pay the App Store's usual fee on app purchases and in-app payments.
Other changes include the Cupertino firm increasing the available number of price points from "fewer than 100 to more than 500." Additionally, changes that were made in response to the coronavirus, including reduced commissions to 15 percent for developers earning less than $1 million a year, will continue to be in place for at least the next three years.
By Jay Bonggolto
Twitter is testing downvote and upvote buttons for tweet replies on iOS
by Jay Bonggolto
A dislike button has been one of the most requested features on Twitter for quite a while as a way to tell the service whether a tweet is relevant or not. Last year, Twitter’s product lead Kayvon Beykpour revealed that the company was considering adding a dislike button or a downvote system.
Today, Twitter announced that it's testing a downvote and upvote system for a small group of users on iOS. The new capability appears in a few different ways on top of the usual options to interact with a reply to a tweet. For some, the upvote and downvote buttons show up as up and down arrows, thumbs up and thumbs down, or a heart icon and a down arrow.
The micro-blogging platform said the new system is designed to gauge the types of tweet replies people like on Twitter. It also clarified that downvotes won't be shown to the public while upvotes will appear as likes. This means that downvotes won't trigger notifications and will be visible only to the user whose tweet reply is being downvoted. On the other hand, notifications for upvotes will show up in the Likes tab.
Contrary to popular assumption, however, Twitter's new experimental system isn't quite similar to a dislike button. The company said that the test is only part of its research to determine what type of reply seems to be irrelevant to a conversation.
Votes will also not affect the order of replies. Unlike in Reddit where votes alter the position of replies in a conversation, Twitter's implementation does not have the same impact on tweet replies. That said, this isn't the only tweet interaction that Twitter has been testing; in May, the platform was spotted experimenting with tweet reactions.