The weekend before Apple’s big iPhone event, the company’s legal battle with Epic and app developers cast a shadow. It’s hard to describe either side as an out-and-out loser or winner; Apple must allow App Store developers to direct users to other payment systems, which would let them bypass the 30 percent cut of in-app payments that Apple takes. Judge Gonzales Rogers also ruled, however, that the App Store doesn't violate antitrust law. She ruled against Epic in Apple's counterclaim for breach of contract. Epic has to pay Apple $3.65 million.
The latest development: Epic has already filed an appeal against that ruling. The initial notice didn't explain exactly how the Fortnite developer was challenging the decision.
I’m sure Apple would love to put the legal tussle behind it — while the ruling will cut into its revenue from some developers, it shouldn’t hugely affect its bottom line — and it’s got more new phones and devices to reveal. Want to know what we’re expecting from the big event? Read everything we know so far, right here!
Last-minute iPhone 13 leak hints at 1TB storage option
You may have a lower-priced AirPods option, too.
Having said that, this little nugget was too late for our What to Expect story on Apple’s incoming phones. It seems the iPhone 13 — will the company call it that? — comes with some 1TB options, regardless of the expansion of iCloud and storage outside of the device itself. Well-known analyst Ming-Chi Kuo says the iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max will have up to 1TB of storage alongside 128GB, 256GB and 512GB options carried over from the iPhone 12 Pro family. That could prove a little more expensive. Perhaps more importantly, he also believed the base iPhone 13 and 13 mini would start at 128GB versus the (frankly inadequate) 64GB of their predecessors.
He added that the current second-gen AirPods will stick around and sell alongside a new third-generation model, to be revealed at Apple's September 14th event, probably with a price drop.
Don’t sleep on the iPhone mini
It was the most exciting iPhone 12.
Mat Smith (yes, me) loves the iPhone 12 mini. While the battery life was frustrating, that there’s a tiny smartphone, powerful enough for gaming and other processor-intensive tasks, is a very good thing. We hope — and rumors suggest that — Apple will continue the iPhone mini family.
Perseverance rover samples hint Mars had water for a long time
Interesting early results.
The Perseverance rover's first rock samples from Mars are already providing insights. NASA researchers' early analysis of the samples indicates water was present in Jezero Crater for a "long time" — think tens of thousands or millions of years. That, in turn, suggests Mars' water was stable enough to make it relatively welcoming to microscopic life. The mission team also detected crucial salts that might have formed when water flowed through the sampled rock. The salt might have not only trapped pockets of Mars' old water, but could have preserved signs of life.
The US may crack down on 'stable' cryptocurrencies
Regulators are worried stablecoins hurt stability more than they help.
Stablecoins are ostensibly safer than regular cryptocurrency thanks to their ties to less volatile assets, but US regulators apparently aren't convinced. Bloomberg sources hear the Treasury Department and other federal agencies are close to a possible crackdown on stablecoins through a review from the Financial Stability Oversight Council. Officials are reportedly concerned the digital money is largely unregulated and could ultimately destabilize the financial system, not protect it.
Some of that concern centers around Tether, which tries to stabilize its funds by holding large amounts of corporate debt. That could be vulnerable to "chaotic investor runs" if cryptocurrency values tank, according to Bloomberg.