Facebook says no thanks to Apple, new feature will only be on Android platforms

Facebook has made a concerted effort to get on the good side of big media companies lately. Mark Zuckerberg himself wants to make sure they are as successful as possible, so he wants to help them sell subscriptions to their publications. And Facebook doesn’t even want a slice of the revenue.

Facebook’s new subscription tool for mobile phones will roll out sometime in the next few weeks. It allows various publishers, such as the Washington Post or Hearst, to set two different types of paywalls around their articles. One is a “metered” paywall, which many publications use already. After reading a certain numbers of articles, you’re directed to their subscription page. The other is a “freemium” version, where publishers can set firewalls around individual articles. In both cases, the goal is to get you to subscribe. Facebook has already said it wouldn’t take any of the revenue generated, and that it won’t capture customer data that results from the transaction.

As MacRumors points out, there’s only one problem – Apple won’t play ball.

The two tech juggernauts have been going at this for months, say many industry insiders. In the end, it all comes down to money. Apple wants a slice of the pie – a fairly big slice – and, as a result, the new Facebook service will only premiere on Android devices when it launches.

Apple is demanding a substantial portion of any subscription fees generated by the new service. According to its own rules, the Cupertino company takes a cut of up to 30 percent on any revenue generated from “in-app“ purchases on its iOS platform. Facebook argues that it’s not an “in-app” purchase, as it takes place at the publisher’s site. Apple’s counter-argument is that since the transaction begins inside the app, it’s entitled to its slice. And so they go round and round.

The rule is in place to prevent a company from advising a user to leave the iPhone app and subscribe on the company’s own website, as a way of dodging the 30 percent Apple tax. Google has said it’s not taking any revenue from media subscriptions using the new Facebook feature.

According to Recode, Apple wouldn’t comment. Facebook wouldn’t comment either. This isn’t the first time Apple has struggled with publishers over its subscription rules, which date back to 2011, when everyone wanted to sell subscriptions to iPads. That never really panned out.

You’d think will all that money to be made, these two could play nice and come to some sort of agreement. After all, the tech companies may not have the upper hand for long, says the New York Times – news outlets are joining together in an alliance to ask Congress for an anti-trust exemption so they can bargain collectively against Facebook and Google.

Home Theater

Roku adds automatic sign-out mode, for those with regular houseguests

Being able to use a Roku device while staying at a hotel or Airbnb is awesome. What is less awesome is leaving yourself signed in after you leave. With a new automatic sign-out feature, Roku is making it easier to relax.
Home Theater

New TV? Here's where to go to watch the best 4K content available

Searching for content for your new 4K UHD TV? Look no further. We have every major source of the best 4K content, along with the cost, hardware requirements, and features that make each service worth a look.

C you soon? Rumors swirl of a USB-C port on 2019 iPhones

While it's not been long since the last iPhones launched, rumors for the next iPhone are already surfacing. Apple's 2019 flagship could include a variety of upgrades ranging from a new design to enhanced features.

Keep up-to-date with the best news apps on iPhone and Android

Are the days of traditional newspapers and broadcast news dwindling? With apps this good, maybe. Catch up on the latest headlines on any platform with the best news apps on iOS and Android.

Unleash your inner artist with the best drawing apps for the iPad Pro

The best drawing apps for the iPad Pro turn Apple's robust tablet into a canvas worthy of a true artist. Here are 20 of our current favorites, whether you're looking to keep things simple or take your art to the next level.

Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2019: Complete Coverage

There's no bigger show for mobile tech geeks than Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain: where flagship phones are born and intriguing new wearables shine. And this year, where foldable phones and 5G are likely to dominate the news. For…
Emerging Tech

CES 2019 recap: All the trends, products, and gadgets you missed

CES 2019 didn’t just give us a taste of the future, it offered a five-course meal. From 8K and Micro LED televisions to smart toilets, the show delivered with all the amazing gadgetry you could ask for. Here’s a look at all the big…

Biometric phone unlocks can’t be forced by feds, says U.S. judge

Fingerprint and face unlocks used to not be protected by the Fifth Amendment, but that may soon change. A judge in California has ruled biometric unlocking methods of all kinds are protected in the same way as passcodes.

The Note 8 and S8 range now have access to the Android Pie beta

Android 9.0 Pie has been released. But is your phone getting Android 9.0 Pie, and if so, when? We've done the hard work and asked every device manufacturer to see when their devices would be getting the update.

The Motorola Razr may return as a foldable phone — for $1,500

The Motorola Razr V3 is one of the world's most iconic phones, and it could be making a stylistic return in the form of a foldable Motorola smartphone -- but it may cost around $1,500. Is the nostalgia worth it?

The iPhone XS Battery Case's battery has a smaller capacity than previous cases

Apple has been rumored to be working on a new iPhone battery case for the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR. Now, those new cases are finally here, offering seven hours of extra use for each iPhone and are available for $129.

Join the Apple club with our complete guide to switching from Android to iOS

If Android simply isn’t cutting it for you anymore, then you might be considering Apple’s warm embrace. Here’s how to make the switch from Android to iOS without losing your contacts, sleep, or hair!

It’s back! Here’s how to switch to Twitter’s reverse chronological feed

Twitter has finally brought back the reverse chronological feed, allowing you to see your feed based on the newest tweets, rather than using Twitter's algorithm that shows what it thinks you want to see. It's easy to switch.

Huawei in for a rough year as feds investigate alleged trade secrets theft

Huawei is also facing issues in the U.S., but it doesn't seem like that will end any time soon. According to a new report, the company is facing a federal investigation in the U.S. for allegedly stealing trade secrets.