Mar 4, 2020 - Technology

Apple allows push notifications for ads

Facebook, Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp displayed on an iPhone. Photo: Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Apps on Apple products can now send push notifications for ads and promotions as long as customers explicitly opt in to get those alerts, according to the company's updated App Store guidelines.

Why it matters: Apple has long prevented ads in notifications. Including marketing material alongside alerts for personal messages and breaking news runs the risk of further cluttering peoples' feeds.

Separately, Apple also made a few other changes to its App Store rules:

  • Apple will reject pitches for "fortune telling" and dating apps "unless they provide a unique, high-quality experience," citing an over-saturation of those apps.
  • App developers now must use Apple's own API for prompting customer reviews. In the past, developers could push app users to review products by asking leading questions.

Go deeper: Apple's growth areas rely on its shrinking iPhone business

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Snapchat says developers can integrate Stories into their own apps

Photo: Snapchat

Snapchat said Tuesday that developers can finally integrate its flagship Stories feature into their own apps by utilizing its developer tools, called the "Snap Kit."

Why it matters: It's an integral part of Snapchat's broader growth plans. The social media giant hopes that expanded access to its content and flagship features on other apps will increase its user base — and maybe its bottom line.

Tim Cook to allow most Apple staff to work from home this week

Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Apple CEO Tim Cook has informed employees in most global offices that they may work from home between March 9–13 as the company grapples with the "unprecedented" coronavirus outbreak, according to a memo first reported by Bloomberg and confirmed by Axios.

The big picture: Apple joins a chorus of other companies encouraging workers in Seattle or the Bay Area to work from home, including Amazon, Facebook, Microsoft and Salesforce. Apple, like these other companies, said in the memo will continue to pay its hourly staff while full-time workers telecommute.

Go deeper: Apple's coronavirus warning foreshadows broader threat for tech

Apple buys weather app Dark Sky

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Apple acquired paid weather app Dark Sky on Tuesday for an undisclosed amount.

Why it matters: This is a double-coup for Apple. It may use Dark Sky to improve the iPhone's default weather app, which currently gets its data from The Weather Channel, and it plans to kill the Android version of Dark Sky.