Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Apple on Friday announced a series of changes to the rules of the iOS App Store that make a bit more room for cloud-based video game services to run on iOS devices, but only if each game is separately submitted to Apple for review and approval.

Why it matters: Apple is under considerable criticism from a range of developers who want to see it soften its strict control of what's allowed in the App Store and reduce the number of products that are subject to a 30% commission.


  • Under a rule change announced Friday, Apple said companies like Google, with Stadia, or Microsoft, with xCloud, can offer a single "catalog" app of all their games, as long as the games are made individually available for Apple to review and for customers to download.
  • Apple also said it would not take a cut of online services that are offered by one individual to another, potentially easing concerns from Airbnb that Apple could demand a cut of online "experiences" its hosts offer.

Between the lines: Apple is trying to tweak things without giving up either its control over what is allowed in the store or the financial gains that come with its 30% cut of digital goods and services sold within apps.

Our thought bubble: The change is another example of Apple trying to make its 2008 business model and rules fit with a dramatically changed world in which far more services are handled in the cloud and the distinction between digital and physical is blurring.

What they're saying: Microsoft said it was not satisfied with Apple's concession.

  • “This remains a bad experience for customers,” a company spokesperson said in a statement.

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The Commerce Department issued Friday an order blocking new downloads of WeChat and TikTok in the U.S. as of Sept. 20.

The state of play: President Trump has been in a standoff with TikTok, threatening to ban the app if its Chinese owner, ByteDance, does not relinquish control to a U.S. company. A deal is in the works with the American tech company Oracle, but would need to go through before Sunday to prevent TikTok from being ousted from app stores.

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America’s rapid and urgent transition to online school has come with a host of unforeseen consequences that are only getting worse as it continues into the fall.

The big picture: The issues range from data privacy to plagiarism, and schools are ill-equipped to deal with them, experts say.

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  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 7 a.m. ET: 6,766,631 — Total deaths: 199,268 — Total recoveries: 2,577,446 — Total tests: 94,211,463Map.
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  6. World: Guatemalan president tests positive for COVID-19 — The countries painting their pandemic recoveries green.