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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

A coalition of app developers who want Apple to relax stringent App Store rules is hiring a new director as it prepares to amp up its work, according to a message obtained by Axios.

Why it matters: Apple has increasingly clashed with developers over the heavy cut it takes on app and in-app purchases and its practice of blocking most apps from using their own payment methods for subscriptions. The Coalition for App Fairness aims to be the premier global voice for app makers in the fight.

Driving the news: Meghan DiMuzio, of public affairs firm Forbes Tate Partners, has been named CAF's first executive director, according to a message sent to coalition members and obtained by Axios Wednesday.

  • The group launched in September and counts Spotify, Epic Games, Basecamp and Tile among its founding companies. It has grown to more than 50 members.
  • CAF has outlined 10 principles for app stores that include giving developers the right to communicate directly with users through their apps and holding that no app store should charge unreasonable or excessive fees.

The big picture: App developers have also tussled with Google, which imposes similar commissions and terms in its Play Store. But the fight is fiercer with Apple because, unlike with Google's Android operating system, the App Store is the only way to get an app onto an iPhone or iPad.

What they're saying: DiMuzio told members, "We are currently preparing a plan to accelerate the next phase of our work and will share more information soon."

  • "No competition, no options, and no recourse has been the accepted way for far too long," DiMuzio said in a press statement. "This monopolistic behavior reduces quality and innovation, leading to higher prices and fewer choices for consumers."

Go deeper

Clubhouse gains momentum as Big Tech leaders join

Screen shot from Clubhouse website

Recent appearances from Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk on Clubhouse are bringing attention to the venture-backed audio social network, which has also seen a boost in downloads over the past few weeks.

Yes, but: The app is already beginning to face the same growing pains that other upstart social networks have experienced for years. For example, Clubhouse — which requires an invite to access — is reportedly already being blocked in China.

Feb 9, 2021 - Technology

Snapchat urges users to remove unwanted connections

Photo: Chesnot/Getty Images

Snapchat on Tuesday rolled out a new feature reminding its users — the vast majority of whom are under the age of 30 — to remove unwanted connections from their contact list.

Why it matters: While most social networks try to bait engagement by encouraging users to add as many new connections as possible, Snapchat wants to instead use this moment to remind users that “Snapchat is for real friends.”

9 mins ago - World

One-year anniversary of Beirut blast marked by grief, anger

White roses are seen on portraits of victims of last year's Beirut port blast in the Lebanese capital, as Lebanon marks on August 4, 2021. Photo: Joseph Eid/AFP via Getty Images

Fluctuating between feelings of sadness, grief and anger, Beirut residents on Wednesday marked the one-year anniversary of the port explosion that killed more than 200 people and injured thousands of others.

The big picture: No senior official has been held accountable for the blast, which was caused by a large amount of ammonium nitrate stored unsafely at the port for years, per Reuters.