All Big Tech stories

Ina Fried, author of Login
Jun 8, 2021 - Technology

Apple updates bring iOS, MacOS closer together

Image: Apple

With Apple's slew of software announcements Monday, what stood out was just how many new features are coming simultaneously across different types of devices.

Why it matters: Apple continues to maintain some distinctions between iOS — the operating system for iPhones and iPads — and the Mac, but more features are being shared across the two.

Developer war brewing over app store commissions

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Rivals circling Apple and Google are courting developers and creators who are growing increasingly frustrated with the fees those tech giants charge in their app stores.

Why it matters: In-app purchases have emerged as a key way for developers looking to make money from their apps, and Apple and Google tightly control the payment mechanism for such transactions.

Ina Fried, author of Login
Updated Jun 7, 2021 - Technology

Live updates: Apple details the future of iPhone software at WWDC

Apple CEO Tim Cook, speaking at the online Worldwide Developer Conference 2021. Screenshot: Axios, via YouTube

Apple used its annual Worldwide Developer Conference to detail new features coming to the next versions of the company's software for iPhones, iPads and Macs.

Why it matters: The online-only gathering comes amid growing pressure from developers and regulators for Apple to loosen its tight grip on the App Store and related payment mechanisms.

Jun 7, 2021 - Technology

Jeff Bezos is going to space this summer

Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

Jeff Bezos announced Monday that he and his brother Mark would be among those flying on the first passenger flight of his space company Blue Origin — via a video posted on the billionaire's Instagram account.

The big picture: The passenger flight, the New Shepard, will be launching on July 20, with Bezos and his brother joining the winner of a public auction for one of the seats.

Ina Fried, author of Login
Jun 7, 2021 - Technology

Roblox CEO: Lower app store commissions would benefit developers

Roblox CEO David Baszucki told "Axios on HBO" that if Apple and Google cut their app store commissions, his company could send more money to developers, which it would like to do.

Why it matters: App store commissions have become a lightning rod for conflict between the mobile giants and developers. Epic Games, the creator of Fortnite, has sued both companies seeking to be able to use its own in-app payment system on their mobile platforms.

Jun 4, 2021 - Technology

Facebook sets Trump ban at two years in response to Oversight Board ruling

Photo Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

Facebook on Friday said it will ban former President Trump from its platform for two years, and announced new policies for how it will handle speech from prominent politicians moving forward.

Why it matters: The decision will bar Trump from using the platform for the next two years as he prepares to launch a potential 2024 presidential campaign.

Ina Fried, author of Login
Jun 4, 2021 - Technology

This year's Apple developer event is different

Image: Apple

One question heading into Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference next week is whether the iPhone maker will combine the usual software announcements with an olive branch to software makers who are criticizing the company's business practices.

The big picture: Outspoken critics like Spotify, Epic and Match Group are still in the minority, but the complaints they are voicing reflect broader concerns over everything from the size of Apple's commissions to its favorable treatment of its own products and services.

EU, U.K. launch antitrust investigations into Facebook

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The European Union and United Kingdom opened dual antitrust investigations into Facebook on Friday to determine if the social media company distorts competition in the classified advertising market.

Why it matters: The new investigations are the latest salvo in European regulators' crackdown on Big Tech companies, in an attempt to even the playing field and save local businesses.

Jun 3, 2021 - Technology

Google removes diversity executive after antisemitic blog post surfaces

Photo: Victor J. Blue/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Google has removed senior executive Kamau Bobb from his role as global lead of diversity strategy and research after his antisemitic remarks from a 2007 blog post resurfaced this week.

Why it matters: It marks the "second time in a month that a big tech company has been forced to make a staffing change in the wake of public outcry over an executive’s previous writing," Wall Street Journal writes.

Jun 3, 2021 - Technology

Facebook names longtime exec Marne Levine as chief business officer

Photo: Facebook

Facebook has promoted Marne Levine, its current vice president of global partnerships, business and corporate development, to the newly created role of chief business officer, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: Levine, who has been at Facebook for more than a decade, is a close confidant to Facebook's chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg. She replaces outgoing chief revenue officer David Fischer, who was in that position for more than 10 years.