NewsBytes Briefing: Russia orders Apple to stop its 'power abuse'
In the updates since last night, Russia's competition watchdog slammed Apple for abusing its App Store dominance by requiring third-party developers to distribute apps through the marketplace and then blocking them unlawfully. The Federal Antimonopoly Service ordered the Cupertino giant to stop this practice after completing a year-long App Store investigation. Apple says it will appeal the ruling. Here are other updates.
Google Maps now available on Apple Watch
As Apple drew flak for abusing its power, Google made efforts to appease its users. The internet giant made its Maps app available on Apple Watch more than three years after pulling it. Plus, it also updated Maps to work with the dashboard mode on Apple's CarPlay screens, letting users view mapping directions and music controls side by side.
Rebranding by Disney and Amazon
Disney and Amazon engaged in a game of rebranding their key businesses and products. The entertainment giant rebranded its recently-acquired 20th Century Fox TV Studio and Fox 21 Television Studios to 20th Television and Touchstone Television. Meanwhile, Amazon renamed Twitch Prime, a service that provides premium exclusive game streaming features to users who have an active Amazon Prime subscription, to Prime Gaming.
Swiggy launches Instamart instant grocery service
Indian food-tech unicorn Swiggy launched a new service called Instamart on Monday. It is available as part of the main Swiggy app and is aimed at delivering groceries, from instant meals and snacks to ice creams, beverages, and fruits & vegetables, in 30 to 45 minutes. The company has partnered with virtual stores to launch this product but is only offering it in Gurugram.
Other important developments to note
Among other things, Lyft and Uber have been ordered to classify their drivers as 'employees' and not 'contractors'. Google, on the other hand, said it has extended the shutdown timeline of Chrome apps on Windows, Mac, and Linux. It will now remove support for the applications in June 2021. Facebook, meanwhile, formed a dedicated group called F2 to manage all its payments projects.
Finally, some COVID-19 updates
On Monday, India reported roughly 52,000 new coronavirus infections, taking the nationwide tally to 22.67 lakh. The total number of deaths crossed 45,000. For vaccine, China's Sinovac launched late-stage trials of its shot in Indonesia, while India's task force on COVID-19 vaccines is set to meet on August 12 to discuss the "logistics and ethical aspects" of procurement and administration of the first shot.