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This Week in Apps: Apple antitrust issues come to Congress, subscription apps boom, Tencent takes on TikTok

Welcome back to ThisWeek in Apps, the Extra Crunch series that recaps the latest OS news, the applications they support and the money that flows through it all.
The app industry is as hot as ever with a record 204 billion downloads in 2019 and $120 billion in consumer spending in 2019, according to App Annie’s recently released “State of Mobile” annual report. People are now spending 3 hours and 40 minutes per day using apps, rivaling TV. Apps aren’t just a way to pass idle hours — they’re a big business. In 2019, mobile-first companies had a combined $544 billion valuation, 6.5x higher than those without a mobile focus.
In this Extra Crunch series, we help you keep up with the latest news from the world of apps, delivered on a weekly basis.
This week, there was a ton of app news. We’re digging into the latest with Apple’s antitrust issues, Tencent’s plan to leverage WeChat to fend off the TikTok threat, AppsFlyer’s massive new round, the booming subscription economy, Disney’s mobile game studio sale, Pokémon GO’s boost to tourism, Match Group’s latest investment and much more. And did you see the app that lets you use your phone from within a paper envelope? Or the new AR social network? It’s Weird App Week, apparently.
Headlines

This Week in Apps: Apple antitrust issues come to Congress, subscription apps boom, Tencent takes on TikTok

Google Play pilot test in US introduces a ‘free app of the week’ section

 Apple began offering a “free app of the week” back in 2012 as a means of highlighting some of the App Store’s best titles and encouraging users to start downloading. Google, belatedly, is following in Apple’s footsteps with its own newly launched “free app of the week” section on Google Play. However, we understand that Google has not yet committed to… Read More

Google Play pilot test in US introduces a ‘free app of the week’ section

Apple will finally let developers respond to App Store reviews

 Apple is finally going to give its developers a way to respond to customer reviews on its App Store and Mac App Store – a feature that’s long been available to Android developers on Google Play, much to the chagrin of the Apple developer community. According to developer documentation for the iOS 10.3 beta, when this version of Apple’s mobile operating ships,… Read More

Apple will finally let developers respond to App Store reviews

Houzz wins “Best App” at the inaugural Google Play Awards

 Interior design and decorating resource Houzz is the overall best Android app of the year, according to Google, which this evening announced the results of the first-ever Google Play Awards at its developer conference, Google I/O. While in previous years, the company had rounded up large numbers of apps for “Best of” lists, the new Google Play Awards instead follows… Read More

Houzz wins “Best App” at the inaugural Google Play Awards

GoPro’s developer program aims to connect its cameras to cars, toys and apps

 GoPro on Thursday very quietly took the wraps off its new developer program, by which it hopes to get its action cameras hooked into as many third-party devices, vehicles and services as possible. Read More

GoPro’s developer program aims to connect its cameras to cars, toys and apps