Epic, Spotify, Match Group, and others form the Coalition for App Fairness to pressure Apple and other app store owners to make changes to marketplace rules

It looks like an official rebel alliance is forming. Epic and Spotify have formed what they are calling the Coalition for App Fairness claiming “Apple taxes consumers and crushes innovation,” and that it will advocate “freedom of choice and fair competition across the app ecosystem.” Epic and Spotify are there, along with Match Group, Basecamp, Deezer, Prepear, ProtonMail and Tile among others. So, basically anyone who we’ve ever talked about having an official beef with Apple. But they’re not going just against Apple… their guns are trained on the Google Play Store too and broadly, the group want to push for new regulations around how app stores in general are run.

More: Engadget

Microsoft says a standalone, non-subscription version of Office will be released in the second half of 2021 for both Windows and Mac

This is an interesting change of strategy. Microsoft has announced that a standalone, non-subscription version of Office will be released in the second half of 2021 for both Windows and Mac.

More: Windows Central

Samsung unveils its Galaxy S20 FE, with a 6.5-inch display, Snapdragon 865, 120Hz refresh rate, starting at $699 for sub-6GHz model or $749 for mmWave 5G model

We know you can already get the Galaxy S20 phones from Samsung in three different flavors. There’s the… just S20. The regular, if you will. But there’s also the S20 Plus and S20 Ultra. Well, now there’s a fourth flavor, called the Galaxy S20 FE. FE, according to Samsung, stands for Fan Edition which means… I dunno. But it will come in six different colors, it will be available on October 2nd, and depending on if you go for the sub-6GHz 5g model, it will cost $699, or $749 for the mmWave 5G model.

More: The Verge

Google has rolled out an update to Google Maps that includes a layer that will show you Covid-19 cases per 100,000 people over localities you’re searching, with labels to indicate recent trends. Google says this is coming to 220 countries and territories.

More: TechCrunch

GOAT Group, operator of online sneaker marketplace GOAT, has raised $100M Series E from D1 Capital Partners, source says at a $1.75B valuation

This a hella interesting raise, not for any strategic reasons, but just because I continue to be fascinated what a big market and business this represents. GOAT Group operates the online sneaker marketplace GOAT. GOAT Group has raised a $100 million Series E from D1 Capital partners at a valuation that sources claim is in the $1.75 billion range.

More: Wall Street Journal

Messy launches of PS5 and the new Xbox showed Sony and Microsoft once again failing at pre-orders, partly driven by the need to create a narrative of scarcity

You know the messy launches of the PS5 and new Xbox consoles. They always seem to be sold out. The companies can never seem to meet initial demand which, there might be covid excuses for this time, but if you think about it, don’t these companies ALWAYS fail a preorders? Think back to previous generations, it’s always been thus, right? So… maybe this is purposeful? Maybe there’s at least an implicit design to create a narrative of scarcity, and thus demand and status?

More: The Verge

ByteDance asks a US court for a preliminary injunction to prevent the US government from banning TikTok from app stores, as Trump's ban looms

Finally, a timely reminder that the TikTok saga is maybeee…. Not over. ByteDance has asked a US court for a preliminary injunction to prevent the US government from banning TikTok from app stores as Trump’s ban looms. The ban would again be scheduled to take effect at 11:59 PM on September 27. ByteDance has submitted an application to the Chinese government to approve the current deal involving Oracle and Walmart taking a stake in the company. Though we don’t know how long that approval might take, or even if it will come at all. And even then, there’s still that whole disagreement wherein: ByteDance says will retain 80% ownership of TikTok Global, the new company that would result from the deal while Oracle says the company will be mostly owned by U.S. entities and that ByteDance will have no ownership. Which… you know, one of those positions can’t be true.

More: Reuters