Epic Sues Apple After Fortnite Removed From App Store

Apple in iOS 14 and watchOS 7 introduced a new Sleep Tracking feature that's designed to help you monitor how much sleep you're getting each night with Apple Watch and improve your sleep habits through bedtime reminders and a winding down process.


This guide walks through all of the Sleep Tracking functionality available on the iPhone and the ‌Apple Watch‌ in Apple's 2020 software updates.

Sleep Schedule

In the Health app on the ‌iPhone‌ or in the ‌Apple Watch‌, you can set up a Sleep Schedule with the amount of sleep you want to get each night and your standard sleep and wake up goals.


The first step of setting a Sleep Schedule is to set a Sleep Goal, which lets the Health app on ‌iPhone‌ (and ‌Apple Watch‌) recommend a bedtime and provide a wake-up alarm. It also lets you know if you've hit your sleep goals for the night.


From there you'll want to set up a schedule with the time that you want to go to bed and the time that you want to wake up. Based on the sleep goal you set in the step before, the Health app will let you know if your chosen times will result in adequate sleep.

You can use the same Sleep Schedule every day or choose different schedules for different days. With this feature, you can have a set schedule for workdays and a different schedule for weekends.


Setting a Sleep Schedule allows you to enable or disable a Wake Up Alarm, and you can customize the sound and whether you want haptic feedback. If you're wearing an ‌Apple Watch‌ for Sleep Tracking, the alarm will go off on the watch instead of on the ‌iPhone‌. Adjusting Sleep Schedule options can be done in the Health app, or, more conveniently, in the Clock app under Alarm.


Sleep Mode

Sleep Mode is an optional mode that goes along with the Sleep Schedule feature. When enabled, it will simplify your Lock Screen at your chosen bedtime, hiding notifications and turning on Do Not Disturb.


Sleep Mode can be set to turn on and off automatically to match your Sleep Schedule, but it can also be toggled on or off in the Control Center.

Wind Down

Wind Down accompanies Sleep Mode and Sleep Schedule as an optional feature. If enabled, Wind Down allows Sleep Mode to begin before bedtime to help reduce distractions and help you relax.


Like Sleep Mode, Wind Down turns on Do Not Disturb, and it can also surface Shortcuts to apps or features that you might want to use as part of your night time routine. If you read before bed, for example, the app might suggest your reading app, or if you like to meditate, it suggests your favorite meditation app.


You need to set these Shortcuts up when activating and customizing the Wind Down feature. The Health app surfaces relevant options based on the selection of apps that you have installed for before bed activities like journaling, meditating, listening to music, listening to a Podcast, reading, checking off tasks on the calendar, yoga, and more.


When Wind Down activates at a set time ahead of your set bedtime, it will provide a the time, a note about when bedtime is, and a link to the Shortcuts that you've set up so you can go about your pre-bedtime routine.

Sleep Tracking

Sleep Tracking, which keeps track of how long you sleep each night and wakes you up with a haptic alarm, is available if you have an ‌Apple Watch‌. You can set up Sleep Tracking on ‌Apple Watch‌ through the Health app, and it uses the same setup process as all of the features above.


With Sleep Tracking enabled, the ‌Apple Watch‌ dims and locks itself based on your Sleep Schedule so it won't wake you up during the night. Sleep data from the ‌Apple Watch‌ can be viewed in the Health app on the ‌iPhone‌. If your Sleep Schedule is set up with a bedtime and a wakeup time, all you need to do is make sure your watch is charged up and ready to wear at night. Sleep tracking happens automatically during the night as long as your ‌Apple Watch‌ has battery.

‌Apple Watch‌ also lets you view summaries of your Sleep Schedule, it will notify you about Wind Down and bedtime settings, and it shows some of the sleep tracking data that's listed in the Health app.

Waking Up

When you wake up in the morning, the alarm that's set will go off on either the ‌iPhone‌ or the ‌Apple Watch‌ and the ‌iPhone‌ will offer up a "Good Morning" message with the time and the weather forecast.


Setup Summary

If you've used the setup process in the Health app, at the end, the ‌iPhone‌ provides you with a rundown of all of your settings. From there, the Sleep Schedule, Wind Down, and Sleep Tracking features work automatically when you go to bed each night. Changes can be made in the Sleep section of the Health app.


Third-Party Sleep Sources

It's worth noting that if you have a device that also contributes sleep data to the Health app, such as the Apple-owned Beddit sleep monitor, this data can be used in lieu of the ‌Apple Watch‌ to power Apple's Sleep Mode features and sleep data section in the Health app.


Sleep data can also be contributed by third-party sleep tracking apps for the ‌iPhone‌ and the ‌Apple Watch‌.

Viewing Sleep Data

Sleep data collected by the ‌Apple Watch‌ can be viewed in the Sleep section of the Health app. The Health app displays data on a weekly or monthly basis, allowing you to see your sleep trends over time.


The ‌Apple Watch‌ collects sleep time, time in bed, and heart rate, but it doesn't provide data beyond that. Some other fitness trackers include information on light sleep, deep sleep, and other parameters, but the ‌Apple Watch‌ sleep tracking functionality does not.


The Sleep section of the Health app offers charts on sleep length over time, heart rate while sleeping, and weekly, monthly, and yearly highlights. It also shows average sleep time over the past week and has a chart on sleep consistency over time.


Along with this data, Apple offers articles that ‌iPhone‌ users can take advantage of to improve their sleep such as "Why Sleep is so Important" and "Getting a Good Night's Sleep" with sleep tips and info.


Battery Level Notifications for ‌Apple Watch‌

‌iOS 14‌ and ‌watchOS 7‌ include new notifications that are designed to let you better track the battery level of your ‌Apple Watch‌ so that it can be used both during the day and at night. There's a notification when the battery level is low and another notification that's sent when an ‌Apple Watch‌ has reached its full charge level so you know when it can be removed from the charger for a night's sleep.

Battery usage when sleep tracking varies, but the feature appears to use somewhere around 30 percent battery during the night.

Features You Can Use Without ‌Apple Watch‌

The actual sleep tracking feature that measures how long you've slept is limited to the ‌Apple Watch‌, but all of the other related features like Sleep Mode and Wind Down are available even if you don't have a watch.

As mentioned up above, you can get started setting these up in the Health app. Just open up the Health app, tap Browse, scroll down to Sleep, and then tap it. From there, tap on "Get Started" to set parameters that include a sleep goal, a schedule, and an alarm.

Guide Feedback

Have questions about the sleep related features in ‌iOS 14‌ and ‌watchOS 7‌, know of a feature we left out, or or want to offer feedback on this guide? Send us an email here. If you want to know more about what's coming in ‌iOS 14‌, make sure to check out our iOS 14 roundup.

Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Caution)

When Apple introduced updated iPad Pro models earlier this year they came with a new accessory, the Magic Keyboard. Priced starting at $299, the Magic Keyboard for ‌iPad Pro‌ is Apple's most advanced keyboard yet, offering backlit full-size keys and, more importantly, a trackpad.


At launch, there was no third-party equivalent to the Magic Keyboard because trackpad support for the ‌iPad Pro‌ was new, but last month, Logitech unveiled the Folio Touch, a $160 keyboard case that works with 2018 and 2020 ‌iPad Pro‌ models.


The Folio Touch is more affordable than the Magic Keyboard while offering much of the same functionality, and in some cases, design choices that are more convenient, making it a worthy alternative to Apple's own keyboard option. There's one caveat -- at the current time, the Folio Touch is only available for the 11-inch ‌iPad Pro‌, with no 12.9-inch model.


Design wise, the Folio Touch features a case that attaches to the ‌iPad Pro‌ along with an attached keyboard, all of which is covered with a soft gray fabric-like material. It feels pleasant to the touch, and isn't too far off from the fabric material that Microsoft uses for its Surface Pro accessories. I prefer the fabric feel of this case to the more rubbery feel of the material that Apple uses for the Magic Keyboard, and it is less prone to spots, dust, and scuffs.


Even as a person that makes an effort to keep the Magic Keyboard clean, my ‌iPad Pro‌ Magic Keyboard's cover still has some spots from water drips and scuffs from day to day usage, and while it's not too difficult to clean, those spots and marks don't always come off. The Folio Touch isn't going to show spots like these and the color and pattern will mask grime, too.


The ‌iPad Pro‌ is designed to fit into the case portion of the Folio Touch, which is made from a malleable rubber material. There's a square-shaped camera cutout that's able to accommodate both the 2018 and 2020 ‌iPad Pro‌ models, plus there's a cutout at the side where the USB-C port on the iPad is located, a Smart Connector attachment point, and a cutout for Apple Pencil charging.


With the ‌Smart Connector‌, the Folio Touch is powered by the ‌iPad Pro‌ and does not need to be recharged nor does it need Bluetooth to connect. The Magic Keyboard has a passthrough charging feature that lets the ‌iPad Pro‌ be charged through the case through an extra USB-C port - this is not present on the Folio Touch and the standard USB-C port on the ‌iPad‌ must be used. There's a cutout for the USB-C port, but it's small, so if you're using a dock or dongle that's wider than a USB-C connector, you're going to run into trouble.

Because it's a case and a cover, the Folio Touch is a little bit thicker than the Magic Keyboard, which is not ideal because the Magic Keyboard is already bulky. It's still thinner and lighter than most laptops, though, and it can always be removed when not in use. I didn't find it too difficult to get my ‌iPad Pro‌ in and out of the Folio Touch, and it fits like a traditional case. The Folio Touch is a bit longer and wider than the Magic Keyboard, but they're ultimately similar enough in size that there's not much difference using one over the other.


The case feels protective, especially when the keyboard portion is closed, and there is a strong magnetic flap that keeps it shut and holds an ‌Apple Pencil‌ in place. If you have a Logitech Crayon instead of an ‌Apple Pencil‌, there's a slit in the flap where you can store it so it never gets lost or misplaced.

There's a pull-out stand that's at the back of the case that's designed to prop the ‌iPad Pro‌ and upright while you type on the keyboard. The stand is okay. It's not the sturdiest platform and I wasn't a fan of using it in my lap because of the flex of the stand, but it works well enough on a flat surface. I'm not sure that the Folio Touch would be comfortable to use in a lap for a longer period of time due to the instability of the stand, which is something to keep in mind.


The stand and case have several viewing and usage modes. There's Type Mode where the keyboard is extended and the ‌iPad Pro‌ is propped up with the stand, which is the most obvious way of using the Folio Touch, along with three modes where the keyboard is folded back.


View Mode for watching videos works by folding the keyboard and kickstand backward, Sketch Mode is similar to View Mode but with the stand pushed down to make a slightly angled surface ideal for drawing, and Read Mode is where the keyboard and the stand are both collapsed and the keyboard can be folded back so the ‌iPad‌ can be used in a standard tablet mode without the need to remove the case.


This is one area where the Folio Touch outshines the Magic Keyboard because Apple's keyboard does not fold back and needs to be removed if you want to use the ‌iPad‌ in a flat orientation. The stand offers 40 degrees of adjustment, but since it doesn't operate with a hinge or a locking mechanism, I'm a worried about how it's going to hold up over time. It uses tension, and it seems like a mechanism that could loosen over time, but I don't yet know if this will be the case.


I've been using the Magic Keyboard for ‌iPad Pro‌ for several months, and while it's not difficult to take it off, it's a hassle, so I appreciate the versatility the Folio Touch offers. The design of the case allows the ‌Apple Pencil‌ to be attached to the ‌iPad Pro‌ for charging purposes, and there is sleep/wake functionality for activating the ‌iPad‌'s display when the cover is opened.


Those who have used a Logitech ‌iPad‌ keyboard before will probably be familiar with the feel of the keys. They're clicky, satisfying to press, and offer a decent amount of travel so there's no serious compromise using the keyboard case over a standard keyboard. The feel is similar to the feel of the keys on the Magic Keyboard, but with a touch less travel and a touch more softness.


If forced to choose, I would say I prefer the feel of the keys on the Magic Keyboard, but the Folio Touch isn't too far off, and it's easy to adjust to a different key feel. The Logitech keyboard offers a function row of keys for adjusting screen brightness, accessing the Home Screen, searching, and controlling sound and media playback, which is something Apple's keyboard doesn't have and a feature I've missed with day to day usage.

The lack of these easy access function keys is one of the negatives to the Magic Keyboard, so anyone who uses those keys frequently might want to consider the Folio Touch. The Folio Touch also has backlit keys, much like the Magic Keyboard. The keys adjust to the ambient lighting but can be adjusted directly on the keyboard.

There's a small trackpad at the bottom of the keyboard on the Folio Touch, which is what puts the case on par with Apple's Magic Keyboard. The trackpad has a smooth, plastic like feel that's hard to distinguish from the trackpad of the Magic Keyboard. Usage is close identical too, but you do need to press harder on the Folio Touch for it to register a click. With Tap to Click turned on, a feature I always use, it doesn't matter.


Both trackpads support the exact same gestures and features that are baked into iPadOS, so there's not much difference between them. Below, I've listed the pros and cons of each keyboard to make it easier to see the difference at a glance and to outline why you might want to choose one over the other.

Magic Keyboard Pros and Cons

  • Costs $300+
  • Available for 11 and 12.9-inch models
  • Adjustable viewing angles, but case must come off for tablet mode
  • Works well in the lap
  • Silicone material picks up dust, grime, and fingerprints but feels more premium
  • Thinner than Folio Touch, but not by too much
  • No full ‌iPad Pro‌ coverage
  • Space for charging ‌Apple Pencil‌
  • No function keys
  • Backlit keys
  • Keys have good travel and feel sturdy under the fingers
  • Trackpad is responsive and easy to use
  • Has extra USB-C port built into hinge for accessories
  • Connects with ‌Smart Connector‌

Logitech Folio Touch Pros and Cons

  • $160 price point ($140 cheaper than Magic Keyboard)
  • Only available for 11-inch ‌iPad Pro‌
  • Stand with multiple viewing angles and usage modes, including an option to fold case back
  • Does not work well in the lap
  • Soft fabric cover material is less prone to showing dirt
  • Thicker and heavier than Magic Keyboard
  • Rubber case protects ‌iPad Pro‌
  • Cutout for charging ‌Apple Pencil‌ plus flap to hold it in place when case is closed
  • Full row of function keys
  • Backlit keys
  • Solid key feel with good travel, but not quite as nice as Magic Keyboard keys
  • Trackpad takes more force for a click
  • USB-C port is accessible, but doesn't offer an extra port
  • USB-C port cutout is small and doesn't accommodate all accessories.
  • Connects with ‌Smart Connector‌

We also did an article and video that compare the Magic Keyboard to the Logitech Folio Touch, and the video is worth watching if you want to see both keyboards side by side.

Bottom Line

The Magic Keyboard is $300 and the Folio Touch is $160, so going by price alone, it's a good deal and a solid alternative to Apple's ‌iPad Pro‌ keyboard. I appreciate the versatility of the Folio Touch's stand and the cover, and my only complaint is that it's not ideal for lap use.

With the Magic Keyboard, I have to take it all the way off if I want to use my ‌iPad‌ for anything other than typing or watching videos, which isn't the case with the Folio Touch. That's a huge factor for someone who prefers a case that can be left on all the time. There are also function keys that are absent from the ‌iPad Pro‌.

The Folio Touch doesn't have a USB-C port built in for more convenient charging, but it's still possible to charge with the standard USB-C port on the ‌iPad Pro‌, so I didn't miss this feature. I like the floating style of the Magic Keyboard, the hinge design, and I prefer the feel of the keys and the trackpad, but it's so close that I think most people will want to save $140 and choose the Folio Touch.

If you've been holding off from purchasing a Magic Keyboard because of its price point, the Folio Touch is a solid alternative. Unfortunately, Logitech only makes the Folio Touch for the 11-inch ‌iPad Pro‌ models at this time, so 12.9-inch ‌iPad Pro‌ owners are stuck with Apple's Magic Keyboard.

How to Buy

The Folio Touch for the 11-inch ‌iPad Pro‌ can be pre-ordered from the Logitech website for $160.

Note: Logitech provided MacRumors with a Folio Touch for ‌iPad Pro‌ for the purpose of this review. No other compensation was received.

As Apple battles with Epic Games over its App Store fees, Facebook is joining the fight over its new Paid Online Events feature, which allows small businesses in 20 countries to charge Facebook users to attend online classes and events.


Facebook wants Apple to waive its 30 percent fee taken from in-app purchases or let Facebook process event payments with Facebook Pay, both of which Apple has refused.

We asked Apple to reduce its 30% ‌App Store‌ tax or allow us to offer Facebook Pay so we could absorb all costs for businesses struggling during COVID-19. Unfortunately, they dismissed both our requests and SMBs will only be paid 70% of their hard-earned revenue. Because this is complicated, as long as Facebook is waiving its fees, we will make all fees clear in our products.

When a business owner schedules an event through Facebook on iOS, Facebook will make it clear that Apple is taking a 30 percent cut of the purchase price. Facebook is waiving its own fees for the feature "for at least the next year."

Transactions done on the web or on Android where Facebook Pay is available will allow business owners to keep 100 percent of revenue generated from paid online events. The feature is meant to allow Facebook Page owners to create an online event, set a price, promote the event, collect payment, and host the event all on Facebook.

Without calling out Apple directly, Facebook's announcement for the new feature says that businesses "shouldn't have to worry about fees charged by platforms" and points out that Apple's fees will make it so businesses will only be paid "70 percent of their hard-earned revenue."

Other companies, including Airbnb and ClassPass, have made similar complaints about Apple's refusal to waive in-app fees for virtual classes and features that have been forced to transition to online due to the ongoing pandemic.

ClassPass, for example, normally allows users to book classes at local gyms, but has instead moved its business online and started offering virtual classes. Under Apple's ‌App Store‌ rules, virtual classes require providing Apple its 30 percent commission, which ClassPass has balked at. ClassPass ultimately pulled virtual classes from the iPhone app.

Airbnb offers online experiences like virtual cooking classes and meditation sessions, which Apple also collects fees from. Apple has refused to grant special permission to apps like ClassPass, Facebook, and Airbnb in the name of fairness for other developers who are subject to the fees.

For this week's giveaway, we've teamed up with Satechi to offer MacRumors readers a chance to win a USB-C Wireless Charging Dock for AirPods.


Satechi's Wireless Charging Dock for AirPods is a simple ‌AirPods‌ charging platform that's able to connect to the USB-C port on a MacBook, MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, iPad Pro, or any other device that supports USB-C.


The Charging Dock, priced at $30, adds a small platform to the side of a MacBook where the ‌AirPods‌ with Wireless Charging Case or AirPods Pro can be placed. When charging, there's an LED light at the front that lets you know when the battery is full.


There are grooved edges on the side of the charger that keep the ‌AirPods‌ in place while charging, and the glossy white design perfectly matches the ‌AirPods‌ and ‌AirPods Pro‌ cases.


Because the Wireless Charging Dock for ‌AirPods‌ is so compact, it can be tucked in a pocket or a bag and can be taken anywhere, so you're never without a way to wirelessly charge ‌AirPods‌. The dock-style design also means there's no need to deal with a cable.


Size wise, the ‌AirPods‌ Charging Dock measures in at just 2.28 inches by 1.75 inches, and it's just 0.48 inches thick. It delivers 5W of power for charging up the ‌AirPods‌ quickly.


We have 15 of Satechi's Wireless Charging Docks for ‌AirPods‌ available for MacRumors readers. To enter to win our ‌giveaway‌, use the Gleam.io widget below and enter an email address. Email addresses will be used solely for contact purposes to reach the winners and send the prizes. You can earn additional entries by subscribing to our weekly newsletter, subscribing to our YouTube channel, following us on Twitter, following us on Instagram, or visiting the MacRumors Facebook page.

Due to the complexities of international laws regarding giveaways, only U.S. residents who are 18 years or older and Canadian residents (excluding Quebec) who have reached the age of majority in their province or territory are eligible to enter. To offer feedback or get more information on the ‌giveaway‌ restrictions, please refer to our Site Feedback section, as that is where discussion of the rules will be redirected.

Satechi AirPods Charging Dock
The contest will run from today (August 14) at 11:00 a.m. Pacific Time through 11:00 a.m. Pacific Time on August 21. The winners will be chosen randomly on August 21 and will be contacted by email. The winners will have 48 hours to respond and provide a shipping address before new winners are chosen.

Apple won an auction for an as-of-yet untitled spy romance film set in Africa that will star Idris Elba, reports Variety.


There was an "intense bidding war" for the title, which is being produced by Elba and Simon Kinberg. The script for the film was written by Travon Free, known for "Black Monday" and "The Daily Show."

Aside from being known as a spy film with romance, there are no other details known on the title at this time.

Idris Elba has signed a "first look" deal with Apple, which will see him producing TV shows and movies for the Apple TV+ streaming service. Simon Kinberg is working on a high-budget, ambitious sci-fi series for Apple.

Apple has faced increasing scrutiny over its App Store practices from both developers and regulators in recent months. One particularly vocal critic has been Fortnite creator Epic Games, which has repeatedly referred to the App Store as a monopoly.


In August 2020, Apple removed Fortnite from the App Store after Epic Games introduced a direct payment option in the app for its in-game currency V-Bucks, defying the App Store rules. In what appears to have been an orchestrated move, Epic Games promptly filed a lawsuit against Apple, accusing the company of anti-competitive actions.

Below, we've put together a timeline of the Epic Games vs. Apple saga.

June 16

  • Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney tells The Washington Post that "the iOS App Store's monopoly protects only Apple profit, not device security."
  • Sweeney quote tweets The Washington Post's story: "Here Apple speaks of a level playing field. To me, this means: All iOS developers are free to process payments directly, all users are free to install software from any source. In this endeavor, Epic won't seek nor accept a special deal just for ourselves."

June 23

  • Sweeney tweets: "Opening iOS and Android up as truly open platforms with a genuinely level playing field between first party and third party apps and stores is the only way to ensure a competitive, healthy, and fair app economy."

July 24

  • Sweeney tells CNBC that the App Store is an "absolute monopoly," arguing that "Apple has locked down and crippled the ecosystem by inventing an absolute monopoly on the distribution of software, on the monetization of software."

July 28

  • Sweeney tweets: "It pains me to complain about Apple in this way. Apple is one of the greatest companies that has ever existed, perhaps the greatest. But they're fundamentally wrong in blocking competition and choice on devices they make, and that holds up entire fields of technological progress."
  • Sweeney tweets: "This is a critical consideration in these 30% store fees. They come off the top, before funding any developer costs. As a result, Apple and Google make more profit from most developers' games than the developers themselves. That is terribly unfair and exploitative."

August 1

  • Sweeney tweets: "Apple's intentional anti-competitive strategy has been running for much longer than most realize. Here they are in 2011 muscling Kindle purchases off of iPhone by demanding 30% of e-book revenue, 'which we acknowledge is prohibitive for many things.'"

August 13

  • Epic Games introduces a direct payment option in the Fortnite app for iPhone and iPad, allowing players to purchase in-game V-Bucks at a 20 percent discount by sidestepping Apple's in-app purchase mechanism. This functionality violates Apple's App Store Review Guidelines, which indicate that apps offering in-game currency must use Apple's in-app purchase mechanism only.
  • The direct payment option is also added to the Fortnite app on Android in violation of Google's Play Store rules.
  • Epic Games describes Apple's and Google's 30 percent cut on in-app purchases as "exorbitant." Epic also notes that apps that offer real-life goods and services like Uber, DoorDash, and StubHub are not required to use Apple's in-app purchase mechanism, a rule that it believes should apply to all developers.
  • Apple removes Fortnite from the App Store. In a statement shared with MacRumors, the company said that "Epic Games took the unfortunate step of violating the App Store guidelines that are applied equally to every developer and designed to keep the store safe for our users." The full statement is below.

    Today, Epic Games took the unfortunate step of violating the App Store guidelines that are applied equally to every developer and designed to keep the store safe for our users. As a result their Fortnite app has been removed from the store. Epic enabled a feature in its app which was not reviewed or approved by Apple, and they did so with the express intent of violating the App Store guidelines regarding in-app payments that apply to every developer who sells digital goods or services.

    Epic has had apps on the App Store for a decade, and have benefited from the App Store ecosystem - including its tools, testing, and distribution that Apple provides to all developers. Epic agreed to the App Store terms and guidelines freely and we're glad they've built such a successful business on the App Store. The fact that their business interests now lead them to push for a special arrangement does not change the fact that these guidelines create a level playing field for all developers and make the store safe for all users. We will make every effort to work with Epic to resolve these violations so they can return Fortnite to the App Store.

  • Epic Games files a lawsuit [PDF] against Apple in California, describing the company as a "monopoly power" and accusing it of "unfair and anti-competitive actions." The complaint alleges that "Apple has become what it once railed against: the behemoth seeking to control markets, block competition, and stifle innovation."
  • Epic Games shares a video called "Nineteen Eighty-Fortnite," parodying Apple's iconic "1984" ad. Whereas Apple's ad portrayed IBM as the evil "Big Brother," Epic Games aims to show that Apple is now the dominant power. "Epic Games has defied the App Store Monopoly. In retaliation, Apple is blocking Fortnite from a billion devices. Join the fight to stop 2020 from becoming '1984.'"

  • In a blog post, Epic Games encourages Fortnite players to fight against Apple's "app tax" by using the hashtag #FreeFortnite on social platforms.
  • In an FAQ, Epic Games says that "all mobile developers and consumers have the right to choose alternate payment providers that charge less, as is the norm on all other general-purpose computing platforms, including Web, Windows, and Mac." Epic adds that "Apple even allows Amazon Prime Video to process payments directly as a special deal while holding other apps to a different standard."
  • Spotify sides with Epic Games.
  • Google removes Fortnite from the Play Store.
  • Epic Games files a similar anti-competitive lawsuit against Google.
  • Sweeney tweets: "Today, Apple said Epic is seeking a special deal, but that's not true. We're fighting for open platforms and policy changes equally benefiting all developers. And it'll be a hell of a fight!"

August 14

  • Sweeney tweets: "At the most basic level, we're fighting for the freedom of people who bought smartphones to install apps from sources of their choosing, the freedom for creators of apps to distribute them as they choose, and the freedom of both groups to do business directly."

We will keep this timeline updated as further developments unfold in the Epic Games vs. Apple saga, so keep this page bookmarked to stay up to date.

"Next Stop Nowhere," the latest exclusive to hit Apple Arcade, has been released today.

Next Stop Nowhere is a road trip adventure story set in a colorful, cutthroat vision of outer space. The game follows the character of "Beckett," a courier living a simple life until a chance encounter with a former bounty hunter throws him into an unexpected adventure. The game features an "intelligent conversation system" with branching dialogue that changes the story based on every decision, and touts its "completely unique version of space."

The game comes from award-winning studio "Night School Studio," known for the critically-praised titles "Oxenfree" and "Afterparty." Cross-device play is enabled via ‌Apple Arcade‌.

More games, such as "Samurai Jack: Battle Through Time," "The Last Campfire," and "World's End Club," are expected to come to ‌Apple Arcade‌ soon.

Apple recently registered the domain name AppleOriginalProductions.com, according to a WHOIS record discovered by MacRumors. The new record indicates that Apple obtained the domain name on Thursday.


The record's domain information lists Apple Inc. as the registrant organization. The registrar is CSC Corporate Domains, a firm that protects domain names for large corporations, and is used by Apple for its domain name registrations.

While the domain does not currently point to an active website, and may never do so, its registration does come at a time when Apple has been ramping up its efforts to pick up Apple TV+ first-look rights deals with various established producers.

This month alone, Apple has signed first-look TV and movie deals with Leonardo DiCaprio's Appian Way production company, Robert Downey Jr. and Susan Downey's Team Downey production company, and a multi-year production deal with filmmaker Martin Scorsese.

Apple has dozens of original TV shows and movies in the works for its ‌Apple TV‌+ streaming service. For a full list of upcoming and existing original content, check out our comprehensive guide.

Apple has begun selling discounted refurbished 2020 13-inch MacBook Pro models through its online store in the United States for the first time, with up to $200 savings available on some base configurations compared to brand new models.


Currently, Apple's refurbished options for the latest 13-inch MacBook Pro lineup are limited to models with the 8th-generation Intel Core i5 and Core i7 processors (not the faster 10th-generation CPUs), but this spec does come with Apple's new scissor switch Magic Keyboard, which has been positively received by users, especially following the butterfly keyboard troubles of earlier models.

Apple says refurbished ‌MacBook Pro‌ models are thoroughly inspected, tested, cleaned, and repackaged with a USB-C power adapter and USB-C cable in the box. In our view, a refurbished ‌MacBook Pro‌ is virtually indistinguishable from a brand new model, so this represents a good opportunity for savings directly from Apple.

Keep in mind that third-party resellers frequently offer better deals than Apple's refurbished prices, so be sure to monitor our deals roundup.

A refurbished ‌MacBook Pro‌ comes with Apple's standard one-year warranty effective on the date the notebook is delivered. The warranty can be extended to three years from the refurbished purchase date with AppleCare+ at a cost of $269 for the ‌MacBook Pro‌.

(Thanks, Shanmugam Senthivel!)

Related Roundup: MacBook Pro

Apple today released "Boys State" and "Ted Lasso," two new shows on its TV+ streaming platform.

"Boys State" is a political documentary that covers a week-long annual program where 1,100 17-year-old teenage boys in Texas participate in a mock exercise to build their own state government.

Filmmakers Jesse Moss and Amanda McBaine closely track the escalating tensions that arise within a particularly riveting gubernatorial race, training their cameras on unforgettable teenagers like Ben, a Reagan-loving arch-conservative who brims with confidence despite personal setbacks, and Steven, a progressive-minded child of Mexican immigrants who stands by his convictions amidst the sea of red. In the process, they have created a complex portrait of contemporary American masculinity, as well as a microcosm of our often dispiriting national political divisions that nevertheless manages to plant seeds of hope.

Apple purchased "Boys State" earlier this year for $10 million. The documentary won the Grand Jury Prize for documentary at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival, and Steve Jobs' widow, Laurene Powell Jobs, is one of its executive producers.

"Ted Lasso" is a comedy series from actor and Saturday Night Live alumnus Jason Sudeikis, and revives the character he played for NBC Sports' 2013 English Premier League coverage.

Sudeikis plays Ted Lasso, a small-time college football coach from Kansas hired to coach a professional soccer team in England, despite having no experience coaching soccer.

Apple has been adding new television content to ‌Apple TV‌+ on a regular basis, and yesterday we learned that Apple is planning to launch an ‌Apple TV‌ Channels bundle that features CBS All Access and Showtime at a discounted price as soon as next week.

Instagram has awarded a security researcher a $6,000 bug bounty payout after he found photos and private direct messages on the platform's servers that he had deleted more than a year ago (via TechCrunch).

Saugat Pokharel discovered that his content hadn't been removed in October after downloading a copy of his data from the photo-sharing app. Instagram introduced the download option two years ago to comply with the European Union's data privacy GDPR regulations.

Instagram said the reason Pokharel's information had never been entirely removed from its servers was down to a bug that it's now fixed.

"The researcher reported an issue where someone's deleted Instagram images and messages would be included in a copy of their information if they used our Download Your Information tool on Instagram," a spokesperson for Instagram told TechCrunch. "We've fixed the issue and have seen no evidence of abuse. We thank the researcher for reporting this issue to us."

The issue is almost identical to one that Twitter fixed last year, in which a security researcher discovered years-old messages in a file from an archive of data from an account that was no longer active.

Although the retrieval of deleted data was bug-related in both cases, it's worth remembering that when you opt to delete content from social media accounts, it can still hang around on company servers for some time.

Twitter says that accounts that are deactivated and deleted are removed along with all of their data after 30 days, while Instagram says it takes about 90 days for deleted data to be fully removed from its systems.

Just hours after Apple removed Fortnite from the App Store, Google has also pulled the Fortnite app from its Google Play Store.


Epic made the same in-app changes in the Google version of the app that it made in the App Store version, allowing players to bypass Google’s in-app purchase system. Subverting the Play Store in-app purchase system is against Google’s rules. From Google’s guidelines:

Developers offering products within a game downloaded on Google Play or providing access to game content must use Google Play In-app Billing as the method of payment.

Google in a statement to The Verge said that it has policies about in-app purchases that are designed to keep the Play Store safe for users. The statement is very similar to Apple’s, in fact.

The open Android ecosystem lets developers distribute apps through multiple app stores. For game developers who choose to use the Play Store, we have consistent policies that are fair to developers and keep the store safe for users. While ‌Fortnite‌ remains available on Android, we can no longer make it available on Play because it violates our policies. However, we welcome the opportunity to continue our discussions with Epic and bring ‌Fortnite‌ back to Google Play.

According to The Verge, Google clarified that it has no issue with Epic distributing the game on Android devices through other channels, but the rules for the Play Store must be followed for the app to be available through it.

Even though the app has been removed from the Play Store, it can still be used on Android. ‌Fortnite‌ can be downloaded through the Epic Games app or through the Samsung Galaxy Store.

Update: ‌Epic Games‌ has also levied a lawsuit against Google for removing ‌Fortnite‌ from the Google Play Store.

North Dakota, Wyoming, and Alabama are all launching contact tracing apps that take advantage of Apple and Google's Exposure Notification API to cut down on the spread of the coronavirus, reports Reuters.

exposure notification cartoon
North Dakota's app, Care19 Alert, is launching today, while Wyoming plans to launch an app on Friday. Alabama's app, which has been in testing with university students and staff, will market its app statewide starting on Monday.

Virginia earlier in August became the first U.S. state to debut an app that uses the ‌Exposure Notification‌ API when it launched COVIDWISE. Virginia state department health official Jeff Stover told Reuters that 316,000 people have downloaded the app so far.

Washington and Pennsylvania are two other states that are expected to launch contact tracing apps that use the ‌Exposure Notification‌ API in the coming weeks. Right now, many of these apps are not designed to work across state lines, with North Dakota's app being the first in the U.S. to support the functionality.

The apps are designed to limit the spread of the coronavirus by using Bluetooth to track who people come into contact with. The idea is that when a person comes down with COVID-19, an alert can be sent out to everyone they were around so those people can quarantine and watch out for symptoms.

Multiple countries, including Switzerland, Latvia, Italy, Germany, Poland, Saudi Arabia, Ireland, Croatia, Denmark, and Canada have also launched apps that use the ‌Exposure Notification‌ API.

Note: Due to the political or social nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Political News forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

Spotify, which has also faced off with Apple over Apple's App Store policies and fees, today weighed in on Epic Games' fight with Apple over Fortnite's removal from the ‌App Store‌.


Unsurprisingly, Spotify has sided with ‌Epic Games‌, applauding Epic's decision to "take a stand against Apple." From a statement provided to Recode's Peter Kafka:

We applaud ‌Epic Games‌' decision to take a stand against Apple and shed further light on Apple's abuse of its dominant position. Apple's unfair practices have disadvantaged competitors and deprived consumers for far too long. The stakes for consumers and app developers large and small couldn't be higher and ensuring that the iOS platform operates competitively and fairly is an urgent task with far-reaching implications.

The fight between Apple and ‌Epic Games‌ heated up quickly over the course of the day. This morning, Epic added a feature to Fortnite that allowed players to purchase V-Bucks in the ‌Fortnite‌ app with a direct payment that skirted the ‌App Store‌ rules prohibiting developers from accepting payments outside of the in-app purchase system.

It turned out to be a planned change that sparked a rapid response from Apple. Hours after the direct payment option was added, Apple pulled the Fortnite app from the iOS ‌App Store‌.

Right after that happened, Epic announced a pre-prepared lawsuit against Apple, accusing Apple of being a "behemoth seeking to control markets, block competition, and stifle innovation" and imposing "anti-competitive restraints" and using "monopolistic practices in markets" against ‌‌App Store‌‌ developers.

‌Epic Games‌ also shared a "Nighteen Eighty-Fortnite" short as part of its swift and forceful PR campaign against Apple. The video, which is available on YouTube and in the ‌Fortnite‌ game, is based on Apple's iconic 1984 ad and calls on ‌Fortnite‌ players to "join the fight to stop 2020 from becoming 1984."


When the ‌Fortnite‌ app was removed from the ‌App Store‌, Apple in a statement to MacRumors said that Epic has benefited from "the ‌App Store‌ ecosystem" and its tools, testing, and distribution, and that Apple's guidelines "create a level playing field for all developers and make the store safe for all users."

It's not yet clear if Epic's lawsuit against Apple, which calls for "injunctive relief" for developers from Apple's ‌App Store‌ policies and fees, will be successful, but it does put ‌App Store‌ rules back in the spotlight at a time when Apple is already facing a U.S. antitrust investigation into the ‌App Store‌.

Apple and Spotify have also had public disputes in the past, with Spotify launching a complaint against Apple with the European Commission in 2019. Spotify has long been unhappy with the 15 to 30 percent cut that Apple takes from Spotify subscriptions, especially when Apple does not have to pay the same fees for Apple Music.

Apple has made concessions in its fight with Spotify, launching a feature that allows Siri to work with non-Apple Music services. With iOS 14, Apple is also allowing third-party music services like Spotify to work with the HomePod as an alternative to ‌Apple Music‌.

Samsung last week unveiled new flagship smartphones and the new bean-shaped Galaxy Buds Live, a set of wireless earbuds with Active Noise Cancellation that are designed to rival Apple's AirPods Pro. We got a set of the new Galaxy Buds Live and compared them to the ‌AirPods Pro‌ in our latest YouTube video.

Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos.

Priced at $179, the Galaxy Buds Live have a unique look with a jelly bean-like design that matches the contour of the ears. We found them to be comfortable even for long periods of time, and the multiple ear tips available will allow them to work with most ear sizes.

Samsung added 12mm drivers to the Galaxy Buds Live along with three built-in microphones and a voice pickup unit, with the microphone quality demoed in the video above.


When it comes to sound quality, the Galaxy Buds Live sound decent (and better than the AirPods), but the ‌AirPods Pro‌ win out with more balance and clarity. The Galaxy Buds Live have more noticeable bass, but it can cause songs to sound a bit muddy. Sound can be adjusted with equalizer settings available in the Galaxy Buds app, but we didn't see much of an improvement tinkering with these settings.

One of the main selling points of the Galaxy Buds Live is Active Noise Cancellation, a feature also offered in the ‌AirPods Pro‌, but the Galaxy Buds Live ANC functionality was mediocre, at least with our unit.


It's hard to tell when ANC is enabled or disabled on the Galaxy Buds Live because the feature just doesn't seem to be blocking out much ambient noise. There's no comparison to the ‌AirPods Pro‌, which offer much better Active Noise Cancellation. It's better than no ANC at all, but it's so subtle that it can't compare to competing products.

There are several gestures available for the Galaxy Buds, which are similar to the gestures available on ‌AirPods Pro‌. One tap pauses, two taps skips a song, and three taps goes back. A long press can be set to turn Active Noise Cancellation on or off, activate Siri, or control the Volume.


The Galaxy Buds Live offer eight hours of battery life before needing to be recharged, while the ‌AirPods Pro‌ offer 4.5 hours of listening time. The square-shaped case that houses the Galaxy Buds Live and provides extra battery life is compact and pocketable, plus it has a USB-C port for charging. It adds an additional 21 hours of playback time, while Apple makes about 20 hours of additional battery life available with the ‌AirPods Pro‌ case. In total, the Galaxy Buds offer 29 hours of battery life while the ‌AirPods Pro‌ offer 24.


Galaxy Buds Live have useful features for Samsung users, such as one tap pairing and seamless switching, but on an iPhone they function as standard Bluetooth earbuds. There's a Galaxy Buds app in the iOS App Store for connecting and to provide firmware updates and equalizer settings, but since these are designed for Samsung devices, Apple features are limited.

Galaxy Buds owners who have iPhones are going to want to download the app and update the Galaxy Buds Live software right away because we found the Active Noise Cancellation and gestures weren't working properly until an update was installed.


Even with the less than stellar Active Noise Cancellation functionality, the Galaxy Buds Live sound decent, fit well, and are some of Samsung's best true wireless headphones. At $179, they're cheaper than the $250 ‌AirPods Pro‌, but if you're an ‌iPhone‌ user, you'd be better off with Apple's more expensive option.

Android users seeking a solid set of true wireless earbuds should take a look at the Galaxy Buds Live as a potential option.

Apple is planning to launch an Apple TV Channels bundle that features CBS All Access and Showtime at a discounted price, reports Bloomberg.


The bundle, which aims to spur usage of ‌Apple TV‌+ and the ‌Apple TV‌ Channels feature, will be priced at $9.99 per month. It is set to roll out as early as Monday, and will be available to those who have an ‌Apple TV‌+ subscription.

Apple already offers access to both CBS All Access and Showtime through ‌Apple TV‌ channels. On a standalone basis, CBS All Access is priced at $9.99 per month and Showtime is priced at $10.99 per month, so this will be a significant savings for those who choose to subscribe through the ‌Apple TV‌ app.

Introduced last year, Channels is an ‌Apple TV‌ app feature that lets Apple device users sign up for and watch various subscription television services right within the ‌Apple TV‌ app.

Users still need to pay for the streaming services, but without the hassle of downloading an app and signing up separately. Some of the Channels available in addition to CBS All Access and Showtime include Starz, Nickelodeon, Mubi, The History Channel Vault, Epix, Comedy Central Now, and more.

Channels is offered alongside ‌Apple TV‌+, Apple's $4.99 per month streaming service that houses Apple original content.

Tags: CBS, Showtime

Just hours after Epic Games introduced a new direct payment option for Fortnite that skirts Apple's in-app purchase rules, Apple has pulled the ‌Fortnite‌ app from the App Store.


‌Fortnite‌ is no longer available for download on the iPhone or the iPad, and Apple provided a statement to MacRumors on ‌Fortnite‌'s removal:

Today, ‌Epic Games‌ took the unfortunate step of violating the ‌App Store‌ guidelines that are applied equally to every developer and designed to keep the store safe for our users. As a result their ‌Fortnite‌ app has been removed from the store. Epic enabled a feature in its app which was not reviewed or approved by Apple, and they did so with the express intent of violating the ‌App Store‌ guidelines regarding in-app payments that apply to every developer who sells digital goods or services.

Epic has had apps on the ‌App Store‌ for a decade, and have benefited from the ‌App Store‌ ecosystem - including it's tools, testing, and distribution that Apple provides to all developers. Epic agreed to the ‌App Store‌ terms and guidelines freely and we're glad they've built such a successful business on the ‌App Store‌. The fact that their business interests now lead them to push for a special arrangement does not change the fact that these guidelines create a level playing field for all developers and make the store safe for all users. We will make every effort to work with Epic to resolve these violations so they can return ‌Fortnite‌ to the ‌App Store‌.

This morning, ‌Epic Games‌ began letting players purchase 1,000 V-Bucks in the ‌Fortnite‌ app for $7.99, with the purchases going directly to ‌Epic Games‌ rather than using Apple's in-app purchase system.

At the time, it was not known if ‌Epic Games‌ had some kind of special permission from Apple to introduce such a feature as it is a clear violation of Apple's ‌App Store‌ rules surrounding in-app purchases. Given that the app has now been pulled from the ‌App Store‌, it appears that ‌Epic Games‌ willingly violated Apple's requirements by offering the direct payment plan.

Rule 3.1.1 of Apple's ‌App Store‌ guidelines states that apps that offer in-game currencies need to use the in-app purchase mechanism. Apps are prohibited from including buttons, links, or other calls to action that ask customers to use non-Apple approved payment methods.

3.1.1 In-App Purchase:
- If you want to unlock features or functionality within your app, (by way of example: subscriptions, in-game currencies, game levels, access to premium content, or unlocking a full version), you must use in-app purchase. Apps may not use their own mechanisms to unlock content or functionality, such as license keys, augmented reality markers, QR codes, etc. Apps and their metadata may not include buttons, external links, or other calls to action that direct customers to purchasing mechanisms other than in-app purchase.

‌Epic Games‌ made the direct payment option available in the in the United States, Canada, Australia, France, Germany, Spain, the United Kingdom, and other countries, and said that because apps that offer real-life goods and services like Uber and StubHub are not required to use Apple's in-app purchase mechanism, ‌Fortnite‌ should be entitled to the same treatment. ‌Epic Games‌ has also called Apple and Google's 30 percent commission on in-app purchases "exorbitant."

In response to Apple's statement and the removal of ‌Fortnite‌ from the ‌App Store‌, ‌Epic Games‌ announced a new Nineteen Eighty-Fortnite short premiering at 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time, which appears to be a riff on Apple's famous 1984 ad.


‌Epic Games‌' stand against Apple comes as Apple is facing a U.S. antitrust investigation over its ‌App Store‌ rules and policies and as Apple is recovering from another very public dispute over the "Hey" email app.

Update: ‌Epic Games‌ has filed a lawsuit against Apple for pulling ‌Fortnite‌ from the ‌App Store‌. [PDF]

In the filing, ‌Epic Games‌ accuses Apple of being a "the behemoth seeking to control markets, block competition, and stifle innovation" and imposing "anti-competitive restraints" and using "monopolistic practices in markets" against ‌App Store‌ developers.

Apple imposes unreasonable and unlawful restraints to completely monopolize both markets and prevent software developers from reaching the over one billion users of its mobile devices (e.g., ‌iPhone‌ and ‌iPad‌) unless they go through a single store controlled by Apple, the ‌App Store‌, where Apple exacts an oppressive 30% tax on the sale of every app. Apple also requires software developers who wish to sell digital in-app content to those consumers to use a single payment processing option offered by Apple, In-App Purchase, which likewise carries a 30% tax.

With the lawsuit, ‌Epic Games‌ says it is not aiming for a cash payout, but instead wants to secure "injunctive relief" in the iOS App distribution market and payment processing market for " hundreds of millions of consumers and tens of thousands, if not more, of third-party app developers."

Update 2: The Nineteen Eighty-Fortnite short is now available on the ‌Fortnite‌ YouTube channel, encouraging people to "join the fight to stop 2020 from becoming 1984." The ad is also available in ‌Fortnite‌.


‌Epic Games‌ has also created an FAQ explaining the lawsuit it has filed against Apple and why ‌iPhone‌ and ‌iPad‌ users can't access the ‌Fortnite‌ app.

As a ban on WeChat and other apps originating in China looms, companies who do business in China and iPhone users in the country are concerned about how the ban could impact device sales and daily device usage.


It's still unclear whether the ban applies to the WeChat app only in the United States or if it will result in the removal of the WeChat app from iPhones across the globe. Tencent, which owns WeChat, said it believes the ban applies only in the U.S., but it is seeking clarity. The wording in the executive order is vague, banning any transaction that is related to WeChat, and it is up to the Commerce Department to work out the details.

A WeChat ban in the United States has the potential to cause a minor drop in sales, but a WeChat ban in China would be devastating for Apple as many Chinese ‌iPhone‌ users feel their devices would be useless without the WeChat app.

In a Weibo survey highlighted by Bloomberg, for example, 95 percent of the 1.2 million people who responded said they would switch to an Android smartphone over an ‌iPhone‌ rather than give up WeChat. WeChat has more than 1.2 billion monthly active users, many of them in China.

One user in Hong Kong, Kenny Ou, told Bloomberg that a WeChat ban would turn the ‌iPhone‌ into "electronic trash," while another, Sky Ding, said WeChat is so important that most Chinese users would prefer to swap phones. "My family in China are all used to WeChat and all our communication is on the platform," said Ding.

Many U.S. companies, including Apple, Ford, Walmart, and Disney have been aiming to convince the Trump administration not to ban WeChat. According to The Wall Street Journal, more than a dozen U.S companies raised concerns in a call with White House officials on Tuesday, with Apple included in the call.

"For those who don't live in China, they don't understand how vast the implications are if American companies aren't allowed to use it," said Craig Allen, president of the U.S.-China Business Council. "They are going to be held at a severe disadvantage to every competitor," he added.

In a recent note to investors, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said that global ‌iPhone‌ shipments could decline by 25 to 30 percent if Apple is forced to remove WeChat from its App Store worldwide. If WeChat is only removed from the U.S. ‌App Store‌, however, ‌iPhone‌ sales could be impacted by 3 to 6 percent.

The Trump administration is aiming to ban all U.S. transactions with ByteDance (which makes TikTok) and Tencent. The ban was announced on August 7 and there are 39 days left before it goes into effect.

Note: Due to the political or social nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Political News forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

Tag: WeChat