Apple Faces Criticism for Blocking Game Apps

Category : Business

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. under fire / ˈʌn dər faɪər / (idiom) – in the state of being strongly criticized

    The government is under fire for reducing its budget for the health sector.

  2. third-party / θɜrd ˈpɑr ti / (adj) – relating to a person or group besides the main parties involved in a transaction or situation

    When users click the link, they will be redirected to a third-party website.

  3. subject / səbˈdʒɛkt / (v) – to cause or force someone to experience something unpleasant or difficult, such as a punishment

    The applicants are subjected to a strict screening process before being hired as employees.

  4. lenient / ˈli ni ənt / (adj) – not strict or severe

    The school has very lenient rules; students can dye their hair and wear whatever they want.

  5. condemn / kənˈdɛm / (v) – to express strong disapproval for someone or something

    The public condemned the journalist for criticizing victims.


Read the text below.

Apple has been under fire for prohibiting major gaming apps from being launched on the App Store.

According to Apple, the restricted gaming apps from Microsoft and Facebook provide access to third-party games that were not reviewed or approved by the company. Before apps are launched on the App Store, Apple’s guidelines require developers to submit each third-party game for review and approval. However, the two companies failed to submit each game for review, so Apple blocked the apps.

Because of the restrictions, Microsoft decided to launch its latest gaming service exclusively on Android devices. A company representative criticized Apple’s policies that prevent iOS users from enjoying Microsoft’s services. Microsoft also accused Apple of being unfair to gaming apps because they are subjected to strict regulations, while non-gaming apps are governed by more lenient rules.

Facebook, likewise, condemns Apple for its restrictive policies. Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg said the company had to entirely remove games from the Facebook Gaming app for it to be launched on the App Store. Sandberg added that because of the reduced features, iOS users have an inferior experience compared to Android users.

In response to the criticisms, Apple clarified that developers can publish their gaming services on the App Store as long as they adhere to the company’s guidelines. The tech giant also explained that games are different from other services, like music and video streaming, because users have higher expectations of gaming apps than other types of services on the App Store.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

• Do you think Apple’s guidelines for gaming apps are reasonable? Why or why not?
• If you were in Facebook’s shoes, would you choose to offer Apple users a reduced experience or only offer your app to Android users? Explain.

Discussion B

• Do you agree that gaming apps should have stricter regulations than non-gaming apps? Why or why not?
• What do you think developers should prioritize when creating an app (e.g. user safety, user experience)? Discuss.

Category : Business