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Mobile Monday: iOS 13’s Privacy Changes Affect Message Apps, Pokémon Masters Makes $26 million in Debut Week

Posted Sep 9, 2019

iOS 13’s launch is expected this month and its privacy changes have caused a stir in the messaging app world. Developers of encrypted messaging apps are scrambling to adapt their software based on the operating system’s new restrictions. Meanwhile, the newest mobile game from the Pokémon franchise had a strong debut in its first week but couldn’t match the massive launch of Pokémon GO. Get all the details in this week’s Mobile Monday!

iOS 13’s Privacy Changes Has Encrypted Message Apps Scrambling to Adapt
A change in the soon-to-be-launched iOS 13 limits data collection practices using VoIP APIs in order to improve privacy. This presents major challenges for messaging apps like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and Viber. In iOS 13, the PushKit API is limited to internet calls, eliminating its other purposes like collecting data and in the case of messaging apps: encryption. Encrypted messaging apps use VoIP APIs for decrypting messages on iPhones in the background, and the change disables that functionality.

The Information reports that developers of privacy-focused encrypted messaging apps are in a rush to adapt their software to protect key privacy features that could be undermined by Apple’s changes. Julia Weiss, spokesperson for encrypted messaging app Threema, said the privacy changes in iOS 13 may result “in the opposite of the privacy goals the changes were supposed to achieve.” App developers have until April 2020 to comply with the changes to the PushKit API, but developers who want to update their apps for iOS 13 might have to scramble to modify their software to accommodate the new restrictions.

Pokémon Masters Generates $26 million in First Week
According to Sensor Tower, Pokémon Masters made $26 million in its debut week. The new mobile game developed by DeNA was launched on August 29 and has become the franchise’s second-best launch on mobile behind Niantic’s Pokémon GO. While Masters made close to half of the $56 million first-week gross of GO, but that total only includes Australia, Germany, Great Britain, the United States, and New Zealand. Masters’ $26 million total included revenue from 60 markets.

Japan contributed the largest portion of the game’s launch week spending at about 62% of the total at approximately $16 million. Sensor Tower estimates that $4.5 million, or about 17 percent of all spending, has come from the United States. The remaining top spenders included Hong Kong, Taiwan, and France for week one. Pokémon Masters’ ended up as the No. 10 grossing mobile app overall for the week of August 26, while it was No. 9 among all mobile games.

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