This Week in Apps offers a way to keep up with this fast-moving industry in one place with the latest from the world of apps, including news, updates, startup fundings, mergers and acquisitions, and much more.

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The company said apps will be allowed to list, mint, transfer and let users view their own NFTs, but clarified that owning an NFT could not be a shortcut to unlocking any more features in an app. In other words, the ownership of an NFT shouldn’t be a way to route around Apple’s in-app purchases. In addition, Apple said NFT apps can’t display external links or other calls-to-action to purchase NFTs — that can only take place through Apple’s own in-app purchases system, as well.

This change is not all that surprising. As the web3 market grows, Apple wanted to find a way to stake its claim on the revenue and transactions that are occuring inside these new apps. Plus, it’s a better consumer experience for NFT marketplace apps to not just function as a showcase for users’ purchases, but as a place where users can actually transact.

The other big rule adjustment, however, is a bit more startling. In a bold move, Apple essentially said it deserves a cut of Meta’s ads business as well as any other social app. The new rule around social media apps now states that purchases of “boosts” have to flow through Apple’s in-app purchase system.

Speaking of Apple’s ads business…The company’s App Store ads platform expanded this week to include new ad slots like the main Today tab and a “You Might Also Like” section at the bottom of individual app listings. The slots are available in all countries as of October 25, except China. The ads have a blue background and an “Ad” label to differentiate them from other listings.

Because Spotify wants to avoid the 30% IAP commission, it doesn’t let users buy audiobooks in its app. Instead, users select the book they want to purchase and are emailed a link that points to a website where they can complete the transaction.

“The Audiobooks purchase flow that Apple’s rules force us to provide consumers today is far too complicated and confusing — confusing because they change the rules arbitrarily, making them impossible to interpret,” Spotify’s blog post stated.

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Image Credits: Duolingo

Language-learning company Duolingo officially launched its math app to the public this week, following beta trials. The app represents the first expansion beyond language learning and literacy for the company. The app allows users to choose between an elementary version that focuses on basic concepts like multiplication and division and an adult version that’s more optimized for “brain training” exercises that put skills into practice. A future version may even expand into higher-level math, like linear algebra or college-level math. The app is remaining free to use for the time being.

Taking a cue from users’ interest, Selig launched a standalone app for Pixel Pals, which now allows pet owners to do more with their animated friends, including pinning them to the Home Screen as transparent widgets, adding them to the Lock Screen as animated widgets and enjoying them through iOS 16’s Live Activities, among other things. If anything, the app works to demonstrate iOS 16’s new features in a clever and entertaining way. Users seem to enjoy the new experience, too — as Selig noted this week, the app hit the top 3 in the Graphics & Design category on the App Store.

This Week in Apps: Elon buys Twitter, new App Store rules, gambling ads backlash by Sarah Perez originally published on TechCrunch