This Week in Apps: Apple Arcade updates, TikTok distances itself from China, Kardashians send shady app to No. 1

Welcome back to This Week in Apps, the Extra Crunch series that recaps the latest OS news, the applications they support and the money that flows through it all. What are developers talking about? What do app publishers and marketers need to know? How are politics impacting the App Store and app businesses? And which apps are everyone using? This week, we’re discussing the impact of the CFIUS investigation into TikTok, the further fallout of Apple’s vaping app ban, updates to Apple Arcade and Google Play Pass subscription-based app stores, Apple’s breaking changes that rolled out without warning (thanks, Apple!) and a shady app that reached the top of the App Store thanks to a big Kardashians-led endorsement, among other …

Popular app Snaptube caught serving invisible ads and charging users for premium purchases they havent made

A popular video downloader app for Android has been found generating fake ad clicks and unauthorized premium purchases from its users, according to a security firm. Snaptube, which boasts some 40 million users, allows users to download videos and music from YouTube, Facebook and other major video sites. The app, developed in China, is not on Google Play because the app maker claims Google will not allow video downloader apps on the store. Some third-party app stores estimate Snaptube has been downloaded more than a billion times to date. The app’s developer says that the app is “safe” to use. But researchers at London-based security firm Upstream, which shared its findings exclusively with TechCrunch, said the free app ends up costing …

Apple and Disney donate to help rebuild Notre-Dame Cathedral

The App Store application is seen on an iPhone on October 1, 2018.Image: Jaap Arriens / NurPhoto via Getty Images Apple’s App Store rules are about to come under a lot more scrutiny and that could be bad news for the company. On Monday, the Supreme Court ruled that a group of consumers can sue Apple over App Store rules they say are anti-competitive. The groups who brought the suit say that because Apple’s rules prevent apps from being distributed outside of the App Store, it creates a monopoly that lets Apple jack up the price of software in its store.  Now, although the latest decision was merely a procedural win — Apple’s lawyers had argued the case should be …