Weekend Roundup: Dead Daydreams, Loot Box Ban, Fold Flaws Fixed

Welcome to your loot box-packed weekend! It’s time to sit back, relax, quickly catch up on some interesting news, and then maybe hit Home Depot and Bed, Bath & Beyond. (If you have time, we don’t know!)

All right, let’s go!

Apple’s Lawsuit Drags On

The U.S. Supreme Court kinda tossed its hands up and said, “Sure, okay, sue Apple, whatever” this week. Judge Kavanaugh’s opinion on behalf of the court essentially makes the case that Apple’s defense in App Store pricing (i.e., that users are really customers for developers building iOS apps, not Apple itself) is BS. People who buy apps in the App Store are Apple’s customers, and they can sue the company for app pricing or whatever other weird reasons they want to. Moving right along.

Apple’s “real” customers? Developers. I mean, we do give them tons of cash…

Senator Wants to Ban Loot Boxes

Senator Josh Hawley (Republican, Missouri) is introducing a bill that will ban loot boxes, those in-game purchases for random things like new outfits for characters or upgraded weapons. His bill would only affect users under 18. Hawley said, “Social media and video games prey on user addiction, siphoning our kids’ attention from the real world and extracting profits from fostering compulsive habits,” citing expensive loot boxes such Candy Crush’s $150 option as one such addiction. This is ultimately good for parents, but potentially bad for developers who monetize apps via in-app purchases.

This also represents the first time someone named Josh has taken a stand against anything related to gaming. What a time to be alive.

Daydream May Be Dead

In 2016, Google led us all to believe we’d stop swiping right long enough to strap our phones to our faces and play games. (Don’t tell Josh!)

That low-cost-VR concept, Daydream, now seems dead. Google’s latest Pixel phone, the 3A, will not support Daydream. It’s a signal that mobile-based VR, a thing Google was talking up in a big way, is now dead. Daydream wasn’t even mentioned during the company’s recent launch of Stadia, and the fact its latest phone won’t support Daydream at all is troubling.

We should also note that Google hasn’t bothered to release a second version of its Daydream face-holster for phones, so we’re gonna call this project dead.

Fold Flaws Fixed

Samsung’s Galaxy Fold was widely viewed as a disaster by tech reviewers, which caused the company to pause operations so it could find a fix. We assumed that meant months without a Galaxy Fold.

Nope. Samsung has apparently fixed the Fold’s flaws, and is planning to ship it to pre-order customers in a few weeks. The two major flaws (a screen protector that you could accidentally remove, and the gap between screen and hinge) have apparently been solved. In a few weeks’ time. Sure.

At I/O last week, Google mentioned several Android OEMs that were producing folding devices, so we’re sure more manufacturing disasters will pop up (however hilariously) as more kids enter the pool. Folding phones also mean more screen real estate, which translates into bigger ads for loot boxes. Josh is on it, everyone.

Have a great weekend!