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GRUBHUB IS GETTING HIT WITH A LAWSUIT ALLEGING SHADY BUSINESS TACTICS

🌮 TLDR

It’s a bit of a legal 🧑‍⚖️ ⚖️ theme running through the newsletter this week as we are looking at a huge lawsuit launched against GrubHub for some of its sneaky business tactics, particularly during the pandemic. We are also highlighting some of the main takeaways from the EU’s Digital Market Act – one of the most important pieces of internet legislation in history, and something that will give Big Tech C-Suite execs sleepless nights. We also report on Apple’s drive to put everything but the kitchen sink into Apple Wallet. What’s dAppening looks at a first-ever TIME magazine NFT and the iconic publication’s role as a champion of web3. And today we’re sharing our expert insights on the #1 question we get: “Should my app be built native or hybrid/cross-platform?”.

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🎬 Takes

🧑‍⚖️ ⚖️ Grubhub – Lawsuit filed by DC Attorney General Alleges List of Violations

It’s now common knowledge that some food delivery apps bite the hand that literally feeds us. From shady practices like using customer tips to pay drivers to charging exorbitant fees to restaurants, the industry has faced a barrage of criticism. But the list of charges laid at the feet of GrubHub this week by the DC Attorney General, Karl Racine, was a real eye-opener. AG Racine cited eight violations of the DC Consumer Protection Procedures Act, claiming that GrubHub was “taking advantage of restaurants to boost its own profits.”. There’s a range of (alleged) misdeeds, impacting both consumers and businesses. These include false advertising of fees, higher prices in-app than in-restaurant, and strong-arming restaurants into offering promotions that cut into their profits. Perhaps most galling of all was the spotlight thrown on GrubHub’s marketing tactics during the pandemic, when it promoted itself as a champion of the “little guy” with campaigns like “save while supporting restaurants (you) love.”. The lawsuit alleges that the exact opposite was true. GrubHub’s response was a vigorous denial of charges, but it pointed to several changes it has made to its app and policies recently (always a sure sign of someone who has done nothing wrong, right?). So, what do we – the consumer – do about this? After all, these apps have been essential over the past two years of the pandemic. Well, there are alternatives to the big-brand delivery apps. We would point you towards SelfLane, a company trying to construct a more equitable POS model, and there is also a growing movement in community-based delivery co-operatives. Moreover, we can cite our work with Curbside Kitchen (which pairs delicious food trucks with hungry employees and students at offices and schools in Philly, DC and around New Jersey), using the Square payments system for lower fees and easier integration. The point is that it does not need to be a linear choice between convenient and cheap food delivery, and crushing the profits of your favorite eatery. #GrubHubBadLook Read more here.

📜 🤝 EU – Digital Markets Act Is A Game-Changer for Every Facet of Tech Industry

It seems that every week you read a story about a Big Tech company being slapped down by the European Union for an antitrust violation. It’s been so commonplace to see these multi-million-dollar fines that it feels barely newsworthy. But the DMA (Digital Markets Act) might end all that as it sets out a clear-ish, list of laws for Big Tech to follow. Years in the making, the DMA is arguably the most significant piece of internet legislation in history. In a nutshell, it is a set of fixed rules for Big Tech companies that they will be expected to comply with, so it makes a big change from the after-the-fact enforcement of antitrust violations. Those rules apply specifically to a handful of companies – like Meta, Amazon, Google – who have been deemed “gatekeepers” of the internet. The bill is extensive, and there are many ways it will impact the online sector. But perhaps the most important takeaway is that it should usher in a new era of “messaging interoperability”. By that, we mean those gatekeepers must both work together and open up their messaging services to smaller platforms. For example, it leads to the possibility of accessing iMessage through Android, which we believe should have happened from Day 1, and for smaller developers to access Big Tech’s ecosystem. This is a win for startups and developers, too, as they can deliver innovation on top of a larger messaging infrastructure. The DMA also contains legislation on users’ data, which cannot be used for ad-targeting without “explicit consent”, and there’s also a regulation on companies not being allowed to rank their own services higher than those of others in search results. As you might expect, the Big Tech companies have been quick to air their grievances once news of the DMA was reported. Finally, you should note that the DMA still has a few hurdles to overcome before it is signed into law, but the fact that a “political agreement” has been reached means it should pass with no major hiccups. #DMAShootsForBigTech Read more here.

🍏 🔑 Apple – Arizona Is First State to Put Driver’s License and State ID in Wallet

Leaving the house today? We all do that little ritual where we pat ourselves down and say, “Wallet, Keys, Phone”, to ensure we have the essentials – there’s even a song about it (warning: that link contains footage of Adam Sandler rapping). But Apple has a vision that the only thing we will need to remember as we walk out the door is the iPhone, and authorities are increasingly jumping on board. Arizona has become the first state to allow iPhone and Apple Watch users to carry their driver’s license and state ID in Apple Wallet. You can use your Wallet for ID at specific TSA checkpoints at Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport. It’s a limited roll-out at the moment, but several states will be following the Grand Canyon State soon. We have been impressed with Apple’s greater push to make Wallet the replacement for your physical wallet and keys. The company has been working with everyone from Hyatt Hotels to BMW to ensure lost keys are a thing of the past. Apple has also been partnering with some state healthcare providers to allow Covid-19 vaccine certificates in Wallet. For those of us that are of a forgetful disposition, all of this is fantastic news. But at 3Advance we’re waiting for the moment that Apple Wallet goes full-on crypto. That’s going to be a web3 gamechanger to get excited about! #ItsAllInYourAppleWallet Read more here.

🧐 Stat of the Week — 37 Billion Downloads

Oh, App Annie. The holy grail of app and mobile data analysis has gone and changed its name to “data.ai”. We don’t know how we feel about that, but we can tell you that App Annie data.ai has been very busy recently, crunching the numbers for all things mobile across Q1 2022. And the main takeaway? The ecosystem is healthier than ever. There were 37 billion downloads for the first three months of 2022, up 11% from a year earlier. And it’s the biggest ever quarter for consumer spending, which came in at $33 billion. An interesting note is that iOS is driving that spend, accounting for 65% of those 33 big ones. It was also intriguing to see iOS medical apps (up 23%) as one of the big movers in consumer spending, while health & fitness apps (up 20%) are also on the up. Disney+, meanwhile, became the 34th company to drive over $2 billion in lifetime consumer spend. So, yeah, brilliant insights as per usual from the undisputed leader in reporting on the mobile ecosystem. #data.aiYouAreOk Read more here.

🕸️ What’s dAppening?

🕰️ 🗞️ TIME – First-Ever Full Magazine Issue Released as an NFT

Our CTO and in-house web3 expert Darren Gibney doesn’t get impressed too easily (trust us on that). But he has been very keen on the work TIME magazine is doing with NFTs and in the broader web3 space. Last Wednesday, TIME released its first-ever full magazine as a readable NFT, featuring (fittingly) a cover story on Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin. The issue was created in conjunction with LIT, the web3 project that created the first-ever decentralized book. TIME, as Darren has pointed out time and time again (pun very much intended), believes in web3 as both a driver of culture and economics, with the evidence of the former seen through its growing community of over 25,000 creators, collectors, and artists. TIME’s web3 evolution has earned the publication over $10 million in revenue. The company has also recently hired a first-ever VP of web3 Operations, with Will Ban stepping into the role to guide the iconic magazine’s foray further into the web3 sector. We think it’s pretty cool that TIME is an early adopter of web3 and a champion of the movement while many of its peers remain skeptical. And by all accounts, TIME, which celebrated its 99th birthday last week, has only scratched the surface of what it expects to deliver with web3. #TimeWeb3Champion Read more here.

Meanwhile at 3Advance…

If you’ve been around the app development world for any time at all, you know that one of the biggest topics isn’t just about what an app is or who will build it, but how it will come together. These choices are all interlinked, and they throw up a dilemma – should an app be native or hybrid/cross-platform? The choice between native and cross-platform is arguably the most fundamental technical decision to make about building an app. We get questions on the topic so often – and know that the decision can impact a business and investors so much – that we wrote a whole blog about it. This post is chalk-full with our deepest expert insights and tips to guide any app hopefuls, startups, investors, devs, project/product managers and designers out there. Pull up a chair and check this one out, it’s worth the read ➡️ Take me to the blog post.