Apple Cleans Its Closet; Snap Files for IPO -- Tech Roundup

Apple (AAPL) was the company that popularized apps on a smartphone, and thus the need for an App Store. But fast-forward a few years and you inevitably wind up with way too many applications; applications that don't work correctly, don't meet the current guidelines or are just flat out left for dead. 

The company gave developers until Sept. 7 of this year to determine if they wanted their apps to be saved. While Apple didn't immediately embark on a wide-scale app cleanse on Sept. 8, that didn't mean it didn't get around to it eventually. 

In October, app removals increased almost 250% as almost 50,000 apps were removed from the store. The company removes apps continually throughout the year as well, usually about 10,000 to 12,000 per month. So there are surely more deletions to come and my guess would say November will be an above-average month as well. 

The whole goal here is like cleaning out the closet. It's harder for developers to have their current apps noticed and found in a sea of unused and old apps. Sort of like that new shirt you can never find thanks to all the old clothes in the way. 

Shares of Apple closed at $107.11 Tuesday, up 1.3%.

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Snap, the parent company of Snapchat, has filed for its IPO, according to a Reuters. While there isn't a lot known at the moment as far as details, the filing shouldn't come as too much of a surprise. 

The company has hired bankers in the past and essentially, it was more of a when, not if scenario on when we would see Snap as a public company. 

Snap has reportedly filed a confidential filing with the SEC, which allows it to forgo the typical S-1 public filing. This option is available for companies with annual revenues below $1 billion. 

However, the company could make close to that figure next year, which may or may not have been a reason for its most latest filing now, as it looks to go public sooner rather than later. 

While the company's user growth and revenue growth have been impressive, let's not also forget its latest foray into wearable sunglasses that can record 10-second videos. The product, called Spectacles, has created quite a buzz in its short lifespan so far. 


It wasn't that long ago that chat platforms like Facebook (FB) Messenger and WhatsApp (which is also a Facebook property) were adding fully-encrypted texting, which allows full privacy for the users. 

The feature is so secure in fact, not even Facebook or the service provider of the platform can see the conversation, let alone a third party such as the government. 

Now though, WhatsApp is introducing fully-encrypted video calling too

The added layer of security should put its users at even more ease, as they can essentially communicate with whoever they want without worry about anyone knowing their discussion. 

That argument can fall both ways though. Users feel entitled to their freedoms, and don't want to worry about whether someone is eavesdropping on them. On the other hand though, some users will argue that they have nothing to hide and prefer for the government or some other third party to monitor conversations in order to protect the public. 

The topic has gained momentum over the past year, particularly when authorities try to access the information from known terrorists' smartphones. Most notably, this came to a head with an iPhone, when Apple and the FBI seemed destined for a supreme showdown. Some believe that under a Trump Administration, this situation could become even more heated. 

Shares of Facebook closed at $117.20, up 1.8%. 

This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author held no positions in the stocks mentioned.

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