This Week in Apps: Facebook takes on Houseparty, Fortnite comes to Google Play, contact tracing API

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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.

The app industry is as hot as ever, with a record 204 billion downloads and $120 billion in consumer spending in 2019, according to App Annie’s “State of Mobile” annual report. People are now spending 3 hours and 40 minutes per day using apps, rivaling TV. Apps aren’t just a way to pass idle hours — they’re a big business. In 2019, mobile-first companies had a combined $544 billion valuation, 6.5x higher than those without a mobile focus.

In this Extra Crunch series, we help you keep up with the latest news from the world of apps, delivered on a weekly basis.

This week we’re continuing to look at how the coronavirus outbreak is impacting the world of mobile applications, including new details about Apple and Google’s contact tracing API to be released to developers, how app makers are angling for a piece of video calling marketing and record revenue from gaming, among other things.

Headlines

Apple and Google’s contact tracing API to be released to developers next week

The first version of Apple and Google’s jointly developed, cross-platform contact tracing API will be available to developers as of next week, according to a conversation between Apple CEO Tim Cook and European Commissioner for internal market Thierry Breton. Specifically, by April 28, reports said.