I think developers should be able to distribute their apps outside of the App Store if they want, just like on macOS and Android, but Apple is allowed to have this much control because the iPhone doesn't represent the majority of the market, so they aren't as subject to monopoly/antitrust stuff.
I can still hope that Apple will open up their mobile platform further, one day.
This isn't an all-or-nothing proposition... and I'm definitely not suggesting "iOS should run all code encountered on the internet as root".
Some privacy advocates think that people shouldn’t have the freedom to do that, because they can make bad choices. They aren’t wrong that a locked down system like iOS is safer overall for users, as long as you’re ok with Apple controlling what content you can use.
Then you usually get the "facebook is turning on my microphone without asking me" people. They just can't fathom that the precision with which they get ads could be the result of anything else.
Mostly, there's a whole bunch of stuff to know. I think i'm on board for things that are transparent and trustworthy. Where did this egg come from? how was the hen cared for? It would be super sweet if the history of every object i interact with (or consider purchasing) was available in a tamper proof way.
So, if your argument is, i can get source for whatever and put it on my phone, i am 100% on board.
But that's a pretty big ask. generally my only option is to rely on the supplier, and whatever regulations/inspections they're subject to.
The other thing that sorta ticks me off is, this is Facebook and Google. This isn't some 419 scam. These are real, grown up businesses that chose to ask children to do these things.
children should be informed, children should be educated. but, uh, how high of a standard do you want to hold a 14 year old to?
If they're willing to download and compile the source, and install the software, ok. i think i'm on board. A one click (oh by the way we're activating the mic when you have your first kiss) install is, unseemly. it's gross.
Taking candy from a baby is easy, but despicable.
I don't mean this to be a THINK OF THE CHILDREN post.
it's just as despicable to manipulate adults like that. children just put a special emotional point on the argument.
feel free to throw all that out and tell me why it's ok to ask a middle aged person that has about 15 free minutes a week to research why this app is 'safe'.
What difference is there, in practice? The world is getting more complicated every day. The amount of information being created in a single day is more than a person could consume in a lifetime.
At some point we should ask ourselves whether it's possible for anyone to have a fully informed opinion on every issue that could ever effect them.
Asking users to make informed decisions about infosec is something from the Windows XP era. Ever since then it’s become clear that platforms will have to be opinionated about their security choices.
For instance allowing users to side-load apps also allows carriers to install crapware and certain governments to mandate monitoring apps. Platform designers need to figure out if that’s worth it — I’m sure different people will reach different conclusions.
Government, in an ideal scenario, takes care of situations where the individual person is likely to make a bad choice and screw themselves over because the ability to understand the problem domain is so much work that they are unlikely to make the effort.
This whole conversation in this thread is basically about the nanny-state vs freedom to make your own choices, even if they're more than likely to end up in a bad situation for the end user.
I think everyone is constantly trying to thread the needle on that tension in a way that is acceptable to the broader culture.
So that, should be the job of the OS (Apple in this case), rather than limiting the user's choices of where he/she can install an app from.
The problem is that mobile devices can say "This app changes your VPN settings and installs a root cert". The general public says "Whatever, I want my olive garden gift card." It could could maybe say "This app could see everything you do online", but it really needs to explain "This app can see very site you visit, every message you send, every porn link you click, etc". Until the OS can actually inform the user what they're trading, it's not choice, it's deception.
And that brings us back to Apple. Until devices can do this for themselves, someone needs to be the gate keeper. Letting users willingly install some candy-themed clicker game that steals your contacts, location, and photos is _objectively bad_ in the same way that BonzaiBuddy and CometCursor were bad twenty years ago. Right now, the only answer we have to this problem is Apple and Google playing the role of the good guy and working towards better solutions.
We have Knox on work Android devices, but because our IT team also offer iOS, people just choose iOS, because it results in a nicer experience.
Letting other people root your system to accomplish something is great for flexibility and gives you short-term wins. But it can result in massive damage to the platform if left unchecked -- kind of like how OEMs turned Windows into a hellish experience with pre-installed apps like WildTangent Games and the like. End-users won't blame the IT department or the OEM, they'll blame the platform.
This is already happening on Android today. There's a reason Google's Pixel marketing hardly ever mentions "Android".
But I want my phone to just work reliably. I actually don't want it to be a full-fledged computer.
"I just want my phone to make calls and send plain text messages reliably. Don't want videos and gifs and camera in it."
"I just want a smartphone to make calls, send sms, basic whatsapp and take average pictures. Don't want it to become a DSLR".
"I want my phone to just work reliably. I actually don't want it to be a full-fledged computer. "
Interesting you say that, because your phone is already much (, much) more powerful than the full-fledged computers from just a few years back. The only reason you don't want it to be like 'traditional' full fledged computers because it doesn't work great that way right now. Once it does, you'll not want your phone to become something else.
For instance a lot of friends using Android phones are shocked about iOS lack of a global filesystem.
But to me, this absence is a feature, not a bug. Having every app sandboxed at the OS level is a great thing to limit what can go wrong. I explicitely don't want a global filesystem on iOS.
To be clear, I would hate a full computer without a global filesystem. But I'm really fine with a phone not having one.
(By the way Apple did take tiny steps towards a public filesystem on iOS and I'm not super happy about that)
Why do you think Wesnoth is on iOS?
In this case, you're effectively dual-licensing your software.
Seems to be the right thing long-term, though it prevents you having that piece of GPL software that you want today.
Sad to see pieces of software relicensing so they weren't affected by such a clause, all because of the lure of being in the Mac app store.
What are the regulation you are referring?
Regarding console I'm happy with you to have a device like a console. On the other hand I don't like that such an important worldwide ecosystem is closed and in the hand of one company. Would Apple e.g. have restored certificates for a much smaller company than Google? (but this is getting a bit offtopic here)
I also don't like good hardware becoming just bricks because you can't repair it or you can't install a different OS but mentioning this opinion here will cause it getting downvoted (yeah all my post about Apple and right to repair and publishing schematics got downvoted)
It’s actually got more open than its original launch, but it is clearly sold as an appliance.
I don't think many people think about it, so it6 is not like people are tricked to think is an open computer but they are not even consider the implication. Does average iOS user know that at any moment Apple can brick his device, can remove stuff from his device, can install whatever they want, do they consider that in future this devices will be just briks without the software/cloud part(at least with consoles you may be able to use games on disks for now)
I don't think people realize that it can just go away at any time. I'm sure the terms and conditions allow a clause which shows the company to shut down these services at any time without facing a requirement to buy back these (now useless) gadgets.
My point is that incidents show regular people the things that are usually "hidden" in big EULAs, is good to have such big incidents we can link to, like when someone tells ypou that is better to keep your data on Google servers since they have brilliant engineers you can link to incidents like the Google+ leaks to show that even Google can ignore security or make mistakes.
The EULA that was breached here was an Enterprise agreement between Google and Apple. It will have been poured over by teams of lawyers. An individual at Google had decided, “fuck it, whats the worst that could happen?” and found out.
I’ve seen people frequently be accused of being “Apple apologist” on this site. What I’m reading is the exact opposite. Google are responsible for their actions, no-one else. As is constantly pointed out, there is an alternative to iPhone, where choice and “freedom” exist, but it comes at a non-financial cost.
Not all people change their device every 2 years, there should be no reason why you could not use (or give to someone else to continue using) a device(phone,tablet, TV, watch) until it just falls apart.
My point is that big EULAs are bad, not controlling your hardware is bad (no matter if is Apple,MS or Google), this incident makes it clear what rights you have with this kind of EULAs
Yes there is. It's called Android.
I'm not being glib here, I'm totally serious. If you don't like the security restrictions that iOS has, then use Android.
I get your point and I'm not for forcing Apple to allow free side loading apps yet (I have an android partially because of this reason) but it is infuriating that when I had an iphone, I could not use any apps not allowed by them and annoying that i don't have that ability if I ever want to go back to an Iphone (and a major blocker for going back to be honest now that phone upgrades don't mean much these days).
I'm certain that Apple could do even better with iOS since they have the advantage of not needing to maintain compatibility with an existing ecosystem of software being distributed outside of the App Store.
If users willingly choose to give up their information in exchange for a $20 gift card, isn't that their choice? I wouldn't do it, and you wouldn't do it, but as long as they're adults, isn't that their choice, not yours? If apps are trying to steal information without informing the users, those could be blacklisted outside of the App Store just as well as they can be blacklisted inside it if Apple requires centrally managed signing certificates... but I would still favor an option of allowing unsigned software to be installed. The user's choice should be their choice.
Being outside of the App Store wouldn't necessarily be carte blanche, although it would hopefully enable developers to do more and better stuff, as well as make development more accessible to hobbyists who don't want to pay to distribute their stuff on the App Store.
They also give up the information of anybody they communicate with.
I don't want my personal data leaked because my landlord wanted to cash in a $20 gift card.
My perspective - NO. When I choose to share something personal with someone, there is obviously an implicit understanding that I don't want it shared with others.
Yes, you have the right to share your data. But you do not have the right to share my (or other people's data) without their consent.
(Side note: This is why privacy conscious email providers, like Tutanota and Protonmail, provide you an option to send a password protected email to parasitic providers like Gmail, so that Google / Gmail can't "read" it and create a profile on you even if you don't use their service).
It's not quite a non-issue, but it's a small one, mostly due to the small userbase and Apple's efforts to quickly blacklist malware.
> they have a clean slate to design a security model "the right way" for apps distributed outside of the App Store
Apple's solution is very clearly "don't distribute outside the App Store".
> If users willingly choose to give up their information in exchange for a $20 gift card, isn't that their choice? I wouldn't do it, and you wouldn't do it, but as long as they're adults, isn't that kind of their choice?
One argument that I have heard (and am presenting without attaching my views on its validity) is that if anything goes wrong with someone's iPhone, they will blame Apple for their messed-up device rather than themselves. So it's in Apple's best interest to prevent people from being able to do stupid things.
If developers do sign theirs Apps Apple have no issue with side loading as they’ll have a mean to nuke theses Apps via cert revocation if one of theses App turn out to be a malware.
Maybe it’s that middle ground that is currently missing from iOS.
However one could rightly argue that for the sake of overall system performance on a mobile device preemptive curation is a better choice. It’s would be perceived equally (if not more) harsh is Apple nuked side loaded signed Apps for the reason of "Impairing performance". On MacOS they’re resorted to nuke only for security reason which is more acceptable.
Is Apple's best interest something it's customers should be striving for, or is freedom (even to shoot yourself in the foot) the higher priority one?
Annecdotes probably aren't that useful here though.
I could never trust an Apple or Google run app store to serve MY interests.
If their integrity on privacy is true, they why lie about the PRISM program? What assurance do we have that Apple isn't part of PRISM or similar program anymore.
Apple as a hardware company,privacy narrative has worked in its favour & yes the consumers as well; but seeing it as a saviour of our privacy is just naive.
Because they are subject to U.S. jurisdiction.
But yes, let's encourage Apple to keep their system closed, to protect users from purposefully opting in to tracking.
Trying to protect users from themselves is never a good solution. Educate, don't dictate.
In these debates I often see the educated group advocate for more education of the uneducated group, which many times I think is disingenuous, impractical, and sometimes even a little hostile to the uneducated. It seems to fundamentally misunderstand many of the uneducated group's wants and needs.
It's a bummer to be in the educated group and be subject to this problem, but I think it's fundamentally an intractable problem. If you don't like it, you have to leave for a platform which serves your needs, and that platform is almost certainly going to be a niche platform (at least eventually), because most users are not educated but want to have their needs served anyway.
EDIT: One more thing. There's an implicit assumption about danger here and an appropriate level of education. It's appropriate to ask anyone, regardless of who they are, to undergo a lot of training before operating, say, a car. It's not appropriate, in my book, to ask people to undergo a lot of education before operating a phone.
I brought up China because I legitimately see this issue as orthogonal to free speech. Here's another example: I'm not a fan of Alex Jones, and I'm glad he got banned from the App Store, but I'm less enthused that it's now impossible for Alex Jones to create an iOS app.
Imagine if we were talking about books instead of apps. If Barnes & Noble decided to ban books written by hate groups from their stores, I would be okay with that! I would not, however, be okay with Barns & Noble preventing hate groups from finding their own publishers and distributors. Software is the medium of our age, and so it needs to be possible for anyone to distribute.
This does not mean that sideloading software needs to be easy. Software is powerful, and users should be guided towards safe and well-vetted distributors. But if sideloading is impossible, you end up with the situation of VPN apps in China. If the alternative is that a handful of users who specifically ask to be tracked by Google and Facebook are in fact tracked by Google and Facebook, so be it.
FB and Google just don't give a rat's ... for anything except profit. Unless they start getting fines in the region of $XXm per month, they won't stop.
Apart from that, yes great companies, great services, but next-to-zero ethics.
In grad school I did some research that involved a mobile app and people willingly giving some of their information to me (after a lot of notice and consent forms). This was relevant for legal analysis of some data collection programs. Should my app have been shuttered?
what evidence do you have to the contrary.
This whole "Apple is so special that thir brutalistic absolutism is warranted" attitude is tiring. More $ flow through Apple in mobile software in the US, than through the competition, effectively making them a monopoly. They need to be subject to the same monopoly regulation as any other monopoly.
Walled gardens are great, but so are gates.
Have you built something from source by downloading a tarball and running `make install`? Did you look at the Makefile before you did so?
You trust the app store just as I trust the repositories, I just have other choices available as well.
> Have you built something from source by downloading a tarball and running `make install`? Did you look at the Makefile before you did so?
Again, it's all about trust.
Under this model companies like google can even build their own extensions to the garden.
 Yes I understand I could run them as a different user but that's not very user friendly at the moment.
But most people's Linux machines aren't like that. Most people don't build in a sandbox, don't verify trust chains and integrity, don't read the code. It's configure && make && sudo make install. This works because evildoers and assholes are too busy ruining lives of people using Windows, Android and iOS (and, increasingly, MacOS) to notice the small and tech-savvy Linux crowd.
Even for power users configure and make is a last resort or something only developers will do for specific reasons.
You have a strange idea of what desktop Linux is like.
(Also, speaking as a distro packager, we don't do as much vetting as Apple does and we certainly don't do as much sandboxing. We're generally volunteers.)
Most won't, only developers. Even there I'd say linux has an advantage because many of the dependencies in tools like that can be included by the distro itself. It hasn't worked well in practice so far but in theory it's a better solution.
This is also identical across operating systems so it's hardly an example of one being superior to the other.
> Also, speaking as a distro packager, we don't do as much vetting as Apple does and we certainly don't do as much sandboxing.
I'm sure the vetting could be much stricter, but so far in practice it has not been an issue so I continue to trust responsible distros (debian, redhat, not arch). I'd also hope some distros like redhat are doing a lot more vetting.
And they are much more vanilla Linux distro than I think you expect.
My auth.log would respectfully disagree with you.
The average iOS and Android users don't even know they are in a garden, much less know how to protect it.
> The average iOS and Android users don't even know they are in a garden, much less know how to protect it.
If you took those same users and put them on the linux equivalent (ignoring other practicalities) the same will be true, any software they want will be coming from the ubuntu software center or something equivalent and they wouldn't have to protect themselves. Yet they'd still have the freedom to get software from other sources if they wished. Corporate users could build their own repository and have software installed from there without involving anyone else.
Windows didn't have such a malware problem because they gave users the freedom, it was because downloading installers from websites was the default way to install software. Without this history windows could be (I don't know how trusted the windows store should be) in the same position as linux today, with users trained to install what they want from the store but still able to go around it.
The apple desktop is in basically the same situation as windows.
Android isn't a walled garden, you can install apps from elsewhere. Unfortunately the play store isn't a trustworthy source of software like apple store or a linux repository, all sorts of crap ends up there. Google even generates a per device Id to help software track you.
It’s almost as if the contradictory opinions were voiced by...different individuals.
There is a lot about Apple's restrictive approach I don't care for, most notably forcing digital subscriptions to run through App Store billing, but being the single point of entry for apps onto the phone is a feature, not a bug. I trust the content on Apple devices far more than I would those on an Android device.
And there’s a reason why Apple is so careful with their power.
Just like how you can opt-out of System Integrity Protection on macOS. Most/average people don't even know about SIP's existence, and are protected by it. Those who do know it (developers, etc.), have the freedom to opt-out.
I did my best to never upgrade it before, to hopefully send some kind of signal to a PM somewhere inside Amazon, but ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
The only reason that the Mac isn’t infested with ransomeware of the month is that it isn’t a large target.
Users should make the choice to allow that, and they can by buying an Android phone.
> ...and maybe bring change there.
And that's where you lost me.
I don't want or need to install iOS apps outside of the app store. There's a reason I use iOS devices and what we've seen the past couple days is that reason in full view.
Then you wouldn't have to. That's unrelated to what other people might want.
Sure it is. The more capabilities you enable, the more things become supported or expected. Giving more freedom to side load apps means developers would expect more users to do so as well. This threatens the walled garden approach, which some people actually like.
If one wants a more open environment, there's always Android.
I consider Apple's oversight of iOS to be a feature, not a problem to be solved, because so far they have been worthy of my trust. I don't have the time or inclination to vet everything, and I have zero interest in having to sysadmin something else (seriously, creeping sysadmin-ism is the bane of technical folks in 2019 -- your TV, your stereo, your light switches, etc., may all require sysadmin tasks now, which is kind of absurd).
The problem illustrated by this affair is not Apple's control of iOS; it's how far Facebook and Google have gone to quietly betray their users' trust.
Is there a reason they can't? To the best of my knowledge compiled apps can be shipped as ipa files and side loaded without much difficulty nowadays.
- using a Dev certificate, which does not require any Apple validation, but you are limited to 100 devices registered on your iOS development account
- using an Enterprise certificate (such as the one the article talk about), which allows you to distribute an app on any device in your business. The "in your business" part is in the conditions, not enforced via code. There is no Apple validation, but if you get caught distributing it elsewhere, your certificate might get revoked (exactly what happened there)
- using an App Store certificate, which allows you to send the app to the App Store/TestFlight, but you won't be able to install it directly on any device. There is an Apple validation for both.
As you can see, there is no way to side-load an iOS app at scale (excluding rooted devices, most people don't root their device).
If you really want to side load apps, can't you do that after signing up for the developer program?
Apple doesn't only prevent malware but also blocks non-malware apps which they or some state may disagree with.
Do you really thing a smaller company would have gotten their access back after being caught doing what Google did?
> I think it is great that they closely monitor what goes into the App Store
These two requests are not mutually exclusive
This is made VERY clear when you sign up and Google, at least, made it clear that using it to distribute software to the public violated the agreement they had entered into.
>A Google spokesperson told The Verge, “The Screenwise Meter iOS app should not have operated under Apple’s developer enterprise program — this was a mistake, and we apologize.
Neither would Google.
This is bullshit and Google should've been forced to deal with their mistake.
Either you put it on the app store, and everybody can download it, or you use an enterprise certificate but you're now at the mercy of apple having a different definition of what you're allowed to do with it and what constitutes a "member of the company".
I have a very radical solution for this. I propose to name it "Login". Only the authorized people will get the holy username and password that will grant access to my App and it's functionality.
Sure, ordinary people can download the app, but what are they going to do without the username/password? Nothing.
That's the headline. People won't read to the part where it requires a login. Just that whatever store is allowing this app to exist.
(With the caveat that builds expire after 90 days)
Also, asking for a login at startup without providing a way to register via the app was against the store tos, iirc.
You couldn’t use the app unless you were a doctor who belonged to a clients network.
As far as not understanding what app to pick. There are plenty of companies including FB that have apps for the general public and apps for a subset of users.
But that was the App store's rules, and people more or less learned to go with it. What worries me a lot with the recent news is that the lottery could now affect enterprise certificates as well.
It's trivially easy to have a closed Beta/Alpha channel on the Play Store and updates are handled like with any other app update.
On Topic: it was only a matter of time until Apple restored the cert but I am still glad they revoked it as a very clear and loud warning. This might all just be grand posturing but it's good to see the big shots get a very public warning
Either you control your own hardware and you can run whatever you want, or you don't and you can't. Those are the choices.
If you're going to rule with an iron fist on your walled garden, then you better do it fairly. If they don't then they stand to be ridiculed and lose face.
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Worth noting the relationship between these services and the "paid contractors" that use the app is expressly not Employer-Employee. Facebook and Google paid third party personnel, so is Instacart and Uber.
Lots of 1099s actually work in the same building as employees. What makes you think they wouldn't be covered?
how the people are paid has nothing to do with why Apple took the action they did.
But if you read the rest of the agreement, you will find more requirements about who these apps may be distributed to, and they make this case pretty much a slam dunk in Apple's favor. For example, Facebook cannot possibly agree that they would be liable for what users of these research apps do, nor can they claim the ability to retrieve these devices if the relationship ends.
So, no - simply issuing a tax form won't solve this for Facebook.
If the only point you're making is about employees vs. contractors, the 24/7 interception of non-work internet traffic seems to be far more important than employment classification.
I do respect Apple's play here on privacy, but they are quite literally trying to police sideloaded apps and that's a hard thing to really do, which is why these apps went on undetected for a long time raising no flags until the recent media spotlight.
I’m not sure why they would change that stance - much less for enterprise apps - now. So long as the abuse is not egregious (see FB & G) they probably don’t care.
It was very simple. For some period of time (I think it was a week...this was a long time ago so details are fuzzy) I was supposed to write down the time and identity of every radio station I heard (or maybe every station I heard for more than a few minutes?). At the end of the survey period, I mailed that to them.
I forget how much they paid, but I think it was on the order of a few dollars.
This would have been quite a while ago--probably at least 20 years ago.
They still do that kind of survey, I believe, a few times a year in each of several hundred metropolitan areas.
In 2007, they added another data gathering method that they use in a smaller number of major markets where participants wear a small device that can pick up subaudible identification messages embedded in radio broadcasts to tell what radio stations are being played in an area. These devices record that information and periodically send the data back to the company.
In 2012 they were bought by Neilsen and are now called Neilsen Audio, but the data gathering is still as described above.
TV-tracking is done by sound signatures and web-tracking is done with a router which has custom firmware installed.
It's important to note that the certificates that Facebook and Google had revoked were not developer certificates, they were enterprise certificates, which are have significantly fewer restrictions when distributing outside of the App Store and hence have more rules attached to their use.
My memory could be wrong on this, but I thought this is exactly what the Flux app did and Apple sent them a cease and desist for keeping the self compile and self sign instructions online.
In a sense, you're still right as long as the community stays small enough that it doesn't get the attention of Apple.
That is correct, you cannot run software that wasn't explicitly allowed by Apple on your phone.
The google one - there is no sourced evidence that apple banned them.
Apple has no reason to include friendly PR and did in the google case.
So did Google. These were coordinated messages clearly.
In the facebook case that did not happen
That suggests the are not the same.
I posited a working theory above.
That doesn't mean apple intentionally banned Google. This has neither been confirmed (and is completely and totally unsourced), nor would it make any sense for them to ban google and then issue friendly press about it.
So I'm suggesting the different reactions from apple and coordinated messaging differences imply there is something different about this case.
Attack surface is comparitively low from outside.
You get full control to what is accessed how. Phishing is basically impossible, you don’t have to trust the browser going the right place doig the right things.
It can be wiped device per device.
It has primary and bi-directional access to storage and camera.
You can give different people different versions of the app without having to maintain whole different sites.
And that’s just what comes to mind in 2 min.
I'm pretty sure both Google and Facebook have way more webdevs available ;)
Apple likely wanted to have a nice long chat with some people at each company about their behavior. This was probably meant as a warning not to step out of line again.
Apple banned Facebook. They said nothing in PR about it.
Apple did not in fact ban Google. Instead, one of (Apple, Google) fucked up removing the screenwise app and accidentally revoked the cert.
Techcrunch being techcrunch, they assumed Apple banned Google and published that with literally no supporting evidence.
If that was true, why would anyone publish friendly press so quickly?
and at literally the same time?
All data instead suggests if Apple banned Google, both would shut up about it.
Instead, here, both Apple and Google release press statements stating they are working to fix the issue as soon as possible in a coordinated manner.
Unfortunately, techcrunch/et al can't walk back their statements without looking like idiots, so they go with "Apple banned google and then google must have apologized or something" as their narrative, even though that narrative makes literally no sense given the difference in reactions from Apple.
And that certainly is insteresting, and significant, but what circumstances does this confer to those who get the app? And are normal, ordinary commoners disadvantaged by this and missing out, or are the enterprise randos getting a hyperinvasive, buggy, flakey, nightly, crash prone, hazardous, insecure, warranty voiding piles of garbage?
I guess we can’t know, without seeing what the enterprise distributions look like, and the point is that there are consumers getting special treatment, when that’s not the way the game is supposed to be played, violating franchise rules...
It’s all sunshine and rainbows if this ends here but if it escalated it would be worse for Apple than they think.
You don't need apps to live in 2019, although a lot of people seem to think so, or at least act as though they do. Not saying you, just in general. I've gotten rid of most of my apps and just use the web version of everything. I can still bank fine, use fb, instagram, youtube and everything else. No problem. There are very few things on a phone that actually need special hardware (sensors, etc) that would actually require a native app, and most apps that do need that kind of access are mostly just gimicky wastes of time. Most, not all. Who really gives a crap about being able to make your poop emoji animate by using your face. Sure, it can be fun, but not necessary. It adds nothing to my life. Is there an app for that? Yes, but there doesn't need to be an app specifically for that. Most are just glorified websites under a different interface. yipee.
No, they artificially prevent it from working well. If you try to read or send a private message, it forces you to go download Messenger.
The appeal of iPhone will go down significantly.