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...or...it might lead to where we were in the 90s where you installed un-trusted apps from the web and took your risks with viruses or spyware. I actually like the idea of a central app store where at least there is some process. Perhaps we can have a better process, or more fine grained permissions rights, but to open up the gates seems like a big step backwards.

I want you to be right, but the truth is we already have that _with_ these centralized platforms.

The centralization benefits are not geared towards consumers, and they never were.

You can always add moderation on top of something, but once it's on you can't take it off.

What I mean by that is that Apple isn't the only company that could vet apps. Anyone could put together a list of "trusted" apps into a software repository/store and you could pick whichever one you trusted and use only it. This is already how Linux works.

In the long run, this is probably even better for people who want to only run vetted apps. Apple's app store policies have to cover everyone who runs iOS, which means that even with the best intentions, they can't be as permissive or as strict as some people want. If Apple wasn't in that boat, you could have an app store that had much harsher rules about data collection, performance, and permissions.

My experience has been that specialized platforms usually produce better results for their target audiences than generalized alternatives. As the sole gatekeeper to iOS, the best Apple is ever going to be able to provide is a generalized storefront.

Well, what about the EU browsers solution? Google could still have its own app store, but instead of being pre-installed and integrated, the user would have to select one or more during the initial system configuration (and have a menu for changing that later).

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