I get that they want a sanitary app store but if I go to myapp.com I should be able to side load.
It would also be nice to side-load from phone to phone in situations like this so that apps can't be blocked by governments like China.
If the apps just verified keys that would be enough so that you know you're installing the app from the right developer.
I don't think having a managed system for installing software is a bad thing at all, though I'm disappointed the big ones don't support third-party repositories. I do think there should always be an option to do it manually.
Load whatever you want, from wherever you trust, whenever you want.
(Of course, the underlying problem is that shared libraries are actually a bad idea. They were a hack for days when storage and memory was very expensive. But for some reason, Linux still uses them. New languages just compile everything into a statically linked binary, which is wonderful. I can write a Go program on my Windows machine, and with one command, compile it for a Raspberry Pi. Copy it over and it just works. Snap is also a thing that appears to work well.)
PPAs build in environments matching the chosen distributions, so as long as the builds are properly setup and the user chooses the correct one (which is automatic, with the standard tools), dependencies will work out as expected.
The last time I had a discussion about perceivedly broken PPAs with somebody on HN, it turns out that he was abusing this system, by not using the proper suite (distribution).
I'm not sure how this works for Debian (I think PPAs also allow Debian suites), but if there isn't such [widespread] support for 3rd party repositories, then this subject should get more consideration.
Regarding shared libraries, if they wouldn't exist, operating systems would would take an order of magnitude more in space. I'm not a big fan of an 80 GB Ubuntu; if the public accepts that, that's fine, but shared libraries have a specific purpose.
You can manage multiple versions of shard libraries as needed by different applications: see Nix.
I have a problem with iOS not allowing sideloading in a way that's viable for most applications, but I don't see having a default, managed system for installing software as a problem in itself.
There's even a third party that is automating much of this process, because this is a hole that Apple will have a hard time closing.
The AltStore does not require a jailbreak: https://www.engadget.com/2019/09/26/altstore-alternative-ios...
There are ways to sign apps without a Mac/xCode, namely Cydia Impactor. But Apple has very purposefully made this impractical for every day use.
but if you live in a 3rd world country, a macbook can cost as much as a car. it's just not viable.
Not to be glib, but if a person can't afford a used/low end Mac how can they afford an iPhone?
Hell, whatever that process is, I might even use it in a Mac (if I had one), just because I have Xcode so much.
Sure there are other apps but it’s just too much variety. What is out there is good and works.
Maybe I don’t know what I am missing because I never had it.
That applies to freedom too.
No one wants to force you to use other stores.
However, on my ubuntu installs lately, I've found myself having to go with non-repo software for things that are in the repos. Because the repo version is just so far out of date. Version freezes with only security updates means lots of old software. I was loading my Arch configs on ubuntu and things were breaking. Update to current stable version and suddenly things work again. If i was stuck with repos, I would have just not used ubuntu at all.
The problem is not allowing other software. Sure, on Linux installing third party software isn't as simple as your package manager but it is possible and not made more difficult than necessary.
And walled gardens aren't weird. It has always been the default. I can only install console games approved by Sony, Nintendo etc for example. Printer cartridges were even signed against the printer themselves. Companies have always tried to lock you down in some way.
Printer cartridges used to be dumb and replacable by mechanically identical 3rd party products.
> And walled gardens aren't weird. It has always been the default. I can only install console games approved by Sony, Nintendo etc for example.
Those are gaming devices, not general purpose edge computing devices under which smart-"phones" fall for all intents and purposes. Personal computers are a much better reference point.
Frankly I think there’s a reason why no more open model is succeeding — the demand is not there and the app stores provide the utility most people want. I used to jailbreak my iPhone but there’s really no need anymore.
That's an argument against consoles, not in favor of walled gardens.
Really, can you please explain how to install apps on an Iphone direct from the source for free permanently?
And of course on Windows, Linux and MacOS, you can install whatever you like, from wherever you like. Android allows you to side-load apps (but I'd prefer if it made it much easier to do so), whereas iOS makes it both difficult and costly.
Comparing a smartphone and a console is a big stretch
And a console is exactly what Apple has tried to emulate so of course it's relevant.
You could also say that Apple is emulating the printer manufacturers , some practices are similar but there are important differences.
The term is still in use on the Developer options of Settings where you can decide if UWP apps can be installed outside of the Microsoft Store, though I believe they've backed off drastically, so the default is to 'allow sideloading'.
Depends whether you think the handheld thing is an appliance instead of a processing unit.
We only started complaining about limits on installing apps on phones relatively recently in the life of phones and even smartphones.
We still mostly don’t complain about watches, but within a decade we will.
2. iPhone, Palm, others in late 2000s, attempted to kickstart an open app ecosystem where you could save HTML5 apps to your home screen that worked offline and with no marketplace.
All kinds of apps proliferated briefly, I even had a PacMan clone. Those apps still work, and much more is now exposed through APIs than used to be.
Free distribution remains a viable option for most types of apps. Especially for those developers that are just fine with things like Electron as a platform.
Had developers embraced this and pushed the limits, the ecosystem might have tilted very differently. It might still be possible given enough adoption to warrant platform investment.
I'd much rather stick with a walled garden.
Some level of curation is beneficial. Opting out of the curation should be essential.
Buy Android. (or some obscure non-duopoly platform)
I have no sympathy for the ruthlessness of Apple and its dictatorship about no app can have its own App Store like functionality, but it's also disingenuous to put all the blame on them for where we are today.
There were a ton of aggregator sites for software with reviews, or you could just search the web for it, it was pretty easy.
Erm. I developed apps for Nokia and Blackberry without a hitch.
The restricted walled garden became popular with apple. It took off because, although the developer requirements were very constrained (as they still are), there was a very large swathe of users. I was 'forced' to join because my clients were bankers and traders jumping ship from blackberry. Then came ms and goog with their 'ecosystem' of stores.
All the flip-phones where working like this, you could just install any .jar into the phone and it would not complain.
What do you mean? After android 7 or 8, the "install unknown apps" permission was per-app rather than being a global setting. That means you can allow f-droid to install apps but not your weather app. The only difference is that third party apps can't install apps "silently" (you have to manually confirm each install/update through a system dialog).
 random image result: https://media.kasperskydaily.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/92...
Honestly I think there should be a distinction between normal permissions and permissions required to install other APKs.
AND I think it should be more cumbersome to install an APK that wants permission to install other APKs.
That's a huge difference. Try downloading and maintaining apps installed with F-Droid on a device where it doesn't have system privileges. It's a massive pain in the butt.
That's at most 30% of devices?
And will eventually be all/most devices.
I am on 7.1.1 and Allow Unknown Sources is still a global on/off toggle.
38.7% (8+ only) or 57.9% (if you include 7)
I have a 7.1.1 device and can confirm they have the global toggle still.
Just two clicks. One for share button. One to add to home screen.
Not supporting notifications at all is a dealbreaker for most apps that could just be PWAs.
Furthermore, last I checked, iOS doesn’t allow PWAs added to the home screen to access the camera or certain other valuable things that they should be able to access, but maybe that has finally been fixed.
Apple has intentionally made PWAs a bad experience to push people to the App Store, which is really unfortunate since they basically invented the concept of adding a website to your home screen that would then open in a chromeless experience that felt like an app.
It is 100% compatible with the way notifications work on iOS.
> Each browser can use any push service they want, it's something developers have no control over.
The browser dictates the push service to use, not the developer of the web app. That URL is for the app developer to push content to.
I just checked Safari Desktop and I have well over 50 websites that I have blocked for Push Notifications. Many of which have no need to e.g. image site. But thankfully Apple has a polished, easily accessible UI for me to switch them off so not a huge deal.
On Safari iOS there is no Settings screen and not an obvious place to put one. You could put it under the main Settings screen but (a) nobody checks there and (b) it makes it confusing if you think of PWA as being a website still. And so you could end up with Push API being a feature that is hard to turn off. And that makes it a huge net negative for users.
Similar for the Web Capture API.
If they don’t want to allow web push for websites, that’s one thing, but crippling PWAs that users have chosen to add to their home screen is another thing entirely.
> Similar for the Web Capture API.
You can already use the camera through a PWA on iOS, until you add it to the home screen. Then, last time I checked, it stopped being able to use the camera or even ask for permission to use the camera, which really hurts the usefulness of PWAs.
That’s not to say that browser vendors have a bad track record when it comes to permission dialogs, but there’s still a ridiculous amount that they just hand over to sites without any prompt whatsoever.
This is easily fixable, however: just restrict the greater bulk of API access to “installed” PWAs, where the app runs in its own little easily manageable container with zero access to my main browser and specialized permissions UI.
So what. Should my computing experience be crippled because people are ignorant to security practices? Should we hold the market back because uncle Marty keeps visiting gross sites with Internet Explorer?...
But it's not. You don't have to buy an iPhone. This isn't some bait and switch tactic. People who buy iPhones know the App Store is where they get software.
Apple wants everyday users to have a streamlined, simple, "just works" experience.
It is a common principle in many other facets of life. You can't just buy any prescription medicine for example, even though theoretically a well-prepared patient with access to the newest medical literature could figure out what he needs. But the vast majority most definitely cannot and relies on some kind of access-filter.
I would say the market even prefers the App Store model. Google/Android is working more towards the Apple model and not the other way around.
Devices that can’t (generally) run malware are a value, to some. I have computers, and I also have Pixelbooks and iPads. I use them for different things, and I store different data on them.
I will quote Benjamin Franklin
" Those Who Sacrifice Liberty For Security Deserve Neither."
A few more relevant quotes:
"Freedom is not worth having if it does not include the freedom to make mistakes." -Gandhi
"Insecurity is freedom." -(various)
On android, you can go to foo.com/someApp.apk and after accepting a bajillion warnings, install the app with no approval from Google needed
Products are available on the market to suit both preferences.
Mandating sideloading would remove consumer choice.
It would also be compelled speech, since code is considered speech.
How exactly are you affected by an optional thing that is off by default and hidden away. Apple could force you to watch some videos that explain why this is dangerous and make you read all the warnings.
Some smart developers and designers could design this so grandma is not tricked to install malware, you could even require you take a quiz online.
You also have the Mac OS example, it is not locked down and the viruses and malware are not rampant.
Honest question , can you take 1 minute and consider thins, is there a large monetary incentive for Apple to lock down iOS?
Same with your mother, she will not even know or consider the side loading app idea, this will happen only you are hit with things like your application or books are removed from your device, or a popular application is not approved because of political or moral issues.
Other example is ad blocking, my relatives do not ask me randomly , "hey is there something that can block ads?" , I need to notice they are missing an ad blocker, then explain why should install one and install one for them.
Btw my parents don't play video games, so since you decided if parents don't need something then is useless let's get rid of video games.
Frankly, Google and Facebook would probably be the first to release their own App Store apps and then use their platforms to tell everyone how this was safe.
To believe otherwise is naive.
What is your opinion on Apple Pay then? if Apple has such a large user base of user that follow every instructions they read on a webpage and put their password in random inputs then Apple Pay is even more dangerous
If you don’t think Facebook or Google could persuade people to install a store, you are out of contact with reality.
Once installed, those stores would be just as compromised as Google and Facebook have already proven themselves to be over and over again.
They obviously wouldn’t be allowed to make it so difficult that nobody could be persuaded to do it, which defeats your point.
Here is the exact problem we are talking about, happening today on Android.
The mechanisms you are talking about have been proven not to work.
As for laptops - they are. It’s not ‘stupidity’ that causes most people not to understand these risks. It is a lack of time to develop the expertise. Many people would like to pay Apple to manage these risks for them. For those who do not, there is Android.
You are still avoiding to answer why is Apple not locking down the MacBooks ? I mean is for the users safety, are this users in danger and Apple not caring enough abut them?
The answer is simple, you can make it safe by default and let the user unlock their device(from BIOS or from a setting s) Apple can afford to hire a UX designer to make the warnings clear for average person, can afford a lawyer to put some disclaimers there, can afford some developer to implement this unlocks. The reason they do not do this is not for your safety is for money and when they will be forced to implement it I am sure you will praise them on how a nice job they did when implementing it.
You are proposing to have the government start mandating software features, which is absurd given your claim not to want the government controlling your phone.
I already answered your question about your MacBook but you chose to ignore it. The answer is that they are locking down the MacBook to protect users.
As for the ‘hire a UI designer’ argument. That has been proven not to work, but again you are pretending not to see this.
No developer license needed, though it is slightly technical (but not outrageously so).
2016 article: http://osxdaily.com/2016/01/12/howto-sideload-apps-iphone-ip...
The point was I don't need a Chromebook to develop Android applications. I don't need a Microsoft Surface laptop to develop Windows software. Somehow, Apple requires you to buy their expensive hardware to develop for their platform. There's no technical reason you couldn't just get their OS and development tools; they just want you to shell out for overpriced x86 hardware along with those.
Edit: It looks like you need a Mac computer to do this.
You sandbox the browser
you put the installer on a different user
you make the installer always open a popup
you ask for the password/pin
If a JS script can bypass all of this then you have a bigger problem, the malware developers can easily already have a dummpy app already in the app-store that is signed by Apple, the installer signature is the last thing you should worry about in this case (better disable JS now)
Nobody is arguing that Apple's approach isn't more secure; they are arguing that the tradeoff (an additional layer of security vs. the right to install the software of your choice in a computing device you paid for) is not worth.
There are countless examples of this. Requiring everyone to strip completely naked to get on an airplane would absolutely act as an additional hurdle for a person with nefarious intent, but we don't do that because we acknowledge that there must be a fundamental tradeoff between our safety and our freedoms.
Great. Maybe get yourself a developer license and do as you please. I applaud the fact that whatever I install comes with some sort of safety constraint.
All the headlines were saying that the app was "banned"/removed from the store, leading to massive outrage.
When you see an apparently sudden influx of mostly negative OR mostly positive news about something, suspect that it's paid for.
See cases like https://www.google.com/search?q=samsung+paid+students+for+re...
Citation? There are an estimated 2M+ apps on the App Store now. How many are sitting in a not approved purgatory? I've written a few iOS apps over the years and either been approved or told I was missing a proper sized screenshot and once fixed then immediately approved.
Approval is the default state, which is why it's news when an app is not approved.
Apparently we magically started mis-using the Apple Pay log and were promoting Google/Android for having the Google Pay logo. I responded back asking if we needed to remove the PayPal, Visa and Mastercard logs since they were competing platforms to Apple Pay as well. The random reviewer that looked at it next said it was fine and approved it.
For macOS, iPadOS, iOS for my watch, and iOS for my iPhone, I like the protected walled garden. I also like to sometimes use my Chromebook for the same reason: these closed platforms feel more secure to me.
I am happy that Apple OKed the HKMap.live app.
No one wants to take away the option to only use Apple's store.
"Beginning in macOS 10.15, notarization is required by default for all software." 
How many users would even figure out (if it's possible and) how to bypass this? Looks like developers will have to do a lot more.
Protestors being infiltrated by those who wish to subdue them, has been a thing since forever.
We’ve been rejected until we came up with our own graphics for emoji. Who knows, maybe this was why they were rejected. Also, the UI is quite buggy. Could be another reason.
But then I wonder how there are multiple crowd sourced speed camera apps.
If almost all speed cameras are in the app, then you can just slow down near the cameras and speed everywhere else.
If there's no app, you don't know where the cameras are, so you need to be careful everywhere.
But anyway, if you're in China - be careful, seems like Chinese icloud (or something like it) under government control, too many issues/speculations about it.