The banning of Electron apps for using a non-public API just means it's consistent with any other application submitted to the app store... they cain't use them sweet private APIs neither. Users can totally still go and download a notarized application though and have no problems. It's something that'll very likely be remedied by the Electron team in its entirety if it hasn't already been...
As far as not giving a shit about Safari's ability to do WebRTC and PWAs properly; I don't really see that as Apple trying to kill web technology as much as them just not profiting off it. Apple doesn't make any money from the "web," they make it from their platforms which aren't HTML/JS/CSS. As a developer, that lack of focus does piss me off sometimes, but... as an end user I don't really notice. Safari is still the best mobile browser available, even if it is lagging behind the rest in terms of standards adoption.
And tangentially, in my opinion, the Electron apps being booted is a good thing, if even only temporary, as I really hate downloading an app from the Mac App Store only to find its a full blow fucking Chrome instance for something that would be literally be two NSViewControllers and a handful of "slightly" customized views. Like "Yo, player, your system tray app to show this red or green icon is using 400mb of ram and occasionally locks my CPU. WHY!?!"
If Electron fixes their usage of private APIs then this whole storm blows over.
Now if Apple introduces a rule that specifically says “non-AppKit apps are not welcome on the store” then let’s panic. But that is not happening here.
(I’ll be the first in line to admit that private APIs and App Store rules are mostly limiting creativity and competition )
Your app now hinges on the ability of developers-that-are-not-you that you are not paying to maintain a private API free fork of Chromium and in the process not break such essential things like display composition where these APIs are used.
Radar goes nowhere, going public does.
The question is whether there is merit from Apple's perspective in making these APIs public.
Because often we find out at WWDC a year later why they didn't make it public and it's because of some foundational rearchitecture.
It's just that the world doesn't revolve around one particular issue. If your particular issue doesn't have lots of duplicates (i.e. common) or it isn't strategically important to Apple then it just doesn't get prioritised.
Where does it state this?
I don't know about radar. Never tried it.
Given my own experiences in the past, I would doubt that radar goes much of anywhere either. Apple just doesn't seem like they move unless and until they want to. But again, I can't say for sure about radar, as I said, I've never gone that route.
By far the best route to go is to be in a position where Apple was about to make the change you wanted anyway. But you probably have to get pretty lucky for that to happen.
Not only that, but if Apple didn’t ban the use of private APIs then they would be blamed whenever one of their updates broke all these popular Electron apps.
In a sense it’s like letting squatters onto your land. If you ignore them long enough then at some point society decides they have the right to be there, and then you become the bad guy for deciding to enforce your own property rights.
- Chrome explanation: https://www.chromium.org/developers/design-documents/chromiu...
- Firefox explanation: https://mozillagfx.wordpress.com/2019/10/22/dramatically-red...
Windows has public APIs for doing those things. It's pretty clear that there's a need for them. Apple should absolutely design a stable solution for those, since there's a clear demand.
Apple does not want to do this for business reasons. Microsoft does, but they have a different business model than Apple. Apple is in the business of selling their own hardware which means they want exclusive apps. If everything is cross platform then Macs become an overpriced commodity. Why even develop macOS at that point?
If you think the only way to achieve that is inevitable pursuit of "exclusive apps" then fine. But I would say, a user who gets the apps they want and isn't artificially constrained in that goal is a happy user, who will be satisfied with Apple letting them achieve that.
Cross platform UI toolkits have their own internal "logic" that clashes with the native UI, frustrating user expectations.
* I understand the prviate API was about reducing power-consumption.
* Apple sells itself on superior battery-life compared to Windows laptops.
* Unfortunately, the Electron ecosystem is too big to dismiss - there's a lot of software using it that could potentially pull customers away from Apple's App Store if they weren't allowed back-in.
* Despite the fact most of those apps are nominally free (Slack, Skype, etc), if they weren't available in the Mac App Store it would mean users would stop seeing the Mac App Store as the place to go for Mac software - thus damaging the brand.
In short: if Apple doesn't document this power-management API and make it public then significantly fewer _important_ apps will be available in their Store which is bad for Apple's current long-term vision. If these apps do modify themseles to not use the battery-life API then they'll reduce the computer's battery life which then makes Apple look bad.
Similarly, it is using internal functions to map mach ports onto file descriptors because their cross-platform bits do not understand mach ports.
How are Firefox and Chrome not competitive given that Safari isn't the overwhelmingly dominant browser ?
Before using those private APIs, with no other options to reach the same performance as Safari, both Chrome and Firefox were in a completely different league.
Your own article says that Firefox only recently started using them.
So you’re basically just talking out your ass, saying that Apple should open up APIs that have always been private for the sole purpose of helping a competitor who knowingly adopted them in violation of platform rules.
“Yes, officer, I broke the law. But I think, now that I’ve broken it, you should just abolish the particular laws that I broke because some people think I’m a big deal.”
Spotify and co will care more of getting into that 30% of the mobile market (and the more lucrative 30% at that) by doing whatever they can, than Apple would worry about them leaving because no Electron is allowed...
The worst case scenario is that apple loses some revenue and major players avoid the mac app store for desktop apps.
Apple who gets most of their money from mobile will not care. App developers will lose some convenience but negligible money and they wont care.
Since they need to have them there, and don't use Electron there already, they can have them in macOS without it trivially.
I personally don’t care. In fact I grow tired of the throw everything in a webview cause we’re lazy mentality. Build a proper app that looks like it’s a mac app. Also I grow tired of the crap performance these “apps” have. I say remove the lot of them and force people to build a proper app. Electron is Flash 2.0
If they need to drop Electron to get into the more lucrative 30% of the mobile market, iOS users, they'll do it as fast as they can...
There's no such thing as a "free" app from a for-profit company -- except some neglected side project.
Spotify is only free because they want to hook people and then sell premium subscriptions to those that are up for it, others are monetized by ads, private info (eyeballs), etc.
And one app not being on there isn't going to change that.
From Google's perspective, Chromium-based apps being booted from the iOS App Store is probably a fantastic thing if it leads to articles like the one linked up top here.
"Apple makes it hard to use the web" is a much better message for Google than "Apple doesn't let users install Chrome so we can't collect as much data from iOS users as we do everywhere else." Even though the latter is the truth behind their push to get Chrome natively onto iOS.
Uh, if that's the case then I think they're barking up the wrong tree. Just given. How that's going for them.
... my third and fourth cents.
I don't think a lot of folks realize just how rich the ecosystem is for developing a MacOS or iOS application without writing ObjC or Swift. This is really one particular toolkit, that's doing something it's not supposed to, and that's it.
The real pain I think for most people using Electron is that they're so far removed from the native SDKs it's scary to not know what the fuck really happened. That's fair, but that's also the price for using an abstraction like Electron. If you're not the one making the API calls, then you're opening yourself up to that potential issue and it's going to be scary until you understand it.
Personally, I don't think I'm smart enough to understand that many layers of abstraction even if I wanted to; so, I don't use them and just write native code.
Edit: Added MacOS or iOS for clarification since my point is the same for both.
This is nonsense. Safari is the only mobile browser available on iOS, so if you're sorting by mobile available per platform, then of course it's the "best [of one]". If Chrome and Firefox had the opportunity to bring their platform fully to market on iOS, there would be some real competition there... They could still do what Android does with displaying any in-app web rendering like Android System WebView, while allowing users the option to use the same browser and experience they're used to on their desktops.
Basically Google would immediately use all of their properties and muscle to wrest control of iOS. And then why even bother to have more than one platform.
Apple should stick to making top notch hardware and software for their phones. Just allow users to run a real web browser as well.
On the other hand: Chrome only became so popular because of their shady propagating of the software. Through freeware installers etc. Something you can prevent very easy on a Apple phone.
Also: the market is not so big. Even if they'd "take over" iPhone, it wouldn't make a big difference on the control they already have.
One for Safari and one for the rest.
Websites saved to the home screen use UIWebView's engine — but that's not the discussion, the discussion is about browser apps which can and do use WKWebView.
For crappy aid, I only remember iTunes on Windows.
What the... Was that...
How much of it is because Safari is good, and how much is because Safari is the only option?
iPhone has a huge market share. It is not possible for web companies to ignore or deprioritize it. Safari is the only web browser available on iOS. So all website owners make damn sure their website works well on Safari. They may even omit features that Safari does not support for all browsers, because it is easier than graceful degradation.
Back in IE6 days, for best web experience, you would want to use IE6. It's not that it was so awesome and so far ahead of Netscape. It's just that all websites were designed for and tested on (objectively terrible) IE6. You could use the (objectively superior) Opera or Netscape, and you would have a worse experience, because websites were created with IE6 in mind.
Safari is not the best mobile browser. It is the browser everyone writes for and tests one. Chrome is not superior to Firefox. The reason so many web apps (e.g. Skype Web) do not work on Firefox or Google Maps is slow on it is not that Firefox is bad. It is that they only target Chrome when designing the website. Everything else is an afterthought, if even that.
Each of them have their strengths and weaknesses. Safari is the best at low power consumption and integration in its environment. Firefox is the best at customizability and openness, and standards adherence. Chrome is the best at, well, popularity, I guess; innovating new web standards, maybe.
If not for those, I'd just be using Firefox because the ability to add plugins (eg. Adblock) and have Youtube not stop playing when you minimize it are obviously huge advantages.
It's bad faith commentary, to say the least. Look at the level of accusation they're making "Apple Is Trying to Kill Web Technology" ... "It wants its Mac App Store to be filled with apps that you can’t find anywhere else." Leaving aside the fact that there's no way Apple makes enough from some imaginary exclusivity to justify trying to "kill web technology," none of their moves can even rise to that level. So they were slow to implement WebRTC? Service Workers? Both have massive privacy issues- and partitioning service workers out of process is the crux of how WebKit enforce's privacy- which they're pushing even harder these days. And according to said engineer they even added a compile flag so Google didn't have to use partitioning (I wonder why they wanted that...)- how very anti competitive of Apple. And suddenly mandatory WebKit on iOS is a "monopoly?" It's their platform- they define the security and privacy baselines. Apple has had a walled garden since before the "Web Technology" the author is referring to existed and this is a piece of that. It's another valid consumer selling point- their stores aren't cluttered with trash and I know what those apps can access. But, according to this person, every single point here is fake marketing speak because... checks notes... they want to force people to develop apps only for the Mac Store? Really?
We can be critical of Apple for a lot of web stuff, but it takes a delusional level of self-absorbance to think that Apple is bringing about the end of cross platform web tech because they put up a completely fair and valid barrier, that will probably be resolved shortly, as you said, on one's tech stack of choice.
WebKit engineers provided very reasonable arguments for why WebRTC and service workers took a while to build and diverges from the spec: privacy.
Obtaining a refund for any purchase is furthermore a pain in the ass with no obvious or publicly available way without having to search the web so you just let it go instead of wasting your time in the process or just because the 24h grace period to do it just expired because you were in a hurry and didn't have time to scrap for a still relevant process on google.
Reporting scaming app with dark pattern is even worse with no direct access to Apple to do so and you end up giving up in the process because it's such a waste of time to report on just a kind of user forum with its own dark pattern or bugs which prevent you to do so and with no sign of Apple being in charge anyway.
AppStore and Mac AppStore are a disgrace which make it hard to justify their 30% ripoff on app price. In fact, they are just as happy you paid 8€/15€ for useless crap as they still have their share of the bargain in the process.
Time cook Apple is now just a rippoff of consumer money at every possible corner filled with dark pattern and thrown-away super cost-optimized flawed hardware working at the edge... And wait till notarization require you to pay an Apple tax and there is no way anymore to "sideload" an app without having to jailbreak your Mac, as it is the case with iOS.
> Apple doesn't make any money from the "web," they make it from their platforms which aren't HTML/JS/CSS
Apple makes their money from selling hardware, which is priced to provide a very healthy profit margin. Once upon a time, that seemed to be enough for them.
Now it's not, and Apple products are broadly worse as a result. The App Store should not have an entire tab dedicated to Apple Arcade, and the Music app should not be a giant ad for Apple's streaming subscription service.
In the long run, if nobody uses Apple’s APIs and everyone prefers cross platform ones, then they lose exclusive apps and Apple hardware becomes an overpriced commodity.
It’s the same business model as Nintendo, just with more expensive hardware and cheaper software. Really, none of the game console makers want all of their software to be cross platform. Exclusives are what sell consoles.
Certainly, Apple places a lower priority on backwards compatibility than, say, Microsoft, but they do give people warning when they’re going to change a public API.
It's an argument I would be much more open to if Apple wasn't also pushing terrible Catalyst apps for the Mac.
Yep. Apple makes most money on $1k+ high end mobile devices, smart phones, tablets, watches, laptops. And now original contents, subscription services and financial services. Most Apple software are given out for FREE , macOS, iTunes, iWork, bundled Mail / News / Stock / Preview Safari apps, etc.
That reason alone it making Owen William's claim of "Apple’s control over its app ecosystem is a new type of monopoly" a moot point. Apple smart devices is less than 10% of the total market share.
And I agree with locking PWA and prefer native approach is a good thing for consumers - because if Apple didn't insist that, we'd be still running Adobe Flash on our smart phones these days.
End user cares more about user experiences, battery life and seamless integration working across all apps and services.
Here are a few reasons that will make it hard to convince Anti-trust judges that Apple is a monopoly:
- Apple doesn't control how much mobile apps would charge consumers. It simply provides a proprietary platform for you to reach out to 2 billion potential customers, for that they take 30% commission for distribution and access to their customer pool.
- Apple's platform is proprietary, they invest / build / maintain / distribute for you. You are not obligated to publish your mobile apps on it. You have the freedom to do it on your own (yes, on iDevices that means sideloading, jailbreaking, a web app etc.) or publish on competitor's platform (Android / Samsung / Huawei / Xiaomi / Kindle etc.) It's just so happened that Apple's devices are popular (2 billions of them) and you have much better upshot to make money if you charge customer for your app on App Store, but again, nobody force you to publish on Apple.
- There is no reason to believe that because Apple's devices are so popular (or in your words, dominant in terms of mobile app revenue) consumers are forced to pay higher price for mobile apps. Again, choices are there. There are tons of Android users out there, in fact, more than 3x of Android devices are there on the market.
Lastly, have you wonder why Apple earns double what Google makes in being mobile app platform? If you want a premium product, a more unified user experience, focus more on security (make money on hardware instead of harvesting personal data and sell it to advertisers), perhaps you could earn much more margins but selling much less units and still getting rich? That's exactly what Apple did. Granted, they got greedy by jacking up the price even more on iPhone X/XR, market responded negatively. So they corrected themselves a little bit (got rid off the lady who sell luxury goods rather than consumer electronics.) And they diversify.
Again, my core arguments is they are not in that position. Android marketshare is 3.3x of Apple's, if you want to reach out to more customer, you'd be releasing on android not ios, right?
What's funny here is that many of Google's web initiatives such as PWA and AMP are at least partially constructed to increase Google's dominance and selling of ads. It's hard to fault any company that pushes against newer web standards and "progress" since it is so slanted in their competitors favor.
If you're a Google employee working on some such project you can probably convince me that the majority of the reasoning for PWA/AMP/etc are good, and assessed in its totality it is probably for the greater good, but you'll never convince me the mangers/directors/executives at the budgeting level of these projects are too dumb to understand and latter extract immense value at the expense of users as a final result.
All this stuff is too reminiscent of Facebook's Free basics project masquerading as Democratizing Internet "progress" with cool new features no user actually asked for.
PWAs are an outgrowth of web best practices and new consortium-ratified technologies. AMP is for Google search on mobile (and a couple other places.) To pull some examples from your comment:
> What's funny here is that many of Google's web initiatives such as PWA and AMP are at least partially constructed to increase Google's dominance and selling of ads. It's hard to fault any company that pushes against newer web standards and "progress" since it is so slanted in their competitors favor.
1. PWAs are not a Google initiative. AMP is.
2. Migrating to a PWA doesn't advantage Google vs. its competitors, either in search or the browser world. AMP on the other hand is specifically designed to get sites that adopt it better placement in mobile search.
3. Neither PWAs nor AMP are web standards. PWAs are a set of standards adopted by browser vendors (not just Google.) Vendors implement parts in different orders from other vendors (see the various Apple examples in OP.) AMP is not a web standard -- it is an open-source project governed by Google.
Please do not conflate PWAs and AMP.
There isn't really anything nefarious about that, and at the moment it has the benefit of aligning Google's incentives neatly with users'.
This is a free prefpane that can hide the cursor anywhere via hotkey or idle timer. It's fairly popular. I've written and maintained it since 2007. Try running it in Catalina. http://doomlaser.com/cursorcerer
It sometimes loses its idea of where the top of the page is and all page elements are rendered normally, just a few hundred pixels above where they should be and no amount of dragging of the screen will get the top of the page visible.
On old reddit trying to touch a link sometimes results in text way up the page being rerendered with a different kerning, or font size, resulting in different line wrapping and making a bunch of page elements move and you get the wrong link.
While true, this was also the reasoning behind Microsoft's treatment of Internet Explorer which caused web tech to get stuck for a decade. I think we were all glad those times were over.