Search "Overcast" -> top ad is some crappy competitor (not even a good real competitor, but usually some sort of near-scam).
It makes me think less of the competitor and Apple every time I see it, it also seems completely unnecessary. I obviously want the app I searched for. It seems like a feature entirely designed to trick old people.
The other suggestions are also really good, I'd love to be able to pay for big updates (though I personally don't really mind subscriptions for apps I regularly use).
I'm also not sure the web apps are really competition, when something isn't native I tend to think it sucks and choose something else if possible.
If I were searching for a genre such as "podcast" or "camera" app, I understand seeing paid ads. But when I search for a specific name, I see absolutely no reason whatsoever there should be an ad above my results.
There has to be a better way.
It's easy to create and train a model to distinguish between brands and generic words by counting how many times a single word appears over app descriptions, for example - there are countless ways to do this. This, in turn, can neutralize the effect of naming your app after a generic word when it comes to search ranking.
This would be quite funny. I still see businesses called things like AAA automotive and similar which date back to optimising their telephone book listing order. Was this early SEO?
But if there's too much uncertainty then just don't do ads at all. The fallback shouldn't be ads for all search terms.
Your post seems like a rebuttal to the idea of "just show the app they wanted", but that wasn't the request. The request was just to leave the search alone.
If one can click an “exact app name” box or similar, the results should always be as intended.
Of course I asked for more (like “no apps with more than $5 in-app purchases”).
They can help developers with ad discovery in a bunch of different and better ways that are less hostile for devs and users.
Thank you for the funny typo "ad discovery"
"We curate the finest ads for your consumer experience.."
Ad discovery is more Facebook and Google’s business.
The above has nothing to do with Apple's cut on other people's work. That is just exploitation and is unrelated to increasing the quality of the experience for users. On the contrary, it makes life harder for developers wanting to bet on quality and instead encourages shovleware and deception. And this is exactly the outcome one sees.
The app store experience is what is antithetical to Apple. There is nothing premium about it.
China and other oppressive regimes tend to be where the marketing gets in conflict with the law and China has a lot of leverage on any major electronics manufacturer.
Still a capitalist business so ideology or ethics don't really factor into it.
I think it is correct that Apple could benefit in amrketing from having no ad systems on their platforms. Not convinced it would be net positive for them though.
Stop lying to yourself lol.
They do eventually use this power to force you to buy a new house. They use it to mark perfectly capable devices as obsolete e.g. why is a MPB i7/retina/ssd with discrete graphics now being marked as obsolete? Why is an iPad4 not allowed ad blocking with no chance to install an alternative open OS?
Search for <model> <year> of any product on google, 50/50 shot its a different company's item in the first (few) places.
Search bribes are user hostile but developer necessary it seems.
It's an old-school protection racket, particularly because they own both sides of the deal.
"It'd be a shame if anything happened to your app store listing. But, you know, if you just pay us $5/mo we can make sure that doesn't happen to _you_."
Coming from the android world there is a very high bar for a native app for me. I tend to assume the app is garbage if it could have been done just as easily as a web app.
The difference between a native iOS app and a fake app that's really just a wrapped web page is obvious. Native apps are a lot faster. It's possible there is some selection bias here and you only notice the web apps when they're bad, but I really don't think this is the case. Native apps just seem categorically better.
If Facebook pouring immense resources into it couldn't get web based mobile applications to be good, it's probably because the technology just can't compete with native.
They are also the biggest abuser of UA agent while chromium team is trying to get rid of it. There are so many things they get wrong that they preach or push themselves.
Also, there are technical limitations especially around tracking lol. Web apps can't run processes in the background or access your files without your consent everytime.
This. I've experienced this exact problem in helping elders install commonplace apps like Gmail.
Right now, Apple can do whatever they want because they pick us off one by one, and ignore us. Google does exactly the same thing. If we organize as a large enough group, they have to listen. I firmly believe what Apple does is anti-competitive and they need to be regulated firmly by the government. I also think Google and Facebook need to be firmly regulated by the government as well.
Apple needs to allow other people to create their own App Store or they should be regulated by the government. We need to organize as a group of software developers and sue Apple and lobby our politicians, because that seems to be the only way Apple will listen.
I also agree that subscriptions are NOT the way to go, and having paid upgrades are the best way to go. Driving down the costs such that things are freemium has ruined our industry as far as I'm concerned. I want to pay good money for a good piece of software, but even $0.99 is "expensive" for most people these days. This needs to stop otherwise iOS app development will become the sweatshop of the 2020s.
In my experience, this is not really true - most people (including myself) just cannot find these apps and instead see only subscription ones which seems to be the new trend.
The last 7 apps I downloaded on iOS wanted a $5-10/mo monthly subscription, and I literally _cannot_ purchase the app. And I'm talking about really basic zero-infrastructure apps:
- 2 transcriber apps that use iOS's native speech recognition functionality only (no server).
- A Snapchat equivalent that puts beards and other funny things on a picture of your face.
- A photo collage maker.
- A photo effects editor.
- An app that turns live pictures into gifs (really?)
All we want is clearly-marked trial versions (not "free apps with in-app purchases", users think that's bait-and-switch and give you 1 star reviews), and upgrade pricing. Apple refuses to adopt those.
Trial versions are a bad user experience.
Upgrade pricing would be nice, but fir most apps isn’t really necessary since subscriptions solve the same problem in a better manner.
This expectation is fine for companies like Adobe, who are going to be cranking out a new version on a regular basis. But it’s onerous to a smaller developer.
My understanding is Apple is now discouraging developers from using the subscription model unless their app has periodic new content / updates, but I haven’t confirmed this yet.
At least with a subscription you are incentivised to keep existing users happy.
Then why were users upgrading?
It is another problem of the Apple universe, that applications often stops working some time after no update, because Apple keeps breaking old applications. This is one reason which locks me out of Catalina.
Yes!! The App Store search function is useless. I want affordable paid apps without ads, subscriptions, or IAPs.
I think end users should have some rights with how they use computers, how they use software, how the social contract of the web is maintained, etc.
It continues to amaze me that anyone wants the sane government more involved in technology whose leader wants to “shut down Twitter” and wants all of the data it can get to spy on citizens.
> Google does exactly the same thing
Also, they’re not paying us at all. They’re taking 30% of our gross for the privilege of having an entry on their store, and then they run ads against us.
Apple is a Payment processor, that is the service they provide. a "Fair" amount for a payment process is maybe 5%, not 30%
They host and distribute petabytes of data.
They have a large team hosting and maintain marketing sites for developers in dozens of languages all over the world. Another team develops and distributes mobile apps for store access in all those languages.
They have a large team providing developer support and developer tools.
They have a thousand employees screening app submissions for malware to help ensure customers feel safe buying your apps from the App Store.
They have hundreds of employees marketing the store and promoting developers.
They do all these things for free if you distribute free apps. So he developers have distributed hundreds of terabytes of free apps without paying a dime.
Clearly Apple makes a profit from the App Store, but also clearly it wouldn’t be able to remotely cover these costs at 5%, their break even is closer to 15%.
Developers long for the day some government or court will force Apple to reduce their profit share, but as a iOS developer I warn those devs to be careful for what they wish for.
Apple taking 20% or less is a recipe for developers getting nickel and dimed by Apple. They will start charging hosting and bandwidth fees, submission fees, support subscriptions, etc, etc, and Apples profitability will be back where it was.
Free app devs and small developers however will take a huge step backwards.
Many devs would disagree with you here, Apple Dev support while better than Google is not much better. It is normal large faceless company with impersonal legal responses not customer service
>>They host and distribute petabytes of data. ... They do all these things for free if you distribute free apps ...
Ohh cry me a river... They made that choose so they could CONTROL the echosystem, they then can not turn around and claim this a bullshit justification for their fee extortion. They do not give anyone the option to use anything other than apple for app distribution so no I will not give them points for this
>but also clearly it wouldn’t be able to remotely cover these costs at 5%, their break even is closer to 15%.
Show me the money.... Show me the citation for that claim
>>Developers long for the day some government or court will force Apple to reduce their profit share
I long for the day when the government or courts ban Close ecosystems and stop allowing companies treat a product they SOLD to customers as if they still own it there by merely renting it out
The App Store is also FULL of scamware. As an iOS developer yourself, you should know that App Review is a complete joke. The point of App Review is actually to protect Apple's "intellectual property" more than anything. It's not to protect the users. We know that App Review only has time to spend a few minutes at most on each submission.
I've contacted App Store "support" several times; it's slow, crappy, probably low paid. Mostly canned responses that show only limited reading comprehension abilities.
As for "free" (to download) apps, everyone still has to pay the $100 per year developer program fee, and free apps still have to compete against iOS App Store Search Ads of other developers, so clearly Search Ads are a way of Apple generating revenue even from those.
So, in their simplicity, they only apply a mere 100% markup on costs, if I get this right.
Or did you just go for a feature phone, or a vintage Blackberry/webOS/Windows/Firefox phone? (rip)
1. Ads for competitors. Sure, show me ads. But don't replace my exact match with an ad that takes up the whole screen. As a user who searches for apps, I find this outrageous. If the App Store was solely an advertising network I would understand. But Apple takes a 30% commission! Get out of my way and let me find what I'm looking for, then take your commission.
2. Upgrade pricing. I'm tired of abandoned apps, especially those I paid for initially. I don't expect developers to work for free (nor do I want to have 100+ subscriptions). Let me upgrade to major new versions.
3. Subscriptions for everything. Ugh. Sometimes it makes a lot of sense to buy something outright and use it for its useful life. There are many apps I never use because I don't want yet another subscription, but I would have happily purchased.
4. Trials. Not on Wil Shipley's list, but how on earth do we not get trials? I don't want in-app purchases to "unlock" the app. I just want to try it out for a couple weeks before I buy. I have foregone many possibly great apps because I couldn't be confident they would work for me. And I've wasted money on apps that looked like they would work for me, but didn't.
EDIT: I see trials have been possible for 2 years! I had no idea. I guess I haven't encountered any, which seems odd.
As a user, I feel that Apple has created a race to the bottom and they've made the app ecosystem way less valuable to me. I would be happier if upgrades and trials allowed me to spend more money to get more valuable iOS apps. Instead I regret some purchases, avoid some purchases, can't tell how much apps actually cost, have to find new apps when old ones are abandoned, and don't trust that I'm able to discover and buy the best apps.
There are workarounds, but nothing that's really built in to the App Store as it should be.
I would be surprised if Apple didn't have in place a policy similar to the Google Play store (and others, like Steam), where you have a limited amount of time (a couple of hours) during which time you can "return" the software and not incur the cost.
The smartphone era will quickly be seen as the Good Old Days where publishing was self-serve at all. Basically what I'm saying is, we need to nip this in the bud, or indie development is over.
Big marketing budget, medium quality product, high price.
I do my part in capitalism by purchasing products that are quality.
Because the easily quantifiable specs of a device are usually a very poor indicator of quality, and quality is much more nuanced in reality.
For instance, the Xbox has always had higher specs than same generation Nintendo devices, but does that mean the quality is better? The Xbox One has almost no significant exclusive games, whereas the Switch has a huge number of critically acclaimed exclusives.
BOTW wasn't even an 8/10
The point is that a general purpose computing device without apps is a highly unstable situation. The bigger the potential for apps, the louder the demands get.
Remember they were literally defining everything at the beginning - OS, UX, APIs, core features, hardware, first party apps, market positioning, etc etc. Needs of third party developers weren’t nearly as important as nailing the basics and ensuring a risky project was a success. The html5 app bit was a way to test the waters for developer interest and demand but very much an interim solution.
Jobs’ hot takes aren’t the end-all when it comes to product intent at Apple. He was basically an embodiment of strong opinions weakly held. His superpower was focusing teams on what the right set of features would be to create a product that made sense to the market, and ignoring everything else. The phone / iPod / internet communicator trifecta was example of this - nothing but nailing those three mattered at launch, and any effort elsewhere was wasteful. Without that kind of leadership, eng teams will often dither efforts over many things that don’t matter to success.
The history of Apple is filled with examples of this dynamic. iPhone was a group effort among many talented and influential people and I doubt Forstall and others driving software had same opinion on third party apps. They just didn’t pick that battle before it made sense to. Every other computing platform at the time (including Windows Mobile, Palm, and BlackBerry) supported third party apps, it’s not like the use case was novel or difficult to see, and the webs limitations were considerable. Adding apps was a default path temporarily set aside.
I’d love this, myself, as a customer and as a developer. But, also, I’m arrogant enough to assume I’d be one of the curated.
They ask that you pitch them with marketing materials and get permission before you start working on anything, so they can "compassionately" tell you not to even start:
> If we feel that your app is not a fit for Quest, we'd like to let you know that early in the development process, before you've made significant production investments, rather than at the end.
I lean softly towards Apple on this one. A few reasons I can think of for why subscriptions are preferred over upgrade pricing:
- The app developer can keep making money over a longer period of time.
- Generally means somebody can try out software first before committing, whereas upgrade pricing implies you either have to commit before trying it or nothing -- there are no demos on the App Store.
- Subscriptions also mean a developer does not hold out new features or bug fixes for customers unless they upgrade -- it incentivizes developers to keep working on an app and maintain a relationship with customers. This is especially true as the app needs to be updated to be compatible with new devices and OS versions.
- Potentially lets customers choose feature sets in the app. This is a good thing as it means developers can broaden their market to customers who want to pay less for fewer features or more for more features. It doesn't lump everybody into the same bucket.
The other aspect is just how well we each feel we can keep track of and be disciplined with dozens of subscriptions. I'm the other way around from you - I'd pay $5 for an app without blinking, even to "try it out"; but I hesitate to "commit" to $3 a year, let alone $3 a month, for something new.
It's the only solution so far that doesn't lock customers into a subscription that may stop giving them value commensurate with what they're paying, while giving developers a recurring source of revenue that incentivizes continuous improvement.
I've seen it work wonders for Sketch, which seems to have increased its pace of development after switching to an update-subscription model (as a side note, the lack of a clear, standard name for this model may be its greatest disadvantage). I use an active subscription at work, while I have a slightly older version that I've currently let lapse on my personal machine because I only need it occasionally. Between subscriptions and major-version upgrades, it really is the best of both worlds.
The maddening thing with Apple is that this model would slot neatly into the App Store. All they'd need is a new type of subscription that gates App Store updates. Apple already keeps old packages on the server, as one discovers if they download a purchased app on a device stuck on an old version of iOS – the only thing missing is the will to implement this model.
In any case, subscriptions aren't directly equivalent to upgrade pricing even when an upgrade is provided every subscription period because in an upgrade pricing model the end user can always choose to stop paying and continue to use software they already bought.
I think that ignores how little most developers make in the app store. They aren't rolling in money, most are just trying to figure out a way to eke out a living.
The subscription model fails in a lot of ways, for everyone. For example, my next app is an interior design / home control app. How would the customer feel if they stopped paying and didn’t have access to their house any more? Most people would be pissed.
I don’t want to hold my customers’ data for ransom and cut them off if they stop paying me my extortion money.
Also, I estimate about half the people who buy version one of my app will enter their floorplan into their computer, place their furniture, be happy, and never use the app again (until I upgrade it to offer home control, as well). If those users just pay like a buck each and cancel after the first month, I’m not going to make my money back for the six years I’ve put into this app.
I’d argue that it’s much more important Apple let developers put out one-time-per-customer, timed, fully-functional demos.
Developers with successful products are already incentivized to keep updating them. What I’ve found again and again is that version two of a product will do better than version one.
Adobe’s been selling Photoshop since I was in college, and it’s not like they didn’t upgrade their app. Same with Intuit / Quicken.
You don't have to, you could make it readonly when the subscription expires.
I talked to some indies who do this for apps they sell outside the App Store, but none of them did it with App Store apps. I believe they indicated there were obstacles to doing it with the App Store (as it is). I’m definitely not an expert in this — I’ve never had a subscription app.
I think this shows, in my opinion, how little native vs. web/electron actually matters to overall quality. You can generally make a smooth, fast, bug-free app on any platform. Or not...
I used to use the Android version and I was never quite sure whether it was native or not. I couldn't think of a way to tell.
Edit to add: Lots of people are mentioning Visual Studio Code. I agree it’s a good app in many dimensions; I didn’t mean to say that an Electron app can’t be good in some ways, even in the most important ways, but rather that Electron introduces flaws that prevent the app from being good in all ways. In particular, while faster than most Electron apps it’s still sluggish on old devices. It still loses track of files when renamed unless you do the rename through Visual Studio Code. The UI elements aren’t as polished as native let alone consistent with it, settings aren’t synced and backed up to iCloud, system-wide keyboard settings aren’t obeyed, Quick Look previews aren’t provided, etc. All of these problems were either introduced by Electron or made more difficult by it.
But I don’t know any other electron apps that feel responsive. Slack, discord, Notion... all super simple apps which respond like molasses.
If you want fast native development then I recommend Delphi - but that is not PC either.
I use vscode, but I miss the speed of sublime for large projects & the terminal emulator will crash/freeze for me occasionally (which also seems to happen in IntelliJ based editors as well)
And while I love the word "webshit" in itself -- it's a very pleasing word to say -- I object to it.
The web is not universally shit. It has advantages: primarily almost truly "write once, run anywhere." I run Ubuntu. I almost certainly would not be able to use VSCode on my laptop if it were not an Electron app. I am better off having an Electron version of VSCode than some native version of it existing that doesn't run on Linux.
(Also, isn't Visual Studio a native app, and hot garbage compared to VSCode? I've never used it, but that's what I hear.)
Is this some kind of great achievement? Vim runs ten times as fast on a 28 year old PDP-11.
>The web is not universally shit.
To quote the old Java saying, saying "write once, run everywhere" is a selling point of Java is like saying anal sex is great because it works on all genders. Like... maybe, but it's not really the point.
You couldn't use VSCode on Linux, but you could use any of several much better editors, and effectively double your RAM to boot.
>(Also, isn't Visual Studio a native app, and hot garbage compared to VSCode? I've never used it, but that's what I hear.)
Back when I used Windows as a dev platform, years and years ago, Visual Studio was quite pleasant. The experience of that back in the day is much better than the experiences I had with VSCode more recently.
But both of them are terrible compared to the native development environment of Linux.
what does this mean exactly
Wanna take a shot at porting electron to a new platform? It's only a couple dozen million lines of code.
Also, what major platforms don't have a modern web browser?
VS Code has gotten better—it has a higher ceiling than it used to but there are limitations that’ll always be there as long it’s based on Electron.
That ceiling also applies to responsiveness and adherence to the macOS UI/UX guidelines.
I’m waiting on Panic’s editor that’s in private beta. I don’t see an Electron app matching the fit, finish and polish of a native app by a developer team with the experience and track record of Panic: https://panic.com/nova/
Or perhaps it's because it is so commonly used.
I use it because it's packed with useful functionality, but …I resent using it– I think I'd adore it if it were native.
Started using couple or three months back for a relatively large C project (with large amounts of lib includes) and so far the experience has been really good. Then switched to remote ssh devel, still really good.
What's these slugish/perf issues on vsvode all about? What am I missing?
I could totally work with VSCode but I just prefer the overall experience of Sublime.
It seems poor performance is a core value at the company.
Sending and receiving is something for a background thread to spend a fraction of a percent of a CPU core on.
The amount on-screen at any time is tiny, and should not take a significant amount of resources on a modern computer.
If it's rendering a thousand off-screen rich content messages, that's not impressive, that's it being coded badly.
The 'freemium' games hide.
- games that offer a single purchase, or a one time upgrade for full features without ads. Yes, some people will buy the 'bucket of coffee beans' upgrade. I won't. I don't want to search through twenty games that offer it.
- productivity tools that do something useful. My phone is stuck in 2001. Universal menu ordering? Teach me in two minutes? Manage my contacts to call people I haven't talked to in a while? Anything?
- privacy. Why does the Peet's Application in the background still get updated location services, draining my battery? When is the microphone on? Who is really calling me?
Seriously. A business model based on "the other players aren't doing well either" seems excessively fragile.
There seem to be enough people who don't see this as self evident and are motivated to try and create their own walled gardens in the hopes of becoming the next rent seeker overlord.
These types of posts never end - it's as if people refuse to let go of their naive belief that Apple or some other entity is fundamentally good, but just needs to be pleaded with a little more, to begin to act righteously. It reminds me of children who beg their parents into buying them a toy they want. It makes me sad for both the child to be stooping to such a level but even more so for the parent, for letting the child end up in such a situation in the first place.
I don't know, is begging trillion dollar companies to provide basic functionality not in conflict with having an iota of dignity?
> an iota of dignity
That's a bit harsh, man.
I don’t think it’s undignified to tell Apple they are going down a road that’ll hurt everyone.
You assume nobody at Apple will listen to me. I don’t.
"It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it." - Upton Sinclair
That’s not how it works....
Also: Capping in-app payments (I’m targeting games here) at a certain multiple of cost price, or a fixed amount for free apps, would fix the absurd gaming mechanisms aimed only at extracting more money rather than great gameplay.
Another drawback seems to be lack of controllers that make some games hard to play. This is yet another issue to be addressed by Apple-- They did add in DualShock and XBox controller support but that doesn't mean a lot unless users have access to those consoles in the first place, further solidifying Apple Arcade's place as a on-the-go gaming solution.
Because they've been repeatedly abused by free-to-play nonsense. Take out the IAPs and forced ads entirely and watch game quantity drop while quality skyrockets. Customers might still be willing to buy back in, if all trust hasn't been eroded already.
: Normally that's not a thing you want from a game/entertainment storefront, but I think the App Store (and Steam) is actually at the point where it would benefit from fewer games. Consumer confidence is at an all-time low.
In the early days of the app store getting high download counts was one of the only ways to get visibility. Which pushed the race to the bottom on pricing.
Once the big F2P players established themselves, they sucked all the air out of the ecosystem.
Arcade is, among other things, Apple's attempt to fix this. We will see how it turns out.
Apple is extremely tight lipped on what they're doing and where they're going, they will support and then drop some technology on an apparent whim. I've had serious issues when they dropped WebObjects, Java as a first class Cocoa development language, and now moving to Swift seems like a message that all my work in Objective C will be thrown away by Apple. The promise of ZFS on OS X made me buy a Mac Pro, and then several months later they just dropped all mention of ZFS on OS X.
I'm not going to stick with a company which is so secretive about what they are going to do, failing to even publish roadmaps for their customers and developers. Mindshare among the tech geeks is how OS X took off. Now they're losing it - many developers I know are moving away from the platform too.
Cocoa, Objective C, OpenGL, etc, are all going to die some day and Apple will announce it a year or two in advance like they usually do with major breaking stuff. Any serious company would announce these EOL 4-5 years in advance.
With Apple the only safe strategy is to keep investing dev time to update everything to the newer stuff or let the project die because in 2-3 years max it will most likely stop working.
It's no coincidence all big Mac apps (other than Apple's own stuff) are actually cross platform projects. No wonder Apple is trying to bring people over from iOS with Catalyst.
I was going to start a macOS product this year but with the transition to SwiftUI I decided it was a really bad idea to invest in a Cocoa project.
And Jesus don't get me started on having to update the OS to get the latest Xcode version every year with their half baked macOS versions.
Since I no longer use OS X and haven’t installed the current or past few versions I couldn’t tell you what is being poorly maintained or ignored but my guess is a more familiar person could guess what Tim’s abandoning next with some scrutiny and a handful of yarrow stalks.
all this churn, and what do we get for it, we can loose our old apps, customers can get upset, devs large and small look for shortcuts because thier investment (obj-c, appkit, uikit, swift 1 - 4, 32-bit, etc etc) is obsoleted... it just reduces the number of viable apps... isnt the whole point of apis that they abstract the machine/os underneath so we dont have churn so much?
i know windows isnt the best thing ever, but lots of older apps just work, and i feel apple (and all of us) would be better served if they at least wrote better abstractions to support older apps (32bit runs in compatibility mode, etc)
This actually splits developer mindset into two camps: those who love the introduction of new stuff and deem it necessary to achieve progress, and those who accuse Apple of planning obsolescence into their products, and deprecating technologies too early (it’s a little bit hard too believe when you compare Android to iOS, but Linux or Windows vs. macOS tells a different story).
apple, like any other company of thier size, can continue to move forward and drop old technologies while at the same time keeping older apps working; its eimply a matter of will and policy
From what I understand, a lot of apple engineers were really disappointed about dropping zfs. It’s sucks they can’t talk about it.
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* App Store Review Guidelines
* Apple Developer Forums
* App Store Review
The only thing missing is bug reporting, and I stuck my response for that in it anyways when they asked what was wrong with their developer tools ("Respond to our feedback!"). Sadly, I think the results of this survey are anonymized so thoroughly that they disappear entirely before anyone at Apple can get to look at them.
(Supposedly the forums are getting revamped in a week for WWDC. I don't have very high hopes, sadly, but I'd love to be pleasantly surprised.)
- App updates. I think that the subscription model would be pretty good for apps actually if you could have a micro transaction system. Great quality apps are constantly maintained and often have recurring costs (API, servers, etc). Selling apps for a one time fee does not fit that well in this model. A nominal fee for app updates kinda solves part of the problem .. you just hope that your users love the new feature enough to buy it. It feels a lot like for a lot of apps that would just lead to feature creep instead of good design. I have been hoping to see a micro-subscription model emerge for a very long time. Unfortunately I don't think customers want that and Apple/Google don't seem super interested in pushing it either (Google kinda has that with Google Play Pass, but in typical Google fashion this is dead on arrival).
- I don't think the web is in a significantly different than it has been for the entirety of iOS/Android existences : it has its place but is not going to replace native anytime soon, especially for the "high quality" apps the author talks about.
I stay the hell away from apps that don’t let me manage my own data, which excludes most apps that have recurring costs. Even so more and more standalone apps that I use are going subscription because of the lack of another way to deal with upgrades.
And thinking about it .. hard to make a good weather app that does not collect your location. Good is relative here, for me a good weather app will automatically update to my current location wherever I go.
I’m pretty sure we can do micro-subscription already — I could ask Apple to just charge $1 a month, that’s pretty micro. (I don’t think we can do pennies, yet.) But that model doesn’t really work for all types of apps.
For instance, I estimate about half the people who buy version one of my app will enter their floorplan into their computer, place their furniture, be happy, and never use the app again (until I upgrade it to offer home control, as well). If those users had the option to just pay me 5 cents for the month they used the app, I’d have to get 16 million of these users to make back the money I’ve put into this app.
That’s not really feasible.
My point with the web is that pass-through web “apps” on iOS are the same as pass-through web “apps” on Android, so Apple is losing a competitive advantage if they kill of their native developers.
If you’ve got Slack or Chrome or a banking app or a finance app or a health app on your iPhone, you could be running the exact same app on Android. So why did you spend extra on an iPhone? Apple needs to treat its independent, native developers better because we are the only ones who are making products that are Apple-only, and show off all the cool things iOS and macOS can do.
That's a good point but really not "for everyone". Agreed that for a one shot app like this, pay once is the model that works. Although one could argue that you still held the customer data captive as soon as they get a new phone and the app is no longer compatible.
I’ve spoken with an Apple SVP about the compatibility issue and it's huge, you’re right. My suggestion to them at the time was to boot apps out of the app store that don’t stay up-to-date.
But there’s a gap I can’t solve, which is Apple doesn’t want users paying more just to keep their apps running on new iPhones.
As a datapoint, though, iOS apps have a LONG shelf-life. I have an iOS app I shipped with iOS 7 and it still runs on iOS 13.
With macOS, yes, we’re all angry because Apple finally made good on its promise to deprecate 32-bit apps after like six years of warning us. And, yah, I lost 60% of my games on Steam and I’m upset about it, but also I like my machine being way more responsive (loading both the entire 32-bit stack and the entire 64-bit stack at once meant a ton of memory pressure and swapping), and I like that Apple doesn’t have to maintain to entirely different codebases and can fix bugs and add features once not twice.
And it’s not like 64-bit apps are a new thing — if you’ve submitted an app to the Mac App Store you’ve been required for YEARS to have it run on 64-bit machines.
It sucks that Steam didn’t enforce this as well — not because they should do Apple’s bidding, but because it would have been a mitzvah to Steam’s customers who just lost a lot of games.
I too also have way too many mac steam games ... from the very brief period when gaming on a mac was thing. I haven't updated my personal MBP yet but I will have to bite the bullet sooner or later.
Fortunately I have moved on to consoles.. I better not update my mbp and look at my list of compatible games.
There could be another way though, looks like windows 10 still supports 32 bits software via WOW64 (32 bits emulator). In general the one good thing I can say about windows is that it managed to stay retro compatible with pretty much all the previous versions.
I agree with this. I think there are probably a lot of app ideas where the margin is small enough that 30% probably prevents them from even being started.
Also fix app review. It's so arbitrary, it's like playing a game of darts.
What if the app itself was free but it charged a small fee the first time a new file was saved? The file format doesn't have to be proprietary - a simple chunk of metadata should be able to identify the creator and the files won't need to be tracked by a central authority because the mere existence of the signature in the file would imply that the one-off payment had already been made.
The canonical example is a rich Markdown editor. You could get the WYSIWYG conveniences à la Word and the resulting .md file would have a signature indicating that the app had saved it.
Subsequent edits by the author wouldn't incur a fee as the signature would match the app instance. But someone else with a copy of the app would incur a fee if they also used it to make changes of their own and their signature would be added to the file.
Someone else could edit the file with their favourite text editor. This wouldn't incur a fee. But the signatures would have to be preserved otherwise the original author(s) wouldn't be able to re-edit the file without incurring another payment.
Perhaps I'm being dumb but I think these files could be safely pushed to Github with the signatures intact. They'd be as secure as any public key.
I can see this working with many file types -- MS Office documents, Adobe Illustrator et al, 3D model files, PDFs, images, movies. The same file could be edited with different apps each saving their own signatures. All that's needed is something which disables the "File/Save" command unless a payment is made.
Is anyone aware of any software which works like this?
Yes, there would be ways to game this approach by minimising the number of files saved but the price per new save could be set sufficiently low to make the inconvenience too uneconomical. And there might be users who need to create thousands of new files over the course of a year and who might be better served by a subscription model or a pricing cap.
Which was during the coronavirus lockdown and associated unemployment and economic upheaval.
In addition to Omni group seemed to be on something of a downturn (personally I recently gave up on Omnigraffle because 1) I was tired of the upgrade pricing and 2) simultaneous cross-platform multiuser editing is currently more important to me than a rich feature set and beautiful UI.)
Agreed completely about ads in the app store - they are basically worthless and often very annoying and spammy.
I particularly concur with subscription vs. upgrade pricing. I utterly despise subscriptions, and I want to have the option to pay an incremental fee for an upgrade if I want to rather than having to purchase a new version of the app!
Honestly, I was shocked. I thought the App store would be better than Google Play Store, which I didn't think was that great, but I could usually find paid apps without ads.
Btw, I totally agree with his asks for the App store.
You can meet me - I much prefer subscriptions. Pay while I use it, like a service, rather than pretending to 'buy' it which was never really how it was anyway. I don't mind losing access if I'm not paying any more. If want to use it again, I'm happy to pay again.
What's the problem?
Aw. I love their software. Omnigraffle is my platonic ideal of great software.
NO! Stop giving Apple more reasons to ruin the web. The browser lock-in on iOS, poor support for modern browser features, and lack of any native interfacing is beyond unforgivable. For Apple, the web is a second-class citizen and it's bordering on lunacy to suggest otherwise.
For the features, I could mention from what I ran into myself: input[type="number"] (yes, they still have not fixed their implementation after all those years...), the full screen api, Media Source Extensions, css ::selection, Intersection Observers, autofocus (yes, even that does not work), I could add a lot more here.
And that's not mentioning the various bugs you have on this platforms, again some example of what I ran into:
- https://stackoverflow.com/questions/18047353/fix-css-hover-o... (yes, you read it well, even tapping on an element does not work as normal)
- https://stackoverflow.com/questions/11768364/svg-scaling-iss... (svg rendering issues)
- https://stackoverflow.com/questions/52826005/workaround-for-... (iframe focus bug)
There's plenty of weird quirks like this everywhere. It's never completely broken but it's pretty comparable to the time you spend fixing things on IE11 honestly.
Personally, I miss the days of classic Mac OS when both the platform and the applications were premium, high quality software. No in-app purchases, no subscriptions, no microtransactions, no shitty web frameworks. Everything was native and really well designed. The operating system and third party apps were all part of a cohesive experience.
At that point, there won’t be much reason to buy Apple products. Of course, Apple says they have the best products and ecosystem, blah blah blah. (And it’s an ecosystem I largely like, to be fair.) But Apple should not become so arrogant that they think customers will flock to buy their products based only on the Apple’s own software.
Innovation comes from the small, independent developers. The first web browser for Mac OS X, the first PDF viewer for Mac OS X, the first image viewer for Mac OS X, and the first video barcode scanner on ANY platform were all created outside Apple.
Also, Pages and Keynote are rewrites of Pages and Concurrence (apps created by Lighthouse Design for NeXTstep) done _by the some of the same people who did the originals_.
It’s easy once you the hit mega-billion-dollar success level to forget how many of your products and ideas didn’t come from inside your company. But also fatal.
In fact, this exact approach with Safari and Extensions have driven away a lot of users to Firefox and Chrome
I don't understand. Aren't freemium apps allowed on AppStore? There are lots of apps with in-app purchase upgrades.
(2) And sometimes, it is impossible. An example is supporting new iphonex+ aspect ratios. There's no way post-launch to 'go back' to the old scheme or go forward to the new.
The article says 1%, his tweet says 1/3... but that seems low!
Apple's cut is 30%. To only take 1/3 of profits, costs must only be 10% of revenue... cost of support, advertising, AND development.
It could be CDN for your app, where Apple could lower the bandwidth usage for certain uses, using the Apple EdgeCache. Or additional tools that helps developer's productivity.
There are lots could be done. And yet Post Steve Jobs Apple hasn't acted on it.