Really wondering how Apple can think they need to have that much power. How can they let me, a simple-minded iPhone user use the web browser without checking every website so that the sites don't violate Apple's policies. How do they allow 3rd party web browsers. They display loads of questionable content, too.
And actually, I don't think that'd be too far off. Like what Google has their Safe Browsing list containing links to malware sites, Apple could create their own Apple Internet List, and demand through App Store policies that all browsers implement it or else.
This reasoning is beyond absurd.
I just checked, and Black Mirror: Bandersnatch is playable on my iPhone.
Games like Late Shift or The Complex on Xbox are very similar.
(Which is not to absolve Apple of unethical behavior, but it is one way in which the analogy doesn't hold.)
They don't need to "verify every video" because a video is a video. It's all about the codec, security etc wise, not the content. With dynamic code, like a game or app, it's obviously different.
I’m surprised Google didn’t develop it that way to begin with.
iOS Safari isn't supported, however. Not sure if it has something to do with gamepads, video codecs, or what...
And do note that you can purhcase movies from Youtube app.
Not on iPhones?
Apple is just mad because they're not getting a slice of the pie. I could see them being paid for the initial app purchase (once, not a subscription) for the distribution, but why the hell should they get paid for all the games being streamed? They're not handling the game servers or any of the related bandwidth requirements behind the scene.
This is about the much more subtle and insidious way that Apple leverages their control over iOS to block software that Apple deems threatening. App Store guideline 2.5.2, disallowing downloading and executing code in most circumstances, is a sister policy to this one about game streaming services. What both of these policies have in common is that they ban things that have the potential to supersede iOS itself, e.g., by becoming a successful app platform in-and-of itself (if you squint you can see the connection, if you can play Halo this way, why not Photoshop?)
Ben Thompson has written the definitive article on this protectionist mindset that drives many of Apple's store policies.
I'd love to hear Apple explain what the worst case scenario is for consumers if they were to let Netflix customers sign up the app, let Amazon customers buy books in the app, or play streaming games?
Apple is the most valuable company in the world and there's only one way for them to go from here.
No, that's the whole point.
>I'd love to hear Apple explain what the worst case scenario is for consumers if they were to let Netflix customers sign up the app, let Amazon customers buy books in the app, or play streaming games?
Infrequently heard perspective is that very often (non-tech) people call in to apple support about purchases made in apps on the iPhone. Apple owns the in-app purchasing of ALL purchases in app, and can reverse and refund the purchase. Worst case scenario is apple has to say "we can't help you" and they probs don't want that. When you stream a game/app instead of get it from App Store, apple can't say its a good experience or not broken, they can't refund or audit. Think about how apple was going to ban social media apps that allow p*rnographic content. They couldn't guarantee content on app... so ban it unless the app could self-censor.
You can say apple shouldn't care about the quality/type of content, and people should be smart enough to distinguish 3party apps from apple apps... yet talk to Apple Support workers, and they'll tell you that people don't.
Android, like google, has no real support services at all. Tons of people buy Apple because of support, and they will defend their ability to support (and take a nice fat chunk $$) until someone tells them its illegal.
Just for context, Apple became the most valuable company in 2011.
Microsoft was the most valuable company in 2002 and as of today, it’s #3. It could easily become number one again since it has much higher margins than Apple.
Of course eventually Apple will fail. But who knows how long that will take?
I’m not saying that I think Apple deserves a 30% cut of every service.
We basically got lucky that the web was invented and well-established long before the iPhone was. If it had been the other way around, I strongly doubt the iPhone would ship with a browser or that they'd be allowed on the App Store.
(googler, but i work on and far prefer iOS. i care about the platform and i wish it had actual browser engine competition)
For that matter, it'd be worth keeping other browser engines out if their integrations broke Apple's only-vendor-who-seems-to-give-a-shit accessibility features. I dunno, maybe iOS Firefox and Chrome already do, but I'd imagine forcing Webkit keeps people from embedding browser engines that screw with that. Which, again, wouldn't bother me if anyone else were half as good. Please, for the love of god, anyone, compete with Apple. No one is, right now.
[EDIT] and by Safari I mean Safari's webkit, of course. You can embed webviews! You can run JS! You can ship your own browser! You cannot ship your own browser engine, for a bunch of very good reasons, and I'm having a hard time in this case of thinking of any nefarious reasons for the rule.
[EDIT EDIT] and then of course a browser engine is a giant attack surface. Better one version of one browser engine on your device than 20 versions of 3 browsers, most of which anyone but a turbonerd won't even realize are there because they're included with non-web-browser apps.
In the case of Windows and the Mac, they are both insecure by design. You can’t have the functionality of either with the same level of security as the iPhone without reducing functionality. The best either can do is annoy users with pop ups that they eventually, reflexively just press OK.
I install all kind of random crap on my iPhone/iPad because there are more strict controls over what they can do. iOS aggressively kills battery and CPU intensive apps.
I refuse to install Zoom for instance on my computer because they have repeatedly been shown to be bad actors (https://www.zdnet.com/article/zoom-defends-use-of-local-web-...)
> I mean doesn't that literally keep me as their customer more? Now that I'm not switching to an Android device where the land is greener.
Apple charges $100 more for its cheapest phone than the average cost of an Android phone. Apple knows they aren’t going to get every customer.
In the famous words of Jobs - “if you want porn apps - buy an Android”. I’m not saying you want porn apps. I’m speaking to the fact that Apple knows it’s leaving some segment of the population out when it makes the choices it makes.
Love the analogy.
Even if you have another browser chrome wrapped around webkit, when you click a link it probably will open Safari.
Hopefully they follow through with the change on iOS 14.
They do by requiring that all apps (including Chrome) to use the Safari WebKit engine provided by the OS.
They actually justifies it by pointing to parental control and safe browsing.
Apple's approach for many years (at least) has been screaming "control freak", so it's completely in character.
I guess the reality is that nobody would buy an iPhone if those things didn't work, but game streaming is new enough that Apple can use their large market position to kill them instead of them killing Apple. I guess that's business for you.
If it has a clear meaning, can you point to a single example of the sort of arrangement you’re talking about?
A relevant quote on her approach is here:
>Apple, you’ve got to break it apart from their App Store. It’s got to be one or the other. Either they run the platform or they play in the store. They don’t get to do both at the same time. So it’s the same notion.
>If you run a platform where others come to sell, then you don’t get to sell your own items on the platform because you have two comparative advantages. One, you’ve sucked up information about every buyer and every seller before you’ve made a decision about what you’re going to sell. And second, you have the capacity — because you run the platform — to prefer your product over anyone else’s product. It gives an enormous comparative advantage to the platform.
You can find a transcript of this full interview at , but she's mentioned it several times and other politicians have also made their own, similar suggestions.
You’d have to in some way break the entire model of the iphone, which involves sandboxing apps. How else could you have an app store company separate from the device maker?
Android can have different stores but that is done through rooting correct?
You have a few game app stores on windows/mac, but no general purpose app stores. It just isn’t a business that I know of.
Nor is the rationale explained. As long as there has been computing, OS makers have developed software that has competed with third party. This distinction seems like a slogan, rather than a solution.
(There may be other solutions of course)
And seriously, Apple is a hundred billion dollar company. I'm sure they can handle this if push comes to shove. People need to stop defending these companies as if they need the protection.
> Better if the App Store gets broken up into its own independent company.
It sounds like the actual proposal would be “make apple allow the installation of arbitrary app packages without review”, since that would allow the app model from android you’re talking about.
That isn’t making the app store a business, but rather changing os permissions. It’s not clear to me “the apple app store” is a business separate from apple.
Btw, got an example of one of those android app store apps? I’d be interested in looking at one. I’m assuming google doesn’t review the apps you can install with those?
> Apple is a hundred billion dollar company.
A nit, but they’re near two trillion actually
F-Droid is an open source alternative. Amazon has the Amazon Appstore. Samsung has the Galaxy Store. A more complete list here: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Android_app_stores
Google has nothing to do with the curation of any of these alternative stores, since they're owned and run by completely separate third-parties and Android as currently designed doesn't prevent a user from installing arbitrary app packages (apk's).
F droid isn’t a business, it’s a non profit. The amazon app store is mostly for fire devices. On non-fire devices:
> The Amazon App Store is not limited to just Fire devices. While it takes a bit of work, the App Store can be installed on most Android devices and provide users with an alternative to the Google Play Store. However, the process requires you to enable the ability to install apps from unknown sources, which is highly discouraged by Google.
I’m sure the Samsung app store is a similar story on non-samsung devices.
Outside of games, there aren’t really any app stores on mac/pc, because you can install anything you want. It is the security model of phones that makes app stores a thing in the first place.
A proposal to allow multiple app stores seems like a proposal to make apple alter its security model. Alternate app stores on android involve circumventing android’s default security model.
The app store could have a 99% commission "because Apple runs it". That's part of the problem. If a developer wants to target iOS users, they have to go through Apple's store and agree to anything Apple says.
But, of course, that's totally legal and fine. That's not why people are advocating breaking up the App Store. The real problem is that Apple has free reign to remove, ban, or hinder adoption (in basically unlimited ways) any app they want, which often equates to "apps that compete with anything Apple wants to do as a company". Does your music streaming company want an app on iPhones? Too bad, Apple can simply say "no" because they have Apple Music. Want to let people buy books through your company's app? Too bad, Apple can just say no because they have Apple Books. Want to let your existing customers access their existing Stadia purchases on an iOS device they own? Too bad.
It's pretty basic anti-competitive and anti-consumer behavior under the guise of needing to "review" all apps, coupled with the idea that only reviewed apps can be installed on your phone (a paradigm that doesn't exist on other widespread operating systems, mind you!). There's benefit in reviewing apps, for sure, but when you, as a company, have the means and the motive to screw over your competitors, it's often in everyone else's best interest to remove either the means (separating the app store from Apple) or the motivation (removing Apple's apps from the app store).
Apple's not alone in this, and they're not the only one politicians like Warren are going after. It's not really any different from e.g. Amazon siphoning up data on purchase patterns and then producing their own products that they can then promote instead of their competitors on their own store.
Having third-party app stores lets Apple continue to play in their own store, but arguably removes the means to screw over competitors by giving them an alternate way to get their app to a user's phone and frees them from having to agree to literally-anything-Apple-says to play on customer devices that Apple doesn't own.
As a consumer there is definitely a tangible benefit to having the App Store be safe and consistent. Apple can impose its technical, moral, safety, and design philosophy on every app in its own stores like Disney or Whole Foods might with their retail products.
But if Hey Email or ClassPass or anyone else doesn't like Apples offerings, they can go to a 3rd party store and be available there. Like the new browser entitlement, Apple can choose which 3rd parties are able to allow installs (and hopefully some regulation prevents this from being anti-competitive).
There is no anti-competitive measures because there is no singular channel to install an app on an iphone anymore. And then Apple can make their App Store even more tightly controlled because every developer there is there by choice. Apple can cut custom deals to keep Google, Facebook or anyone else there, but Apple has to earn those partnerships like on the Mac App Store
What regulation could ever make Apple behave nicely to sub-stores who are eating their lunch? I doubt there would ever be a truly effective way to do that.
Instead, why not just tell Apple to allow side-loading (like basically every other consumer-grade OS has since the history of computers began)? If they want to include a 3rd-party app store in the Apple App Store, that's fine. If they don't, also fine. But I should be able to run whatever programs I want
But allowing third party stores would be terrible for users and developers. Security is a huge issue, but other reasons include:
1) Splitting app search across different stores hurting discoverability.
2) Different payment systems making purchasing more difficult.
3) Different subscription and purchasing rules making it harder for customers to refund purchases or cancel subscriptions, reducing consumer confidence in buying on the platform.
4) Lowered app review standards letting even more spam-ware, malware and fraud-ware on the platform, hurting sales for legit developers.
5) Developers forced to spend more time and money hosting their apps on more stores to maximize their reach.
The security of the platform and frictionless purchase system are Apples primary responsibilities. If they lose control of them then iPhone has little that is better than Android.
In other words, being rejected from the App Store is an end of the world situation, while being rejected from Google Play is not quite.
Again, if a company wants The Google Experience™, it can use it for 30% of its income. If it does not, it's free to use whatever payment provider it wants.
But apple should probably set rules for which third party apps are allowed to download and execute third party code. Third party app stores would work differently on a technical level then a game streaming app which I agree with you are like a browser or video app. Game streaming apps however seem to be gated from the same “no third party stores” rules
I absolutely do not want that to happen. This is no way is an actual benefit to anyone. If Hey or ClassPass was relegated to some other app store on iOS, it may as well not exist.
It's an actual benefit to anybody who is willing to jump through one tiny hoop to get the app they want, and an actual benefit to the developers of those apps.
The result is that Apple has to actually be competitive with its App Store. A lot of these BS policies wouldn't last if they had to be competitive.
And if Hey is typical of the vast majority of SAAS services, they pay affiliate fees and other marketing fees based on a percentage of sales to third parties that promote their service. So why not play Apple their 15% for a seamless in-app purchase system to add new users with?
Hey has responded very specifically to this https://hey.com/apple/iap/
Their main objection to this is that they want to own the relationship with the customer. They want to be able to issue a refund or account credit or discount or hardship exceptions, which you cannot do through Apple's App Store.
If they had their app distributed elsewhere and they were losing customers, they could choose to work with apple, but right now they have no choice. At the same time, apple would have to earn its relationship with developers like target and Walmart have to do with their suppliers.
There are plenty of companies and individuals that have chosen to direct-sell rather than offer products through other retailers. It's a choice they can make, foolish or not.
If I'm a parent, I would love to be able to enable an app store that sells human-curated child-friendly apps with no advertising and strict controls over tracking. I'd like that store to be a heck of a lot stricter than Apple's is.
Apple can't offer me that level of quality, because the same store needs to serve multiple demographics. Sure, they can flag some apps as mature, but the fact that they're balancing that distinction to try and come up with a set of standards that will be acceptable to everyone across multiple continents means it's very difficult for them to make gut-level instinctual choices or take hardline positions on what they consider acceptable.
The same is true for security. Apple has standards about what info apps are allowed to access, and they'll throw apps out for requesting permissions that are unnecessary. But I'm going to be honest -- their standards are lower than mine are. If I was building a privacy-respecting app store, it would be way stricter than Apple's.
Having choices gives you the freedom to opt into stores that are strictly regulated and curated on a quality level that Apple will never be able to approach. No single app store that's designed for everyone will ever be as well moderated as a set of distinct stores that are serving specific niches.
Apple has built a secure system, but that is only secure if you trust apple (i.e. one software update could break a secure enclave). The next question is, can the system still be secure, but the trust decentralized. This is complicated and hard, but I would say it is not impossible
Maybe they perceive this as a first step on a path of streaming apps in general? As internet connectivity continues to improve, what’s to stop all apps from simply being streamed? If they allow interactive remote gaming, why not allow us to stream text processors, photo editing apps, etc? How would they make any money off the App Store in a future where all apps are streamed bypassing their system all together?
I’m not advocating for this, just bouncing the ball in an attempt to understand their perspective. Where do you draw the line?
There is probably nothing Apple could do to prevent some determined engineer from building a streaming application framework that targets web instead of native apps for delivery of final server-side rasterized content. Best they could do is start blocking websites by IP/DNS which is arguably immediate grounds for Apple being split up and scattered to the seven winds by the FTC.
Hypothetically, you could develop this framework and build your own app store at myappstore.com. Instead of downloading binary images of applications from this site, it would actually host the application directly as a streaming web experience. For instance, accessing myappstore.com/MySocialMediaApp would be the resource that loads a full-screen server-side-rendered view of that specific application. All clients would just need to store a 256 bit cookie that is used for identifying the session. Everything else could live on the server, including 100% of the client view state. This model also makes it trivial to share application state between users or devices.
This kind of approach should sound like a massive boon to Apple in terms of them having absolute control & visibility, but I think they are just playing the current development ecosystem right now.
Yes I agree, I think this is the answer. Video streaming is allowed since they already lost -- no one wants to download the whole video as an app first because the experience would suck.
That's not true of games...yet. They are scared it will be. As an enthusiast, I'm a little scared too!
So, we get a native app that also runs on a server, like a website.
As Microsoft Cloud Gaming (xCloud) and other platforms are proving, there are new markets for this type of apps.
It's exactly the same logic.
Videos, security, behavior etc wise, are all the same (as long as they use the same codecs). It's the video player code that matters and might have be audited, not each video.
Games and apps are obviously different, as they have dynamic behavior.
So it's not the same logic at all.
What is Apple's argument for allowing the choose-your-own-adventure Netflix titles (without per-title review) but disallowing more fine-grained interactivity?
Well yes, but this is a game streaming app. It just captures input from the user and sends back a video of the game, running in the cloud.
> It's a private company and they can do what they want.
And we are individuals who can complain as much as we want; this is a non-argument.
> I appreciate their oversight, because now I know that I can't get hacked by Microsoft allowing bad games on their app!
The games are totally isolated from your phone, so they can't hack you, unless they're somehow using the input from your phone as a ridiculously low-bandwidth side channel.
I'm just spit-balling here. These are the top attack vectors that come to mind. IDK, maybe I'm thinking wayyyyy outta the box here.
1) I think that only I should decide if I want to run that app. The manufacturer no longer owns the device after selling it to me
2) The corrupt government if my county likes to block apps and Apple does as they ask. One day they'll remove the apps I really need, and it is not acceptable for me.
Just what I was thinking. They allow Spotify and they don't insist on reviewing all the songs available. They allow the Netflix and the Google Play Movies app (and the equivalent movie streaming apps from Amazon, PlayStation, Rakuten, etc) without reviewing all the films that can be streamed there.
I suppose interactivity is the 'category difference' there, but what are they protecting the customer from?
I don't see how this logic doesn't also apply to Youtube, and other video-streaming apps? I get that it's less "interactive", but it's still content that Apple has "not reviewed".
As a German this American prudery is especially disturbing. We got nudity (not sexual acts) on public daytime television...
Even as someone raised in the UK, I find American sexual prohibition to be disturbing, especially given the freedom America affords to express extreme violence.
But I would take this any day over the American prudishness and I find the idea that you as a responsible adult shouldn't be allowed to install an app with sexual content repugnant. And it was particularly ridiculous that tumblr basically decided to commit suicide by banning NSFW content.
Although I sometimes wonder if this is really just American prudishness or if it also has something to do with certain other markets (e.g. China) that tech companies want to expand to.
Youtube has millions of individual videos.
There’s an obvious difference in scale that makes reviewing one possible and the other not. Apple could never even propose to have each individual YouTube video reviewed by their App Store.
I mean yes, you might have a valid point, but that goes straight back against:
> "all apps are reviewed against the same set of guidelines that are intended to protect customers and provide a fair and level playing field to developers."
The rules are online, and if you go and read them you can see that Youtube, netflix, and similar streaming video services and ebook readers, etc are explicitly exempted.
As I said, Apple could never even hope to put this requirement on those type of services. It's totally impractical for them.
This strongly implies that all apps have to following the same rules and guidelines. Having the guidelines say that (for example) Youtube is exempt, means that yes, _technically_ all apps are following the same "guidelines", but Youtube isn't following the same "rules".
Ie, writing exemptions into the guidelines means that the quoted statement, if it was being honest, would read:
> "all apps, except for those granted exemptions, are reviewed against the same set of guidelines that are intended to protect customers and provide a fair and level playing field to developers."
The exemptions are quite literally the issue with their statement.
The idea that different rules might be written for different types of apps makes sense in the abstract.
There are certainly arguments that can be made that Apple should change its rules to add more types of apps to the exemption. But they aren’t violating the rules they currently have, and also, as I said, making a rule that would require individual review of such content is impractical for apple - it would be the equivalent of banning those types of apps from the store.
> 3.1.3(a) “Reader” Apps: Apps may allow a user to access previously purchased content or content subscriptions (specifically: magazines, newspapers, books, audio, music, video, access to professional databases, VoIP, cloud storage, and approved services such as classroom management apps), provided that you agree not to directly or indirectly target iOS users to use a purchasing method other than in-app purchase, and your general communications about other purchasing methods are not designed to discourage use of in-app purchase.
The rule apple is asking microsoft to follow isn’t impossible, just inconvenient. There is already another game subscription service on iOS, “GameClub”, which follows the rules by submitting each game individually.
Cloud gaming may be comparatively niche compared to the app market as a whole, but what other use cases will thus extend to? Individual app developers need Apple, but Apple needs apps in aggregate.
See App Store guidelines section 4.2.7:
"The app must only connect to a user-owned host device that is a personal computer or dedicated game console owned by the user, and both the host device and client must be connected on a local and LAN-based network."
(iOS steam link is local network only)
So, they can transfer "ownership" to me whenever I use my personal computer that happens to be located in Google's cloud which, through a series of tubes, is in fact connected to my LAN-based network.
This is just pure monopolistic behavior, nothing less.
And I really don't see how there's any sort of difference whether the game console that's streaming the game is owned by the person or sits in some datacenter somewhere. It's practically the same experience from the user's perspective.
Disclaimer: MSFT employee, not in Xbox, all views are my own, etc.
You can do almost everything the streaming service would do in a browser, but they allow browsers.
About xCloud I find it quite humourus that a terminal window system's name follows the footstep of the X Window System.
Hence gaming-optimized (but still usable for general purpose) VDI like Shadow.tech is permitted, but Stadia and its ilk are not.
They approved Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, HBO Max, etc, which let you stream TV shows and movies.
They approved Kindle, which lets you stream books.
I’m failing to see why a streaming game is a violation when all the above examples are okay.
If I rent an EC2 instance, is it a personal device?
If I rent time on a Stadia instance, is that graphical output of that server a personal device?
Technological possibilities be damned. Apple doesn’t give a shit about moving the world forward, they give a shit about moving Apple stock upward.
Now Apple, please explain me this: Netflix is also a interactive game streaming platform. They have Bandersnatch, Interactive Carmen Sandiego, Interactive Puss in Boots, the Interactive Bear Grylls You vs Wild, and freaking Minecraft Story Mode which for all intents and purposes is a fully real game.
Netflix is a game streaming service, and it's on the app store!
Apple is massively inconsistent here, and has some major explaining to do!
The one consistent truth of the app store.
I'll just say that Apple has stupid policies. Stop using products that exist solely to lock you into a walled garden.
The Android ecosystem “offers strictly more” in the same way a restaurant’s trash can offers more food choice. Technically true, but I don’t want to eat any of it. I’d rather order off the limited-but-actually-desirable menu.
Not my experience at all.
> less support from app developers
There are more apps on Android, and the apps do more things. I'm not sure how you came to this conclusion.
> less polish
The productivity apps on iOS are near useless. Then Apple moved to its own Maps, which was a disaster.
> a lesser tablet ecosystem
Android's tablets are called ChromeOS. They are a strictly better experience than iPad, with a built-in keyboard and Linux support.
> less cross-device functionality
Its default cross-device functionality (installing apps on your device from other devices, phone calling, voicemail, SMS, email composition sync, photo sync, document sync, music sync) is strictly better and existed long before iOS had anything.
All of your perceived disadvantages don't exist, and there are many other advantages that Android has on top like system app updates without rebooting, better security, better privacy, better development for your own devices, better web browsers, better car apps, better multiuser support, more app discounts due to app store competition, better gaming through streaming services and emulation, etc.
In this context it is the same as a game streaming service.
So they have already allowed Netflix to do exactly what they are banning here.
The only technical difference is you have 1 game input every 2-3 minutes vs inputs every 2-3 ms.
(a) The app must only connect to a user-owned host device that is a personal computer or dedicated game console owned by the user, and both the host device and client must be connected on a local and LAN-based network.
(e) Thin clients for cloud-based apps are not appropriate for the App Store.
It seems like iOS Safari supports the W3C "Gamepad API". However I don't use iOS and I don't play mobile games, so I am not sure how it actually works out.
Maybe Apple is OK with all of this when they get their 30% cut as they do with Roblox because it uses Apple's in-app purchases?
AFAIK, Apple has never stepped over the line of blocking specific websites.
As soon as it's possible to reliably remote stream an interface through the browser then the App Store and pretty much any native app at all can become totally irrelevant, offline mode aside.
It's like thin terminals all over again.
I suppose this is the same, in a way. They can't review what games will be played with a general-purpose game streaming app.
So this is to combat the "Flash" of today. Maybe?
(Not to mention that they can't get the 30% cut from every new game you happen to request via the app.)
If you want to A/B test, both versions need to present in your app and you can use a server side flag to switch between them, but you can't pull them dynamically, though some web view apps seem to get away with ignoring this.
Microsoft is at fault for not realizing that the existing App Store policies did not include game streaming and working with Apple to resolve it from the beginning. XCloud was first announced 2 years ago so to wait until the eve of launch to realize this is a blocker is laughable. Then to try to publicly escalate this is just playing with fire. Seems eerily similar to Nvidia's GeForce Now fiasco of not having properly having agreements with game studios before the launch.
Apple is at fault for being behind times and being draconian about App Store policies. It's 2020 and streaming is the new norm, so to claim that it's against policy is a bit anachronistic. App Store is no longer some niche platform so this only strengths the antitrust case against Apple. If this is about micro transactions and getting the 30% cut, then it's a short-sighted move since if anything game streaming will drive adoption of iOS devices (e.g. iPad is almost the perfect streaming display).
I haven't seen any real indication that they haven't been.
Is it really?
While I don't think Apple is doing this for any particularly good reason, I for one would rather streaming of games not become even remotely the norm.
When games become services, all kinds of perverse incentive structures are emphasized, in order to continue to produce revenue quarter after quarter.
Microtransactions, FOMO based season systems, loot boxes, and various forms of applied captology to name a few.
Games, like movies and music, walk the line between commodity entertainment and art. From what we've seen with movies and music, streaming services have tended to shove the balance towards commoditization.
A parallel could be drawn to music streaming. See: https://www.thefader.com/2020/07/30/spotify-ceo-daniel-ek-sa...
What Elk is proposing is essentially what some game developers are already doing. Annual releases of the same IP with minor gameplay changes and different skins (Assassins' Creed, Call of Duty, etc). You can see the seeds of a subscription model in Overwatch's "sequel but not really a sequel". Would it really be better if instead you paid a subscription per franchise you want to play?
Apple is likely worried that it may not stop at streaming games. Why not stream other apps as well. Usability will be fine if you come up with clever ”codecs” to encode transmission of UI.
It’s true that Safari already enables this, but it has its limitations and Apple is controlling what can be done there.
Disappointed in Apple here :( I'm a fan of them generally, but as someone interested in game development makes me want to use Windows more lately, and the Windows Linux Subsystem seems interesting even though haven't played with it... I think I'd miss magic mouse and swiping between spaces... Not sure what hardware I'd get, I have Windows in Bootcamp and it feels so awkward using it so barely use it.
Kinda irritates me it seems like there's always 2 choices... Windows or Mac, iPhone or Android... Kinda a concern not more competition. Sure you can run Linux on the desktop, but you have limited app support and not as commercially supported.
Anti-trust should really blast them for it, plain and simple. Apple got away with this garbage for way too long.
As an iphone customer and an iphone developer, let me just say apple can just go f* themselves... This hypocrisy is making me mad. the OS is secure, the access permissions are secure, at this point the only thing they need to ensure is that the game store isn't a scam and then it'll be fine. So, please, stop pretending it's to protect anyone (or in this case macOS doesn't provide a secure environment, right ?).
Just admit it's for your own personal greed, and that you're leveraging a totally unfair position to impose your app store to win against its competitors.
We do not know if the MacOS store will undergo a similar transformation if not outright rebranding so that it follows the same rules.
It is possible if they continue down this path they will be the only members of their walled garden and this segment of the industry will pass them by; streaming of games and shows and possibly just hosting apps remotely.
addendum, there are times where I think they are asking to be regulated, perhaps just to see how far they can go or to get regulation which prevents or limits future competition
And the worst is that higher management probably convinced themselves they're not.
Yeah, i believe only a trial will make them realize what they've become.
PS: planning on buying a non-google non-apple phone in the future, after having had to buy a new iphone just so that i could install ios 13 and keep working (the old one being perfectly fine btw). Any advice ?
1 - https://mobian-project.org
What would be good candidate phone for that? Is there a phone that is friendly towards hackers in that way?
It has lots of RAM, an SD card slot, a headphone jack, a high-end processor, a large battery and most importantly is very repairable (a screen costs about 20€).
The initial unlocking process is a bit annoying and stupid, but after that it's quite nice. The only thing you could say it really lacks is NFC.
It is also extremely concerning how little backlash there is for this behavior, because that is what stopped Microsoft.
> Any advice ?
Last I checked, all Google phones (Pixel, Nexus) can be rooted/flashed in a supported manner. There's irony for you. You can't do anything about the binary blobs for the baseband/radio.
If one is a shareholder of a company, that gives incentive to defend them no matter what.
Of course they will relive their desktop experience because some other environment will at some point be better due to fierce competition. It's kind of their omen that the company with the bitten apple from paradise has to created a walled garden. The difference will be that there is no Steve to rescue them again.
Funny thing is, their first logo was Newton's apple. Imagine the difference.
Can you install iOS 13 on a non-Apple phone? If not, why not just stay on iOS 12? What software requires that kind of upgrade and is available on a phone OS other than the iOS/Android duopoly?
But yeah the problem doesn’t get solved by moving devices.
As i said, i'm both an iphone user AND mobile professional developer. The first is quite easy to change, but the second will take a bit more time for me to get rid of Apple (or google).
And more info about the PinePhone and it's OS support:
When the instructions involve a bunch of convoluted commands and the terminal, Sailfish doesn't stand a chance. Like, their chances of growing in popularity are literally zero with this model.
If there was ever a time to do this it would be right now as they undergo changing Mac to ARM, but they're not.
The real question is if they can convince all the professionals those companies cater to to adopt an ecosystem where software providers have to go through an arbitrarily and closely controlled App Store.
If their hardware and base OS is too attractive to those professionals relative to the loss of freedom Adobe, etc. will follow.
Thankfully, though, I don’t think Mac users will actually be ok with that. There’s been quite an exodus of professionals from Mac to windows based on much smaller things so far.
Why not ? It's probably only a matter of time.
1) Apple has much more leverage on iOS because it has a bigger market share and many more iOS users than macOS.
2) macOS has traditionally been an open platform
3) Many desktop app developers wouldn't be able to keep installing and running the products the way their do it now. For example, Adobe has an app called Creative Cloud that manages installs, licenses, active computers, and other things. It's practically malware at this point, but if you want to use Adobe apps there is no other way.
But it's not, the Mac App Store is a dumpster fire.
I understand the MAS is not a great fit for all use cases, but IMO this statement is wrong for the use cases where the MAS is a good fit.
I used the MAS as a dev, and it adds other benefits such as updates, cloud storage, etc.
I used it specifically for an education app and it was just great to tell macOS users to simply download it from the MAS and let it handle the updates from there.
Implementing updates on your own is not trivial in a desktop app. Before using the MAS we used Electron with Squirrel. We had to manage a server exclusively for the updates. Squirrel worked great in macOS but in Windows it was a nightmare. Also the Electron apps were huge, as you probably know.
For the MAS app, we kept the web UI but moved to Swift + WKWebView. The app went from a 50MB download to about 4MB. Memory consumption also decreased dramatically, I think the Swift version used something like 10-15MB of RAM.
Never ascribe to malice, that which can be explained by corporate incompetence.
if you really cared, you would vote against them with your dollar.
But you keep buying their product, so apparently... you can?
It's impressive Apple so blatantly say this when we know for a fact big companies get a different/better deal.
Everyone is equal, some are just more equal, it seems.
I hope a large company/developer/celebrity with a massive following will pressure Apple/Tim Cook into responding to this hypocrisy. I realize Apple are in the business to make money, but it's insulting for them to say "Everyone gets the same deal" when that is clearly not true.
They've cut apps from big companies like Microsoft (now, with their game platform) and Amazon (Kindle purchases) in the past...
It‘s not like a car dealer where there are probably more than one in your small town each dealing with different brands. There you can ignore one dealer and one brand and you still have enough dealers & brands to select from. With phones you have exactly 2. And at some point you‘ll also want to eat food and not only don‘t do stuff because of reasons.
As a developer, you can’t have a successful app and not be on the Apple app store.
Anyway, even if neither of those were true, as human beings we certainly always have the right to talk shit about Apple and tell them to go fuck themselves. Even while we’re using their products.
I make sure to cost Apple money by convincing entire companies to not use their stuff. And any Apple products that my family buys aren’t new. We also never buy apps from their app store.
'"Voting with your wallet" isn't voting for change; it's giving up.'
I love the subtext I'm reading that boycotting companies that are doing bad things is for dirty quitters who lack grit.
This brings to mind a Musashi quote, from the book of five rings.
“You should not have any special fondness for a particular weapon, or anything else, for that matter. Too much is the same as not enough. Without imitating anyone else, you should have as much weaponry as suits you.”
If you're more concerned about "gamer-centric" titles, there's also Fortnite and F2P versions of Call of Duty.
How is not allowing streaming Xbox games limiting screen time?
I don't know how this works but from my experience I found that Google's got this one right.
Apple's restrictions don't matter at all here.
I'm not for removing apple's store...
Well, ultimately, it is. If a "store within a store" (or a second independent store) gets too much traction, it will hold the platform back.
If such a store/third entity becomes powerful Apple can't direct the future and make the changes it wants (the jump to Apple Sillicon is just a recent example, deprecating Carbon, notarization, etc) but has to placate to that too, or risk the ire of tons of dependent users.
Apple has seen that play out when it gave too much power to Adobe, MS and others, and has been correcting for that ever since Jobs came back...
A better solution would be for the DOJ to force Apple to allow other app stores and open installs.
> If such a store/third entity becomes powerful Apple can't direct the future and make the changes it wants (the jump to Apple Sillicon is just a recent example, deprecating Carbon, notarization, etc) but has to placate to that too, or risk the ire of tons of dependent users.
Where is that a problem in reality? They've changed their desktop architecture, and that's a completely open platform.
> Apple has seen that play out when it gave too much power to Adobe, MS and others, and has been correcting for that ever since Jobs came back...
Apple built something that is now widely used for conducting business, finance, communication, etc. They no longer deserve to have a singular stranglehold on it. The world depends on iPhone, and it needs to be opened up.
Force them to make a different product that the one users buy on their own volition, despite a more open alternative with double the adoption, and which took Apple from a bankrupt company in 1997 to the largest company on Earth in 2020?
Did it ever occured to anyone that some of the success iOS has is precisely because it does restrict things a certain way (which enable other things, from security to quicker platform tech changes)?
And that as users we like it because of those things, not despite them?
Nobody would force anyone to install alternate stores.
Here's the thing. We're talking about objective, concrete examples. Allow Microsoft's and other trusted partners app, but reject others. Apple likes to pretend it sets the same rules for all developers and there's no exceptions, which is categoricly false, as has been documented time and time again.
Google Stadia and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate game streaming services are not "alternate app stores" which will hold the iOS platform back. Arguably as these are all streaming services, where there's no code executing on the device, it makes it easier for Apple to make architectural changes to its platform because the games playable within the apps do not require those changes!
Apple can still reject "alternate app stores", but allow specific applications like XGPU because it just seems like the right thing to do? Preventing these services on iOS holds back iOS and ultimately makes the platform less capable and hurts consumers.
: Apple taking only 15% cut from Amazon, letting Amazon use their own payment provider for in-app rentals, extending private entitlements for certain developers
"risk the ire of tons of dependent users":
This argument doesn't hold: the reason an OS is successful isn't for the OS, but for the apps. So, unless you think apple should actually write all the successful apps themselves, to remain in control and easily make deep technical migrations feasible, i really don't see how that could work.
Meanwhile Amazon can sell digital movies à la carte on iOS. A literal store downloaded via a store.
The world has worked in many different ways before, and will work in different ways in the future. Let's have a discussion about how we'd like to see it work, ya?
It's broken, and the government is going to slap the shit out of Apple.
The App Store eats away more profit than taxes, and is single handedly responsible for teaching the public that an eternity of app updates are for free. They drove the public to expect apps should be cheaper than coffee.
While still continuing to charge the developer 99USD a year.
I doubt it. Apple would get out it like they got out of their European Tax-ish.
I don't understand - did Apple set app prices? Or did the app developers?
Now, contrary to econ 101 thought experiments, you don't always want to approach the ideal of perfectly-competitive marketplaces too closely. It can be bad for overall market health and even, ultimately, harm choices available to consumers for exactly the reasons cited.
[EDIT] actually it could also indicate that they've done one part of market-creation really poorly, which is that they're making reliable information other than price way too hard to discover, though again, that the market has not just survived this defect/cost but thrived indicates they did an uncommonly good job at other parts.
My recollection was that if anyone taught this to the public it was the press and the blogosphere.
This argument was had at the time, and review sites vilified anything that wasn’t $1 as greed.
Can you say what Apple did that contributed to this?
And they were one of the very few companies that could have done something.
They saw it happening and they chose to not intervene.
And a clear violation of anti-trust law.
* iOS upgrades were free and macOS upgrades turned free a few years after the iOS App Store became available
* the lower price tiers available for app developers started with 0 and $1, and in steps of $1
* for many years, the iOS App Store free and paid charts were huge drivers for downloads. It was worth making an app much cheaper and making it up in volume. That strategy worked for many years.
Apple cultivated that environment and developers lived it
That is where the idea that software should be free or cheap came from.
As for ‘allowing’ one dollar apps. It seems like you are proposing that Apple should be punished for not entering into a price fixing arrangement to artificially inflate software prices.
I have some sympathy for wishing they had done this, but this is exactly what they tried with books, and they were subjected to antitrust action.
Keeping prices artificially high is illegal - you can’t blame Apple for not doing it.
Making software free or cheap was already a fait accompli, thanks to the web and VC funded startups.
Apple actually reversed that partially by creating a store that was trustworthy enough for people to spend some money on software again.
It is simply not true that Apple caused the race to the bottom. Look back at media from the time and you can confirm this.
There is always downward pressure on prices because well-funded startups can provide their product free. But charts and the emphasis on them were very very unhealthy. I don’t think Apple can ever fix it now.
This is a serious problem for the entire consumer and prosumer industry. While competition that drives prices down is often good, but past a certain limit and it can do long term harm to the industry that is irreversible. I fear we might have already crossed that threshold.
I just don’t think that Apple could have done much about it at the beginning. If they weren’t producing charts, someone else would have been because people want to know what other people think is good, and on a global scale this results in winner takes all dynamics.
I agree with you about everything in this comment except the sentiment that it’s Apple’s fault or that they could have done something about it from the start.
My view is that we actually now do have a chance to do something about it, but anti-trust action against Apple will almost certainly destroy that chance and leave us stuck with this situation for much longer.
"It is what it is"