And if you choose to distribute your apps yourself? Apple still requires you to pay the $100 a year Apple tax, otherwise macOS will treat your app as if it is radioactive, leaving users to think that your app is either broken or malicious.
Apple has gone one step further, and now macOS on ARM Macs requires signed binaries, and it will not run unsigned ones.
Apple Silicon Macs will not run unsigned binaries, but the binaries can have any signature, so you can just generate one yourself and add it. There's no need for a developer account, or any other external party. And there are no issues with legacy support either, because ARM Mac binaries didn't exist until now (and the requirement does not apply to Intel apps being run via Rosetta).
This really isn't a big deal.
I was initially worried that mandatory code signing would prevent me from hex editing binaries (which is a thing I do sometimes), but I recently learned that codesign can replace a binary's existing signature. So even that shouldn't be a problem.
Self-signed applications are treated as if they're radioactive by macOS, too.
> This really isn't a big deal.
They've been turning the screws slowly over the last two years. It only takes another turn for them to switch off support for self-signed apps for security reasons. Browsers already do this for self-signed certificates.
It's just not something I'm willing to base my purchasing decisions on, nor the decisions about what desktop platforms I target with my applications.
But not if you turn off Gatekeeper! I can understand how this is annoying if you're creating apps for other people, but in terms of my own personal experience with my computer, the only time I think about Gatekeeper is when I'm talking about it on HN. It gets turned off as part of a bash script I run after installing macOS, at which point it's gone for good.
On my list of annoyances with macOS, Gatekeeper is somewhere below the Library folder being hidden by default. I can't say what Apple will decide to do in the future, but I have a very clear line in the sand, and Apple has absolutely not crossed it.
As long as the walled garden can be easily circumvented, advanced users can do what they wish. "Able to learn about Gatekeeper and decide if they should turn it off" is probably an okay heuristic for "can tell a fake Flash installer site apart from a real one" or even "knows that Flash is pretty much abandoned, do everything you can to avoid it".
That said, it absolutely changes the incentive structures, and Apple is also doing it for profit. Will they cross the line in the future, with this goal? I expect they will conclude losing the advanced users would be a net loss.
That's exactly how I see it! And this mentality continues throughout the chain, too—if you want to actually install unsigned kernel extensions, or inject code into other processes, you need to boot into recovery mode to disable SIP. This is still not at all onerous if you know what you're doing (and, like Gatekeeper, you only need to do it once), but it's definitely a next-level test for next-level privileges.
IMO, the way Apple designed this process is brilliant! And that's why I'm not personally concerned by the boiling water argument, at least not yet—whatever Apple's incentives, the current setup strikes me as the best way to handle things.
All of that said, where I am starting to get annoyed is with the root snapshot stuff in Big Sur. Having to reboot every time I want to edit a system file is a clear progression from "trivial speed bump" into "consistent pain-in-the-ass" territory. If you want to talk about Apple locking down the Mac, I'd start there!
If Apple chooses not to issue me a Developer ID, they have effectively removed 95%+ of my market.
If this is because I distributed malware, that's reasonable. But there are a lot of other reasons why Apple might choose to revoke a Developer ID. (Think pressure from the state, for one.)
Most will look at you like you’ve got three heads, and (I suspect) the majority will simply walk away without purchasing.
The premise is that if a frog is put suddenly into boiling water, it will jump out, but if the frog is put in tepid water which is then brought to a boil slowly, it will not perceive the danger and will be cooked to death.
The story is often used as a metaphor for the inability or unwillingness of people to react to or be aware of sinister threats that arise gradually rather than suddenly."
In the case of Apple, at some point when they do something you really dislike you might be too invested into the ecosystem and it will be easier to just accept it instead of leaving.
But if you were not on their ecosystem already and were thinking of switching to Apple you would just think "Yeah, I really dislike that new move, I'm not buying into it".
It's just a metaphor. It's not a law of nature, nor is it even a GOOD metaphor.
The New Psychology (1897): "a live frog can actually be boiled without a movement if the water is heated slowly enough; in one experiment the temperature was raised at a rate of 0.002°C per second, and the frog was found dead at the end of 2½ hours without having moved."
They've been very gradually locking it down for years and show no signs of stopping. Plus they have an obvious financial motivation to lock it down. To give them the benefit of the doubt here is naive to say the least.
What's the security benefit to this?
Imagine the next ones:
1. You have to enable an option in settings to allow running self-signed apps.
2. You have to disable SIP to allow running self-signed apps.
3. Apps can only be self-signed via Apple's website.
If that were true, I couldn't just write some C, Rust, or Go code on my mac, compile it myself, and run the executable file because it's not signed?
There's got to be a way (developer mode?) to disable this, right?
Edit: Found some more info - only binaries that are compiled to run natively on ARM are affected (for now). Still seems like this will introduce some major inconvenience for developers/power-users.
This is bad.
> codesign -f -s - [path to binary]
Unless something has changed on Apple Silicon, that's it, you're done, the binary has a signature. It does not have a trusted signature, but you don't need one. I think it was just simpler to write the OS assuming all executables would have a signature.
Yet. Until this you didn't need a signature at all.
That said, Apple has never been shy about aggressive transitions.
Seems like only binaries compiles to run natively on ARM will require signatures. Still seems like its going to introduce some inconvenience for developers/power-users.
It's also a potentially dangerous first step towards forcing new versions of MacOS to only run code from verified developers - those that pay Apple. Again, trivial for commericial development, but a major issue for non-commercial use.
The danger of saying 'the developer membership should account for that' is that they will actually run the numbers and come back with MUCH higher yearly fees that simply push many small devs out.
99.999% of apps don't get any marketing from Apple at all. Apps get lost in the crowd and the poor search that still struggles with obvious keyword spamming and rip-offs. Actual app ads are charged separately.
Apple doesn't increase your reach. They merely let you through an artificial barrier they themselves have created. I hate it that as an iOS user, I'm sold to you as Apple's product.
I can see manual app review getting costly, but Apple somehow doesn't wage war against free-to-user apps, nor they put limits or fees on excessive app releases. They're only upset when someone else makes money without giving them a cut. It's not about recouping Apple's costs, but increasing Apple's profit.
And Apple absolutely does increase your reach. Not in any important technical sense, but by creating a low-friction, high-trust environment, which results in a much larger market for apps than would exist if purchasing required users to type their credit card numbers into your web site and download and run an installer. This is a huge part of why native apps even emerged as a major phenomenon on mobile, against the tide of webification that's swept the desktop over the last 20 years.
> And Apple absolutely does increase your reach. Not in any important technical sense, but by creating a low-friction, high-trust environment, which results in a much larger market for apps than would exist if purchasing required users to type their credit card numbers into your web site and download and run an installer.
Plenty of companies will charge 5% or less for low-friction high-trust payment processing, and the auto-install is trivial.
If Apple opened up the platform, developers wouldn't be paying 5% to Uncle Bob's Discount App Store instead of 30% to Apple, selling just as many units, and pocketing the difference as profit. They'd quickly discover that users preferred to buy from one or two trusted app stores, and that the better move was to pay whatever they had to pay to be present in those stores.
Apple could easily charge $100 for an app to be reviewed the first time and $50 an update to cover review, and the rest is very marginal. What Apple is doing is rent seeking on other people's work, plain and simple... it isn't even based on the profit margin against that work.
Not every application is a game on a console that will see millions in sales to make up for development costs. Consoles only see dozens of games as competition, the Apple store sees thousands. It's not an Apples to Apples comparison (pun intended).
This is exactly where most of the cost of operating the app store comes from. I'm not going to comment on how much of Apple's fees go to paying this, but testing software to release standards is expensive.
I remember 20 years ago, just to get started on a PS2 title, you had to pay sony a crazy dev fee just to get your SLUS code (I remember someone telling me it was about USD$50k). Then all of the devkits cost about USD$20k, and then sony still took a big chunk of your sales price.
How exactly would you like Apple to handle free apps, which still need to be tested and vetted? What if there was a $10k dev charge for each round of testing? How many free apps do you think there would be in the app store? Its true - all of the paid apps are subsidizing the free apps in the app store. If Apple didn't squeeze out other payment processors, every paid app would turn free, they'd use Square or something to sell people in-app purchases instead, and then the whole ecosystem would fall apart.
I guess another question we can ask is what are they testing for? Sony was exacting - there were strict rules about stability and content that had to be met. Your title couldn't stall on a waiting screen for longer than a period of time (I remember having to optimize our start-up on one title to meet this requirement). Even the terminology you used had to be correct - there was a list of acceptable names you could use to refer to the console parts like the controller - like you could call it "PlayStation 2 Dualshock Controller" but not "PS2 Dualshock" and stuff like that.
On the one hand, Apple isn't as exacting, but on the other hand presumably they're testing for other things you wouldn't have to worry about on a PS2 like calling dlopen on forbidden dylibs or sending the addressbook contents to a server. I'm sure that a lot of this is automated, but some of it will require a human to interact with.
Personally, I'd be okay if Apple charged a nominal fee ($100) to do an initial review to add to the app store, another fee for updates ($50) and say 5-10% of margins on a sliding scale... that would hinder some indie dev, but not be outrageous and cover some of that review cost, while not squeezing everyone out like a cartel.
I’m not saying that 30% is the right number - it’s probably way too high (maybe?) - but if you want free apps, you can’t let anyone use their own payment processors because it’s a revenue hole and you literally won’t have any revenue that doesn’t go down it.
And the marginal cost of copies of software is nearly zero, and yet developers still want to get paid, no?
> Apple doesn't increase your reach. They merely let you through an artificial barrier they themselves have created.
The important bit is they created it. And the barrier exists because things are better inside than outside. They made the iPhone, got people to add their card info and normalized paying actual money for 0s and 1s. The BATNA for developers is not "Apple opens their platform", it's "try getting customers to hand you CC info to buy your app on the WWW".
A coupe of years after the App Store launched I’m pretty sure one of Apples execs said it cost over a $billion a year to operate. That will only have gone up since then.
That's nonsense - your app may not get presented on the front page of the app store but it appears in search results, in similar apps and depending on your category can appear in top 100 lists.
I've published apps that got consistent downloads from a little App Store SEO - far more than any internet SEO and marketing did.
I disagree. As a user, Apple has, over the last decade-plus, earned my trust that the software I decide to run on my device won't...
* brick the device
* stay on the device in any manner if I delete it
* access my private data without my consent
* intrude upon the experience of any other app(s) except by way of easily-managed notifications
As a developer, the App Store is how you explicitly inherit that inbuilt trust from users. One can't put a price on that, because there's no fungibility in trust. It must be earned.
Apple can, and does, however put a price on sharing that trust, as well as the ongoing infrastructure, tooling, and processes needed to maintain it: a flat cut of revenue.
There is a rich tradition of extracting private information off of mobile devices. It's one reason why free apps are pushed more than equivalent websites all the time (ex: reddit, imgur) , because the dataset for adtech is far more richer. Some databases and system APIs are under a user alerted permission, but that isn't unique to an app store or review, it's an OS implementation detail. Same with sandboxing apps.
You have little access over running a network filter on iOS devices, and apple has had a history of rejecting VPNs that act as so.
You can still have all that you put on your list, but without an app store.
it does, but via restricting others' reach due to the barrier of the app store.
It's like a lottery ticket - if apple decides to feature your app, you will get a lot of business and have a lot of success (provided your app is actually any good).
And Apple has thousands of highly paid employees providing all those services to us, it’s misguided to assert its just the cost of bandwidth and servers.
The $100 is a screaming deal for us iOS developers.
Very few apps do that.
> it’s misguided to assert its just the cost of bandwidth and servers.
Good thing they didn't make that argument.
We don't know Apple's investment in the app store, from maintaining it to enhancing it. To blow it off as marginal is disingenuous at best.
I take no issue with app developers creating and selling an app off the app store. I don't think Apple should be able to interfere with that. I do believe they have the right to restrict another app distributed within the app store from being able to sell apps itself. That would be like Steam allowing Epic to install from its app to sell additional games/apps through the Epic store.
The counterpoint to my claim which you stated is that the App Store also provides reach and marketing, which are quite pricey. I agree that they are expensive services, but can you even name one example in the past 5 years (literally about half the life of the ecosystem) where the App Store promoted an indie developer into success?
It’s not just about hosting, they also provide basically the entire software stack you’re using. Pricing that is difficult but I don’t think it should be disregarded.
> but can you even name one example in the past 5 years (literally about half the life of the ecosystem) where the App Store promoted an indie developer into success?
There are tons of apps that got popular due to App Store editors choosing to promote them. For example, getting App of the Day nets you a 1700% boost in downloads: https://techcrunch.com/2017/10/24/apples-app-of-the-day-feat...
The entire Software stack are included in the iPhone purchase price, and as of 2018 they are included in Apple's Services revenue on a per unit cost including but not limited to OS, Siri and Maps.
The software stack argument makes sense in consoles where they are selling at cost or barely break even from a BOM / Hardware perspective. But Apple is making industry leading profit margin on all front. So Apple is double dipping, as Apple like to call it in the case against Qualcomm.
I find the marketing argument silly. All apps pay the fees (well paid apps). Not all apps are promoted (almost by definition). You’re not paying for marketing. You could stretch to argue you’re paying for a slim chance to be promoted, sure. I think that’s a weak argument however given there’s millions of apps and only a couple featured at any time.
AFAIK, Google also doesn't charge for dev-tools or access to dev options. I admit, however, it's been several years since I've done any app development for either, and then it was mostly a wrapper around a browser control with some custom integration for use with NFC.
What if I don't want to use their "software stack"? Frankly, as developer, I'd rather spend my time developing than learning Apple specific ecosystem. Heck, React Native and Flutter do me just fine. Develop once and run everywhere.
In the end what does that $99/year license get me? A fancy certificate to publish on their only app store?
Apple should charge non-native apps a large premium to be on the store. They degrade every users experience.
You paid for that already when you bought the Mac that's mandatory for developing on iOS.
Without giving developers a choice to use a different software stack this doesn't mean much. You first have to buy an expensive Mac in order to use the free iOS development tools.
About the $100 - yeah getting some droplets is not a cost. Maintaining them. Scaling them. Writing say, a sync solution, or even data storage solution, THAT is the cost and goes well beyond $100 of course.
If they were serious about it as a revenue stream, it would make sense to go with something more like the UE4 model, where it's free up until the point where you're a big fish, and then a more aggressive fixed fee kicks in.
Take Netflix for example, which doesn't run on Apple's distribution network... Should Apple have to pay for part of the deployment of all the assets and feeds? They don't... the margins are already thin and Apple frankly doesn't deserve 30% of that recurring revenue.
I think if anything this kind of thing makes the case for explicitly having multiple tracks— maybe an enterprise one where you pay a 5-7 figure fixed annual fee (for support, timely review, policing of the store for phishing/knockoff apps that target your own, ensuring a direct hit for explicit searches) and then either a single-digit percentage of revenue or for free "portal" apps, some other way that Apple is compensated for user engagement. And then a totally separate indie track where all the revenue is yours up to X, after which some kind of sliding scale kicks in.
In reality, there are almost certainly enterprise deals going on behind the scenes (or at least mostly behind the scenes, cough Epic) and the details of those are almost certainly very proprietary, due to how the negotiations would occur. But having at least one option for which the details are public would be nice.
This is exactly what happened on Steam when the platform was opened to anything for a $100 submission fee - quality tanked and revenues even for established Indie developer have declined significantly.
Assuming 116 million ios users with a 2.5 to 5gb depending on the device. That's 580 petabytes just for the initial download, not to mention updates probably push it into the low single digit exabytes range.
How much does 580 PT cost at AWS?
Then the carrot the fee unlocks in terms of access to these services should speak for itself, without the stick of having no other choice.
Are we assuming that after more than 10 years of App Store, Apple didn't run the numbers and/or is taking a bad deal ignoring its bottomline for some reason?
remember apple has not only a monopoly on apps but a monopsony as well.
And if you don’t feel Apple gives you sufficient ownership, why not just buy something else?
It’s a boring question to keep asking, but nobody actually seems to want to answer it.
If you're selling an app, it's even more important to support iOS users because the App Store is responsible for three times as much revenue as the Play Store.
> Courts do not require a literal monopoly before applying rules for single firm conduct; that term is used as shorthand for a firm with significant and durable market power — that is, the long term ability to raise price or exclude competitors. That is how that term is used here: a "monopolist" is a firm with significant and durable market power.
You quoted selectively. It goes on:
> Courts look at the firm's market share, but typically do not find monopoly power if the firm (or a group of firms acting in concert) has less than 50 percent of the sales of a particular product or service within a certain geographic area. Some courts have required much higher percentages.
In addition, that leading position must be sustainable over time: if competitive forces or the entry of new firms could discipline the conduct of the leading firm, courts are unlikely to find that the firm has lasting market power
It is clear that A) Apple is not a monopoly and B) the market is very competitive
(Yes, yes: Apple has just cut the rate for small devs. The big sellers still have to pay 30% though.)
I've described elsewhere in thread why switching is not an option for me; Apple has slowly trapped me in their ecosystem of Apple TV, Apple Watch, Macbook, Homepod, my BMW which will only talk to an iOS device, iMessage, HomeKit
They don't provide any external APIs to interact with these products so other platforms/systems could make such a switch less painful.
I feel your pain: Apple slowly lured you into spending thousands of dollars on high-quality products which work smoothly together, and then they went and changed the EULA on you and now you can't install non-App Store software on it!
Only that didn't happen, of course: the rules have always been the rules, you just don't like them.
Which is fine, actually, complain all you want. But the victim act is hilarious. "My luxury car will only talk to an iPhone! I should sue!"
He said only an iPhone will properly display album art on the screen of his luxury car as he drives.
You’re not trapped. Over time switch to another provider. Or all at once.
They sell you a service and device with terms. If you don’t like it, get out of that ecosystem.
Certainly don’t use the power of the federal government. Do you like monopolies? Because that’s how you get monopolies.
It’s not like the user doesn’t know what they are buying. It’s not like Apple doesn’t have strong competitors. It’s not like the app developers are like, “Oh, 30%?! I didn’t know!”
People want the product that Apple is making. They buy it knowingly and willingly in droves.
Look at the M1, the culmination of decades of hard R&D, beating Intel at their own game.
You want to tell this company — which is absolutely killing it and creating absolutely tremendous value for consumers the world over — you want to tell them how their own device should work?!
Explain to me why the free market has not spoken, and spoken clearly in favor of the products that Apple has brought to market for their customers. Why in the world should the US Government say that what this truly amazing company should do in their own code and product roadmap.
Honestly, it’s a travesty in the making. What Apple has accomplished — coming back from the brink — is one of the greatest success stories in the history of capitalism.
Why, why in the world should the US Government — a true paragon of incompetence — dictate terms on how they should run their lawful, competitive business.
No. Its MY phone from the moment I bought it. If I want to change some aspect of how it works that's up to me.
You’re saying that because you bought a single iPhone that Apple now essentially reports to you. That YOU get to decide how Apple spends millions of dollars in its R&D, and that you get to decide how their software should function.
What makes you their master just because you freely chose to buy a single unit of a device from them? A device that, by the way, has sold billions of units.
If a customer buys a phone, no investment or R&D is required by Apple to support other search engines, apps, browsers or payment systems.
I understand both perspectives here but I don't think one is objectively right.
I agree with you that repairability would be nice, but some brands prefer not to do that. Let other brands drive them out.
Maybe? But then they're not selling it, they're leasing it, and they need to say that.
Instead of choosing that product, many people here complain that the other company doesn’t give them what they want.
Forcing Apple to change their financial incentives would likely make them look to the value of tracking, fingerprinting and privacy violations too.
it is not like these 2 products were identical except for sideloading.
They don't have the same hardware, Apple has an unlimited ad budget, if you want to chat with somebody using iMessages, you are pretty much limited to iOS, you can't transfer app purchases between platforms, etc
Same thing with Google, they cross promote their own new properties everywhere in Gmail (left pane) and Google.com but no one else has access to those locations, they can destroy thousands of small business through this practice.
In particular with Play Music .. not going to complain, I don't think that this market needs another FAANG product but wow, failing to promote that service is one epic blunder.
So the 100$ annual fee is more like a contribution to be recognized as a professional developer with extended support and services. Heck if you work in a team you don't even need one account per developer.
This somehow guarantees that each account is linked to an identifiable real world entity and that bad actors won't massively create fake account for free to muddy the water around illicit activities.
So by imposing a relatively modest fee they improve both traceability and avoid spamming behavior. This sound like a sensible design.
PS: I'm amazed by how on the same thread people can complain that the 1 million $ threshold for rebate is cruelly low AND that a 100$ entry fee is an unbearable tax. Internet trolling at it's finest!
The hardware is not published for free. The minimum entry fee into, say, iOS development is 100$ plus the cost of a Mac Mini.
(That would actually be a great thing to do, but 2020 reminded me hardly that we don't live in a fairytale)
One could argue that the Mac hardware itself that you need to develop iOS apps is a similar barrier to entry though.
Also how can an app that has 500M downloads cost more to review than an app that has 500 downloads (considering both are paid apps and Apple charges 30% per download)?
Yup, that's why they do it...
The goal should be to make Apple's app store model against public policy.
Policy should not be written to attack an individual company that for some reason you've got a beef with.
Imagine, if your Tesla refused to move if you didn't use Tesla approved tires which cost 30% more because Tesla charges the tire manufacturer 30% for approving them?
Fine by me. Their business what they charge and how their product is designed, not mine.
As long as there's a competitor. And there is.
My argument is not that Android doesn't function as well, I quite liked it infact but all my other apple devices basically lost half their functionality without an iPhone and Apple won't give access to 3rd party developers or itself make those apps for Android.
Apple won't even let 3rd party apps integrate with the system like their own do - which is why I wanted to shift away from an iPhone in the first place. Not because I hate or like Android, but because I can replace whatever parts of Google I don't like
To answer questions posed by others since I'm apparently posting too fast:
The reasons governments should intervene are well-elaborated in the blog post under discussion.
Governments worldwide already have plenty of control over what terms corporations can sell their wares to people on. For example, in Europe you must offer at least two years of warranty.
Corporations are government-granted legal fictions, so a government is free to impose whatever constraints it wants on corporations. In return, corporations get plenty of benefits like the ability to declare bankruptcy and not have it hit the pocketbooks of its executives. I would be fine with a regime where if a corporation doesn't abide by the rules, its executives become personally liable for debts, for example.
> so a government is free to impose whatever constraints it wants on corporations
Sorry this is just stated, not justified. I happen to think that the government should not have unilateral control.
For example, I think Stripe should be able to compete with Apple to be a payment provider on Apple's platform.
As I said, I would be a fine with a world where if Tim Cook doesn't want to play by the government's rules, he is jointly and severally liable for Apple's debts. There are real benefits that come with being a corporation. There need to be responbilities to society as well.
I realize that the federal government /can/ do things, it's whether they/it /should/ do them.
"I want them to" and "It's been done before" don't fly. These are contracts between willing participants, none of which have been broken. The federal government would be overstepping proper bounds to interfere.
> Unilateral control is the reality
Yes. Which is why we should minimize the regulation coming out at the federal level.
> There need to be responbilities to society as well.
They owe you nothing. They provide a product, you either buy it or you don't.
This is completely about the kind of splurge in app purchases that are terrible for consumers.
There are well known and detailed App Store rules about this stuff, if you want details just look it up. For example all those 2 factor authentication app fits this model where it’s meaningless to download the app without a subscription.
If you offer a multi platform "content" app on iOS then users should always have the option to create a subscription account directly on their iOS device. It's perfectly fine to create an account on a different platform and use it in the iOS app but this should neither be required, nor be directly advertised in the app.
Seriously, don't make random stuff up. Amazon and Netflix don't receive preferential treatment. If you want to make your own streaming app on iOS you can do that today as long as you follow the rules.
You can’t distribute it yourself for precisely the same reason you can’t distribute a game to PS5 yourself, or for reasons you could never distribute apps to blackberry or some other device.
As for the yearly fee covering costs, sure, you have a point. But remember, Apple could arbitrarily increase prices on that fee instead. Apple could charge directly for the tools. They could just tack on the 15% or 30% for the annual developer license for apps that some money-making m, non-free angel to them. We’d end up in the same argument.
An app is not just a bunch of bits strung together. An app needs to have a commitment of support behind it.
Part of “supporting” an app is using only the languages, compilers, apis, payment processors and distribution systems authorized by the manufacturer.
And please don’t bring up PC software. PC app marketplace is a shitshow. Platforms like steam have made it more reliable recently. But they’re still not tightly integrated into the OS as they ought to be.
If you really want users to control the entirety of the digital device then Linux & it’s partners are truly a worthwhile competitor. The fact that Apple’s device marketshare is larger just implies that the a significant chunk of human society (not skewed towards engineers or people in tech) agrees with Apple’s policy.
Our freedoms are at stake, and this should be our rallying point.
The iPhone is a general purpose computer (email, photos, dating, payments, reminders, docs, web, games, etc.) and computer manufacturers should not be allowed to control the only means to run software on computers they sell.
This is less drastic than breaking the company up into constituent parts. But honestly we ought to also be asking ourselves why a computer manufacturer gets to be a film studio and distribution chain.
If Apple made it easy to put custom apps on the device it would mean you could more easily be tricked into installing malware and so reduce the trust in the security.
The iPhone is as popular as it is today due in no small part to how they have policed the App Store.
You can see that the iPhone is still has the largest smartphone market share in the US.
Also, bear in mind that Android phones thrive in less rich countries like Mexico  or the Philippines . The price of the iPhone is perhaps the largest burden for these people, but I'm willing to speculate that if given the choice, most would favor iOS over Android.
There we go :)
Between me and Apple I'm reasonably clear about the business transaction. I pay to buy a high margin device. In turn Apple assures me that they have a vested interest to do what's best for me (i.e., my privacy, no trackers allowed etc.,).
With Android we have bewildering choice of hardware/forked-Android and what not which come with pre-burned apps and app stores that one can't get rid of.
Google Pixel comes closest to iPhone but at that price point I might as well buy iPhone as Apple has better track record of respecting user's privacy.
You never seem to explain why that freedom doesn’t suffice.
For example, I recently broke the screen on my iPhone 7 and for this exact reason (not being able to run some Apple unapproved applications on my device) wanted to switch to an Android, but when I tried one out for a couple days
* My BMW would not show music cover art because only Apple had a deal with them in early 2010s
* iMessage no longer worked and I had to maintain an iPad for communicating to friends who only use iMessage and Facetime
* Macbook was suddenly a lot less interoperable with the phone - the easiest way to transfer photos was to push them to Google photos and download them on the mac
* Homepod speaker would no longer be controllable from my phone
* Apple obviously won't publish AppleTV(Remote) or HomeKit apps for android
Sorry, but it just doesn't work that way.
I just realized too late, what exactly I paid them for - it wasn't the device - it was the "experience" and I regret spending every penny on this experience because it is essentially a sunk cost now.
iMessage is for Apple devices. You are free to choose from SMS, What’s app, and all the others.
You should be able to transfer files by plugging in your Android to the MacBook via USB. Something that you can’t do with an iPhone in the same way.
The rest are all Apple products in Apple’s ecosystem.
I pay to use Apple because the ecosystem is closed.
I'm slowly reducing my reliance on Apple and have already abstained from getting the new watch or adding homepod minis to my current apple tv and homepod setup. And hopefully, as these devices weather out I will definitely make it a priority to not buy into a closed system like this again.
I made the same move away from Google about 5 years ago. It took me a year or so, mostly because it took a while to unthread Gmail from everything.
That we can do this means we do in fact have a choice.
What if some day your account was banned because you said something against the "community guidelines" of Apple? Will your car, phone, TV still work? Will Apple buy them back?
That is a fictional what if.
More importantly, it would be a field day for lawyers.
Don't see any lawyer field day yet.
Can you point to cases where people have been locked out of their Android phones?
If so, I’m surprised lawyers aren’t involved.
It’s not clear though, what this has to do with app stores.
If we think companies shouldn’t be able to lock us out of their products for speech violations, that seems like an important consumer protection that should apply to all companies.
But none of the others are allowed to integrate into the phone the way imessage does.
This "choice" is such a complete lie and I've heard it repeated so many times it's actually starting to make me angry.
- Everyone with an iPhone will have an account (the phone is practically unusable without one.)
- The app is built into the OS, when combined with the previous 2 integrations that makes it the only thing most iphone users are willing to use unless they have a very very good reason not to.
- I think the sharing UI has some special imessage-only shortcuts
The fourth hasn’t been true for a long time.
How is this so hard for you to understand, iMessage gets shoved in people's faces and is activated automatically. It's extremely anticompetitive and isolates people not on apples platform. It's far worse than anything microsoft did in the 90s.
All it does is improve the use experience for people who do use Apple’s platform. They are just as able to communicate with people who have SMS as they were before and vice versa. You are going to need to explain this ‘isolation’.
Literally billions of people use competing messaging apps such as WhatsApp or Facebook messenger.
- Switching operating systems doesn't prevent you from receiving messages in Facebook groups you were in.
I'm not going to respond again because I don't think you're reading my responses. If you can't understand that ask your parents or caretaker for help.
Well, turns out that you are telling me that companies with ungodly amounts of power and influence should be allowed to dictate our rights. This is why we desperately need regulation that puts consumers first.
I stopped using Facebook earlier this year, and I am missing out on a bunch of social groups the contain people I know in real life.
What we need to do is build technology that doesn’t these downsides.
Or as a democratic country, we can debate the laws and rules in which we would like businesses to follow for the privilege of selling products in the market and so they do not unhealthily, dominate the market.
Sure - we are debating it here. It just doesn’t seem like there is any real argument being made why people are forced to choose Apple.
Most users , even some of us can accidentally break a Linux install. Saving me from myself is what IOS effectively does. Look at the Android fortnite fiasco with users installing the wrong app and getting malware on their phones.
Even open source smart phones exist. Your more than free to custom write your own software on them.
The question is literally:
1. Comply fully and lose billions in revenue
2. Figure out a way to continue cheating the system
We have decades of data setting a precedent that this specific company will choose Option 2 unless absolutely forced to fundamentally change.
On the other hand I don't feel I have the right to dictate to anyone else what sort of products they may or may not sell, or how they work, beyond health and safety, accessibility, etc. I don't see that I have a right to tell Nintendo that they must write software to support side loading games for my Switch for example, or demand via government regulation that Sony can't charge a fee for developers to create games for the Playstation. As long as I know up front what the features and services are that come with my purchase, I have a free choice whether to accept them or not.
In particular, I certainly don't think I have the right to tell other members of the public that they should not have the option to buy those products on those terms if they wish. What right do I have to interfere in the product design of popular products, used by millions of people that are perfectly happy with them? Especially if that will force the company involved to change it's business practices and charging structure in ways those customers would not be happy with.
You can distribute [macOS] apps directly to customers.
From Apple's site:
"While the Mac App Store is the safest place for users to get software for their Mac, you may choose to distribute your Mac apps in other ways. Gatekeeper on macOS helps protect users from downloading and installing malicious software by checking for a Developer ID certificate. Make sure to test your apps with the latest version of macOS and sign your apps, plug-ins, or installer packages to let Gatekeeper know they’re safe to install.
You can also give users even more confidence in your apps by submitting them to Apple to be notarized."
After market mods aren't easy to do in any industry. We don't force Ford to support lifted F150s or aftermarket radios.
You're basically saying "This is a dog, and I'm mad its not a cat and it can't be easily changed." When you can just get, you know, a cat.
I wholeheartedly agree with the OP article. You made a device, then you sold it. You shouldn't get to control it after sale because you no longer own it. Plain and simple.
I don't care about manufacturer "supporting" something. I bought it, it's mine now, I'm on my own, and please don't get in my way of modifying the thing I bought because I have the right to do so.
> I wholeheartedly agree with the OP article. You made a device, then you sold it. You shouldn't get to control it after sale because you no longer own it. Plain and simple.
Apple didn't just "make a device" though. They don't make just hardware - they make software w/ hardware. The product is the whole experience. Expecting them to change how they design their product for the masses (that LOVE THEM), because you can't do exactly what you want, is wrong.
> I bought it, it's mine now, I'm on my own, and please don't get in my way of modifying the thing I bought because I have the right to do so.
YOU CAN do what you want with it. If you were perhaps smarter, you could hack into it and make it do whatever you want. You can throw it right off a bridge if you want! Congratulations. But Apple IN NO WAY is required to make it EASIER for you to throw it off a bridge. Sorry.
I'm not renting it. I'm not licensing it. I'm buying it.
> Expecting them to change how they design their product for the masses (that LOVE THEM), because you can't do exactly what you want, is wrong.
That would empower their users. Developers would be actually making MORE apps for the platform because they would have the confidence that they'll be able to get that app into the hands of users one way or another. I've seen some stories of someone doing a lot of work making an app only to have it rejected because its very idea didn't resonate with the review team. There's nothing they can do to bring it into compliance — countless hours of work were wasted.
> I'm not renting it. I'm not licensing it. I'm buying it.
I buy a cat. I can't complain about it not being a dog. I bought it. I didn't "license" the cat, I didn't "rent" the cat. But I still can't make it into a dog, despite the fact that I own it.
Go ahead, hack it, if you can. All the power to you. That's your right. You can't impose your absurd dev geek worldview on everyone else. That's just wrong. If you want, make a competing device. But you won't.
The App store doesn't need more apps. No one complains about lack of apps on the app store. Androids are flooded with crap apps - I'd rather keep it the way it is.
"But people might get scammed by bad actors." They can as well get scammed on the web which Apple devices are capable of accessing. Or over text messages. Or over phone calls. Or in real life.
Your analogy about cats and dogs is wrong, by the way. Being either kind of animal is an intrinsic property of it that can't be changed. You choose one or the other. It's not like someone took an "universal" animal that is initially capable of morphing into a cat or a dog, purposefully locked it into being a cat forever, and then called it an iCat sold it to you for $999.99. On the other hand, an iPhone is inherently a general-purpose computing device, that was purposefully and artificially locked into only running software that was pre-approved by Apple, thus limiting what its user can do with it (without owning an electron microscope, anyway).
By making it so hard to jailbreak and so hard to install apps not from the App Store, they make jailbreaking not the answer.
Believe it or not, the world doesn't revolve around the software geeks.
Sounds like they already do...
A niggle and not contradicting your main point.
You can run and distribute you own app. You can even share it with a few hundred people (maybe a couple thousand?).
What you can't do is distribute it in the App Store or effectively sell it outside the App Store.
Again, more a niggle and not disputing your point.
> The day where apple stops indies from publishing apps is near.
This point I will dispute. Apple isn't going to stop Indies from publishing apps. Apple loves developers (though sometimes they show it poorly) and knows they are the life-blood of the platform.
Apple loves money, and realises that without developers they won't make as much. A subtle but important difference.
Subtle, different, but irrelevant in this context. Apple needs developers as much as developers need Apple. There will never be a day where Apple boots all Indies from the App Store. They would just as soon change the policies on locking the doors on their retail stores at night.
The harsh truth is that indie devs need access to Apple’s users, not the other way around.
And so you have to play by the policies that attracted those users to Apple in the first place, which includes the App Store with all its glorious kinks.
This is simply not true.
Instagram was the project of indie developers. Likewise many of the big apps which exist on iOS. The vast majority of software on iOS is small niche tools which are either fun to use or useful tools.
Apple knows this and they know they need indie developers supporting their platform.
I realize there are a fair number of situations where it doesn't seem that way. But there are a lot of times such as this where it's more than clear they do.