Now, I do understand 500px is trying to create a uni-platform experience for its users, but now that 500px isn't allowed to publish their app, I'm sure it's only a positive sign for other market places. More and more developers will start (slowly, but surely) to neglect Apple's Appstore by default due to the fear of the ridiculous approval process and the uncertainty that their development efforts for the iOS platform may go a waste, because they have seen the history of popular apps like 500px and others.
There is a very thin line of difference between being an elitist and being a d*ck. Apple is making it clear to everyone that they are the latter.
People have been saying this for years, and it convinced me to make my Apps available on the android app store. The result, is a lot of messing around, and produced not much extra income.
Until Android starts to make the same sorts of money, which may never happen, this will not change.
The iOS user base on the other hand seems to attract users willing to spend money.
I seriously doubt Android will be a viable platform for developers until this culture changes.
One of the big challenges on Android is Google doesn't have many credit cards for Apps so right there non-free apps are in trouble. Android may have double the iOS market share but if they only have half as many credit cards their effective market share for paid apps is 1/4 their true market share. That's before you even look at customer demographics, etc.
I'm more than willing to believe Android users on average buy less apps than iOS users. But that just means different business models will succeed there.
A subscription based model is more demanding to maintain, vs a pay-once-app. You at least don't need a server to maintain subscriptions. Ditto with In app purchases (which also require you to maintain a server to keep track of who has paid for what).
If you're looking to reach users of your non-app-centric service that you're looking to provide a free app for, targetting Android is a no-brainer if your service is aimed at demographic groups in which Android has sizeable or even plurality user adoption. That's most of them, but not all.
Looking through apps on my devices (I'm one of the "cheap" Android users with zero paid apps), Flickr, Evernote, Mint.com, Opera, car2go, Skype, Starbucks, Kobo all stand out as quality apps that pay off for the developers in other ways.
There's a history of people who produce Android versions of their software which aren't anywhere near as polished as the iOS one. If that's the case, then of course nobody's going to pay for it.
If you have two versions which are more or less identical, that's different.
Here's one from 6 days ago: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=5066305
I'm curious if there's a high order pattern for apps that make more on ios than android and vice versa.
I'm curious if as much promotion went into the android app as the ios app.
I'm always interested in finding new quality android apps, and I enjoy promoting ones that I'm particularly happy with.
The only way I see this changing is if users themselves cared about an app being pulled, and this app doesn't seem big enough for people to care (maybe if Instagram was taken down).
 - http://www.entrelife.com/2013/01/case-study-of-android-vs-ip...
The interesting math is the intersection of "what app" and "what platform". Popularity of platform is played off with discoverability of the app on said platform.
Are you using something like Mono to share code among platforms or are you doing total rewrites for each port?
You are aware that, except in a tiny fraction of the world, users are going massively android, right?
Anyway, yes I replied to the "where users go", and not to the "where users pay" thing, because I think it is two problems.
So apparently, by the numbers, users go Android, but iOS users are currently more willing to purchase apps, right? Maybe. But not sure. I don't think Android users would be that reluctant to pay a small amount of dollars for an app they really want, if it were convenient.
I paid happily for Minecraft, Machinarium, GTA and 4/5 utilities. The problem is probably that the main source of data, the Google play market, is currently not open to transactions in China and maybe other big countries. So, for me, to buy an app I need: a rooted device, the "fake US location" app (market enabler), a working VPN installed on the phone, and a credit card.
I would like to know the numbers for local Chinese markets, but given that they try very hard to attract user it should probably be juicy, or at least very promising.
Services like 500px no doubt have both Android and iOS apps, and they will continue to do so as long as their customers (and potential customers) carry these devices in their pockets.
So long as hundreds of millions of people carry iOS devices, people will publish apps in the App Store in droves, regardless of how draconian Apple's rules are. This is entirely independent of how many other people use Android.
Previous poster is entirely correct, the power to enact change here is entirely at the hands of customers who buy Apple products. Developers have no leverage here, because everyone knows that so long as Apple keeps shipping tens of millions of tablets and phones every quarter, to wealthy people with high disposable income, devs will stay.
2. "Nice, more people will go away from Apple store"
3. "Developpers go where user go (and pay)" (ie iOS)
4. me: "user go Android".
5. you: "How is this at all relevant? do both"
Well, sure you can do both, but I was replying to the "user go Apple" claim above, so it is relevant, or?
There is a reality mismatch with Apple: they do nice tools, but the fact we hear about them a lot and almost all movies, screenshot, etc. seem to show only Apple products, do not mean that most users actually use Apple systems or products (except if "most users" means "most startup entrepreneurs and wealthy folks in SV")
The reality is, to be clear, that all but a tiny not representative fraction of laptops and desktops are running a version of Windows, and almost all but a small fraction of smartphones run a variant of Android.
I avoid Windows and I am not particularly found of Android, but I think not going Android is suicidal for devs, except if they do special elite or niche apps. I did not invent this myself, Fred Wilson said the same many time.
I could be wrong, though - maybe that balance has started to shift?
A company with a 475B market cap doesn't just do things to be "elitest and a d*ck". I often see these arguments that Apple does things just to be mean or evil but frankly, I think these are emotional responses. There is a more objective reasoning behind why they do the things they do.
From the beginning, Apple has been about presenting a certain "consistency of quality". They want people to equate an Apple product with a product that is free from worries. I get it. You may not agree with it, but I get it. This will naturally piss off 5% of the hard core users who want ultimate flexibility from their platform. But it will also make 95% of the people feel all snugly and warm that they don't need to worry about things like porn or viruses appearing on their device.
Again, I'm not arguing whether 500px's app measures up to "objectional material" or not. What I am arguing is that the reason why Apple removed the app is not because they're trying to be mean but because they have discovered that an app (whether it's had 1,000,00 downloads or 100 downloads) violates the "consistency of quality" that they are trying to present.
Frankly, the 8 year old version of me would have had no difficulty visiting the desktop version of the website and disabling safemode.
I really hope this happens, but it seems so far that people are more than happy to put up with Apple's draconian App Store policies. We're not even talking about equal treatment - iOS apps continue to come out before Android apps, and Windows Phone apps often aren't even made.
For example, about two years ago we released an app for a running event in our state. It used background GPS events to record the runners' locations on a map. Gave them stats and all that.
Apple rejected it because we didn't prominently warn users that background GPS could affect their battery life. This was a good change, that we would not have made, had Apple not reviewed our app.
Sometimes it feels like developers think they have an inherent right to pollute whatever platform they want with their apps, just because they can write code.
If anything, I think Apple is not strict enough. There's a lot of crap on the App Store. And I say this as someone who has had apps rejected a ton of times, and would seriously benefit from being able to include downloadable code and a JIT interpreter in my app (both disallowed).
If windows mobile/blackberry come up with better policies regarding developers that would increase the quality of the applications, and reduce the amount of crap that the iOS developer engage in, then I suspect those platforms will start to pick up users.
Android = Ultimate Freedom, but you need to manage it.
Apple IOS = Some Freedom to shoot yourself in the foot.
I just thought it was nice that they actually checked our app, and told us to clearly warn our users about background GPS.
They've done this sort of thing a lot to our apps. One game we had still had placeholder art. They found it, rejected it, and told us to fix the placeholder art.
I also like that they reject outright if your app crashes during the review process.
Sadly, I think they have been getting more and more lenient as the sheer volume of App submissions increases.
Devs are going where the market is. But where the market is will eventually change and Apple may be forced to open up to compete.
There are plenty of examples of market leading companies that have remained on top despite additional competition e.g. Windows, Office, Google Search.
It seems its more common for a first mover to be displaced than to remain...
There are much more accurate terms to describe the Apple ecosystem.
When governments do this, prevent their users from looking at fine art that happens to involve nudity, we don't call the society a "walled garden."
That said, what Apple did was ridiculous. Youtube, safari, chrome, Flickr etc etc all have the potential to show nudity. Big deal, the walls of the Uffizi are lined with nudity... Damn Puritans, we're still paying for their religious fundamentalism in this country.
I think the 500px app shouldn't be too complicated running as a web app. As far as I can see, there's no big usage of iPhone hardware sensors which couldn't be easily implemented in a web app.
So maybe this is a way to go.
At least they wouldn't waste so much time just to get rejected from the beginning.
It's not ridiculous and pretty easy to understand. No questionable content. No trying to be clever about the rules. No private APIs. I have been involved in over 20 popular apps on the store and not one has ever been rejected.
> their development efforts for the iOS platform may go a waste
Developers aren't stupid. The iOS platform is by far the largest and most profitable and will continue to remain so in the years ahead. And the fact is that iOS is a much simpler platform to develop and test for than the myriad of device combinations on Android.
Plus you're entire argument is tired. It has been around since the beginning of the store and will continue to be so long as Apple rejects apps.
It's great that you've had no trouble, but please don't extrapolate that into a belief that there is no trouble.
There will always be people who try and get around the rules. Including using Apple's artwork without permission.
You did essentially say that Apple's review process is not a problem as long as you actually follow the rules, which is simply not true.