I've been waiting for the day when Apple axes the "Add To Home Screen" functionality entirely. It's a holdover from pre-App Store days, and has been sadly neglected; iOS7 shipped with several show-stopper bugs , only some of which have been fixed.
I have a feeling that they only keep HTML5 apps around as a pre-emptive defense against anti-trust.
Agreed. It was a great feature when the iPhone launched but it's barely been touched since. Yet amazingly, it's still the best. Android Chrome only just got Add To Homescreen functionality and it doesn't yet do anything special.
It's even more disappointing that Apple has implemented web push notifications... on desktop only. It's a natural fit for their webapp functionality but I don't hear anything about it being implemented. That plus the ability to register a URL scheme would really be all I'd want from Apple.
It can really do a whole lot special with Add to Homescreen as Chrome is running Mobile Safari underneath (the hobbled version for 3rd party browsers) and can't really interact with the OS as much as it can on Android.
It's a sin of omission. They're not opposed to the web, but they're not pushing it forward as much as they could, either.
> Why re-build iWork in HTML5?
> Why add web notifications?
...for Mac only. I strongly doubt web notifications will ever appear on iOS.
To be fair, Apple has been a much more responsible steward of the mobile web than Microsoft in the IE6 days, but that's damning by faint praise. Ultimately, they care most about their closed app ecosystem, and the web is an afterthought by comparison.
Coinpunk! I have been looking into implementing CoinJoin though. Had a discussion with Peter Todd and the Dark Wallet people about it. It's kindof a difficult proposal considering the amount of work I already have to do, but I'm not opposed to implementing it.
Of course, but Apple has explicitly stated that, if you want to make an app that goes against App Store guidelines, you're welcome to make a web app. Apple would have to be in the business of Internet filtering to change that policy, which I really do not see happening.
I really can't blame Apple for wanting to prevent potentially illegal content. When you allow that, you open yourself up to FBI raids, wiretapping, and other unplanned nuisances.
Are there really full Bitcoin wallets on Android? I'm glad that Apple's strict guidelines at least partly force developers to employ smarter decisions regarding disk space, network usage, and battery life (traditional Bitcoin wallets download the entire block chain and constantly poll the network for updates).
From Apple: “We found that your app contains content related to bitcoins – or facilitates, enables, or encourages an activity – that is not legal in all the locations in which the app is available, which is not in compliance with the App Store Review Guidelines.
But this is ridiculous. I can use my Citibank app, the PayPal app, or whatever else, to pay for things that might not be legal either. Square could facilitate me receiving money for illegal things. It's hard to see why these are all allowed, but Bitcoin isn't.
The examples you gave don't use Bitcoin; they all use USD. The currency itself is illegal; we're not even talking about what you're doing with the currency. Bitcoin's legality is disputed in China, Thailand, and the state of California. Since Apple operates out of California, it makes sense that they would hesitate to allow such functionality on their apps.
Edit for clarity: I interpret "facilitates, enables, or encourages an activity – that is not legal in all the locations in which the app is available" to mean that the act of making a Bitcoin transaction is illegal in certain jurisdictions.
It's not illegal to transfer money as a consumer with Bitcoin in California or the other places you mentioned. It's just illegal to do so without proper licencing if you run a financial business. Apple is just offering an app marketplace, they are not hosting BTC transfers or running a money-transfer business by letting Gliph be in the app store.
> Criminal liability for complicity in another’s suicide.
> (1)A person who aids, abets, counsels or procures the suicide of another, or an attempt by another to commit suicide, shall be liable on conviction on indictment to imprisonment for a term not exceeding fourteen years.
This law is mostly used to prevent more active assistance in suicide, but it is also used to prevent people giving advice about how to complete suicide.
So, that's one current sub reddit.
In the past there were jailbait subreddits. I never visited so I have no idea about the content, but English law is stricter than US law around images of people under the age of 18.
Then why not allow the app in locations where Bitcoin is known to be legal? Like Germany? I guess there are some countries where the legality of Bitcoin is not disputed. The App Store allows to restrict the apps availability by country.
To me it is clear that Apple tries to stifle adoption and innovation in the Bitcoin area by disallowing those apps on their platform.
This is so tiresome. The 30% is a service charge. It covers hosting, distribution and credit card processing to name but a few things. Before the AppStore, entities such as handango we're charging more than double as a percentage. It's not an arbitrary figure that you seem to think they plucked from their collective asses when instigating the store. So please. Drop the fucking trite meme. It's vapid.
I didn't question the fairness or value of that commission and frankly, its irrelevant to the point at hand. If they officially allowed bitcoin on the AppleMarket, there's no telling how many vendors would offer it for an absurdly bigger profit margin.
Being practical, this means that theres space for a solution to charge intermediary commission and let apple have its piece of the pie.
Getting out of hand? This isn't some new behavior from Apple breaking with past behavior. Apple already bans competing web browsers with their own rendering engines (forcing them to use the slower Mobile Safari without JIT), bans any app which duplicates any functionality Apple has or is considering adding to their platform, and forces all providers to either give them 30% or not have in-app purchases or even links to purchases. Banning bitcoin send functionality is tame compared to that.
Exactly! In 2010, I swore off of iOS and moved to Android for exactly this reason. I didn't want to be prisoner of a platform where a corporation could decide what software I was allowed to run on my device. I hope Apple's policy will be untenable in the long run.
But my Citibank app allows me to pay bills, transfer money between accounts, and deposit checks. LevelUp allows me to pay for things using credit cards linked to the app.
So it's pretty clear that Apple does allow financial transactions to happen in apps, without taking a cut or anything. What's unclear is why they would allow this for Citibank, LevelUp, etc., but not for bitcoin.
The legality of that underscore in your username hasn't been explicitly confirmed either, and I say it looks too much like a weapon - so as far as I am concerned, you are a mass transporter of weapons.
Which is nonsense, of course. Things are legal unless explicitly made illegal.
This is exactly right. Ever since they brought in in-app purchases to the app store they have required a 30% cut of everything. This isn't a dig at bitcoin specifically.
My local bus service sells bus tickets through an iOS app and they have to give up 30% of the sale to Apple. Even major retailers like Amazon and B&N ended up removing in app purchases back in 2011  to avoid Apple taking 30% of their business. They are not even allowed to link to their own web stores from their apps.
Frankly I'm just amazed Gliph ever got that functionality in there in the first place.
The in-app purchase rule only applies to virtual goods. A bus ticket, much like a plane ticket, should not fall under this rule. And, in fact, you are prohibited from selling real-world items via in-app purchase.
What you're buying isn't the virtual ticket. It's the bus ride.
Indeed. You can buy good on Amazon's iOS app to be delivered to your door without Apple getting a penny, but buying Kindle ebooks in your Kindle app is a different story. The difference is that in the Kindle case you're buying content for use in your app.
well it's somewhat ideological, no? or do they allow Bitcoin payments for in-app purchases if you go through them?
My feeling has been that the major companies don't want to acknowledge Bitcoin yet and are waiting a bit to see how things play out. Not supporting it for a while won't hurt them too much financially. They lose some transaction fees but don't have to support a new payment type.
This is why I think it's insane when I see Bitcoin-based services built apps for iPhone first. How naive are they? It's obvious as night and day that Apple would try to ban Bitcoin apps if they try to get into payments themselves.
We should try and stop them, of course, but why risk it by making iOS your first platform, and even your only platform for a while, if you you're building an app that has a very high chance of getting banned by Apple for arbitrary self-interested reasons.
The Mac desktop is a much less controlled environment. It doesn't help Apple to block a desktop app from their app store because if they do, the developer could release it outside of the dev store. Less apps in the app store means less apps Apple can say it has in the app store.
On the other hand, realistically, the app store is the only way to get apps onto an iPhone for the general public. They can easily control things there because it's the app store or bust.
Used to be you could install any app you wanted. Now, Gatekeeper is set to deny apps from publishers that haven't paid the yearly Apple tax (aka 'registered' developers which costs $99 a year). Note that Gatekeeper has one additional setting which is app store only. Expect this to be the default in another year or two.
Yes, you can adjust this setting yourself, but most users won't change it. This will kill off most hobbyist development on the Mac and a large percentage of open source apps (GPL apps, the most popular open source license, aren't permitted in the App Store).
Any Mac user who uses "hobby" apps knows how to edit their System Preferences.
For people like my parents, who never use any third-party apps and routinely move the entire Safari app to their desktop (I think they think it's a shortcut or something lol), Gatekeeper is useful. I'm just glad they're off PCs now; the number of tech-support calls I get from them has dropped dramatically.
Assuming none of the rest of the infrastructure'll change - I'd consider working with possibilities as future "when"s impractical enough; a user'll go download Firefox, the standard Gatekeeper denial message'll pop up:
"Firefox" can't be opened because it was not downloaded from the Mac App Store.
Your security preferences allow installation of only apps from the Mac App Store.
Safari downloaded this file today at...
And the user'll either trip over the message and give up in frustration - there will be a class of user who'll visually pattern-match, rather than engage with a meaningful back-and-forth with their computer - or pop into the System Preferences, find Security waiting for them, and off they go.
Fairly banal, but by far and large that's because the assumption that switching the default to the MAS-only option would be a novel attempt at total exclusion shouldn't be true, give or take the major assumption outlined above: not so when the current default's in fact "Mac App Store and identified developers" - narrowing the locus of trusted sources, then, is a change that should happen independently of how easy it'll be to get an unsigned app running.
The default used to be the bottom option which allows all apps. Then Apple switched it to App Store and Publishers that paid Apple $99 with the introduction of Gatekeeper. They'll switch it to App Store only by default soon enough.
I'd wager that when Apple switches it to Mac App Store only by default, lots of open source developers will simply give up on Macs. I was planning on developing for Mac myself. Even bought a second hand Macbook to fire things up. But the way Apple works, I just don't trust that it'll be viable in a couple years. Given Apple's arbitrary application of rules in the iOS ecosystem, I have a dim view of the Mac's future in terms of openness. I decided instead to continue to focus on Windows and expand into *nix and Android.
I doubt open-source developers were paying to have their executables codesigned in the first place - I'd assumed in the argument above, at the very least, that the Gatekeeper denial isn't the silent suppression the iOS kernel uses; and on that basis little may as well change for them.
Projecting that Apple'll change both the default position of a radio button and their marginalia and messaging around Gatekeeper is different (as a somewhat more substantial change) from your premise, though.
A 3rd party to VLC tried getting VLC in the Mac App Store and then later it was pulled for violating the GPL. VLC had to relicense their whole code base to get in the App Store fully legally. Most open source projects will be unable to do that due to the sheer number of contributors and resistance to hobbling the copyleft license on their code.
Most of us that had been watching Apple had projected that Apple would launch a Mac App store and make it the main place to get Mac software while still keeping clauses in their App Store license that are GPL hostile. That came to pass. As for Gatekeeper, expect that Apple will switch the setting in the next couple years. After all, Mac went from allowing installs of any software by default to restricting unsigned apps, essentially going from the lowest Gatekeeper setting to the middle, with little fanfair and minimal pushback from their userbase. They'll have an easy time taking it the next step as well. It's only really holdouts like Adobe that aren't in the app store that matter at this point. And Apple will likely force them into the App Store to get their 30% cut in the next couple years with the Gatekeeper change.
All of this fits with Apple's core values of making things easy, exercising complete control, and forcing an excessive revenue share from all publishers. It already works that way for iPhone/iPad/iPod apps, music, videos and books. The only holdout is Mac apps and that will happen soon enough. The only folks that usually argue that it won't are the so-called Mac power-users who continue to think that they are critical to Apple's success. This was true for a time when they catered to media professionals. But they don't anymore, nor do they have to. Apple's entire desktop/laptop hardware business accounts for 12% of their revenue and falling. They're a pure consumer company now, not a computer/tech company anymore. There's simply more money in it. That's why their bread and butter OS, iOS, is so completely locked down compared to all of their competitors. There's no reason for them not to follow suit on the desktop/laptop and get their 30% there as well.
Your second point is terribly exhaustively induced - I've two nitpicks, though, for the record's sake: there's the fairly low-lying target of whether the poweruser response to the introduction of Gatekeeper suffices to predict the response to any total lockout within OS X: the first was defended on the basis that it retained the option; the second violates that.
There's also the question of their role: while "power users"'ll make up little direct contribution to Apple's haul, they've forced Apple to expedite the usual inscrutability at times: Apple's been fairly quick with the reassurances after the dual (perceived) fiascoes that were the half-done rehaulings of both FCPX and the-suite-formerly-known-as-iWork.
The question then becomes whether a variable amount of scorn'll sufficiently tarnish the Mac platform as a whole, and whether it retains any inertia to overcome any blip in opinion; that'll depend on what proportion of Apple's Mac owners do care - that hasn't been established specifically for the Mac itself. But it's fairly easy to project along the lines of your note on Apple's dependence on the consumer when accounting for all business: no doubt adoption rates during the past few years've been up to the halo effect, and we only need decide whether the proportions line up - the power users, after all, have always remained, by definition, a minority; they've thus always had a disproportionate amount of influence.
But you're arguing just as well for simply getting rid of their business selling computers: perhaps they could just as well play that chance and feel all the better focused for having fallen into the second. I'm sure there's a surprise within that mold happening within Apple's future; it'd at least give the analysts an impression of sufficient prescience. (Or they'd grant the issue sufficient apathy on that front solely on the basis that their computer lines have reverted back into one of their self-proclaimed "hobby" niches - half the fun of Kremlinology's in tossing away the assumption that every actor must constantly execute, chop-chop.)
(Which takes me back to your first - I do understand that both App Stores don't even so much as consider OSS licences: precisely my claim that "I doubt open-source developers were paying to have their executables codesigned in the first place".)
I never claimed they'd get rid of the ability to change the Gatekeeper settings. Merely that they'd switch the default again. Just like before when it went from unsigned being permitted to unsigned not being permitted. Sure, there's an option to change it. But, as it is now, the vast majority of users will never do it. So, yes, you'll have the option to change it as you can now. But with it off by default, it becomes onerous to distribute an app for Mac but not via the app store. Which is as Apple wants it. With all the apps in the Mac app store, Apple can collect their 30% and exclude competition to their own properties like they do on iOS.
FCPX and it's still less-than-previous-version-abilities and the abandonment of the Power Mac for so long are perfect examples of 'power users' being de-emphasized across Apple. Power users and media professionals were a much larger part of Apple's business in the past. They're an extremely tiny part of their business today and, as evidenced by Apple's own decisions and behavior, worth paying a little bit of attention to eventually, but not much.
The main reason for Apple to continue to build laptops and desktops is in service to their iOS and media businesses. Folks still need tools to build apps and put together media.
And as for open source projects having their code signed, LibreOffice, Mozilla Firefox, OpenOffice.org, my own PortableApps.com, etc would politely disagree with you. Being open source doesn't preclude paying to sign or having a business model. But the app store's onerous licensing agreement does preclude some of my apps from ever being able to be offered.
I apologize for bringing up the first assumption and running off it - I'd went off with it precisely because you talked about complete exclusion: but of course Apple can do a very well-considered nudge; I'm treading right over false equivocation here, but the question so is always "to what extent?" - we're happy to consider Android relatively unfettering, despite having a similarly "recessed" option like your projected one, but no doubt we're judging it differently because a phone never needs to hold much promise.
An equivalence to Microsoft - I'm raising a great deal of them only because I believe having everyone rush to emulate Apple's MO has a bit of their exceptionalism rub off - is suggested by your second, though: both have individual consumers, customers dependent on unique line-of-business setups (as to the standard business, media professionals), and independent developers (the last two make up the constituency with an interest in unfettered application installation) in precisely the same proportion - but not the same magnitude. The question, yet again, is in precisely how the proportion represented by "a little bit" turns out to be - and how much that'll be when applied. One has to measure precisely how much's been added back to FCP to the magnitude of their retargeting of the FCP line in the first place to get an impression of their influence. Apple's able to show a great deal of strength, though; I'm simply sizing up the opposing influence.
But neither do I doubt that Apple'd ever deny themselves an opportunity for a bit of bravado: I shouldn't ever be overtly hostile to someone projecting reasoning with overt change and incompatibility for the ideal's sake onto Apple.
Edit: and my thanks to you for the PortableApps as well - I remember lugging around a gaudily pimped-up Firefox (Aqua theme and a Ghostfox-like quick-hide addon, woot woot) on a 512MB flashdrive in middle school, and subsequently realizing that the show of ricer agency can neutralize anyone's ability to reasonably judge taste. A fairly good life lesson to be had early while getting to terms with a teenager's first pecking order.
No apology necessary, just a typical online missing-a-few-blanks-and-filling-them-in-ourselves event. :) It's true that Android has the ability to 'side load' and it is off by default, but phones and PCs are different animals. So, it's better to compare it to Windows which permits running even unsigned apps by default, though it does black the screen and show a warning box with a big red exclamation point.
Realistically, I think the Mac laptops and desktops will continue along the 'consumer' line of thinking in terms of features and functionality. Apple will likely set Gatekeeper to Mac App Store only by default within the next release or two of Mac OS X. Users will be able to change it, of course, but it will still have the desired effect of making publishers feel like they have to sell through the App Store and give up 30% of their revenue to Apple (and also abandon many of their pricing models since the App Store doesn't support variable upgrade pricing, unfortunately).
Most Apple users won't even know they can get apps outside of the App Store at that point, similar to how most Android users don't know. Similarly to Android, of course, there will be some power users that know and make use of that feature. Most Mac OS X users will be completely unaware of the fact that any of this happened or that their options have been limited, though, the same way most iOS users are unaware Apple prohibits third party browsers (unless they're just a skin on hobbled Mobile Safari), SMS clients, etc.
Personally, I disagree with the path Apple has forged the last few years. They make pretty good hardware and were the first company that really 'got' mobile music (and the fact that it needed good hardware and software - both on the device and the connecting PC). I have an original iPod Mini I got and later hacked a 16GB CF card into and ran Busybox on. I even have an old Mac Classic sitting in the closet that I'll pull out and put shufflepuck on at some point. But I likely won't buy anything from Apple ever again at this point. And I won't develop anything for a platform whose owner operates the way and has the level of control that Apple does. Both of which make me a bit sad.
Glad you like PortableApps.com and it's helped you out. We're still chugging along. If you're so inclined, give it an install to your cloud drive (Dropbox, SkyDrive, Google Drive, etc) and you can run your apps from there and sync them among your Windows machines. You can even run them under Wine on *nix or one of the Wine equivalents on Mac (CrossOver, Wineskin, WineBottler, PlayOnMac).
IMO it's clearly apples intention to move to a controlled App Store model on OS x as quickly as possible. Editing system prefs is just a stopgap to prevent complaints, and at some point they will remove the option.
Gatekeeper only applies to applications that were downloaded to an HFS volume by an application that sets the quarantine bit. It doesn't apply to applications installed by other means. It's bypassed by simply choosing "Open" from the context menu instead of double clicking. It's entirely a security feature.
So, Gatekeeper applies to basically any piece of software that a user would obtain, since the internet is really the way people get software these days (as evidenced by Apple eliminating optical drives from Macbooks).
Sure, it's security. So is Apple's restriction on not allowing 3rd party browsers on iOS. At least according to Apple.
- unless they use the hobbled Mobile Safari engine without JIT.
For now. Macs used to allow installs of apps from anyone. Gatekeeper is currently set to only permit installs from the app store and developers who have paid the yearly Apple tax by default now. ( http://support.apple.com/kb/ht5290 ) In the next release or two, expect the Gatekeeper setting to be switched to app store only by default. Yes, you'll still be able to change it, but don't expect most users to.
Oh right, THIS is why it's not a good idea to use a system where a single corporation (and one predisposed to control-freakery at that) gives itself veto power over what your device can and cannot do.
(not that "everybody go buy a Nexus 5" is the answer either. The only way to keep these corporations in check is a competitive platform marketplace with considerably more than two players. Go buy a Lumia, a Jolla, a Firefox phone, a Tizen phone...support diversity, kids)
Why not everyone go buy a Nexus 5? It looks open as phones go, you can just root it with adb. As long as you can root the phone and swap in your own OS I think Google's phone is as good as any other.
Edit: I didn't read your post carefully enough. Yes, it would be wise to assume that Google will eventually become malicious and try to future-proof by supporting entities making comparably liberated phones.
Yes I actually feel the same, they look like they are plotting something (for lack of a better description). Locking down the OS would be a strong indicator for a future walled garden scheme and if it comes to that I am definitely done with them just like I am with Apple.
This isn't what is what is happening here at all, but it gave me an idea. What if some person or organization with a lot of influence, like Apple, shorted on bitcoin, then banned it or did something to affect it's price.
This can work the other way around too, encouraging bitcoin use to increase it's value, after buying a bunch of it.
Proof-of-work doesn't create the value; it enforces the rules of the protocol via incentives and consensus (essentially, one CPU = one vote). Any value is created entirely in people's heads. Whether that's a good or bad thing is up for debate.
I can't speak for all proponents, obviously. From my point of view, the proof-of-work from mining is a critical part of the value of the currency, since it enforces the scarcity, and the only reason any fungible good has value is because it is scarce.
This is not unique to Bitcoin -- one of the primary reasons that USD has value is because the proof-of-work involved there; specifically, the ability to create an item that is not distinguishable from any other note of USD. If this were easy, then the dollar would be worthless, even though the actual task of "creating dollar bills" has no societal benefit other than securing the currency. (Not that you claimed it did; that is just a common objection that I am using as a strawman)
I've been a vocal supporter of most of Apple's policies over the years but they really are on the wrong side of history with this one.
Apple should embrace change (think different!) by accepting bitcoins themselves and let related innovation thrive on the App Stores. In the end it's all about the digital wallet which means more sales of mobile devices.
So please, dear Apple understand that the decentralized Internet of money is here. It won't go away so better get all in!
Such dogma on Apple's part, taken to extreme, devoid of common-sense: the strangling innovation is a great way to push apps and their developer entourage to other platforms. There's curation and then there's disproportionate culture of "No."