I suspect this is the case for a chunk of that $10B.
Really not impressed with the whole ecosystem and will not be investing further in it.
Edit: to clarify. They didn't buy the apps, I did. No in app purchases were made at all by anyone. The reviews are hopeless - unlike amazon for example there are no reviews or ratings of the reviews so you cant determine the difference between idiot reviewers and idiot developers until you've paid for it. Ad blocking is to stop the piles of malicious and idiotic pages forcing popups and apps down on you like its 1998 again. User alexpenny found a reference to this below - thanks: http://techcrunch.com/2014/01/06/shady-app-install-ads-are-a...
Edit 2: it appears HN has limited my efforts to defend myself in replies...
Edit 3: this is happening only on iOS devices. I don't have any android devices. This does not happen on any of my desktop machines running Firefox + AdBlock Edge. In fact I get no popups or install attempts at all and never have done.
Apps can offer in app purchases (that's a feature), and they prompt you for your approval and password when you install something that costs. There are also parental controls to further restrict this. To complaint about this is like letting your 6 year old drive your car and complain that he wrecked it like it's the car company's fault.
Also, why you'd even attempt to find "apps that supposedly block ads" is beyond me. Have you even read anywhere that those work with iOS? Apps are in frigging sandboxes.
Plus, those apps CHOSE to be offered for free WITH ads. It wouldn't be ethical to the developer to take ads off of those apps in the first place, even if you could. Sounds like a totally cheapskate-y move.
As for "games that crash all the time" you do know that there are tons of quality titles for iOS right, even for huge companies like EA? You don't have to download every el cheapo (or "free with ads" you'll then try to block) game and then complaint. If one cannot trust oneself to access an app before buying, there are review sites. Thousands of those. Plus user ratings on the app store itself and lists of top and recommended apps.
>I suspect this is the case for a chunk of that $10B.
A very small chunk, and I doubt a chunk that has anything to do with any hacker proper.
Since parent didn't supply a date, it's possible he was recounting experiences before the changes were made.
As a user I'm not going to allow your app to waste my limited data plan with ads, learn to cache them, or do something clever when the device is connected via wifi.
Maybe in the country you live the mobile internet is cheap and unmetered, but the appstore is international, if you don't want to deal with international users, you are free to lock your app by region. It's not your God-given right to use the user's data plan as you wish, even worse, in some countries you are going to waste your user's money in many orders of magnitude to perceive a cent (or less) for a banner.
If you are not going to care about your users, then don't complain about users not caring about your efforts.
You have the option to NOT use the app. You are not entitled to free ad-less apps created by other people's toil, anyway.
Bad ads serving malware are a problem on desktop just as much as on mobile.
Parental controls are there. It's your own fault.
Quora uses shitty UI dark patterns on the desktop, too.
Why? AppStore sales keep going up year after year. That would suggest most people have a good experience. I think most people might have more realistic expectations. Your gripes are basically with software in general. Occasionally you get a dud app, crashy game, or otherwise regret a purchase. This has been my experience with software for the last I dunno 25 years or so. It takes some effort to find the good software for any platform. We all put up with it because we know there is very good software out there. It's worth the effort to seek it out.
You have nobody to blame but yourself.
However I don't want adverts in web pages that have detected an iPad forever redirecting to the app store. Then when you switch back to safari they reload and back to the app store app again unless you are quick.
It's like the bad old days of the Internet again playing banner whack a mole.
But as a creator of software, you can't deny the figures. Compared to all other marketplaces, both business to consumer and business to business, far more revenue flows through Apple's, that's clear to see.
You have to be affected by this as a producer. Although, there's clearly heavy competition and marketing is tough and expensive, there's a lot of money that can technically be made.
I suspect the total Android marketplace revenues are accelerating quite hard also, but this underlines another thing I'm beginning to see with marketplaces, B2C can work, B2B seems much, much harder.
I've seen in two B2B marketplaces, Atlassian's  and the Google Apps Marketplace  that the majority of customers of the core products stick to that core product and avoid third-party products from the respective marketplaces (that's a gut feeling for GAM, there are some figures for Atlassian I saw end of last year confirming that). I seem to remember Atlassian saying about $10M had been paid out to devs up to last October.
Yes, I know that businesses have far higher thresholds to trust third-party additions, but I can't help feeling that if you're creating a product whose main channel will be a marketplace, to favour B2C over B2B. I'm always saying to think about B2B sales more, the margins are way better, generally, but this is the first exception I've found.
The AWS marketplace  is something of a hybrid of the two modes. Anyone have much experience of it? I've never used it myself.
$15B is two aircraft carriers. In less time to build one.
Arguably that was due to the success of iOS. I don't think it's ridiculous to suggest that the app ecosystem contributed to that.
But you're right they're completely different in a lot of ways. Apple "builds" more than one aircraft carrier a year (in total cap ex spending), the US Government takes ~10 years to spend the same money to build one.
It used to be the other way around, Microsoft bragging while Apple and fans claiming that quality was more important than quantity.
And since pretty much the whole top-grossing list is free with in-app-purchase, that is definitely where most of this money is.
Even if the developers segment their customers and make In App currency "cheaper" on Android because Android users have a reputation of not paying as much as iOS users it still sounds like a pain in the ass for marginal gain on the end users part.
I can't imagine this happening often enough to threaten platform lock in or meaningfully skew platform monetization statistics.
It seems relevant that the top grossing app on iPhone (Candy Crush Saga) prominently has this on their homepage:
"Start your game on Facebook or mobile and seamlessly continue your saga between platforms. Your game play will be fully synched across all devices."
I think Apple's ecosystem will inevitably fall to second place in 2 years time, when all developers wake up to the fact that Android will be by far the world's largest platform (and yes, it should be better paid, too, by then, as it already almost caught up with Apple in revenue/app).
Still, it's hard to shake the feeling of an all-seeing eye watching everything I do when I use Android. I installed it in VirtualBox and there were at least five different options I had to turn off just to ask it to please not transmit my data to Google's servers: Auto-backup, location info, usage statistics, crash reports, and a couple others I'm forgetting right now.
Google has a vested interest in knowing as much about you as possible. Apple may have the same interest -- like I said, I'd trust a jailbroken iPhone rather than a vanilla one -- but they make their money by selling you hardware and apps.
I've recently de-Googled a number of Android phones, and the cleaned-up experience is wonderful. Long battery life and plenty of apps from F-Droid or Amazon.
Browser-sync is nicely handled by Firefox Sync, which you can self-host.
Ideally it'll be a rooted phone and you can also delete all the com.google.*.apk files, too, so none of their apps run in the background ( uselessly spinning and burning CPU cycles in case you suddenly decide to create an account ).
Here's a list of the apps that are safe to remove, noting the Google ones:
If the phone has a Google account already configured, lock-out the phone by changing the account password on a PC. If its rooted, delete the accounts.db file.
Apps that I usually then install for the user:
- Osmand to replace Google Maps
- F-Droid and sometimes Amazon App Store
- K9 Mail ( you can even point this to G-Mail quite safely! )
- Firefox in place of the stock browser
Redefining words doesn't help the case. By that logic all ipod touches, ipad minis and iphones older than 4s are now 'feature devices'.
On the other hand, my father never installed any apps or really experimented with his iPhone at all. It was just the most expensive contract phone at the shop.
It's stupid to assume either are complete summations of user behaviour. Smartphones are smart even if the users are dumb.
I didn't intend to pay for anything on my Android when I reluctantly got it as part of my internet / phone bundle 9 months back (I didn't want a smart phone, but price was the same with or without one). But after 6 months of using Swype, I found out it was a free trail, and at that point it was too difficult to go back to the normal keyboard. Likewise I am using Whatsapp a lot, and I think the first year is free, then its a small amount. Will still be cheaper than sending international texts to my mum, so I will pay the small price.
(I always find it amusing that this is the story I was told about how drug dealers operate when I was in school, free trail then once you are hooked bump up the price. Never hear of anyone get drugs like that in real life, but its completely common in the corporate world).
Facebook ad revenue on iPhones yields a 1,800% ROI over Android. And Facebook ads on Android offer a negative ROI overall.
So the Android ecosystem still looks very bad.
I don't believe that's true anymore, so we might see some shifts.
The real problem for both platforms, however, is that most apps aren't making enough money to support a company.
The real problem for both platforms is disc
Numbers would get screwy throwing in every curious person who got skin-deep into UIKit enough to pop out a 3 hour TODO app.
"Ideas are a dime a dozen, its the execution that counts stupid...."
I don't really understand how relevant that is to the HN crowd, really.
People already have a $400 iPhone, with an expensive data plan, of course they'll buy whatever it's compatible with.
If you sell glitter, there's no limit but the stars. People will buy anything if it's under $10, so no surprise if so many people have iPhones.
What I'll always criticize, is the real amount of innovation that surrounds the iPhone and the software that it runs. Of course it pays developers, but an iPhone is just a very small wirelessly internet connected computer, with a dedicated software store, and a short battery life. The software is the same if not worse. The only difference is that Apple just had a business model for an app market, and to be honest, compared to what freeware and open source already offers, it doesn't feel attractive.